Giclée in French Slang means...Tuesday, September 12, 2017
I have a friend who believes in this digital age that a photograph taken with a vintage camera loaded with film is automatically art.
I am not sure I agree. What I do believe is that as technology progresses one must be aware of the process and to understand what came before.
Today marks the introduction of the iPhoneX (pronounced ten). Several essays on the subject maintain that with the advent of the iPhone the camera (as a stand along entity) is pretty well obsolete. This is because the recent iPhones are really good cameras with a phone included. For me since I appreciate the use of flash in a studio, until an iPhone can be mated to a studio flash, I would not consider using one.
My advanced Galaxy 5S may have a good camera but I have made it a point not to use and I haven’t even once! I would rather use my better Fuji-X-E1.
But in all the argument as to what is better nothing is being written on the fact that sharper, with brighter colours, with saturated colours do not in their own right make a photograph “better”.
Consider the definition of a well-made inkjet which has the artsy French name of giclée. Wikipedia informs us:
Giclée (/ʒiːˈkleɪ/ zhee-KLAY or /dʒiːˈkleɪ/) is a neologism coined in 1991 by printmaker Jack Duganne for fine art digital prints made on inkjet printers. The name originally applied to fine art prints created on Iris printers in a process invented in the late 1980s but has since come to mean any inkjet print. It is often used by artists, galleries, and print shops to suggest high quality printing but since it is an unregulated word it has no associated warranty of quality.
The word giclée was adopted by Jack Duganne, a printmaker working at Nash Editions. He wanted a name for the new type of prints they were producing on the Iris printer, a large-format, high-resolution industrial prepress proofing inkjet printer they had adapted for fine-art printing. He was specifically looking for a word that would not have the negative connotations of "inkjet" or "computer generated". It is based on the French word gicleur, the French technical term for an inkjet nozzle. The French verb form gicler meant to spray, spout, or squirt. Duganne settled on the noun giclée, meaning "the thing that got sprayed" and also, in French slang, ejaculation (a connotation Duganne did not know).
In 2001 I photographed an excellent subject, Helen, who had a Japanese variation on how Audrey Hepburn would pose with gloves and a hat. The 5 picture display I called Odri. I used a medium format Mamiya RB-67 Pro-SD with b+w film. I scanned the chosen exposures as colour negatives with my scanner for a sort of realistic skin colour result and then had them printed as tiny 2x3 inch giclées. In 2001 giclées had a look that was deemed inferior to photographs as you could see the individual dots of sprayed ink. What you see here is an enlarged to 8x10 version of the 2x3 original. If I were to try to do this today it would be impossible unless I could find a vintage machine.
I have written here and here on the surprising results with the use of an iPhone3G. Its limitations resulted in handsome results that were not accidental.
I am currently trying to figure out how to download photographs that I plan to take with that 3G now that it will not have internet (it will be only a camera!) and be able to use that damn iTunes.