Monday, June 6, 2011

ATTENTION: Our Blog is Moving!

We are moving our blog to a new home on our website. We are sorry for the inconvenience, however this move will offer our followers and visitors a better online experience. If you subscribe to this blog please follow the link: and click on the "All Post" link to re-subscribe.

If you have our blog book marked, please delete the old book mark and add a book mark to the link above. We have a lot of interesting post coming very soon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Eye Candy at AIPAD

The AIPAD show was like a walk through Dylan’s Candy Shop, filled to the brim with fantastical, historical, sometimes absurd and mostly wonderful treats. Picture strolling through Beaumont Newhall’s History of Photography. Galleries and collectors exhibited vintage gems from Margaret Cameron, Bernice Abbott and Man Ray, next to electrifying examples of contemporary work by Pierre Cordier, Jim Campbell and Julie Blackmon.
© Julie Blackmon
© Pierre Cordier
Look beyond some repetition, occasional mediocrity and feast your eyes on sweet treasures. We were pleased to be introduced to artists new to us and here we share our favorites:
Verve Gallery of Santa Fe represents veteran lensman Misha Gordon. His stunning dramatic work of staged series uses pattern and light to reflect a moving serenity and intelligent wit. The filmmaking duo, Charbonneau/French, create elaborate and fantastical sets that utilize daylight and shadow, props and people in real time.
L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, located a block away from the Armory, showcased Raphael Dallaporta’s huge color images detailing the grand church organs of Paris. Also available were his beautifully printed and haunting series of life-sized land mines, now a book, Antipersonnel.
© Raphael Dellaporta
The NYT article reviewing the show highlighted several Asian artists and we noted one donating proceeds to victims in Japan.
Hyperion Press Limited introduced us to the elegant and painterly images of Qin Wen. His subdued use of color illustrates allegory in layers using traditional ritual and current culture.
© Qin Wen

Gallery 339 of Philadephia showed work from Ephemeral Existence by Tetsugo Hyakutake, featuring his ephemeral large scale industrial landscapes of Japan.
The Peter Fetterman Gallery in Santa Monica CA carries noted social documentary photographer Sebastiao Salgado. His exquisite images offer rarely seen remote areas of undeveloped countries.
© Sebastiao Salgado

Lastly, more than one dealer featured the work of Beth Moon. Using traditional film and a medium format camera she shoots moody portraits in lush natural settings. Her images are hand coated in platinum and palladium metals on heavy French watercolor paper.

© Beth Moon

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Science, Poetry and the Photographic Image at SPE

Imagine someone who is highly educated, passionate about their art, dedicated to teaching and happy to share their ideas with others. This last week Eric and I not only found one of these rare individuals but an entire conference full. This amazing reunion was the 2011 national conference of The Society of Photographic Education, SPE.

This amazing conference started for us with keynote lecture by old friend and legendary photographer and educator Abe Morell. Always understated, funny, and thought provoking, Abe’s talk inspired and amazed everyone. He shared many stories about his camera obscura work; we especially enjoyed his new body of work. We also got a great insight into Abe as a teacher from his former student and fellow Guggenheim recipient and SPE Board Member Joann Brennan  who gave a wonderful introduction, but I have a bias.

We would have liked to attend many of  the others lectures but we had work to do. On the exhibition floor we had a great time making new friends such as: Ann Simmons-MyersAngela KellyVesna Pavlovic the Crew at Bostick & Sullivan  and many more who we hope to see at SPE 2012 in San Francisco!

We also saw many old friends: Justin KimballJohn WillisWilliam DuBois.  This is a very incomplete short list and if you didn’t make it that means you didn’t buy us a drink!

We left the 2011 SPE Conference, Science, Poetry and the Photographic Image, enlightened, feeling good, and secure in the belief that the future of photography is in great hands. If you are a photography or film educator you need to be part of this amazing community, they throw one heck of a party.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Earth Now - American Photographers and the Enviornment

© Carlan Tapp
© Joann Brennan

Two of our western friends, Carlan Tapp & Joann Brennan will be showing at the New Mexico Museum of Art along with such notables as Ansel Adams and Eliot Porter. The Show is titled "Earth Now" and is curated by Katherine Ware and features the work of 12 photographers. The exhibition opens April 8 and runs through October 9, 2011. It has a great website that is worth a visit.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

WPPI - The Take Away

WPPI was an amazing event and a tremendous learning opportunity. We experienced WPPI mostly from the trade show floor, a place where you can get the real story of being a professional photographer at least 100 times a day if you listen carefully. We talked to a lot of great people and these are 5 things we heard time and time again.

