Mimi Torchin Photography - Martha's Vineyard and Manhattan

Process and Printing

Every photographer approaches the work differently. Even before the “eye” comes the equipment and the media. In the “old days” — before the advent of consumer-priced digital cameras — the first choice after the camera and lens was whether to shoot in black and white or in color. The next decision to be made was the film type and speed. Some photographers still shoot with film. However, with digital photography becoming more and more accessible and popular, that choice is no longer necessary, though not entirely irrelevant. Because a digital camera records images by means of a sensor onto a memory card and not on film stock, the choice to make an image color or black and white happens in the processing on the computer. That doesn’t mean that some photographers who prefer black and white don’t set their camera to that mode and forgo color altogether. It does mean that a photographer can now make a picture both color and black and white from the same image. The creative freedom digital photography allows is both thrilling and mind-boggling. But this all-important first choice is arguably the most important.

I’m a color kind of girl myself. It’s how I see my images in my head, and in general, color fits my style of photography much better than black and white, especially the landscapes, my first love. Occasionally, a photo cries out to be in black and white. When that happens I go with what the photo is asking for and “desaturate” it, or take the color out. Then I work on it the way I would have done if I were still working in a darkroom to get the best effect.

Any digital color photo can be transformed into black and white, but not every photo should be black and white. In my portfolios on this site (and in the work I do for sale in galleries), I have processed a few photos into black and white. In some cases I’ve displayed both versions when both work equally well. If you see a color photo you like on this site and you really, really want it in black and white, you can request it in the special instructions box when you order. I’ll try it, and if I like the results I’ll send it to you. If, however, I don’t think the photo is successful in black and white I’ll let you know and you can decide whether to accept one in color or order a different photo. Just because I haven’t done a black and white version of a photo doesn’t always mean it won’t work; it means I like the color version and left it at that. Anyway, it’s worth a query and I’ll be happy to try to accommodate you.

Many of my favorite images were created with my early, low-megapixel (3.1 and 5) cameras and can’t be blown up too large. The pricing and sizing information below each photo in the portfolios indicates the largest size available. A few of the photos that are for sale at 15” x 20” or 21” might have a large enough file for a bigger photo. If you want to request a special size for one of those photos, I’ll give it a try or tell you it can’t be done.

I use only a few kinds of paper, all the highest-quality digital photo or art paper. Luster, semi-gloss, and glossy photos are almost all printed on Epson papers. For matte prints I use different weights and kinds of mostly Hahnemuhle, Crane Museo, or other fine art rag, acid-free, archival papers. Of course, the inks in my Epson printers are archival. Photos should never be displayed in direct sunlight, and UV protective glass should be used if you plan to hang a photo in a very sunny room.

All my photos are limited editions, usually in editions of 250, 150, or 100. The number of copies is 250 unless otherwise indicated  at the end of the photo description. Except for the smallest print, which comes matted to 8 x 10 inches, the photos are sold without mats. This way when you frame your photo you can choose the color and texture of the mat you prefer and not pay for one you're likely to replace. Currently I haven’t increased my prices as the edition begins to run out. That will, however, change in the future. I print each photo one at a time, never in batches, so each print can be slightly different, which is the way art should be. Different papers also produce different results. If there’s anything you want to know about any part of the process, just e-mail me at mimitorchin@mimitorchinphotography.com and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Mimi Torchin