The cost of photographic paper

I made this image a good few years ago, when I couldn’t afford to spend much money on photographic paper. And this is a large image, 16 inch by 12, when most of my photos are more like 8 x 8. It’s in the nature of photograms that you can’t know the end result till it emerges in the developer. I remember piling, in this case, a heap of black mesh material on the paper, hoping that the deep folds would create something interesting, that the large and costly sheet wouldn’t just be wasted. Sometimes you just have to take the chance.

A couple of years ago, I visited Rembrandt’s House in Amsterdam. The guide explained that brown was the cheapest paint in the 17th century, so Rembrandt would start a painting in that colour. He would only use the expensive pigments, red and blue, once the painting was sold. Which is maybe why so many of his paintings are brownish. Of course it didn’t help – he went bankrupt (not that I’m comparing myself to…).

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