Terry came and picked up my press today. I’d sold it to him through eBay. I think I lost about 1400 quid on it. (Not great but I’ve lost more on digital camera gear, which depreciates like a stone dropped down a well.)
I’d started off this project with high hopes: the prints I’d seen (And purchased) looked good. I intended to make some from my own negatives that would have a nice “Feel” to them. They would also have lasted for centuries.
In the end though, polymer photogravure turned out to be a very technical process. Also an expensive one: a single A4 plate is about £12 ( And they’re prone to manufacturing and handling flaws).
Tuition was hard to come by. I found someone in Australia offering Skype advice but they didn’t respond to my emails asking for a session or two.
It’s also an inherently high-contrast process: it’s very difficult to get a good tonal range, although something close to it can be achieved if you really know what you’re doing.
Another reason I packed it in was I discovered that I’m just not that into printing. I like taking the photographs, scanning them and correcting the scans in Photoshop. I like to post the results on Twitter and Instagram and make the occasional inkjet print. But that’s as far as it goes for now and probably for the future too.
It’s been an expensive lesson but it seems “Live and learn” is a truism that applies at all ages, not just when you’re young and stupid.