4.06.2020

When you clean up you open boxes. When you open boxes you find prints. This is "box art."


I think I've watched every good movie on Netflix and Amazon Prime. All twelve of them. It's no longer a really satisfying thing to do so after dinner I went out to the office to continue with the Herculean task of cleaning up my own Aegean stables...by which I mean, of course, the mess my filing systems have become. Having no rivers to divert I just started opening print boxes to remind myself of what was there. The first clamshell case I got to holds prints up to 13 by 19 inches. Most of the prints in it were 12x18 inches and a few were smaller odd sizes. As I leafed through the prints it reminded me that I used have a lot of my work printed, all the time, because I wanted huge stacks of candidates to put into specific portfolios. A medical portfolio. A portrait portfolio. A black and white portrait portfolio, and so on. At some point, about four years ago I stopped printing stuff. I guess I became convinced that no one wanted to do face to face portfolio showings anymore --- that if an art director wanted to see my work they'd probably just go to an online resource. 

There are 18 four inch thick clamshells cases on shelves in the studio. There are a couple of bigger cases from the time when I tried to keep an Epson 4000 from clogging up long enough to make some 17 by 24 inch prints. Each case holds between one hundred and one hundred and fifty prints. Mostly color. The hand printed, fiber based black and white prints are either 16x20 or 11x14 and they have their own cases. 

At any rate I was amazed at how much I liked the prints and how much more presence they can have compared to seeing the same images on the screens. I thought I'd just point a camera straight down into the box and show you an assortment. I guess it's time to get back to the printer. At least for a while. 

I either need to find a service I like or buy a printer I like. Or both. Prints are a totally different way to experience photography. And I like being able to hold them in my hands and walk into better light....



















 When you print for yourself it's always a process for trying variation after variation until you get stuff you like in the moment. But the next time you print it's different. You're different.

12 comments:

atmtx said...

These are wonderful, Kirk. Love the prints and your presentation of them on this blog post.

Gary said...

The last portrait in this collection is interesting (as well as good!). Because of the styling one can't tell when (what decade)this photograph was taken.

rlh1138 said...

Lovely photos. I'm cleaning out the last boxes from moving 2 yrs ago, mostly prints also. (Not as nice as yours, but..) They are reminding me also, how much I like prints. Actually the reason I started photography - anyway - same question in my mind. Buy a printer and start that long battle again - or find a service. So... you can help. If you decide to try and find a service, PLEASE write about it. That would be so helpful to sort of have you run ahead on that and report back what you are finding out there. So.. that's my confinement request. Thanks for any consideration!

Ray H.

bishopsmead said...

Thanks Kirk, I admire your work and love your writing, so grateful for the time and effort you put in for us all.

OT (a bit), for you especially, knowing your love for theatre and for anyone else out there who is bored with Netfix, The National Theatre (UK) is streaming selected works on You Tube as their contribution towards helping to keep people at home. I just watched the excellent James Corden in the production of "One Man, two Guvnors" it is only available until tonight, so don't miss it! There are also more productions being made available - see this link:

https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home

Keep well, keep safe

#YoMeQuedoEnCasa

bishopsmead said...

Sorry, I was wrong . . . went back to the website to check "One Man, Two Guvnors" is available until 9th April. Apologies for error.

Ted Squire said...

Kirk, Go ahead and find-purchase a printer. I use just a little A4 Canon but having prints in my hand is soooo satisfying. I now wish it was A3, but chasing a super duper printer isn't necessary. IMHO, something like the Canon MG7750 is more than good enough if you view at a normal distance. Not to be a Canon fanboy, Epson makes something similar but folks in our club seem to have a lot less clogs and jams with Canon.

Gato said...

Lovely photos. Thanks for sharing.

For some reason I woke this morning thinking about limited edition prints of photos -- an idea I've never much cared for. So your line "But the next time you print it's different. You're different" hit home with me. You put into words what I was trying to get clear in my mind.

I'm going back through my old figure photography files with the idea of reworking the files and making fresh prints. A local gallery is interested in doing a show -- if they survive the shutdown. It's one way to pass the time while I'm stuck at home.


Neil Swanson said...

I've been doing the same as far as exploring box after box of prints. I have a need to print. It's not a photo till it's a print. It's been 8 years since I printed and I hired a lab once to make a print for a silent auction for a client. I spent decades in a darkroom and this feels wrong. I'm finding gems as I go through the prints and it makes no difference to me if the print is film/darkroom, film/scan/Epson, digital/Epson I love like to feel them and hand them around. Nobody comes over and asks if they can look at my 27" monitor. I also find the I am completely satisfied with the prints from my 4meg Nikon D2HS, or my first digital the D70S. Honestly what a technical mess that 75mm Summilux was but what print. Stunning. All those errors add up to beauty.
Guys, we gotta print.

Neil

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Funny thing for me as I look through box after box of big prints (12x18 inches = smallest) is that the camera used is absolutely irrelevant. Lenses? Yeah, that's different. But sensor size or film? No big deal. We sure wasted a lot of money chasing up resolution after we hit 12 megapixels, I can tell you that.

Martin said...

Like your boxes!
Must check mine yours are way better.
Perhaps should try the slides folders first....

Best wishes to Texas from Germany
Martin

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mhg-09/

Kodachromeguy said...

Beautiful portraits! I, too, have been opening old boxes of photo materials, discarding duplicates, and trying to improve the (dis)order. For the years of B&W negatives, I have been scanning the 4×5s. Old camera, crummy lenses, but that nice huge negative! But I bet I don't have enough pixels, micro-contrast, card slots, equivalence, or bokeh.....

MikeR said...

I had an Epson R2880 for several years, and made some beautiful prints with it ... after wasting tons of ink on printer nozzle cleaning. I learned to make a habit of one print a week, on just plain paper, of a test image. It was enough to keep the clogs away, and it gave me a visual check-up.

I find that the Epson SureColor P600 is much less susceptible to clogs. Much less. However, I learned that if you don't use it for a year or so, it's gonna clog big time. Otherwise, it is a fine printer, one that I like a whole lot more than the R2280.

I don't consider it that expensive, and since the largest I print is Super B, I don't feel constrained by it not being a "wide format" beast.