Friday, August 12, 2011

Where are the prints?

After a summer of heavy duty forest fires, the worst air quality in memory and a sputtering economy here in the southwest,  I'm ready for a vacation, aren't you? Which brings me to the point of this blog posting. Thanks to smart phones, ie; blackberry, iphone, android and a host of others, photography has taken yet again another turn since digital. As a friend just told me..."we are all photographers now!" Of course he is right and our new medium of presentation is online; Facebook, Flickr, Websites, email and even this blog. Billions of pics everyday produced as content, from the personal to the promotional, from the silly to the life transforming. As for the quality, well that's actually getting better and better too. Our world in photographs, 2011.

Only fifteen years ago 95 percent of all photos were printed in one way or another, including proof sheets, reference prints, fine art prints, books, posters, magazines, newspapers, snap shots - the whole circus. Now, just fifteen years later....not so, now maybe 5% on a really "good" day. So not only is there less work printed, but the stand alone digital camera is also becoming something only used by the serious minded photog or videographer, (that might be a good thing actually).

                                                                                                                     Iphone 4

Technology is our friend and our enemy, so we have to adapt, so what does that mean for us. Well, I have already given up on making lots of small prints for clients and now concentrate on the really big ones for exhibition and sales up to 64" wide by any length, "don't try this a home kids." Also, I am now doing workshops, teaching digital printing  and even an up coming workshop for curators and gallerists so they can understand what they are now having to look at, archive and present.

These changes are challenging for everyone. When I started printing of 40 years ago there were challenges then, including learning color and the dance with Kodak.  Now it's Epson, Canon, HP, Roland, producing printers and ink and a dozen paper companies. Still a great print is a thing of beauty and I make them everyday and say often, right out loud, "I like that."