10 April 2012

A Focus on The Print

Early work with Mary, Black Canyon, CO
There's no doubt this has been the most odd start of the year to date. I don't think I've spent this much time in bed since I was a little baby. I've been very careful with taking care of my knee, resting my body, and healing. But dang! Just as I was about ready to announce "I"M BACK!", I get food poisoning all of last week. This was such a weird experience. I've never been down that road before and hope to GOD, I never do. It crept up on my very slowly, but quickly...maybe analogous to sheep approaching you calmly and innocently only to burst out as wolves when they got in arms reach. I couldn't run. There was no escape. No amount of Pebto, crackers & Sprite, or any anti-whatever was going to save me from the onslaught once I recognized what it was. I didn't think it was going any further than an upset stomach. It wasn't until my mouth started watering and the stomach started some serious rumbling that I knew "Sh*t just got real".

Early work with Mary, Black Canyon, CO
So I'm just now getting over all that. "I'm Back". (Not all caps... a little muted, but nonetheless...) I'm ready to shoot. I'm ready to get outside and do some things. I can't hit the hard trails. I can't walk the distances, yet. But I can stand on my own two feet and get from point A to B slowly, but surely. I can't tell you how anxious I am to get some exposures under my belt and be backed up with new and profitable edits. I'm looking for my next art nude model as well as some of my business projects.

Now let me get back to the original topic I wanted to talk about. I've done recent talk about the portrait, to include capturing the self-portrait. I also want to give a mention to what I think is arguably the most important aspect of the photographic process... THE PRINT. This is just my humble opinion, but this is the final product and the end all of why we take a picture. Its the Print! To some aspect, you might be able to dissolve it down a bit and say the Picture is the final product, more so or just as much as the Print. However this is the difference. Today, many people will only use their pics for Facebook, Flikr, or some other online forum. And that's fine. Its just where we are today. Social media is the new tool of today and pictures are a major part of it. It cannot be denied. Hardly any of these need to be made into hard copies. They are shared in a more versatile medium and when hard prints are actually made, they are rarely sized about a 4x6 to hang up on the fridge or maybe the computer monitor. Or let me not also forget the novelty prints like on a coffee cup or key chain.

Early work with Mary, Black Canyon, CO
So while these points have their merit, I'm going to stay on the high road and concentrate my efforts to those shots that will hang on museum walls. I've said before, I consider myself as an artist first. I want to make art. Art shared should be on walls, not desktops. I want my work hung up in that important place in your home or office lobby and I want it shown in large format. I can't even tell you when the last time I had an 8x10 print made, even for my own personal work. I consider the 11x14 a small print and the smallest I'll do. But it doesn't have to be hung up on the walls. A print in a magazine will also suffice. This is why we do this.  We don't do a gig just to give away a CD of all the images and let the client make prints as they see fit. I can tell you I want to be in control of what quality of work my art is displayed in. 

Early work with Mary, Black Canyon, CO
This is the exact reason, I didn't allow my recent book, "A Year in Review of the Nude: 2011" to be printed in any other format other than the best of quality of paper. Will all my books be in this format? No. My next one will be way different, probably at less than half that price, more than likely. For now, I plan to only do my annual books like that. The next one I have coming out will be less so. I would like to do maybe three or four books a year and only one will be at the price point of my art nude annual. And books are a great use of the printed image. The single print is still tops. There's simply no comparison to a good quality, well presented print. Its got to be framed or hung in such a manner that the print is adorned. Much of my focus this year will be on perfecting my presentation on the print and I'm happy with what I've been able to accomplish so far. Now I want to push the envelope a little and reach beyond just the simply framed canvas print. That's the goal. 

And another of my goals is to get back to Colorado and to shoot Mary again. This particular trip was definitely a benchmark in my life as a photographer. The PRINTS from this shoot are much, much better than these digital scans. The prints were done by hand and a darkroom and I can tell you hours upon hours were spent perfecting each one. I loved it. Every minute was a learning experience. I'd like to get back to shoot some of the models I worked with early in my nude days and Mary ranks among the top priorities. I'd like to see what I can do with her today, six years after our first shoot. More experience and better equipment should result in even better art. I almost got to work with her again last Summer, but I got called back the same day I arrived in Colorado and unfortunately didn't get to shoot. Gotta try again.

1 comment:

Dave Rudin said...

Agreed, Big T. The fine print should be the end product - not pixels on a computer screen.