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Author Topic: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?  (Read 39179 times)

LKaven

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2015, 10:10:02 am »

To me, I guess it comes down to texture.  A canvas stock that has a coarse weave is more suggestive of a faux-painting look, where the coarseness of the weave is seen as pointless and counterproductive in the context of a photograph.  A very fine texture weave, with a gesso-like coating, looks more like a fine-art medium, something very close to a fine paper stock.  I don't know why anyone would object to the latter.

RSL

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2015, 10:18:51 am »

If the objective is to get closer to a fine paper stock why not use a fine paper stock?
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2015, 10:57:21 am »

If the objective is to get closer to a fine paper stock why not use a fine paper stock?

Because, with paper, you need glass, mat, and frame, which, for large sizes, means substantial weight, special hardware to hang, glass reflections, and is pretty costly.

I asked Michael's how much just to frame one of my 20x30 canvases, i.e. no glass, mat, backing, etc.: $800. That would be twice as much as what I charge for the canvas.

For smaller sizes, print on paper, properly framed, is hard to beat in terms of estethics and elegance. For bigger sizes, canvas wins in terms of practicalities and lack of reflections.

LKaven

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2015, 11:07:48 am »

If the objective is to get closer to a fine paper stock why not use a fine paper stock?

In our tests, the canvas stock accepted ink especially well and produced a wide gamut, better than the comparable paper.  It was also cheaper for large prints and set up well for long-term durability.

RSL

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2015, 11:14:03 am »

You two guys make a fair point, but I'd have to ask what your objective is. If it's "cheaper" than by all means print on canvas. A photograph on canvas has "cheaper" written all over it. If it's quality then fine paper is essential.
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LKaven

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #45 on: January 16, 2015, 11:33:24 am »

You two guys make a fair point, but I'd have to ask what your objective is. If it's "cheaper" than by all means print on canvas. A photograph on canvas has "cheaper" written all over it. If it's quality then fine paper is essential.

These are weighted considerations.  I started out hating canvas, but found that my objection to it had mainly to do with the coarse weave "faux painting kitsch" look which was ridiculous.  Then someone showed me a fine-weave stock with a great coating.  And then they showed me how wide a gamut they could get out of it.  I no longer saw aesthetics as a barrier to using it thereafter.  The fact that it was also cost-effective (in terms of mounting and coatings) was just an added benefit.  Fine art paper stocks are also good, and especially good if the way a given paper accepts ink is integral to one's artistic goals.

Dave (Isle of Skye)

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #46 on: January 16, 2015, 12:15:04 pm »

A photograph on canvas has "cheaper" written all over it. If it's quality then fine paper is essential.

The buying public purchase your work because of the image content, the composition and what it says to them. Canvas, paper, acrylic, metal, it’s all the same to them or at least means very little compared to the image itself. They buy the work because they acquire an emotional connection to it and are then prepared to exchange their hard earned cash for it. It could only be a photographer who would purport to judge the aesthetic quality of another photographer’s work, based on peeping at the substrate it is mounted on, or whether it has the appropriate gallery frame or not.

So what I think you are referring to here Russ and suggesting should be a tenet chiselled into stone for us all to follow, is how you see and present your work as a photographer, but also as someone who has a predetermined mindset of what you think looks ‘cheap’ or what looks like ‘quality’, which in actual fact has nothing to do with what is actually cheap or quality. Or indeed has anything to do with how the buying public gauge what is cheap or what is quality. People buy the picture for what it is and for what it means to them, not for what it is printed on, or how it is or is not mounted and framed.

I recently visited a gallery show and the ‘artist’ told me he was also a picture framer by trade. The mounts he was using were exquisite and obviously very expensive and very much reflected in his prices. The pictures within the frames on the other hand, were no more than average (I am being kind) and so when I asked how he was doing for sales, after giving me several reasons why he wasn’t doing well, it became fairly obvious that he wasn’t selling anything. Yet he had the best of everything presentationally but hadn’t yet realised, it isn’t a beautiful hand finished walnut frame with gold leaf inlays etc that makes people want to buy your work, it is the work itself and what it means to them the moment they see it – I suppose you could compare this to a common critique of good and bad design as ‘Form over Function’, only in this case it would seem that you are arguing for ‘Presentation over Content’.

But having said all that Russ, if what you do works for you, then I sincerely wish you every success with it, but this can only ever be how you think you should present your work, but which I would argue has nothing to do with how the buying public think they should buy it, as they don't really think about any of this, only whether they are emotionally attached to the work and what it means to them  ;)

Dave
« Last Edit: January 16, 2015, 12:46:34 pm by Dave (Isle of Skye) »
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Isaac

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #47 on: January 16, 2015, 12:51:23 pm »

In other words, you don't want to answer the question because that actually would be taking a position on something.

Don't put words in my mouth.

