The Allure of the Traditional

“I’m a traditionalist. I use a typewriter for communication. I don’t own a laptop. I don’t fax. I don’t email and I don’t crash.”
– Paul Caponigro, 2009

PaulCaponigro.jpgPaul Caponigro, Santa Fe, 1974 by Bill Jay

Notes on Photographs Website

GEH198111980099verso.jpgFrederick H. Evans – “Negative lost – in moving!”

I’ve just discovered the website Notes on Photographs, a department of George Eastman House whose aim is to create a forum and tool for those interested in the photographic print.

Especially useful for curators, conservationists, archivists etc., it’s in the form of a wiki and is a wonderful tool in helping to identify and document the characteristics of different photographic papers, the techniques and working methods of famous photographers, and has examples of signatures, labels and other identifying factors. There are 10 different examples of Ansel Adams’ signature alone, to help you should you need help verifying that your AA prints are genuine. Then again, if you only have the negatives

Alec Soth Photogravures


These last few weeks I’ve been busy, working late and generally staying out of trouble with a wonderful project – I’ve been printing an edition of photogravures for Alec Soth of his image Enchanted Forest (36), Texas. It’s published by the Walker Art Center to coincide with Alec’s exhibition From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America, which opens September 12th. The show is curated by Siri Engberg. Follow this link to find related events at the Walker.

UPDATE: There’s a wonderful interview with Alec by Bartholomew Ryan, the assistant curator, here. And if you ever get the chance to, you should see the documentary Somewhere to Disappear by film-makers Laure Flammarion and Arnaud Uyttenhove who drove around America with Alec on three trips, covering 20,000 miles.


Hahnemühle Copperplate paper

Test plate

Test prints

Charbonnel Soft Black ink

The final plate


Printing the edition

Plate mark


Plate mark

A final print

The finished edition