I-35. The Identification of Photographic & Digital Print Processes

Ryan Boatright

Course Length: 30 hours
Course Week: 2–7 June 2024
Format: in person, University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA
Fee: $1,395

This course will offer instruction in identifying and dating all major processes used in creating photographs, photomechanical prints, and digital prints. It will utilize original examples from the instructor’s collection, as well as those from RBS and the UVA library. Students are encouraged to bring their own objects for examination and discussion. The processes considered will fall into four broad categories: nineteenth-century, twentieth-century black and white, twentieth-century color, and twenty-first-century digital. The course will discuss methods for distinguishing photomechanical and digital prints from actual photographs. It will employ a structured approach to print identification, considering a variety of specific characteristics, such as image structure, color, visibility of paper fibers, texture, sheen, differential gloss, and image deterioration in a logical order. The course will also examine how a print or photograph’s appearance can be altered by deterioration and handling.

Another component of this workshop will be devoted to contemporary display methods for photographs, including their stability and preservation. The instructor will discuss various real-world display solutions, covering their strengths and weaknesses. Participants will receive practical advice on handling, storage enclosures, and proper display and storage conditions.

In this course, students will learn to use a low-power loupe magnifier and a stereo microscope for examining photographic prints. Classroom examples will be supplemented by lectures on process history and the use of the website Graphics Atlas.

Course History

Ryan Boatright teaches this course in person as "The Identification of Photographic & Digital Print Processes."
Al Carver-Kubik and Jennifer Jae Gutierrez co-teach a 22-hour online version of this course, I-35v "The Identification of Photographic Print Processes."
Al Carver-Kubik teaches this course as "The Identification of Photographic Print Processes."
James Reilly and Ryan Boatright co-teach this course as "The Identification of Photographic Print Processes."
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Ryan Boatright

Ryan Boatright

Ryan Boatright is the co-founder of Atelier Boba, a fine art printing and conservation studio in Paris, France. There, he works full-time as a contemporary printmaker, employing various standard and experimental digital printing and production techniques. He provides research assistance and a wide range of image and print-based production services to contemporary artists, photographers, illustrators, galleries, institutions, and museums. He has conducted numerous private and public workshops and has lectured extensively on traditional photographs and digital prints.

Before moving to Paris in 2009, he was a Staff Scientist at the Image Permanence Institute of the Rochester Institute of Technology. There, he helped conceptualize and develop the first version of the Graphics Atlas, a unique online resource for the identification and characterization of prints and photographs. He graduated with a degree in Fine Art Photography from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana (USA), in 2005.

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