1. Be unique. Create your own style. Today anyone with a DSLR can be your competition… if you let them. However, if you develop an individual identity, an original look to your imagery, a special service or services that differentiate you from the crowd clients will find you. Our friends Walter van Dusen and Bob Coates push a fine art side of their business to attract new clients.  A group of photographers from Maine has started the Maine Photographer Coalition to help promote their businesses by selling more fine art images.

2. Don’t make price a factor. The top professionals we talked to didn’t figure cost into their success equation. Don’t ask yourself “what is the other guy charging,” but ask “what is the value of my talent and services.” When you know what you are selling, and that your talent and services are something of value, you will know what pricing model is right.

3. Quality matters. Time and time again we were complimented on the excellent quality of our printing. If you take pride in your photographic abilities why settle for an inferior print? To quote a photographer at the show, “There are a lot of beautifully bound albums here (at the WPPI trade show), with some really badly printed photos inside.” The wrapper may be gorgeous but it’s the print that defines your ability as a photographer.

5. Use your resources. Why limit yourself to just a few options. If you need a special lens, camera or piece of lighting equipment why not rent it. Our friends LensProtoGo have just about any piece of equipment you need in stock now. Tired of the same old look get some new backdrops. Need a cool website but don’t have the funds to pay a web designer? Try BluDomain for an extensive selection of websites at great prices. And most important, if you have a question ask your vendors, like Digital Silver Imaging, we know what’s out there and we can help you find it.

We love going to photo events like WPPI because every time we connect with a photographer we learn something. Check in with us in the coming weeks and find out how we put what we've learned into practice. Keep shooting in black and white, and maybe we’ll see you at the SPE Conference in Atlanta March 10-12!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Multigrade Art 300-Ilford launches new silver-based Fine Art paper

I love reading about developments in our industry, both digital and analog.  I have maintained a good relationship with my former employer, HARMAN technology, which is the parent company of Ilford Photo based in the UK.  I knew they were working on developing a new silver based fine art paper that would have the look and feel of Hahnemuhle fine art inkjet papers, but have a true silver gelatin coating.

I have been speaking with Mike Bain, Rod Parsons and others at HARMAN about the launch of the Multigrade Art 300.  Now that HARMAN has a relationship with Hahnemuhle, this has become a reality.  Initially, this paper will be available as an analog (that's "darkroom" for all you digital newbies!) product.  We will be part of a test phase shortly to evaluate this in rolls for digital exposure in our Durst Theta 51 photographic laser enlarger.

This will initially launch in the UK in early April in sheet sizes from 8x10 up to 20x24.  There is no official launch date for North America, but we're their largest market, so I'm sure we'll see it soon!  I know representatives from HARMAN will be at the SPE (Society for Photographic Education) conference in Atlanta and will have samples on display.

Stay tuned for more details.

Read more about Digital Silver Imaging and our services

Fall River Camera Club

Owner Eric Luden made a trip to Fall River last night to present his black & white program to over 30 photographers at the Fall River Camera Club.  What I like most about speaking with photographers at these camera clubs is their passion about photography.  They are doing this for fun, pleasure and education, and are not jaded by the demands of trying to make a living with their hobby.

I give an overview of the changes that have impacted black & white photography as digital methods have evolved since the mid- 90's.  I explain how photographers used an LVT film recorder to produce b&w negatives and then made darkroom prints and then the evolution of inkjet printing.  We discussed the evolution of digital enlargers, like the Lightjet or Durst Lambda and how we utilize the Durst Theta 51 to produce real black & white continuous tone prints.

