I have been writing camera, lens and product reviews here at Samy’s Camera since last year. As I have written, I have been a professional and fine art photographer for many decades now.
In the early 1990’s, I was visiting Photo LA to get inspiration from the fantastic collection of photographers and their work over the several days it was on. Passing by the Nash Editions booth I was drawn into a very large print of a headshot/portrait of David Crosby (Crosby, Stills and Nash). WOW, I had never seen anything quite like it. It was one of the most beautifully crafted photographic prints I had ever seen and it was printed on heavy stock water color paper. What the heck was this? The depth and tones and range were like nothing I had ever seen before. So began my friendship with Graham Nash that day along with the digital pioneers Mac Holbert and Jack Duganne (who coined the term Giclee).
It turns out this, and the other incredible prints were made on what was known as an IRIS printer. Jack and Mac had tweaked this very large inkjet machine as soon as it was unboxed and invalidated its warranty. Oh nothing, just a $ 150,000 machine.
I had to have them make large prints for my exhibitions. These were not the least expensive prints but the delicacy and depth of these prints were like nothing ever seen. Keep in mind, this is pre-Epson and Canon inkjet printers. Also, the Iris Equipoise Ink was tested to be extremely archival and stable. Just an aside here – air travel before 911 was so much easier and on a 2 week trip to the UK, I picked up a set of Equipoise Ink from Lyson Inks to hand carry back to the USA. Try that now.
So over the years, I had become friends with Graham and the Nash Editions team, Chris and John, and the rest and actually shot a big job for Graham in Nash’s home country England. I met David Hockney (one of my favorite artists) at Nash Editions and I also brought in many people to Nash Editions including Richard Gere (a very good photographer), whom I was working on a project with at that time.
One little aside here – in 2010, the Queen of England awarded Graham Nash an OBE. How great is that!? Also, I was asked by Graham to join him for the Everly Brothers concert at The Apollo Manchester in 2005. He was asked to join them onstage and I got one of my favorite snaps of Graham and the Everly Brothers. When Nash came back to sit next to me, he was singing the lyrics which was something hard to describe.
In the early 90’s, I was honored to show my work in Paris and, of course, I chose to have Nash Editions make all my prints to be framed and brought over on the plane (again pre- 911) to the gallery in Paris. Whew! Makes me tired to think of it all now. On opening night, I had about 7 people all looking very closely from about 12 inches at the large prints and was wondering how they could enjoy just looking at a section and not from a proper viewing distance of maybe 8 feet. It turns out they were from a lab called Picto (now based in New York) and they were curious to see this new digitally crafted print. Apparently, I was having the first digitally made photographic or any art print show in Paris so no one had ever seen this before. In fact, one of the individuals whom I became friends with is a fellow named Voja (Voya) who is one of the finest traditional printers who makes the silver prints for Salgado and many other well known Magnum photographers.
OK, so fast forward to today. I was going to ask Graham if he would do a short Q&A for this Samy’s Camera blog since he is a longtime customer but I saw this Q&A interview in Forbes by Steve Baltin. He nailed it all and I figured it would be of great interest to you out there.
“I realize, as a photographer, that organizations like Samy’s Camera and the fine people who staff the stores, help shorten the distance between my mind and an audience. Thanks for many years of great service to my visual world”. – Graham Nash
Thank you Graham Nash!!!