Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
I never really thought about the “Thingness” of the actual printed photograph before taking A.D. Coleman’s online workshop on Photo Criticism. The term “thingness came out of one of our skype discussions on photography. Since the digital era the photograph has been displayed, shared and transmitted digitally without ever making it to printed form.
The print used to be the final step in the photographic process before matting framing and possibly exhibiting. This is still occurring no doubt, but a new generation of photographers and even many older photogs like myself and viewers of photography have other options and avenues for using, viewing, appreciating and analyzing photographs besides making actual prints.
So what about this THING we call the print? In gaining all these new creative venues (outlets) for showing / sharing photography, has the print been relegated to an after thought or more commercial realms?
Photography is now shown prolifically on blogs, social networks like Facebook, sent via e-mail and twitter and yes is still exhibited in galleries and museums in print form, however is the mystic behind the actual printed image fading?
I am speaking for myself as well. I create many images with my cell phone, point and shoot and Canon 5-D that are posted to my blog, but never get printed. Does the viewing experience change when viewed from a computer screen or cell phone? I personally think so!
Is there a real difference between looking at an actual print and the same image posted on the web in digital form? Photo Educator Tom Finke a fellow colleague taking A.D. Coleman’s online workshop stated “Our students when they graduate are required to have a book (or books) of physical prints that are part of their graduation requirement. They always ask why; why not just an I-pad with their portfolio on the screen? The reason is because we can’t touch them (the prints), really see it and understand the choices you made with regards to presentation, materials, tone, color, etc. I may be a bit old fashion but give me a print to hold and look at any time.”
So yes…photography is rapidly evolving and many of the changes in the medium are great and exciting, however I must admit to missing the “thingness” of the printed photograph. More food for thought…