Photographers are aware that black & white photography is making a comeback.  So many digital tools are available to make this possible, including multiple plugins and other software.  More than a third of the members already own Nik Silver Efex Pro and are eagerly awaiting the launch of Silver Efex Pro 2, which is due out at the end of this month.  This plugin makes working in black & white so much easier and produces the cleanest files.  When you combine this with our silver gelatin printing service, you get the best of both worlds. 

Thanks to Lorraine for inviting me down to the club - you have an excellent organization and I look forward to coming back. Congratulations to Richard who won the raffle for a free 11x14 Fiber print!

Friday, January 21, 2011


Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. Guests attending last evenings gallery opening of the Griffin Museum of Photography @ Digital Silver Imaging were challenged to view the haunting elegance of anatomical specimens from the Mutter Museum in Philadelpia and the Lazzarro Spallanzani collection in Regio Emilia, Italy. Noted landscape photographer, Neal Rantoul, took a courageous departure by pulling back the curtain on this slice of human experience with grace and candor. Boldly curated by J.Sybylla Smith the 18 images of animal and human studies move beyond voyeuristic curiosity to ephemeral beauty.

A steady stream of seasoned photo educators, staff and board members from Northeastern, Boston's Photographic Resource Center and the Griffin Museum including Glen Ruga, Director of the PRC, George Slade, and Cathy England concurred the work was "Luminous", "beautiful", "striking" and "strong". Represented by Panopticon Gallery, owner, Jason Landry and Neal's colleagues were pleased to see the new work in this intimate venue. A special edition book including extensive images from both collections along with the taxidermy from Cabelas is available for sale. The selenium toned silver gelatin and giclee ink jet prints are available in limited editions.

We are all looking forward to Rantoul's gallery talk on February 3rd. We are eager to hear him take us on the journey prompted by an NPR interview by Terry Gross with Gretchen Warden in 2002 on the Mutter to his international travels to illuminate and record this historic tradition.

You can view the complete collection of images in our online gallery.  Contact Digital Silver Imaging for information to purchase his prints or his book.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Artist's Gallery Talk @ The Griffin Gallery at Digital Silver Imaging

Je Ne Sais Quoi 

by J. Sybylla Smith

Articulate and humor-filled descriptions of his creative process informed and entertained an eclectic audience at the Griffin Museum of Photography at Digital Silver Imaging's gallery talk last evening.  Photographer and videographer, Jonathan Stark, waxed poetically on the feelings evoked by  France, shooting with film and the “magical faith-based” moments of creating art.

Armed with 3 Nikon cameras, loaded with color and black and white film, Stark approaches his work with an open respect for the dialog between the subject - animate or not - and the shooter. Eagerly seeking resonance with his subject his goal is to “capture the energy.” The most important lens being that of his own emotion, imagination, and aesthetic. His desire to make a photograph overrides any sense of timidity or inclusion in another’s intimacy. Ask him about shooting the Hassidim in Jerusalem preparing for Passover.

A curious documentarian, Stark, exposes himself to the culture and ritual he discovers while traveling. What separates a photograph from a snapshot? In his view it is the willing involvement of the shooter to engage and exercise a disciplined and attentive awareness to one's inner vision. An artist transforms the obvious, moving beyond mere representation. Stark notes black and white photographic images convey emotion and render moments timeless in a way color cannot.

A diehard film fan, he favors the nuance of a silver gelatin print which cannot be mimicked by “spraying” ink on paper. Giclee and silver gelatin are different animals. Just as a diamond traveling across vinyl picks up the peaks and valleys of sound in a manner not replicated by high definition electronic transfer - we sense the difference in output despite the ability of our eyes to register the minute pixilation used in ink jet printing.

Darkroom magic is that inexplicable happening when the image unfolds its  secrets - the culmination of subject, light, exposure, framing, and myriad processes, both human and chemical, that birth a photograph. In Stark’s opinion art reflects relationship.

Stark approached Digital Silver Imaging's output as an experiment. He was both pleased and surprised with the results. "Digital Silver Imaging's printing technology enabled me to take a color transparency and convert it to black and white, which revealed the character that appealed to me, but had not translated in color. The DSI silver gelatin print made the image sing."

You can view all the images from the exhibit here.  Contact Eric Luden at Digital Silver Imaging for information about purchasing any of the prints from this exhibition.