Why Print? Why not?
Photographs are not photographs if they are not printed. They are a musical score that has never been played. A Chefs dinner that has never been tasted. Their true beauty is in the tangible image printed where the true image can be viewed, held and experienced.
I am forever coming across images of my children that I had forgotten about because they still remain in their digital state hidden away in the depths of a hard drive shoved in a draw. The images are hidden from them. Some they have never seen, yet they help to guide their memories and to tell them their story. I remember looking through our family photo album on many occasions, and I would then consequently have questions about events and/or people I saw in the images they held. This was a significant way that I learnt and made connections about our family story and where I fitted into it. My children are missing out on this experience and I think I will forever feel guilty about this.
But my children have a mother who is also a photographer. There are images of them on our walls. They see themselves around our home held high behind glass and printed on canvas. This hopefully gives them a sense of importance and place in our family. But the albums are missing….the everyday moments, the family gatherings, the birthdays and the holidays. Sure, the images have been made but they are only half ‘cooked’. They are not tangible, they are not printed for my babies to experience the way I experienced my family images. There is a real sense of loss in this missing experience. I know I am not alone with this digital age phenomena. Other women I talk with also have the same situation and dilemma. They have hundreds of images on their smart phones of their children experiencing life. But if that phone was to be lost or malfunction these images would be lost.
I am a huge believer and a fan of the printed image for many reasons.
The pleasure one gets from seeing a digital image printed beautifully on paper (fine art paper is divine) is the feeling a Chef must get when they are able to sit down and truly experience the meal they have created, smell it, taste it, feel the texture and all the flavours coming together, or a song writer when they finally hear their song being performed on stage. It is true beauty and appreciation in it’s greatest form. Yet we deny ourselves this joy with photographic images.