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Author Topic: The Numbering Affair  (Read 12291 times)
ednazarko
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« Reply #40 on: March 07, 2011, 08:10:55 AM »
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Presuming one has already begun numbering prints of certain images, one is obviously morally bound not to sell any more signed prints of that image. Is it similarly improper to sell additional unsigned (and of course unnumbered) copies, say to a corporate client for decorative purposes? My first thought would be no, but I'm not sure. What are folks doing?
Rob P

This has been done for years in the art print market.  There'll be 100 copies or whatever that are printed on very fine paper, hand signed and numbered, with authentication certificates and certifications that the plates or stones were destroyed.  However, then there can be thousands of posters sold.  The artists I know who follow this model say that the signing and certification (or lack thereof), process of printing, and quality of the paper used make the distinction clear.

That said, what you can do without some consequences is very much linked to your fame (or perhaps notoriety with all the connotations).

There was a huge scandal years ago when it was discovered that Dali was pushing the boundaries on this - he'd signed a huge amount of blank paper for pay, so that signed prints could continue to be sold well after he was gone.  There's now a cottage industry in distinguishing between properly pulled and signed Dali prints and improper ones.  They're equally surreal on your wall, but unequal in value in the eyes of the market.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #41 on: March 07, 2011, 02:57:36 PM »
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A Q for the group. Presuming one has already begun numbering prints of certain images, one is obviously morally bound not to sell any more signed prints of that image. Is it similarly improper to sell additional unsigned (and of course unnumbered) copies, say to a corporate client for decorative purposes? My first thought would be no, but I'm not sure. What are folks doing?
Rob P
If the prints are otherwise the same aside from the lack of numbering, I think that would be wrong. After all the whole point of limited editions is scarcity. If a bunch of identical but un-numbered prints became available on the market, do you really think the limited edition prints would hold their value just because they're numbered? I don't.

Now if the prints are otherwise different: different size, different output type (lightjet versus cotton rag inkjet, etc), then you would probably be OK. After all lots of photographers who offer limited editions do so in different sizes (which I think is a bit of a cheat, but it's fairly common).
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Christopher
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« Reply #42 on: March 07, 2011, 04:06:19 PM »
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"Presuming one has already begun numbering prints of certain images, one is obviously morally bound not to sell any more signed prints of that image. Is it similarly improper to sell additional unsigned (and of course unnumbered) copies, say to a corporate client for decorative purposes? My first thought would be no, but I'm not sure. What are folks doing?
Rob P"


Let's say it is a limited edition and it is sold out, a corporate client could get my own copy of the limited edition for decorative purposes. Which would be part of the Limited Edition, but not sold.
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dreed
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« Reply #43 on: March 13, 2011, 09:59:00 AM »
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When photographs are not hung on your wall but instead projected or displayed, what happens to numbering?
Or is numbering simply incompatible with selling an electronic copy of your work?
In which case, is numbering destined to become irrelevant to photography - or at least confined to a smaller and smaller portion of the market?
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alainbriot
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« Reply #44 on: March 14, 2011, 12:33:54 PM »
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The problem with numbering electronic copies of photographs is there's no way to guarantee that no extra copies will be made. Certainly, the photographer can use the same approach as with prints such as certificate of authenticity, even placing a number on the image shown on the screen (which would mean adding this number to each image individually and burning each cd/dvd or writing the file to any other media individually) and so on.  However, because the same file can be easily edited and copied, the proliferation of duplicates is impossible to control. Technology may change this later on, making delivery of limited electronic copies controllable, but right now this is a real challenge.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2011, 01:41:24 PM by alainbriot » Logged

Alain Briot
Author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Composition, Creativity and Personal Style., Marketing Fine Art Photography and How Photographs are Sold.
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dreed
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« Reply #45 on: March 20, 2011, 08:04:35 AM »
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What if you don't buy the picture but rather the right to display it?

What if the display in your lounge room connects to some gallery webserver and presents that webserver with a certificate that you bought as being representative of that display's right to retrieve and display it?

What if we assume that the security of the model has integrity with respect to enforcing how many times and for how long it can be displayed is good enough to deliver that?

In terms of software, the above can be done - including getting the final solution into a small box.

What software can't do and what I believe hardware cannot currently do is provide something affordable that goes up on the wall and displays an 80MP picture with 80,000,000 pixels (and not 2k or 4k resolution) and 16 bits of colour depth per R/G/B channel.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go off and write this up in more detail for a patent...
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Gary Brown
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« Reply #46 on: March 20, 2011, 09:36:16 AM »
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What if you don't buy the picture but rather the right to display it?

What if the display in your lounge room connects to some gallery webserver and presents that webserver with a certificate that you bought as being representative of that display's right to retrieve and display it?

