Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

The Print As Gold Standard

Today’s e-world has opened a multitude of ways for artists and photographers to make their work accessible for viewing. No longer must one have a gallery exhibition or a published book under their belt to garner an audience. With only a computer, one can open their own website, post images to collaborative websites, send images via e-mail, generate downloadable pdf portfolios, and publish e-books.

These are all marvelous and, for the most part, relatively new ways to share, market, and even sell images. But, for me, the most important end product is still the print…..the tangible, mountable, frameable, and ‘hangable’ hard copy print. There is still something special about being able to experience, examine and even pick up an image that carries with it the unwritten statement that it is the final common expression of an idea; that it is the best output that the artist was able to achieve. Simply put, there can be no question that the print is the way the artist meant for the image to be seen, as even with monitor calibration there still ends up being, at least in my experience, some variation in the way an image appears on different computers. Once printed, it has been set free by the artist and is now part of the viewers experience .

Interestingly, it doesn’t usually take me very long to bring a photograph from a RAW file to a low-resolution, internet ready image. However, to turn that RAW image into a ‘perfected’ large print that I am ready to ‘set free’ can take quite a bit of time indeed. I think that is interesting. I think that perhaps there is a message in that.