One of our loyal customers is Bruce Keyes, photographer, artist and author of "Spirit of New Orleans". He really loves the Parrot and Angelica media, and uses almost everything we handle, from canvas to fine-art watercolor, right on through to some of the more exotic fabrics. I just had a series of long conversations with him for this piece on my blog for Parrot: http://www.parrotcolor.com/store/blog/?p=432
and in the conversation he talked about the choice of media and the creative process.
Rarely... ok, never, does he make media decisions before, or during the capture, as I do, with my film-based, visualization dogma ingrained into my process. He'll shoot, get the best image he can get, and then experiment with media to see what the fit is. He said to me, sometimes they all live, sometimes they all die- but seldom does he find that one image, on one media, is THE
image that says it all. Every rendering by every media choice has it's own value, and it's own statement.
Heaven help me for bringing up the Zone System and all that "Visualize the Final Print" hoo-haa, but that's the way I learned, and in moving to digital printmaking, is the way I still work... Bruce doesn't even teach that, as a foundation of photography. He said he feels no need to burden his students with that legacy, and that the digital tools are entirely liberating- he suggests the term the "gestalt of the lens", which I amended to be the "gestalt of the paper"- allowing he media to control the image...
Thoughts on this? Throughout my education in digital process, I've always felt our challenge is to learn what is unique about the tools and use them for what they can do for us- all this time I've been limiting myself by the idea of what photography should
be, not what digital photography and printmaking actually brings to the table.