One of the bigger developments of this process over the past few years has been the direct-to-plate method. This involves printing the image directly on a plate using the front manual feed of the printer. The microscopic dots from the printer’s stochastic pattern acting like, and replacing the need for, an aquatint screen. After a brief exposure to UV light (without any screen, film or contact frame) the ink is washed off and the plate processed as normal. After this it’s the same as usual – ink, wipe and pull a print. Not having a screen and film positive eliminates a lot of the obstacles that many fall foul of; dust and insufficient contact being the two main culprits.
I offered this optional way of working to a workshop many years ago but it was still a fairly new method then, and although most of the participants got really good results, a few images, especially those that had a lot of detail in the lighter tones, were lacking. So I’ve been working on getting the adjustment curve perfected and I think I’m there. The next MCAD workshop starts this week and I think it’s going to be a whole lot of fun!
The Badlands, SD — Direct to Plate polymer photogravure (apologies for the low quality iPhone photo)
Over at my other website I’ve started posting about projects I’m working on and general studio ‘stuff’. This is me trying to keep my personal work separate from that of the work I do for other photographers and artists.
In October I’m teaching another workshop at MCAD – An Introduction to Clamshell Box Construction. It’s just two Saturdays however – October 12th and 19th. More details and registration on MCAD’s website.
And while we’re at it, take a look at, and follow, my studio Instagram account too — @keithtaylorstudio.
Recently I discovered ‘A Small Voice‘, a wonderful podcast of photographers interviewed by Ben Smith. I’m a little late to the party when it comes to podcasts and I usually listen to BBC Radio or Spotify in the studio and the car. Ben’s from London, lives close to my part of the city and has that London-ness that is hard to describe but is what I miss so much. He’s also interviewed a few photographers that I used to know and print for back in the 1980s and 90s.
This blog never really went away or stopped, but it seems that plenty of others are springing back to life once again all over the place. I’ve always felt uncomfortable posting images and thoughts, however random or inconsequential, elsewhere and so I really don’t have much of a Facebook or Twitter presence any more. A story by Signal v Noise, which I wrote about a while back, summed it up nicely here.
Traditional blogs might have swung out of favor, as we all discovered the benefits of social media and aggregating platforms, but we think they’re about to swing back in style, as we all discover the real costs and problems brought by such centralization.
Ironically, as I write this, Instagram and Facebook (and many others) are down.
It’s Memorial Day in the United States and the unofficial start to summer, so how better to celebrate than with a special print offer! It’s been raining and quite wet in Minnesota lately so the image is fitting.
Rain Storm and Church, Wisconsin has been hand-printed in an edition of just 10 prints on Rives BFK paper in beautiful Charbonnel ink. (Since starting to write this newsletter 2 have already been sold, so we’re down to just 8 now.)
Prints will be well packed and shipped USPS Priority Mail, so most buyers will receive their prints within 3 days. Once again, thanks for your support and interest in my work, it’s truly appreciated. Have a great summer!
Title: Rain Storm and Church, Wisconsin
Printed: May 2019
Paper: Rives BFK
Dimensions: 10 x 5.5″ image on 11 x 14” paper
Signature: Signed, numbered and dated
Edition Size: 10 numbered prints plus 2 proofs
Polymergravure is a contemporary alternative to the traditional copperplate gravure process and one I’ve been working with for 20 years now. More details about the process can be found on here.
There’s a great documentary on the writer, photographer and curator Bill Jay, titled Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay. Until this week is was only screened at selected venues, and those were primarily in the UK, but it’s now available on YouTube. I’m only part way through, as I usually am with most things right now, but I can really relate to many of the people in it and status of photography as it was then, in the 1970s in the UK, having started a serious interest in photography around 1972.