I'd rather listen to those who actually are presenting their work on canvas and learn something, than ridicule other people's taste.
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Isaac

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #48 on: January 16, 2015, 01:02:10 pm »

Black edges work rather fine for me and my public, to the point that it is not even perceived as "canvas" any more.

So, just like an unframed painting?
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RSL

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #49 on: January 16, 2015, 01:09:58 pm »

Don't put words in my mouth.

I'd rather listen to those who actually are presenting their work on canvas and learn something, than ridicule other people's taste.

In other words you don't want to answer the question any more than you want to answer the earlier question regarding whether or not you actually shoot pictures.
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chez

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #50 on: January 16, 2015, 01:57:36 pm »

You two guys make a fair point, but I'd have to ask what your objective is. If it's "cheaper" than by all means print on canvas. A photograph on canvas has "cheaper" written all over it. If it's quality then fine paper is essential.

In your opinion.
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #51 on: January 16, 2015, 11:51:15 pm »

I've recently taken a page from Bill T's book and I'm printing "sofa sized". Four by six foot prints look fantastic and I can do it all myself. I even manufacture my own stretchers. With conventional framing, the framed images would probably weigh fifty pounds. Gallery wrapped, they're probably less than five.

I'll say it again, just in case anyone missed it.  They look fantastic.
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Isaac

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #52 on: January 17, 2015, 01:05:22 pm »

… the framed images would probably weigh fifty pounds. Gallery wrapped, they're probably less than five.

That's a strong incentive.
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chez

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #53 on: January 17, 2015, 02:56:17 pm »

I've recently taken a page from Bill T's book and I'm printing "sofa sized". Four by six foot prints look fantastic and I can do it all myself. I even manufacture my own stretchers. With conventional framing, the framed images would probably weigh fifty pounds. Gallery wrapped, they're probably less than five.

I'll say it again, just in case anyone missed it.  They look fantastic.

Yeh, they might look great and your customers love it and you sell them for buckets of dollars....but are they fine art ....as I quickly run away with my head tucked under a big hat  ;D
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RSL

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #54 on: January 17, 2015, 04:06:54 pm »

Duck, Chez. They're gonna tell you this is "fine art" and beat on you.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #55 on: January 17, 2015, 06:46:32 pm »

I thought that "fine art" is in the concept, idea, content, etc. not medium!? It is like saying that the only fine art are oil paintings, but not drawings, not graphics, etc.

Peter McLennan

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #56 on: January 17, 2015, 07:02:41 pm »

Yeh, they might look great and your customers love it and you sell them for buckets of dollars....but are they fine art ....

Actually, I give 'em away.  I sold my photographic skills for decades and I'm done with that. Besides, few things make me happier than seeing my work on my friends' walls.

Are they "fine art"?  They sure as $*&# are.  I love 'em and so do their owners.  In fact, some of them hang on residential walls that also display several conventionally framed (and gorgeous) prints by Michael Reichmann.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 09:06:27 am by Peter McLennan »
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William Walker

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #57 on: January 18, 2015, 02:17:43 am »

I thought that "fine art" is in the concept, idea, content, etc. not medium!? It is like saying that the only fine art are oil paintings, but not drawings, not graphics, etc.

Slobodan - I should have made that clear in the beginning, the particular photograph's artistic merits are not in question. In my own mind I took that as a given, it is, as you say, the form of presentation that I needed clarity on.

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William Walker

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #58 on: January 18, 2015, 02:30:58 am »

With the above post in mind, let me ask the question in this way:

1) A mythical photographer - who we all agree is "one of the best" - offers a colour print for sale. (I am guessing a Black & White would be a no brainer!)
2) This mythical print - which we all agree is his finest - is offered printed in a choice of paper or canvas. Neither medium/substrate adds or detracts from the photograph. Both the same size.
3) The paper print is framed and matted as per "archival standards".
4) The canvas is offered "stretched" - as per "archival standards".
5) The price is the same for either choice: $100.00.

Which one would you choose?
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LKaven

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Re: Photographic Printing on Canvas:Is it "Fine Art" Printing?
« Reply #59 on: January 18, 2015, 02:56:45 am »

With the above post in mind, let me ask the question in this way:

1) A mythical photographer - who we all agree is "one of the best" - offers a colour print for sale. (I am guessing a Black & White would be a no brainer!)
2) This mythical print - which we all agree is his finest - is offered printed in a choice of paper or canvas. Neither medium/substrate adds or detracts from the photograph. Both the same size.
3) The paper print is framed and matted as per "archival standards".
4) The canvas is offered "stretched" - as per "archival standards".
5) The price is the same for either choice: $100.00.

Which one would you choose?

The way you've posed it ("neither medium/substrate adds or detracts") there would be no rational grounds for preferring one over the other.  :-)  What <blinkety-blink> would be the deciding factor?

In practical terms, once I saw the extremely fine weave coated canvas, that changed everything.  Like silk compared with burlap.  The coating gave it a more continuous surface texture.  It just looks like something you can print on in that subtle way it needs to. 
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