I am a firm believer that a photographic artist must produce all of his (her) own prints. It is an absurdity to think that someone else could possibly reproduce
the photographer's vision. On top of that the photographer's "vision" of an image will evolve over a period of time.
Once I was given the opportunity of viewing a series of images created by the great Ansel Adams, of his immortal image, "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico". This is
probably the most famous single image in the world. The early images were given as Christmas gifts by the then unfamous Adams (how would you like to have been on
that list?!) and were remarkably different from the image with which many of us are now very familiar. How could this image have evolved from that early
interpretation into the masterpiece which now enriches all of our lives if Adams had delegated the responsibility of producing prints from that negative? Any
assistant hired to do the printing would almost certainly have exactly followed the printing instructions given by Adams, thus the image's growth and evolution
into maturity would have been short circuited; a loss for us all. Even if an individual doesn't recognize Adams by name, they almost certainly are familiar with
that image if they are at all aware of the visual arts.
Black and White Images
In my black and white printing I use only the finest materials from the most respected and reliable producer of photographic materials in the world. These materials
are world class and are processed in such a way as to produce images which are as archival as I am capable of making them. Each image is chemically processed by
hand. Because each print is hand produced there can be no exact duplicates. If I make two prints, one after the other, the two prints will appear similar, even
identical, but there will be differences. I may be the only person aware of the differences, but they will be there. I refer to these images as silver prints
because I use a silver based photographic material.
Several years ago I went into a gallery in Santa Fe and happened to be able to view a portolio by Eliot Porter. That portfolio of images is as indelibly imprinted
on my mind today as it was the day I first saw it. The images were rich and saturated with beautiful clear colors. These were dye transfer images. Dye transfer died
a very untimely death a few years ago and so these materials are unavailable for the creation of new images. The material which I believe most closely approximates
the clarity of color, image sharpness and permanence of that medium is Ilfochrome.
Ilfochrome is the only color material used in my darkroom. Ilfochrome, AKA Cibachrome, is the most stable color process in existence. Its image is formed by the use
of Azo-metallic dyes, not organic dyes which may be subject to deterioration upon exposure to ultraviolet light. Each of these images is produced by hand with the
utmost care. Great pains are taken to assure that everything is done exactly right.