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Just print it again

I am sitting in a talk given by Zelda Cheatle, a freelance photographic curator who is seriously knowledgeable about private gallery exhibition and sales.

The thing that has struck me are her comments on printing and distributing or selling a limited edition print; you know, 1 of 50, that sort of thing. Does that devalue the image because it could be reproduced numerous times?

Her personal philosophy is not to go down the route of a limited edition print, where you should print your 50 or 100 images all at the same time and on the same type of paper and at the same photographic colour temperature. Perhaps instead, she says, print for purpose and at that point, number and date. For example, I may print an image, number 1 on 21 May 2014 and when I print it next, it might be numbered 2 and dated 29 November, 2016.

It creates opportunity and it creates an art timeline.

Opportunity? You might print at one time for a collector who admires an image in its context and format. And you might revisit the image at another time, when your creativity has moved to a different place and produce an image that is the same but different. Here are two examples; the first is an image produced with different digital processing sets

and the second is a re-examination of an image where the reconsideration is more radical.

And this is before, you start thinking about different papers and inks….. and many things.

And a timeline. It allows an observer to see how thoughts and treatment of images can change over time; if you go back 5 years, most of my work was in colour – now nearly all of my portrait work is black and white.

So, there you are. Something to think about and upon which to form an opinion


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