Friday, January 22, 2010

Originals?? - Part 2

Thanks for all the comments on my last post. In addition to writing about it here, I have also been asking for input from almost everyone I have talked to in the last few days. The consensus is – there is no consensus. Many people understand why I would limit my originals and just as many see no reason to limit them at all.

I was inspired by what photographer Daniel Sroka said in his comment. (Daniel creates beautiful images - you should check out his website.) Also, a related blog post that he wrote gave me a lot to think about.

I do believe my skills have improved since I first started and every time I learn something new, I get energized and excited about photography all over again. This has to change how I interpret an image – even if I have worked on it 5 or 6 times before.

I really believed I was going to write this post and announce I was going to drastically reduce the number of originals I made. I had already framed a new image and labeled the back as 1/3. My plan was to limit the originals to one of each size I offered. (I am still limiting that image to three because I sold #1 and I can’t go back now.)

Not limiting my originals was not even an option until I started this conversation. A couple of people even suggested I try to hand-color each image differently - more reason to simply offer them as one of a kind pieces. This would work for some images – a different color for my “Umbrellas” for example – but I think it would be more of a challenge to make significant changes in some of my landscape photographs.

©Dianne Poinski

I also started to do some research online. What did other hand-color artists do? Again – it seemed pretty much split down the middle. Some of them limit the number, many did not. I found what Amy Melious said on her website echoed what others were saying – “I do not number editions of my images, because I seldom do more than a few of any size. Often, I only do one. Also, because of the hand-work, they are each one of a kind. I use archival processes and materials to ensure lasting enjoyment of each piece.”

After giving this much thought, I have decided that I am not going to change anything. The truth is, most of my images won’t be colored 25 times but I am going to keep that limit anyway. The limited number of originals will be stated but not focused on. Instead the emphasis will be on the hand-crafted nature of each photograph I work on.

Special portfolios or series of images may be produced in very small editions, but for now, I will just leave things the way they are.


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  2. Hi Dianne: thank you for the kind words about my photography.

    I'm glad my blog post was helpful to you! It's definitely a question I revisit again and again. My choice to not limit editions has prevented me from showing my work in some places. But it has also broadened my sales: I have never been able to predict which photographs will be big sellers and which won't, and if I had a small edition size, my most popular prints would've sold out (and thus stopped earning me money) long ago.

  3. Thanks Daniel. I also started thinking about giclees that are issued in limited editions. The technology there has also improved significantly since it all started.(It's basically the same technology we use in digital photography.) If the image has been produced for awhile, I wonder if you can tell the difference between the first prints and the ones made now. Just thinking..........