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Saturday, March 7, 2009

GeeClay...SmeeClay!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Giclée (pronounced "zhee-clay"), is an invented name (i.e. a neologism) for the process of making fine art prints from a digital source using ink-jet printing. The word "giclée" is derived from the French language word "le gicleur" meaning "nozzle", or more specifically "gicler" meaning "to squirt, spurt, or spray"[1]. It was coined in 1991 by Jack Duganne[2], a printmaker working in the field, to represent any inkjet-based digital print used as fine art.

The word "Giclee" has now become a source of confusion in the art world. Jack Duganne needs to un-invent the word. To some it means a reproduction, but not every Giclee is a reproduction. A digital print of a painting is a reproduction. Digitally printed photographs and digital art are printed in multiples, usually a numbered and signed edition. These multiples are considered originals since there is no "one of a kind" art work that exists such as when you reproduce a painting. This is true for an edition of digital or chemical darkroom prints. Unfortunately some of the people who make the rules for art festivals can't seem to understand this. Some shows are making rules which would not allow digital prints and more specifically, photographs printed on canvas to be displayed. If allowed at all they can only be put in the print bins. Last year I was excited to have been juried into the #1 rated show in the country "Art on the Square" in Belleville, Illinois. This year I am going to criticise them. Their rules for participation this year say
"Signed reproductions, photographs on canvas and gicles may be sold, but must be displayed in portfolios (not on screens) and clearly labeled. "
As you see they can't even spell Giclee correctly and they don't really have an understanding of its meaning either. This would leave myself and any one else digitally printing their work unable to actually hang any of our work at this show. It could only be in the print bins. You have to wonder just what is the purpose of a rule like this when the great majority of photographers are now shooting and printing their work digitally. Film is quickly becoming a thing of the past! Many would argue that digital is just a better way to do what we used to do with film. I would argue that in many ways it is also more difficult and the learning curve is never ending. I paid $79 Friday to sit in a room at the Arlington Convention Center with about 500 other people to learn more about Photoshop. I had also attended one of these seminars back in December. Every year I go to at least one of these so I don't fall too far behind in the learning curve for digital photography and printing. Rules like the one above are made by non-photographers who are ignorant of the medium. It drives me crazy!
What about the pictures? Oh yea! The top image was one of the first couple I took at Grandview Point during my first morning at the Grand Canyon. Right after I shot this I picked up camera and tripod and quickly relocated to another spot about 50 yards away, the location I took the header image at. Later that morning I took the snow scene of the canyon wall. The image below is the deserted bar near Pecos, Texas. It was created from three different exposures that were combined in Photomatix Pro. This technique gave me detail in the sky and the inside of the building. I then used the infrared setting on the black and white adjustment layer. After a little vignette was added I considered it done.