At a portfolio review last year I asked a gallerist about size, and the answer was that, in the NYC metro area at least, people do NOT have gigantic walls to decorate. In fact, the bulk of this person's clients were apartment dwellers with taste and enough money to buy art, and were quite content with modestly sized prints.
At that review one reviewer suggested I either make my (typically 10x10") prints either much bigger, or much smaller. I continue to make them now as I did before.
I also think that some photographers are motivated to make huge prints in order differentiate themselves from amateurs with typical digital printers who can grind out inkjets with as much skill and quality as they can. But, the "pro's" have spent big bucks to be able to do what the amateur can't. There was a TV ad for an entire digital workflow from "capture" to inkjet print performed by a four year old child. That sort of thing must really make the digigraphers uncomfortable.
The last two major shows at the Getty, a huge museum here in LA, featured Irving Penn's Small Trades series, pretty much nothing larger than 16 x 20...and now the Frederick Evans platinum exhibit (amazing show you must see!) also with prints mostly smaller than 16 x 20. Their "Workers" exhibit just closed, almost all under 16 x 20 (there was an incredible Salgado print there!)...also the SB Museum of Art hosted the Brett Weston show last summer, same as above.
Oh, and last year's Michael Kenna show at a private gallery in Santa Monica showed his mostly 8 x 8 -ish prints.
I understand that Nick Brandt's show last year at Fahey-Klein featured very large prints of his incredible African series.
Just some food-info for thought...
Once again - about money and not photography or "art" in any sense.
Originally Posted by eddie
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.