Thursday, November 1, 2012


Spirit Tree Series Redux

I just went through a stack of matted prints that I have stored in my studio. I still have copies of most     images from the Spirit Tree Series. Most of these images were printed in 2010. Some of them were in  New Mexico for a year. Those were subjected to extreme changes is humidity when they were returned here. I noticed some wrinkling of the prints. I think it was a direct result of the change from a very dry environment to a damp one. I also think that the nature of the paper that I used back then plays a contributing role in the deformation.

Last year I expanded  the series, and printed new images on the paper I now use. The new images benefited from the paper choice and from my improved editing skill set. I admit to being a slow learner. I easily get stuck into ruts on various aspects of my art. Even in my darkroom days I mostly stuck with a couple of film types (TMax 100 and Kodachrome), and I mostly printed on Seagull for black and white and Cibachrome for color.

It took me awhile to comprehend that the paper I was using in 2010 did not fulfill my needs. I was comfortable with the paper, but I lost sight of the fact that it did not fully translate my vision. I did try a couple other papers, but they were really bad, so I stuck it out. But when I saw the wrinkling on the prints that came back from Santa Fe, I knew that I had to come up with something else to print on. I did considerable research, and settled on the paper I have now been using for the past year - Canson Platine.

This paper does not wrinkle because it is made of very high quality materials, and because it is considerably heaver. The thing that really gets me is that the image quality is superb. It blows away the images from the old paper. It makes me want to reprint everything that I printed before, but I just cannot afford to do so (it costs four times as much as the old paper). That said, I am going through some of what I consider my very best, and reworking them. I will chose some to reprint.

The above image is on the short list.