Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Last of its Kind Print Sale at the Online Photographer!


[Update: The dye transfer sale sold out after a few hours. And that, as they say, is that!]

The blog known as The Online Photographer will be hosting another print sale and this time, it will be something different and special. Photographer and writer Ctein will be selling off the last of his dye transfer prints and The Online Photographer is hosting this event. Ctein (pronounced "kuh-tine") is a prolific writer, having written more than 2000 articles on photography over the years for magazines like Darkroom Techniques and two books, Post Exposure and Digital Photo Restoration, and he is one of the last and best photographers and printmakers to work in the demanding and now mostly lost art of the dye transfer print.

A dye transfer print was made by taking a transparency or color negative and creating three negatives that separated out the colors into cyan, magenta, and yellow for printing, and then soaking each of the negatives in dye (cyan, magenta, and yellow dyes) and separately pressing each of the dye-soaked negatives onto the print in perfect register to make a full color print. Done right, a dye transfer print is one of the best looking color prints that have ever been made. I own one of Ctein's original dye transfers and it is indeed one of my favorites in my collection. However, Kodak stopped making the supplies for this process many years ago in 1993, but Ctein mortgaged his house to buy what he thought was a lifetime supply of the dyes, matirix films, and print paper. And now, he is at the end of those supplies.

So Ctein and Mike Johnston will sell off the remaining prints that Ctein can make, which is around 160 16x20-inch prints. After these are made and sold, Ctein will be out of supplies for good and will close down his wet darkroom. Of course, he will continue to work in digital and with ink jet printers. These dye transfer prints will sell for $575 each, which is about 1/3 of his regular price. You'll be able to see what images he will offer for this last printing today at The Online Photographer. The sale will last for 5 days or until the 160 prints are sold. If you can spare the cash, this is an opportunity that you will not get a second chance to buy.