About the Prints
About the Prints
Kirk D. Keyes cares deeply about the quality and look of each of his images and he personally prints every photograph himself. He believes that this maintains his high-standards of print quality and artistic vision.
This is becoming a rare practice in the photographic world. Many photographers today do not have the skill to print their own images nor the desire to actually create the final piece of art themselves. Kirk is concerned about the entire photographic process and he goes that extra step to ensure the quality of his prints.
Only two factors can determine the worth of a photographic print – scarcity and demand. The physical time and effort required to produce an original print determines the scarcity of the artwork. Some artists produce prints in “Limited Editions” that may be as large as 500, 1000, or even 2000 or more prints. While these prints are almost always made under the guidance of the photographer, they are rarely made by the artists’ own hand.
Kirk personally makes each print, thereby limiting the total number of original prints that will ever be produced for each image. Kirk believes that while other printers may be able to produce a fine print, it would not be produced with all the nuance and intent that only Kirk could know when the image was actually taken. This makes your photographic print a truly unique and original piece of art produced by the actual artist.
For his color images, Kirk has made the critical choice to use only Fujichrome Type-R paper, either in the G (glossy) or SG (Super-Glossy) surface. The SG-surface paper yields images that are very saturated with a vivid range of color and depth. The G-surface paper is similar in color rendition to the SG paper, yet more even in contrast. Kirk’s years of printing experience allows him to match the image to the paper and he can therefore determine which images will best be printed on the appropriate paper.
Type-R printing papers are typically overlooked when color prints are produced – usually either Type-C or Cibachrome/ Ilfochrome is used. Let’s examine some of the choices behind these three processes.
Type-C prints are produced from negatives – this is the same type of printing paper that is used for most everyone’s home snap-shots. It is the easiest to use and the most forgiving color process and it is very well suited for amateur use. Exposures do not have to be right-on to produce an “acceptable” print and this gives the photo lab the greatest amount of latitude when printing.
Some “fine art” photographers have their work printed on Type-C paper – it is relatively inexpensive and it is easiest for their lab to produce an “acceptable” looking prints. Oddly enough, most “fine art” photographers photograph using transparency film – not negative film. That means the photo lab has to make an ‘interneg’ – and thereby copy the image onto a piece of negative film in order to produce the final print. This additional step can introduce inaccuracies in the recorded color and it reduces the sharpness and resolution that can be presented in the final print. Also, this decision by the photographer to use Type-C paper has another big drawback. Despite great advances in Type-C paper technology, these papers typically do not have a very long display life and they will fade or discolor in a period of time that Kirk finds unacceptable for his prints.
Cibachrome or Ilfochrome printing materials used to be the highest quality paper for color work. They have extreme sharpness, a long life, and outstanding color saturation. It is also available in both glossy and super-glossy paper surfaces like the Fujichrome Type-R paper. The color rendition of Cibachrome prints typically was the only complaint that could be made – some colors when printed on Cibachrome papers are rendered rather surrealistically and they sometimes have an almost metallic look to them.
Cibachrome has traditionally been the hands-down winner in the area of longevity. However, this longevity is best obtained when Cibachrome prints are stored under dark conditions. However, it has recently been demonstrated that Cibachrome prints do not stand up as well as a Fujichrome Type-R prints when on daily display. Cibachrome is fine for a museum that wants to have a copy of a print that will hardly fade in a hundred years when it is stored in the dark, but most of us would rather be able to enjoy a print on our wall every day without fear of our investment fading someday.
Fujichrome Type-R papers, Kirk believes, are the best paper currently available for printing the Fujichrome transparency film that he currently uses. The Fujichrome paper is specifically designed to work with the Fujichrome film, allowing the best possible reproduction of the image that has been captured on the film. Fujichrome papers have accurate color rendition, good contrast, excellent color saturation.
Kirk has worked with various color printing materials since 1984. He has been exclusively using Fujichrome Type-R papers since about 1988. Each photograph is personally printed by Kirk – this allows him to have complete control of the creative process.
Color photographs are printed “Full Bleed”. They do not have borders around the edges and are printed to the full size of the photographic paper.
Black & White photographs are printed so there is about a 1 inch border of white margin surrounding the image.
To order prints, simply decide which image (identified by the name of the image) and print size you want, and then fill out the order form on the next page.
Payment can be accepted with either personal checks or your credit card using PayPal.
Or call 1-503-777-2137 for more information.