“When you make a print, you are making an art object. You can’t hang a scan on the wall.”- George Tice
Let take a trip, shall we, to the dark ages of taking pictures with only film and a manual SLR camera. At that time you would purchase a roll of 36 Kodachrome, take you pictures, bring them to your local Kodak Kisko and wait for you pictures to return. Once they arrived you would go through each one and curse the ones that did not come out. You would place the ones you like into an old shoebox, along with the negatives, to look at every holiday with family and friends. Looking at prints brings one back to a time and place of happiness, sorry, reminders of a better time.
Now a days, pictures have become just another bit of data on an IPhone, Android, Tablet, etc. We have become a society of photographer recording every minute of our lives to share on social media with friends and foes. We look at them for a short time and forget we ever have taken them. If we do decide to go back and look at them, we have to scan hundreds of photo to find that one. That picture of Grandma and Grandpa when they visited back 3 years ago. That picture of your newborn at the time of delivery 18 years ago. That once in a lifetime trip to that special place or that last photo of your beloved furbaby.
Let me give you an example of how I wished I would have gotten some prints of a trip to Venice printed back in 1998. I have just gotten my first Kodak Digital Camera. It was a 5 megabyte point and shoot. I was in Bologna Italy on a business trip and took a trip to Venice on the weekend. Now like today, each camera company had their own file format, and you had to use their software to convert the file to .jpg (I did not have or even know about PS at that time). Well when I came home I uploaded my photos to my computer and used the Kodak software to look at them. I converts maybe 2-3 to jpg format, but the rest I left as they were thinking I could always look at the later. Well 3 computers and a bunch of Windows updates, my Photoshop cannot convert a .pcd file and I no longer can find the Kodak software. I did find a few programs on the web that could do the conversion, but it is not worth the price for a few photos. These pictures of my once-in-a-life day, are lost
Now I am not advocating that you print every photo you take. I do however present that when you print that photo, those megabits of data become real. They become a quick trip back in time to be shared for generations to come. There are a ton of on-line sites that allow you to print everything from single prints to table top books. Recently there has also been a group of apps that allow you to just send the picture from your phone and get prints back in days.
Final Thoughts, The photo above was taken back in the 1950. It is of my fathers family and was printed on a Kodacolor Slide. If this did not exists then I would have had no record to show my granddaughter what her Great and Great Great parent looked like. Prints exists in the real word and not just floating around in digital space. Imagine years in the future sitting down with your grandkid, and looking at photographs of their parent when they were that age. Printed photographs are a daily reminder of what and who are important in our lives. Prints, YES I want those stinky prints!