Film, Video Expressive Dimensions of Photographic Paper

Transcript: TEXT

About this Item

Expressive Dimensions of Photographic Paper
Photo conservator Paul Messier discusses how to better understand the materials used by photographers so that preservationists can better interpret them and care for them. Texture, gloss, color, and sheet thickness -- the defining characteristics of photographic paper -- meaningfully contribute to the visual impact of a photograph. Each of these dimensions were routinely communicated in marketing materials and, for the working darkroom photographer, marked directly on paper packages. Experienced photographers gained fluency manipulating these dimensions, encoding in their prints meaning and intention. Measured and contextualized, these features form the basis of a new approach to understand and interpret prints. Past and ongoing projects demonstrate how these data, aggregated and shared across collections, can address vital scholarly questions of attribution, working practices, stylistic development and spheres of artistic influence.
Event Date
July 12, 2016
Related Resources
Preservation at the Library of Congress:
Running Time
57 minutes 13 seconds
Online Format

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Credit Line: Library of Congress

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Chicago citation style:

Expressive Dimensions of Photographic Paper. 2016. Video.

APA citation style:

(2016) Expressive Dimensions of Photographic Paper. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Expressive Dimensions of Photographic Paper. 2016. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

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