Inspired by Photographer Yousuf Karsh

I spent a bit of time this evening looking through one of my books of portraits by Yousuf Karsh- “Karsh Portraits”, that I’ve kept in my studio now for about ten years now… A book that once was my grandfather’s, and my Mom felt I should have with the copy of the portrait of Grandpa that I have now hanging on the wall over the Giclee Printer… After Grandpa had passed she told me that he had wanted me to have them…

I sat here in the new studio, legs up on the milk can I use as a drawing stool, reclining some in my computer chair, the hardcover book in my lap… Opening carefully the now worn hard cove, as to not loose any of the article clippings that are within, as well as the letter to Grandpa from Karsh he had taped inside… I read the letter again, and then all of the articles, remembering grandpa sharing this with me so many times over the years…

My Grandfather- Vernon deTar, Past Professor Juilliard School (organ and church music) from 1947 to 1982 http://www.countrygraphics.us/VernonLdeTar.html

The look on Karsh’s face when Grandpa let him push the some of the keys to the great organ in the Church of the Ascension in NYC… The deep note you could feel deep within your chest that shakes every muscle and bone from within and the look of wonder and childish joy on Karsh’s face made me laugh I recall… He watched as Grandpa played a few pieces, then after took some photos of him near the the keyboards and he looked up and said, That’s the one…

We spent some time after, sipping some coffee as he admired the church, Grandpa telling him of the artwork and great stained glass illustrations that the church has within…

Then Grandpa told him I wanted to be an Artist, and had an interest in photography… Karsh looked at me with a smile, then very stern, as if his dark eyes where looking into me deeply… He asked if I had a camera and was shooting photos, and I pulled out my kodak 620 film camera that once was my father’s in the early 50’s… He smiled as I told him of spending hours feeding chipmunks and chickadees to get them to eat out of my hand, so I could get a close up photo with the camera of them…

Karsh Portrait of Robert Frost

Karsh laughed, telling me that was a good idea, then said with a serious look; “To be a photographer, you need to understand light and shadow, and be able to capture your subject eyes in a photo, tell a story with it, capture their soul- practice and keep practicing”… He asked if I had been to the Met and recommended I should go, which Grandpa said we where planning on going the next morning, Karsh approved…

Karsh Portrait of Picasso

He then looked at me and said; “You need to study the great artists and how their works where created, study as much Art as you can, look to the great Renaissance Master’s, learn through their works and keep practicing”… He then reached out and ruffled my hair and winked at me, then started talking with my Grandfather again…

Karsh Portrait of Georgia O'keeffe

I was suddenly started watching one of the men that was with Karsh, take his large camera apart putting it in boxes… I remember how fascinated I was with such a huge camera that would need a tripod to take photos with, and not just hold in your hand and that you would need two men to help take just one photo- so simple the thoughts of a 14 year old… A few months later I got my first 35mm camera from Grandpa, as he later told me that Karsh had recommended he get a camera a bit more up to date and easier to process to keep me interested in photography… Grandpa often referred to Karsh over the years, when ever I was visiting…

Karsh Portrait of Einstein

It wasn’t until my senior year of high school I started to grasp who this photographer truly was, that enticed my Grandfather to buy my my first 35mm camera… I started to laugh a bit to myself, as I at the time only looked to Grandpa deTar as “Grandpa”, and this fellow was just a photographer, not then having much of a clue just how much that that day would influence me in the future…

I sit here in the studio now, just looking at the photos, the faces, the eyes and wrinkles upon the faces, the eyes again, then the fullness of the locations and how he was able to capture not only the light, control the light but to also show the person from within- these great people of history…

Each time I do this, I notice more and more and understand what Karsh’s advice meant- I want to learn more, see more and practice more… A memory Yousuf Karsh, and what an inspiration he was in my life…

For more information about Yousuf Karsh

 Visit his website at: http://www.karsh.org/

Should HP Create a Quality Art Printing Partnership?

Recently HP, ProofTag and the Wilhelm Imaging Research all partnered together to create the ARTrust (www.ARTtrustonline.com) offering a new print identification and authentication solution for photographers & artists using HP Pigment Ink Printers…  This unique print identification is a non-removable, numbered Bubbletag™ for each artwork, which is registered on a website and accessible for visual control by the public or anyone the artist designates.

The service also offers:

  • Unique identity of each print for instant visual verification via the Internet
  • Most secure solution in the world for print identification and authenticity
  • No limit in substrate or paper type for photographers and artists, which offers greater creative possibilities.
  • Longevity rating for the papers and media tested by Wilhelm Imaging Research (above 200 years, above 60 years, or unknown if the media has not been tested by WIR)

You can visit the HP page describing this new partnership here: http://h10088.www1.hp.com/cda/gap/display/main/index.jsp?zn=gap&cp=20000-20058-20295-20457^298704_4041_100__&jumpid=re_r10931|en-us|apr10|ga|ipg|features|arttrust|ppage

This new service is at a cost of about $25 for each piece of artwork or photo, with a minimum of 10 Tags you will need to order…  Odd they don’t have a phone number to call to get information about this service, or an affiliate program for Art printers to offer this service… I’m looking into this now, waiting for a response from ARTtrustonline.com

Now this is a great idea, for the Higher End Fine Artists, curators and collectors, I will be looking into offering this myself for my own artwork and also as a service for other artists and photographers…  But this got me to thinking….

You would think HP would have some sort of Partner Program that a Business could post on their website, Official HP Media Provider, with the print longevity if I use only HP Paper, Ink and Canvas products…  Maybe even offer courses on Mounting and Laminating large images for art, as they already share these in Video’s in their YouTube area…

Yesterday I calling HP to try to find out if they offered a “HP Partner” or Certify an Art Print Shop that uses HP Printer/s & HP material, or some sort of certification of print longevity ratings, which is very useful for heritage institutions, museums, and auction houses similar to what ARTtrustonline.com offers…  Think I spoke with 4 different people at HP during the course of an hour, being transferred here and there- Everyone I spoke to weren’t sure if HP offered such a service or partnership…  I can be certified to sell; repair and I believe all sorts of HP customer service training and certifications, but not showing Quality of HP Printing…

Today I received a call back from someone in the HP Graphic Design and Sales Department ( @ 1-888-772-9897), explaining this idea and asking if they had such a Program, Partnership or Certificate for Fine Art Printing Services such as the one I will soon be offering…  He too was not sure if they offered such a program, but saw what a great idea and marketing it could be for a Fine Art Print Shop and a benefit to HP…  He told me he would look into it and if there wasn’t any, he would recommend there should be…

With HP having  YouTube video’s such as “Ideas for presenting large format” 

where they have a Design Technician showing “Finished Artwork from their Design Jet printers…  It would be so easy to set up an online certification for such imaging finishing too… It could be HP helping some of their Business Clients that provide a great visual Art Printing services…

Now I have found a site that show off their HP Partnership logo and showing it on a webpage that is only highlighting Large Format Printing Service… Further down below the HP Partner  logo they highlight half their large format printers being Epson Printers…  I view this as kind of False Advertising, as HP for what I understand doesn’t offer one for Printing Quality- this being misleading to the consumer…

What do you think, Should HP support a Registered Partnership for Quality Art Printing Partners, that share with you the quality of the inks and say, Mounting & Design for the Arts?

Would you feel safer ordering your fine Art Replications from someone who was backed or Partnering with HP or do you just shop for the best price?

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