All of a sudden the end of my time at the Tower is not that far off (about 6 weeks away). So I am now deeply involved in editing the final work and planning the prints. I’m also keen to complete some more photographs, especially the portraits. On top of this I also have one more education project to finish with a school near the Tower of London. We have already completed two education projects within the residency and they both went very well. I’m hoping to put some of the pictures from these projects on this blog fairly soon.
Outside of the process of diciding which of the hundreds of photographs will make it in to the selection for the exhibition, my main concerns focus on print size and the printing process.
The decision is weighed up between making large prints (40″ x 40″) from hi-resolution negative scans and printed using a professional Light Jet digital printer or having smaller images (16″ x 16″) printed by the excellent Robin Bell on fibre-based silver gelatin paper using traditional darkroom techniques.
I have decided to go for the smaller, traditional prints rather than the larger digital prints. To show you the main reason why would not work on a computer screen, the difference really needs to be seen to be believed. Digital black and white prints are not as good as traditional photographic prints it really is as simply as that.
There is a depth and clarity with a silver gelatin print that cannot be matched by even the best digital printing techniques. I’m sure some people will disagree but I want to state that I’m not saying this as some sort of Luddite stand in the face of the unstoppable tide of new technology but as a opinion based on visual comparison and experience.
When one is photographing a site which is bound up in so much history and tradition I think it is more fitting to use a printing process that also has its own, long history.