Unfinished Photography
What If It's Never Printed?
Since I was schooled in the craft of photography in the "old school", I personally look at photography as unfinished until it's printed.

I did a study once that seems to say that only about 15% of photographs taken are printed. Although I am not saying this statistic to be true, but I would guess that the number of images captured on cell phones cameras would probably number as many prints made in a year.

But one must remember that back in "old school" we didn't have digital devices to view our images with,like we have today. In fact most digital devices will let you see the photograph immediately after taking it.

Since I shoot with a digital SLR, I also have many more images that I capture than the ones I print. I have a large format printer and have printed images and canvas in various galleries, I probably print more images than many photographers do. Taken into consideration that even many wedding photographers are delivering the final product on CD and not printing them as in the old days.

One of the things we can do now, is to print virtually any digital image we can capture with a camera or create on the computer. This allows photographers to fine tune dust marks and specs, background removals,composite images and create fantasy images not able to be captured in one scene with a camera.

Like the images from my Whimsical Works... They are images I captured in the camera but not all at once. After compositing them on the computer, I can print them out as a final image that appears to all be part of the scene captured at once.

I couldn't even begin to think of the number of images I capture that don't get printed. Although I probably look at most all of my images on a 24" computer screen, it is just not the same feeling as holding an actual print of the image in your hands.

It was just the other day I noticed the dust building up on the battery grip, so I put in a fresh battery and mounted it onto the camera and at least fired off a few frames amidst that winter dull-drum where we seem to not go out and just shoot. I popped my Cat In The Hat Funko Pop onto my car and tried a few shots with not only my favorite 85mm fast glass but also exposed at ISO 32.

I was actually quite pleased with the final image and it felt good spend some effort and time on producing a new image. But there was still to me... something missing.

Although it looked really cool to me on a 24" monitor, I really wanted to hold it in my hands as a printed image. And so... I did just that, by printing a proof at 6x9" to check color match and flaws.
And then, the image I envisioned on the back of my car earlier, was now a richly saturated 6x9 GiClee I held in my hands.

Lower Cost = More Prints
Since the cost of producing digital prints and fine art GiClee has been reduced ten fold since when the technology first hit in the early 2000's. One would think that more prints are being made with the enormous amount of photo quality ink jet printers that have been sold just in the last 10 years alone.

I would also guess to say that a lot of printers that are sold, are rarely used for printing photos even though they may have been purchased with that purpose in mind.

But as the film developing and printing business has dropped off, many quick labs like Walgreen's and Walmart have converted their operation into digital print services. Not only offering prints and canvas, you can also get a CD of your images.

I got the idea about ten years ago to buy my own printer instead of having my works printed for me in a commercial shop. My thought was that I could produce prints much cheaper than if I bought them from an outside source.

My idea was right. Having my own printer over the years has allowed me to keep a running inventory of about 200 prints for shows and galleries on hand at my house. They are ready to be delivered or shipped to the galleries... printed, hand roller coated with texture varnish, mounted on foam-core and slid inside a polyvinyl sleeve for protection.

It may not be the cost of printing or the time involved that keeps you from it. The needs of the images captured may be only to view them on a mobile device or computer screen, to relive the moment in your mind again, just as we do with prints in our hands

Virtual Galleries
It's not really an old school vs new school debate either. I shoot literally hundreds of images for my oneSixtyFourth.info web site. Its a virtual gallery of 1/64th scale cars I love to collect and photograph but never actually print any of the dozen or so per month I capture and post.

Things like Weddings and Special Events can be photographed and Online the same day. No waiting on prints to be made, and digital photos open the audience to millions instead of just the lucky ones to see the proof album. For many photographers, the Online portfolio is their best tool of presentation. Anyone at any moment can view the works on a mobile device or computer.

Although the number of prints being produced is considerably less than the days before digital photography, yet, it is obvious with the zillions of phones and mobile devices being able to take photographs, that the number of images captured in a year would far exceed that number from the pre-digital days.

And, just like most other subjects in the craft of Photography, it really matters on what the final presentation will be, and not about anything having to fit some rulebook of decisions. Some areas have just shifted which has made advances in the industry.

While wedding pro's don't get as many prints as they once did, the fine artist now can get affordable prints made and therefore helping boost the number of artist and others having prints made.

Cover | About TPE | Previous Issues | Workshops | Gallery 5
Website Designed & Powered by Doctorsid Visual Media