That's more or less what GalleryPlayer was: Start-up delivers fine art to flat-panel and plasma TV screens

But AFAIK they eventually went out of business.

(P.S. I can't help but note the irony in photographers complaining about copy protection on software but wanting copy protection on photographs....)
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 09:43:39 AM by Gary Brown » Logged
dreed
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« Reply #47 on: March 21, 2011, 03:25:39 AM »
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IMHO, the technology to display a picture in a manner that approaches the resolution and size required by fine art does not yet exist.

Let me explain why...

If you look at Wikipedia's List of displays by pixel density then you can see that we're starting to approach the point where really small displays (iPhone 4) are at 300PPI (does 1PPI = 1DPI?)

Once you've got a 80MP screen at 300DPI, then you've got to display the image.

If you consult Wikipedia's HDMI Version Table, it's rather obvious that even HDMI is a long way away, as HDMI 1.4 can only drive 1080p at 16bit colour depth. 80MP would require 40 times that.

So not only do we need displays that currently do not exist, but also a mechanism to display the picture that does not yet exist.

... so if you were to attempt to do the "electronic fine art" today, you're either stuck with really small pictures or really bad detail. On top of that, you've got to attract quality artists to make their work only available via that mechanism (this is an instance of "The Numbering Affair") too in order to give it some kind of extra value above just displaying someone's flickr feed. Until the display problem is solved, I can't see the artist problem being solved.

There's something else that I forgot: upon reading the story about the attempt at delivering this back in 2003, the impression that I got was that the company did not understand enough about art purchasing. For example, when you buy and place a piece of art, it is to fit a particular place in the environment in which it is on display so you do not want that changing every 5 minutes, hours or days (or perhaps even months!) Whether it is at home or the office or a gallery makes no difference.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 07:23:08 AM by dreed » Logged
feppe
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« Reply #48 on: March 21, 2011, 12:47:08 PM »
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IMHO, the technology to display a picture in a manner that approaches the resolution and size required by fine art does not yet exist.

Let me explain why...

If you look at Wikipedia's List of displays by pixel density then you can see that we're starting to approach the point where really small displays (iPhone 4) are at 300PPI (does 1PPI = 1DPI?)

Once you've got a 80MP screen at 300DPI, then you've got to display the image.

If you consult Wikipedia's HDMI Version Table, it's rather obvious that even HDMI is a long way away, as HDMI 1.4 can only drive 1080p at 16bit colour depth. 80MP would require 40 times that.

So not only do we need displays that currently do not exist, but also a mechanism to display the picture that does not yet exist.

... so if you were to attempt to do the "electronic fine art" today, you're either stuck with really small pictures or really bad detail. On top of that, you've got to attract quality artists to make their work only available via that mechanism too in order to give it some kind of extra value above just displaying someone's flickr feed. Until the display problem is solved, I can't see the artist problem being solved.

Bandwidth is not an issue: it would be no problem displaying a static picture on a screen delivered through HDMI (or wifi or bluetooth). Moving an 80MP panorama to the display would take quite a while over bt, but you have to only do it once (assuming the display has enough memory).

I doubt the future of fine art digitally displayed prints is in power-hungry LCD/LED tech. My bet is on colored flexible e-paper sold in sheets, up to wallpaper size and beyond. The tech is in its infancy, but we'll have affordable, reflective 300dpi color e-paper sooner or later. And later it will surpass paper prints in image quality by all quantifiable measurements. It will be the analog vs digital photography discussion all over again Smiley

There was a thread about this a while back.
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dreed
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« Reply #49 on: March 21, 2011, 05:16:10 PM »
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Bandwidth is not an issue: it would be no problem displaying a static picture on a screen delivered through HDMI (or wifi or bluetooth). Moving an 80MP panorama to the display would take quite a while over bt, but you have to only do it once (assuming the display has enough memory).

I doubt the future of fine art digitally displayed prints is in power-hungry LCD/LED tech. My bet is on colored flexible e-paper sold in sheets, up to wallpaper size and beyond. The tech is in its infancy, but we'll have affordable, reflective 300dpi color e-paper sooner or later. And later it will surpass paper prints in image quality by all quantifiable measurements. It will be the analog vs digital photography discussion all over again Smiley

Yup, I've no doubt that what you describe is right but it's not there yet.

Oh, and btw, I'd contend that a printed picture on a modern printer is a digital output, not analogue, as the decisions that the printer makes are all based on 1's and 0's from the computer Smiley
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William Walker
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« Reply #50 on: March 25, 2011, 01:29:10 AM »
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The discussion continues...

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2011/03/limited-editions.html

Note the featured comment too.

Respected voices...
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