Limited Edition

If you’re not up on artistic jargon, “limited edition” is a fancy way of saying that something is scarce.

Like the velvet rope line at a club or those few first-class seats in the front of the plane, intentional scarcity is part of differentiating something that normally would be ordinary.

Some works of art are naturally scarce such as a painting or a sculpture.

Other works that involve prints like photographs or lithographs can be duplicated as fast as a machine will run. If the native file is digital, there can be unlimited “original” copies.

Some collectors of this kind of art want a guarantee that the value of their copy won’t be diminished by someone else having a copy.

Artists who make their living with print sales think that this is fine. Count me as someone who doesn’t agree.

If one is obsessed with having something rare and limited I would suggest looking for something in nature to fulfill that need.

I have a tree in my yard that blooms for just a few days every year. This happens after the tulips and daffodils rise and before the hardwood trees start showing their buds.

To me, this annual display of emergence and passing is a more meaningful display than the forced scarcity of an editioned print.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.

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