Silver Gelatin Prints
From 1970 through 2005, Huntington Witherill produced (and continues to maintain)
an extensive collection of silver gelatin prints (the “archive”). All prints contained in the archive
were made exclusively by Witherill and were produced in a traditional wet darkroom using
conventional enlarging techniques (from 1970-1995) and a digital hybrid contact
printing process (from 1995-2005).
Those previously produced silver gelatin prints (both conventional enlargements and hybrid
contact prints) remain available for purchase from the archive. At the end of 2005, Witherill
discontinued working in a traditional wet darkroom altogether. No silver gelatin prints were
produced after 2005.*
If you are interested in purchasing silver gelatin prints made by Huntington Witherill,
chances are good that whatever specific image you are interested in remains available
through the archive. For detailed information regarding availability and specifics of
any particular image, please direct inquiries through the “Available Silver Gelatin Prints of this image” links that are located on the image enlargement page of any image that is available as a silver gelatin print.
Print Pricing- For silver gelatin print pricing information please see Print Pricing below
The archive is composed of silver gelatin prints that were produced in “open” editions
(meaning the prints were never numbered, nor artificially limited). Prints are supplied signed,
mounted, overmatted, and labeled or stamped on the mount verso. Prints are available in a
variety of image sizes ranging from 8”x10” through 20”x24”. Not all images are available in
all sizes. The archive itself is composed of Vintage, pre-Vintage, and Modern silver gelatin
prints, as defined below:
||Defined as any print made within two (2) years of the original negative date and the original negative is at least 25 years old.
||Defined as any print made within two (2) years of the original negative date but the original negative itself is not yet 25 years old.
||Defined as any print made more than two (2) years after the original negative date.
(calculations as of September 1, 2008)
|Total number of unique images in archive-
|Unique (different) Image Statistics
|Total unique images with only 1 print available-
|Total unique images with 2-5 prints available-
|Total unique images with 6-10 prints available-
|Total unique images with more than 10 prints available-
|Vintage Print Statistics
|Total “Vintage” prints in archive-
|Total “pre-Vintage” prints in archive-
|Total “Modern” prints in archive-
|Image Size Statistics - (long dimension in inches)
|10” or smaller
|Overall Print Condition Statistics*
|Rated at 10
|Rated at 9–9.5
|Rated at 8–8.5
|Rated below 8
Silver Gelatin Print Pricing
Individual silver gelatin prints from the archive are priced (as of July 1, 2010) between
$270.00 and $4,800.00. Specific print prices depend upon print size, vintage, condition,
and the total number of prints that remain in the archive of that specific image. As a general
guide, the basic structure for silver gelatin print pricing is as follows:
Basic Silver Gelatin Print Prices
(as of July 1, 2008)
||Basic Retail Price
Terms and Conditions of Sale
Any silver gelatin print purchased from the archive comes with a 10-day money back
guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied, for any reason, you may return the print(s)
(postage paid) within 10-days of receipt for a full refund. Refunds apply only to the costs
of the print(s) and any applicable sales taxes. Refunds do not apply to shipping costs. Any
returned prints must be received within 10 business days of the original delivery date, postage
paid, and in their originally delivered condition. Prints are sold on a first come, first served
basis. No other warranties are expressed or implied.
2006 Notice Regarding Silver Gelatin Prints
As of January 1, 2006, I will no longer be accepting orders for the printing of new silver
gelatin prints to be made from my film negatives. I will however, continue to offer for
sale and for exhibition, previously produced silver gelatin prints that remain in my
existing silver gelatin print archive.
Over the past 10-12 years, advancements in digital imaging have been both remarkable
and undeniable. And though conventional film-based approaches to the medium will
remain valid and vital, from an industry-wide perspective, the predominate method by
which photographs will be made, both now and in the foreseeable future, will (in my view)
continue to progressively migrate toward digital imaging. The fact that manufacturers
are increasingly reducing the scope of their offerings of films, film-based cameras, black
and white silver gelatin printing papers, chemistry, and other related conventional tools
and materials serves only to reinforce this reality.
In my own work I have gradually (over the past 12 years) adopted these new approaches
to the medium as digital tools and materials have continued to advance and improve.
And I have concluded that the technology has now finally progressed to the point that
both the physical and aesthetic qualities I strive to achieve in my own work can now
be fully met, without compromise, using digital tools and materials. As a direct result
of ongoing changes in the medium and my own choices, I have not used a film-based
camera since 2002, and the most recent conventional enlargement I’ve made from my
film-based negative archive was produced in 1995.
In 1996, I began to produce silver gelatin prints using a “hybrid” process. This process
employed the use of both conventional and digital tools and involved 3 separate steps.
Step 1- A digital scan was made from the original film negative. Step 2- The digital scan
was then used to produce a digitally generated film internegative (using an imagesetter).
Step 3- The resulting film internegative was then contact printed in a conventional wet
darkroom, using traditional chemical-based printing techniques, resulting in silver
gelatin contact prints up to 16” x 20” in size. Parenthetically, as a result of the increased
aesthetic potential and unparalleled technical control available through the use of digital
components in the hybrid process, I was, from 1996-2005, able to produce what I believe
to be some of the very best silver gelatin prints I was ever able to achieve.
Nevertheless, everything in life seems to involve some form of trade-off. One of the
least admirable aspects of digital-based photography is the fact that the technology is
continually evolving and changing. What this means is that the ongoing advent of new
and improved technologies will continue to render the technologies they replace as obsolete.
Such is the case with the imagesetters required to produce the digital film internegatives.
Imagesetters are still around, but they are rapidly disappearing. By the beginning of 2005, it had
become nearly impossible to obtain a usable imagesetter internegative because so many of the most
reliable service bureaus had begun to replace their imagesetters with newer direct-to-plate technologies.
During this same period of time, inkjet printing technologies progressively evolved and improved to the point that
(as of 2006) an inkjet printer employing archival pigment inks is fully capable of producing an aesthetically uncompromising
rendition of a photographic image, possessing its own unique and admirable qualities, and deserving of no apology or
excuse. Further, pigment ink prints themselves are now capable of approaching a 300 year life span in terms of their
archival characteristics. Again, no excuse or apology is necessary.
I decided to first attempt to incorporate digital methods into my personal photographic process back in 1994. In the beginning,
the tools and materials were quite crude by today’s standards. It has taken 12 years of concentrated effort and continual re-education
to become familiar and proficient with such a relentlessly evolving set of tools and materials. Nevertheless, the aesthetic rewards
gained through application of this technology, together with significant improvements arising through the natural evolution of the technology itself,
have caused me to come to the conclusion that digital-based photography has indeed arrived at a point of being the very best way for me
to approach my photography, now and into the foreseeable future.
As a result of this determination and my continuing commitment to the future of my photographic pursuits, I have now discontinued producing
silver gelatin prints entirely and will no longer be accepting custom orders for silver gelatin prints to be made from my past film negatives.
However, I will continue to offer for sale and for exhibition, those silver gelatin prints which are maintained in my existing print archive. I
am currently in the process of cataloging the archive and those prints will continue to remain available for exhibition and sale until the
inventory has been exhausted.
While subjectivity will continue to reign supreme when it comes to one's individual preferences for one type of photographic print process over
another, the subjective nature of those personal choices thankfully remain the very source from which art derives one of its most beneficial pleasures.