Thursday, October 09, 2008

Odds and Ends

So I'm going to declare the approach of listing new sets at eBay auction prices for a couple of days a success. Some regulars took advantage of it and it didn't really seem to have any downside. Regulars can get what they want without dealing with eBay and seeing what is and isn't listed, and it helps keep my eBay fees under control. And I'm not undercutting normal pricing since it's just for new sets, and it's no lower than the lowest eBay scenario.

I just ordered a couple of prints using Ilford's new true silver fiber process. For folks who don't know what that means - there are two kinds of traditional black and white prints, RC and fiber. Fiber's the higher end process - very pretty, very archival. If you went into a gallery and bought a print you would expect it to be fiber. It's pretty much the highest quality mainstream black and white process - not quite up to the level of a platinum print, but it's not like very many people can make those.

The interesting new twist is that they've figured out how to take a digital file, use a laser to expose fiber paper at crazy high resolution/quality and then they just wet process it normally. So you get a regular fiber print when all's said and done. I believe there are just a couple of labs who do this - I know of only one in the UK and one in the US.

They're expensive so they wouldn't be a whole lot cheaper than my platinum prints but they can make larger sizes (I've had a lot of requests for large platinum prints but I can't physically make one without buying/building a lot of stuff). Plus probably more people understand what a silver fiber print is versus a platinum print so they might be popular for that reason. On the downside silver isn't as stable as platinum, it doesn't have that totally handmade aspect (with the brushmarks) although it is wet processed, and platinum has a larger tonal range. But they should be prettier and much more archival than the lab prints.

I'll update when I get them - I'm not expecting them for a couple of weeks - but hopefully it will be something I'll be offering by the end of the month.


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