Nice print!... Now what do I do with it?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by SchwinnParamount, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. SchwinnParamount

    SchwinnParamount Subscriber

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    Looking at my photographic activity for the last year, I realize I have exposed and developed a lot of film. I do a contact sheet and scan the film for databasing in my on-line photo catalog. I haven't printed much...

    Why? I'm not motivated.

    Why not motivated? Because I don't know what to do with my prints. I can only mount and hang so many. I found that I was collecting stacks of un-mounted and un-loved prints. So I stopped printing.

    If I knew what to do with a good print beyond throwing into a stack somewhere then I'd be actively printing again.

    What do you do with your prints? What keeps you motivated to make more and more?
     
  2. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I ask people to be models, and i give them prints in exchange
     
  3. User Removed

    User Removed Guest

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    Sell them? Ebay.
     
  4. glennfromwy

    glennfromwy Member

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    I have the same problem. Not much motivation to print if you can't do something with them. I occasionally swap a print with other photographers. It's interesting to see what others are doing. I get prints from around the world and am starting to put together an album. I have no intention of becoming a professional. That leaves few options. I'm just happy if someone gets a little enjoyment from one of my prints.
     
  5. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I get lots of satisfaction from just seeing the finished product. I also enjoy showing them off to friends and family.
     
  6. matti

    matti Member

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    I like to give prints away. I also plan on making a nice album of smaller prints.

    /matti
     
  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I am the opposite -- gotta turn the negative into a positive...

    Several things come to mind...

    First, with my work, there is a flow from the initial seeing to the print. It just seems odd to me to interupt that flow by not making a print (with some editing out of obvious vision errors and processing errors.) I have an obvious bias towards a fine print. Image is important and throwing it online is fine, but the hand-made print is what I love. I guess I am not satisfied with just recording neat-looking things and odd weather happenings. I want to take the next step and make it my own by making a print.

    Second, how can I know if I am doing anything worthwhile if I don't print it and find out? I like to put a new print on the wall -- if I stop looking at it after a few weeks, how can I expect anyone else to give it even a second look (let alone bother to look at it at all!). If one has a wall where one can show 4 to 6 prints, give oneself the challenge to put up a new set of prints every 6 months or so.

    Third, how can I know if I am improving if I don't have the prints to show myself the progression? Get the prints behind windows on white matboard. Just the hassle of matting the prints forces one to do some serious editing...and then look at them...line them up some where you can stand back at see them. Edit them again by picking out the one you feel are the strong images. Find out why you felt they were the strong ones.

    What to do with prints...show them. Build up a collection of 30 or 40 or 50matted prints and edit them down to the strongest 12 prints. Have a show locally -- I am lucky to live in an area that has ample opportunity to put work up. Price them to sell -- enough to cover your material costs at least, and then let someone else worry about what to do with them.

    I have boxes of window-matted prints...16x20 silver prints from 20+ years ago to recent 8x10 platinum prints and carbon prints. And I will go thru them all occasionally...and less frequently I go through the boxes of unmatted prints. For me, photography is a learning process. Looking at my own work helps to review the lessons I have already learned so that I can handle the new ones I come up against.

    Anyway, that is what motivates me. Your results may differ....

    Vaughn
     
  8. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Hi,

    I just went to your APUG personal gallery, and I think your work will only gain in importance over time for the people who live where you live. While most of us are contemplating our navels and wondering, "What is the meaning of ART?," you're out there documenting "the here and now", which in the future will be, "How fascinating...that's what it was like here then"!

    Your images of the place where you live, of activities you're interested in, of your son and his peers in the context of your time, place, and personal vision will be of historical importantance in the future.

    Whatever keeps making you drag your camera to all these events will, I'm sure in time, force you to print, mount, frame, and display them. Then you'll look back at your tracks in the sand and say, "Now I understand :smile: "

    Murray
     
  9. RAP

    RAP Member

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    I see this as the main reason anaolg photography is at serious risk of dying out all together. If you cannot sell the prints, why spend the money on materials? If there is no end market, why bother?

