I am frequently astonished by all the homes, offices, and institutions, that have no original artwork on the walls. Even more astonishing, is the number of photographers I know that, “don’t print.”
So who cares? I want to believe that anyone who shoots with a Leica M Monochrom would care. I also believe that a photographer that is actively working to improve their craft, would also be using all methods available to make a better image. So here are my 5 reasons you should be printing your photos.
1. The best way to evaluate a photograph is through a print. I think we have all had the experience of viewing one of our digital images on screen, and thinking we did a pretty good job. However once printed, the flaws in the image begin to reveal themselves. Without the knowledge of an image’s shortcomings, how can a photographer correct them? Because of its resolution, and ability to present a unified image, the print is the best way to judge image quality.
2. Printing forces you to edit. Editing allows the photographer to get at the core of the artistic intention behind a body of work. Good photographers make good images. Great photographers make great bodies of work.
“The negative is comparable to the composer’s score and the print to its performance.”
3. The print has value. I doubt you will see an auctioneer at Christies holding a DVD and boldly announcing, “What will you bid for a digital scan of this Alfred Stieglitz portrait of Georgia O’Keefe?”
4. The print is archival. A good black & white silver gelatin print can take a beating and last over 200 years or maybe more, we are still counting.
5. Giving that special someone a digital file, via email, is a piss-poor token of appreciation. I am willing to bet that all my readers have at least a few images that are worthy of display. Get them in a frame and on a wall!
If you have a hard drive full of images and no prints you have work to do. By the way, if you own a Leica M Monochrom, our sponsor Digital Silver Imaging will make you a real silver gelatin print for FREE! Click on the banner at the bottom of the page for details.