This post is contributed by Midwest Photo Exchange’s Imaging Expert Angela Smith.
The Importance of the Photographic Print
Prints are the way we photographers see our images come to life… People want the tactility of an image and not just a digital file that you can view on your computer screen.
As photographers in the digital age, we sometimes forget the importance that the physical print can have for our creative practice. We can overlook how important it is to see our images on display to receive feedback, to experiment, and to show our clients that the photographer’s skill set can go beyond their online portfolios. Creating an excellent photographic print is the perfect tool for sharing our photographic experiences and for bringing our vision to fruition. The print has always been the main objective of the photographic process and now more than ever there are endless possibilities on exploring that realm.
Fellow photographer and owner of Kitchen Table Gallery in Philadelphia, Louise O’Rourke spoke to me about the importance of the print. “Prints are the way we photographers see our images come to life. Being able to turn your vision into an archival image for selling, owning and displaying is how we market ourselves as artists, hobbyist and lovers of photography. People want the tactility of an image and not just a digital file that you can view on your computer screen.”
Louise’s passion for photography led her to present one of the recent showings at Kitchen Table Gallery.
“The most current show at Kitchen Table Gallery was focused on photographers of the Philadelphia area and was titled ‘Casual Business’. Bringing together ambitious photographers shed some light on the importance of the print and how important quality is for the gallery. ‘Casual Business’ was a great show for KTG and for the artists because it brought a diverse audience together to take in a large scale production of various photographers’ works. Each photographer shot with a photo journalistic style and all succeeded in developing their own unique voice through their photographs.”
Louise continues, “Those who attended the show were able to take in full scale prints of the works that were most important to the individual photographers’ vision and the works were able to be bought right off the walls and at fair prices. Having the ability to display quality photographic work and at fair prices benefits the artists, the gallery, and the viewer because it helps support the photographic community and encourages work to be more accessible. As a gallery director it was a great experience to meet multiple artists and to build connections with them and their work.”
In addition to being a gallery owner, Ms. O’Rourke is an active and experimental artist. She recognizes the importance of the photographic print for her own artistic endeavors involving a scanner and collected memories.
“Like a camera, the scanner is a more intimate way of capture the detail of the things I collect. The idea of the light slowly moving across every single detail of the object, it’s as if the light touches the memories that are attached to them. I scan such items as polishing rags from the silver that belonged to my great Aunt Augie, or the hair I collected from my mother’s brush that reflects upon the time she was sick when I was a little girl. Only a scanner could do the capturing work that my camera couldn’t. Being able to skillfully create a photographic print gives me the ability to bring the images to the scale I see fit for viewing that allows the details of the objects and the memories to be featured.”
Epson’s #PRINTYOURLEGACY campaign is expanding upon the importance of the print while also showcasing the advancements printing has made over the past year. It is a campaign to share the insights of professional photographers and what the photographic print means to them. Through improvements of their print head, inks, paper and canvases, Epson has delivered technology that is fully capable of rendering the photographers final vision. Within the past week Epson has begun delivering the new additions to the SureColor P-series printers which showcases the advancements in their printing technology.
With the addition of large format printing to this line (which also now includes an option for an additional ink Violet cartridge) the printers are able to match Pantone Color swatches at 99% accuracy, while also achieving deeper black density for greater contrast control. This advancement in print technology gives the Artist, Photographer, Designer, and Hobbyist endless possibilities in ways to make their finals visions superb!