Buying Photographic Prints

Buying Photographic Prints

The Morrison Hotel Galleries represent many fine art music photographers. The photographs contained in our galleries and on this site are all printed by each photographer or their designated lab. Each photograph, before it is signed, is checked by the photographer for image quality so the collector can be assured of the finest representation of the image.

We have put together some definitions of the most common "terms" used in association with the fine art prints we represent. Any questions you may have about the origin or source of your print can be found here or by contacting any of our highly qualified sales persons.

Platinum Printing

Platinum paper is created by hand coating an acid-free paper with liquid platinum. The image is then contact printed onto the paper, creating a print that is the same size as the negative. The image becomes embedded in the paper, creating a three-dimensional depth specific to platinum prints. The delicate, rich platinum tones range from warm black, to reddish brown, to expanded mid-tone grays that are unobtainable in silver prints. Over the years, the only obstacle to widespread enjoyment of platinum has been lack of access to this rare process. At the outbreak of World War I, platinum abruptly could no longer be obtained. What little platinum was available went into strategic needs of the war. This shortage continued until the end of World War II. However, few photographers immediately resumed the use of platinum, largely because commercially made, platinum-coated paper was unavailable. Platinum prints are not only exceptionally beautiful, they are among the most permanent objects invented by human beings. The platinum metals are more stable than gold.

Silver Gelatin Printing
The most widely used black-and-white printing process was introduced in the late 1880s. It employs papers coated with a gelatin emulsion of light-sensitive silver halide. The print is produced by exposing a negative onto the paper, either by contact-printing or through an enlarger. The print is then chemically processed, fixed, and dried. Gelatin silver prints may be toned using a variety of compounds or minerals to create a wide range of subtle hues.

Dye Transfer
In this method of color printing, an original transparency or negative is projected or contact-printed onto three separate sheets of film through red, green and blue filters. These separation negatives are then projected or contact-printed to make three relief matrices dyed in cyan, magenta and yellow dyes. Each of the matrices is then brought into registered contact with a sheet of special transfer paper which absorbs the dye. The finished print is therefore made up of a combination of dye images. Dye transfer is one of the most permanent color processes.

Giclee - The French word "giclée" is a feminine noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. The word may have been derived from the French verb "gicler" meaning "to squirt".

The term "giclee print" connotes an elevation in printmaking technology. Images are generated from high resolution digital scans and printed with archival quality inks onto various substrates including canvas, fine art, and photo-base paper. The giclee printing process provides better color accuracy than other means of reproduction.
Numerous examples of giclee prints can be found in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Chelsea Galleries.

Iris Print
A digital process in which the original photographic negative or print is scanned into a computer, then printed to an Iris inkjet printer. The prints can be produced on a variety of artist's papers. The paper is wrapped around the printer's drum, which rotates at a high speed while a set of nozzles distributes inks of the four process colors—cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Iris technology was first developed as a proofing process by commercial offset printers. The high quality of the process was noticed in the early 1980s by two pioneers of Iris printing: Graham Nash, a Morrison Hotel Gallery photographer and owner of Nash Editions, and Jon Cone, of Cone Editions, who then developed inks that expanded the color range and archival quality of Iris prints.

Lambda Print
Uses three lasers (Red, Green & Blue) to print digitized images onto traditional photographic paper. This allows consistent reproduction of large run editions with the same quality as traditional print techniques. This process typically uses C-type paper.