Scans from Prints 4
Affiliation I. Laurel Lake, NH. 2001.
Pt-pd print on 100% rag Buxton paper, from cropped original 11×14 negative.
[see the full scan with reference target]
A photographer/printer thinks about the expression of a print, or what Paul Caponigro considered, the ‘voice of the print’, as the result of many different qualities and variables. The most tangible parts of the process begin with the quality of the negative, and its size. And it comes to a culmination with the way the print is presented. But in between, we think about contrast (how the absolute values of black and white transition through the intermediate grays), about these absolutes (the blackness of the black and the whiteness of the white, also referred to as maximum density and base white), about the color of the tones and the color of the base paper, and much more. We think about where to ‘place’ the tones in the negative on the tonal scale on the print, since there are huge differences between the tonal range of a negative and that of the print. We think about how to lead the viewer’s eye from one part of the image to another by shaping lights and darks, almost like writing a choreography for the eyes. And as the eyes dance, so meaning and immersion unfold. The matter of the image becomes the truth of the matter.