Print your work!
This is a request that I’ve seen more and more from both film and digital photographers, and honestly, while shooting digital or scanning your negatives, doesn’t you sometime miss the feeling of looking through your parents or grandparents photo albums? We shoot preposterous amounts of images with our digital cameras and often the images are stored on your hard drive or external hard drive in the best case. In a glimpse of a second all these years of shooting, images of your travels, your kids, your dog, can be lost for ever. Hard drives are mostly mechanical (SSD Drives are still to expensive to use for extensive storage) and will fail sooner or later. My experience is that a frightening small percentage of us have a secure and future safe storage/backup solution set up.
Since I switched to film from digital I’ve seen that its really hard to change patterns and ways of working. The first 20 rolls i shot after the switch I scanned to DNG format, b&w negatives at around 40-50mb each and my color negatives around 140mb each! My 3TB NAS started to fill up rapidly, so I asked myself, why do I scan this in DNG, I want to print the really good ones in darkroom, and the rest is only displayed at Facebook, homepage and Instagram.
So I stopped, and changed the settings to 2400dpi instead of 7200dpi, and since that I’ve just scanned directly to JPG. Now I print digital contact sheets for each roll and each scanned roll takes up a really small storage. One thing to consider though, is that I only have ONE copy of my negatives, so there goes my “secure storage / backup” preach.
When it comes to printing, what I did some time ago and I can recommend everyone to do is to print books!
With Lightroom (other software available as well) its super easy to set up a book, at the most one evenings work, and get it printed!
I used BLURB and I will use their service more in the future, probably one book per year. The first book I ordered was a collection from 2004-2014.
I went through everything and picked out the shots I was satisfied with.The book costs 265 USD to buy, pretty much without a profit for me, but its 218 pages, and 30×30 cm in size, that’s a lot of prints for that money. One thing to remember with BLURB is that one copy of the book needs to be purchased, otherwise the book will be removed after 15 days or something like that. I created one first copy that I bought myself, and did a new enhanced version which luckily my dear mother bought!
So, my recommendation to all of you out there is to print your work! It creates a higher value of your work and it will change the way you look at your photography!