    Personally I do not print as I used to, and proof all my negatives digatily, scanned, played with in Photo shop, and if worthy, maybe posted on my web site. If someone wants to buy a print, then the darkroom is cranked up.

    I shoot ALWAYS with film. This afternoon I was in Asbury Park CV Hall shooting around, with the Hasselblad and Pan F Plus which will be developed in PMK, but proofed by scan.

    My advice, keep shooting and printing analog as much as possible. Look for avenues to sell, prints, images, exhibit. Or find another medium in which to vent your artistic inspirations.
     
  10. eddym

    eddym Member

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    I was in the same situation a few years ago. Then I joined an art guild, entered shows, won awards, sold a few prints (not enough!), served on the board of directors, became president, kept shooting and entering shows, and in this year's Juried Exhibition won Best in Show.
    Yes, I still have lots of unsold prints in boxes, along with framed ones hanging on my walls; but at least I'm motivated to keep shooting, printing, framing, and showing my work.
     
  11. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I only print the ones which I am really chuffed with now fo the same reasons. If it is not worthy of framing, I dont print it. This solves the problem - just raise the bar...I also find that mixing up styles helps. I got a bit fed up of the LF thing and started using mt Bronica RF645 for more fluid work better fused with travel and it provided a real release....I also produced some of my better images. Another possible solution is standardising frame sizes for 'portfoliio work'. It is something I am definitely doing as soon as I am back home so I can rotate matted prints thru frames either for my own pleasure or exhibition/sale.

    Just dont stop shooting....
     
  12. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Print exchanges? :smile:

    Every once in a while my wife sees a print I've made and says "I want that to hang in my office". And then occasionally a while later she asks if I have one more of that, because a colleague of hers wants one. That's nice. :D
     
  13. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Some are given as gifts, the wife's niece expects one every year for Christmas. Also, you could donate a print or two to your local Chamber of Commerce for their annual fund raiser, or any other auction/fund raiser if so inclined. That gives someone a chance to pick up a hand made print and encourage them (and anyone else that see's it) to look for another. You could also consider using these prints to try hand coloring, if so inclined.

    Or it could be that you need a project, something to work on as body of work that would benefit the local historical group, library, etc.
     
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  15. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I look to build a body of work. I mount and mat my good prints so that they are finished, spotted and toned. When I have built a body of work (50 to 100 finished prints) I will shop a show somewhere. I frame some of my prints for my personal enjoyment in my home. At the very least my heirs will have some very nice work.

    I have shot an average of five new 4X5 exposures a day for months now (several hundred negatives) Very few are destined to become fine prints. That is simply the nature of the process for me.
     
  16. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Mark Citret, during a weekend workshop I took with him, showed us a quite large group of small mounted and matted prints. He told us that most or all would only be printed once, and I guess their lives were spent being shown in the company of the many others in the collection to whomever wanted to see them. I think it's a good idea. Print only ONE of an image you like (as if it were a one of a kind painting), and keep it in a portfolio.

    Once upon a time it was a cliched joke that visitors would be 'forced' to endure an endless slide show of the host's vacation, family or whatever slides. With a portfolio box of prints, though, you can offer guests an occasion to view a finite body of your work at their own pace and only to the degree that they care to. I think most people are so amazed at how good mounted prints look that they really do enjoy the opportunity. I've had such folks actually gasp aloud, not because my work was amazing, but because they had just never really seen such photographs up close and they were discovering something for the first time.

    In any case, I can't think of a better way to culminate the entire process of photographing than to make final prints. Make them small if you like, but make them!
     
  17. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    WA during the summer has some pretty descent art shows.
    Why not try to sell them to the public?
    You can rent all of the outside setup gear, and get your family to help on the setup!
    Make a few bucks, make some new friends, get some great feedback from the public.
    There's also indoor shows.
    A great reference is "Craftmasters News."
    DT
     
  18. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    Maybe you can start by honouring your committment to the print exchange. I think you are about a year past due. Just a suggestion.

