Fine Art Monochrome Prints by Jane English

Technical notes

When I first did black-and-white photographs in 1965, I used grainy 35mm 400ASA Kodak Tri-X film and made 5x7 thru 16x20 prints on fiber-base paper, seeing the grain simply as part of the medium, like brushmarks in a painting. In the mid1970's resin-coated paper became available, relieving me of the long process of washing the prints. For my first books published by Random House, Tao Te Ching and Chuang Tsu, I gave my editor actual prints from which camera halftones were made. My calendars through the 1995 editions used the same process.

Then began the digital revolution. I bought my first transparency scanner in 1995, though I had a simple flatbed scanner a couple of years before that. I now work with a Nikon LS4000 transparency scanner to scan 35mm slides and negatives and with an Epson 4870 flatbed scanner that can scan prints. With digital files I am also relieved of the tedious job of spotting each print to remove dust and scratch marks. With the click of a mouse each dot is gone. I imagine the likes of Ansel Adams embracing this new technology if it had been available to him in the 1930's - 1960's when he was photographing.

Back in 1978 the building housing my darkroom burned, destroying all my negatives and many slides. I do have small and medium-sized prints of much of the best of my older work. With my scanners I can scan them big, enhance the quality digitally and then from these digital files make archival inkjet prints on an Epson R2400 printer that used 3 different black/grey pigmented inks. The prints offered here are made in this way and are of at least as good quality as the large prints I used to make directly with an enlarger. The maximum print size I am offering varies for different images, for both technical and artistic reasons. All prints are on heavy-weight matte coated paper.

Some of the 16 images shown are made from old prints I made in the late 1960's and early 1970's. Others are from scans of more recent color slides and color negatives that I converted to greyscale on the computer using Adobe Photoshop. At present I use only color slide film, even when I visualize the final product being monochrome, black-and-white.

I have the good fortune of knowing both the old technology and the new!

More on my photographic work is in the illustrated essay "Photography, the Inward Journey" in my book, Fingers Pointing to the Moon

Back to the prints page