Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Multiples of one

From PDN (subscription required) :
Smaller Editions, Large Prints, High Prices

"Today, editioning remains the cornerstone of photo pricing. But never before have the price tags on photographs been so high, and the edition numbers so dramatically low. Instead of issuing editions of 50 or 25, photographers and their galleries today are routinely limiting their editions to ten, five or even three prints for a single image.

Photography dealers themselves point to a couple of causes for this pervasive trend. The most valuable commodity on the art market today is painting. Collectors interested in art as an investment are more comfortable buying one-of-a-kind paintings than photographic prints, which can be endlessly multiplied. Not only do smaller editions mimic the scarcity of a painting, but art photography today is being printed in super-large formats on the scale of paintings.

Then there are the living photographers—maybe a dozen prominent examples—who have successfully resisted the market pressure to edition their work. Some are fashion or commercial photographers who just can't be bothered; others are photojournalists who are philosophically opposed to the notion, as their very mission is to communicate the horrors of war, famine, or social injustice to as many people as possible."

I think I will burn my work prints and in the future only ever make 7 prints from now on. How about you?


Anonymous Walker said...

I have yet to edition a single one of my bodies of work. I might reconsider if the stakes were high enough, but it seems so unnecessary to artificially limit the number of prints if I have no plans to destroy my negatives.

Plus, I'm lazy, and I don't feel like keeping more people from being able to purchase my work would make it any better or more valuable.

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Ian said...

I detest the whole principle of editioning photographic prints. I can see the sense of some sort of provenance - handling a print made by Ansel Adams himself for example would for me have a resonance that one made by an anonymous lab technician would not - however expert they may be. All in all though, if all I could have was the anonymous one I would take it.

Digital imaging makes this even more of a nonsense - all that burning in, dodging and other darkroom trickery is now stored and infinitely repeatable.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Minister of Enlightenment said...

I'll make editions of one, and sell the memory card with that one file on it along with the print.

11:11 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home