It’s a while since I last visited Silverprint in Valentine Place, off Webber St, a few minutes walk from Waterloo Station in south London. With the shift to digital in most aspects of photography, my requirements for photographic materials in general have dropped greatly. I seldom make actual prints, viewing images on screen, supplying work as digital images.

Even for exhibitions I’ve supplied work digitally. The 24 pictures I sent to Brasilia travelled by e-mail (all 96Mb) and I’ve previously written about my excitement when the prints, made by the best lab in Brazil, in Sao Paulo, were unwrapped for hanging. I’ve not actually seen the extremely large print made from my file I sent to Hungary for the touring ‘Europe Of Culture – The Culture Of Urbanity‘ show, and even for the two shows across London in Hackney which I had pictures in last year the images were sent as files.

This picture was in ‘Out and About in Hackney ‘at the Hackney Museum

The pictures for the Roof Unit show at Space went digitally because we had decided to print using Lightjet, and I have to admit they were very nice prints, although probably I could have done as well on the considerably cheaper Epson R2400 I normally use.

But most of my older work on photographic paper was made on materials imported by Silverprint – and it’s precursor in Muswell Hill, Goldfinger, where I benefited from the advice that was available both personally from Peter Goldfield and Martin Reed and in print in the old Goldfinger craftbook. Later came an encyclopaedic Silverprint Ag+ manual and Silverprint magazine that became Ag+ magazine.

You can read the latest news from Silverprint on their web site and one of the more interesting additions to their range is InkAID, which enables you to coat almost any surface – including traditional fine art papers, metal, plastic and wood veneers, so they can used to make decent ink jet prints – assuming of course that you can feed them through your printer.

Also available as a large download(10Mb) from the site is an article by a photographer I mentioned recently, Angus McBean, written and photographed by him for ‘Homes & Gardens‘ magazine in March 1977. This describes the restoration by him of his Elizabethan house, and as might be expected he certainly makes it into something theatrical if not a place I would find comfortable to live in. The photography is of course extremely professional, but frankly rather ordinary, and unless you have a particular interest in period homes your time would be better spent at the rather eccentrically designed Angus McBean web site.

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