Fay Godwinn 1931-2005

Fay Godwin

Fay Godwin, who for many years has dominated British landscape photography, died on the 27th of May, having been in hospital since Easter following a stroke and heart problems.

Born 1931 in Berlin where here father was a British diplomat (her mother was an American artist), she settled in London in 1958, and picked up a camera to photograph her own children in the 1960s. Her contacts in publishing led her to photographing writers, and then she embarked on a series of collaborative largely topographical works with well known poets and authors, including several still on my own bookshelves. I first met Fay when we attended a workshop together in Derbyshire in 1979. I've always felt that books such as 'Remains of Elmet (1979) with Ted Hughes (a reworked,version, Elmet, was published in 1994) Romney Marsh (1980) with Richard Ingrams, The Saxon Shore Way(1983) with Alan Sillitoe contained some of her best work, but she resented the fact that both the book cataloguing rules and publishers lists gave priority to the writer rather than the photographer.

Her 1985 'Land', although still retaining an essay by author John Fowles, was the first book to be fully hers, and accompanied a show that toured both in Britain and the US. (It includes one image I watched her making on the workshop we both attended, and on my living room wall is my image of a sleepy lion at Chatsworth that she also found irresistable.) Other works followed, including another of my favourites, The Secret Forest of Dean (1986). Fay was a great walker and a champion of access rights for ramblers - she was president of the Ramblers' Association from 1987-90, and remained a life vice-president. Later works such as Our forbidden land (1990) made her feelings clear on this, both through the images and her own text. More recently, Godwin worked in colour, and in 1999 she self-published a small 'artist's book' Glassworks and Secret Lives. A few pictures from this and other works are on her site, along with a wider selection of her life's work in the book Landmarks which accompanied her major London retrospective in 2001.

Used here without permission from about dot com

Epson Printer?

New Black and White?
Epson's latest printers, including the Epson R2400 which were announced a week or two ago, seem to offer better black and white prints than previous models from Epson or others. It seems as if for the first time, an 'off the shelf' printer using the manufacturer's inks and software may be able to compete with (or even better) the best third party inks and software.

Jeff Schewe was one of Epson's beta testers, and in his Epson R2400 and Ultrachrome K3 Ink Report on the Adobe PhotoshopNews site, he shows the kind of results he can get, concluding "The Epson R2400 is a serious contender to meet or exceed the standards of traditional silver based black and white prints." You can also read a user report on the inks from another beta tester, Joseph Holmes, who says "I have no doubt that this is the best system ever for making color prints."

Used with the right papers, such as Epson Enhanced Matte, the early results from Wilhelm Imaging Research for the Epson 9800 printer suggest permanance display ratings of over 200 years, making the prints likely to last longer than those made by conventional methods. The site also has an interview with Greg Gorman who has been printing both colour and black and white on the Epson Stylus Pro 4800 printer and the new UltraChrome K3 inks.

At the moment I'm still waiting for more detailed reviews from printers, especially those with experience of current high performance black and white printing systems, such as the Cone Editions iQuads and Peizotone inks, and software RIPS such as Roy Harrington's QuadTone RIP or the Bowhaus IJC/OPM used with inks such as the Piezotones or MIS inks. One advantage of the Epson 2400 (and other printers using the new UCK3 inks is the ability to use the same printer for gloss and matte black and white prints as well as colour.

The Epson Stylus Photo R2400 and Stylus Pro 4800 were expected to ship in 'May 2005', though were not available when I last checked. The most recent date I've seen for shipping in the UK is the first week of June. The larger and more expensive Pro 7800 and Pro 9800 are expected Autumn 2005. Epson seem to have responded to earlier criticisms about black and white quality and and permanence, while also improving colour performance. If more extensive reviews confirm the early promise of these printers, then many more professional photographers will be able to get the kind of results they need from inkjet printing without hassle.

Used here without permission from about dot com

Frederick Sommer

The Frederick and Frances Sommer Foundation is a non-profit charitable trust founded in 1993 by the Sommers and others, located in Prescott, Arizona. It holds Frederick Sommer’s personal library, a collection of artwork, maintains the Frederick Sommer website and reviews reproduction requests.

Particularly of interest on the site are the special features which look at some of of Sommer's best know images and explains how these were made and the ideas behind them. Currently it shows the double exposure portrait of Max Ernst, 1946 and The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and the Infant St. John, 1966. This year is the centennial of the birth of Frederick Sommer (American, born Italy, 1905–1999), and to mark the occasion there is an exhibition at the Getty Centerin Los Angeles which opened last week and runs until Sept 4, 2005.

You can also read more about Sommer and his work on About Photography, in the feature Frederick Sommer - Surrealist Master written shortly after his death, which also has links to other sites featuring his work.

Used here without permission from about dot com

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