    Regards, Art.
     
  19. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I agree with the others that the process is not done until the print is done. For me, if it is not matted and on a wall, it is just a working print. I am fortunate to have access to infinite wall space at work.

    Does anyone donate prints to non-profit organizations for tax write-offs?
     
  20. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I agree with all that has been said. AT some point in my life I have done most of them. All prints are window matted for viewing and evaluation. Sometimes this is done in recycled mats since the prints are never dry mounted.

    I get pkeasure from having a somewhat constantly changing exhibition in my home.

    In addition I participate in two loosely organized groups who get together every 6-8 weeks for the purpose of sharing current work. This has proven very rewarding for me and certainly gives me the incentive to continue working. Such groups are easily organized and have no rules, officers, dues, etc. One group meets for dinner prior to setting up a small light and easel for viewing, the other meets in homes on a rotating basis.
     
  21. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    shootin-fun, printin-work. My power just came back on after the wind storm.
     
  22. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    That sounds like my approach. Whether I ever show or not, the idea of preparing to, motivates me...secondarily, to the desire to become a better printer.
     
  23. Stew Squires

    Stew Squires Member

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    I work in a large office, covering a single floor in a high rise in downtown Denver. Walls were blank except for two canvas prints of oil rigs in sunrise or sunset depictions. I got permission to matte, frame and hang all that I wanted to to make the stark white hallway walls just a little nicer. Hanging about six at a time, I am up to twenty nine at this point. Lots of nice comments, and for my part, I get to see them every time I walk around the halls. I will keep going until the walls are nicely covered and then begin to further highgrade as my work continues. Not a perfect solution as they haven't offered to pay for the matting and framing or the actual printing. Still, I get to see some of what I consider my best stuff every day and so do lots of others. Very satisfying!

    Stew
     
  24. severian

    severian Member

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    Motivation?

    What keeps me motivated is the creative process itself. If you are seeking acceptance for your work beyond yourself then maybe you should seek another outlet. Your work doesn't have to do anything. It just has to be. To use the oldest cliche in the book- it's not the destination , it's the trip.

    Severian, Autarch of Urth, Journeyman in the Society of the Seekers of Truth and Penitence. aka Jack B
     
  25. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Why do I print? To create a body of work that represents me and my vision, that is the collection and the reflection of my thoughts and feelings from time to time. Maybe someday, I will want to publish a photo book with them.

    Printing at the size of 8x10 paper is not too big or too costly to go on a large volume, and it's like running a marathon. The more I do, the less the differences are between what I consider great shots/prints and the no-so-great ones, but they all mean something and have a place to fit and fill the entire picture. So, I kind of try to even out the images I'm dealing with, not to have too much highs and lows.

    Neg scans are not the work I want, and they are still not in a shape of what they are supposed to be. I've spent enough time doing that, but that does not help me reach my goals faster than getting my hands wet with the traditional method of darkroom photography at this point. But this could change depending on the climate of the future of photography.

    But I agree that there are photos that I don't print because they are not going anywhere. I always call them "test prints", and I have boxes of test prints that are about to get thrown away. They are boring and just not good photos.
     
  26. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Ultimately it's a question of what you want to do with your photos/prints. I keep my old prints of the images I like, and I usually use them as gifts. I mean, printing on photographic paper costs a lot, so you need to find the most appropriate way to use the paper eventually.

    I was reading some comments on the thread about the sizes of prints that people use, and that gets tricky, too if you don't know what you want to do with your images. If you have a series of images you want to print, but when it's 30, 40, 50, or even 100 and more, it's very hard to start with large prints, financially. But if you focus on 10 or 20 images as a set, then making large prints won't hurt as much.

    I'm just moytivated by the images I like to keep in a long run. If I'm not getting good ones, I try harder because I care for some reason. It's definitely more than a hobby but perhasp less than a profession, so I have keep practicing it.