This is a post I have been meaning to write for sometime. My inspiration to write today came during my visit to my local Kodak Express Print Service in Kilburn. Before I get ahead of myself, allow me to back up just a bit.
Photography as a craft, the technical and artistic discipline is simply astounding. You have to go back a hundred years plus to fully appreciate how far it has come. My study into the history of Photography has got me present to a few things, which I would like to address in this post.
I am present to simple gratitude to the great thinkers and creators of Photography for their tireless drive and commitment to the forward movement of image creation. Consider this: in the early days, imagine the complexity of exposing a light sensitive medium which had been previously saturated in toxic chemicals, consider also how this light sensitive medium was then allowed to be exposed to light for a "controlled" period of time to create the very first photographic exposure. My mind boggles at the thought, persistence and ingenuity that made photography the craft it has become - all this before the digital age.
Why do I bring this up?
I have been photographing and sharing my work now since 2009 - I did not start to take Photography seriously until March 2013. For the first year, all of the sharing of my images have been digital. This would be either through email, on my website or Facebook.
Look at how easy it is to share our images now through social media: Facebook, Tumbler, Instagram, Twitter etc.
I reached a point with this process where I began to feel something was missing. I couldn't put my finger on it. I enjoyed the process of shooting, post processing and sharing and yet, I experienced emptiness. One of the things that inspired me was writing about my images - the commentary became a big part of my self expression since losing my hearing – something however was still missing.
The answer to my emptiness came to me after thinking back to my early days when I had a Kodak Instamatic Camera. One of the biggest thrills for me as a child was taking a photograph and watch in astonishment as the camera spewed out a sheet of light sensitive paper and the film developed right before my eyes.
This memory triggered the numerous trips I made to my chemist to pick my film rolls, which had been processed into photographs. These memories connected me to big thrill of what it means to be a photographer and image creator.
There is a huge emotional content attached to holding a photograph in your hand. I know for myself, as a child and well into my teens and adult years the joy I felt when I held my memories in my hand. The act of creation is a powerful driver and in photography, it becomes a visceral event - from seeing the image in my mind, taking the photograph and then, the final outcome, seeing the finished print and holding it in my hand.
This experience is a memory I cherish now in the digital age - I am amazed that this final outcome hadn't occurred to me sooner. I think the reason for this is found the term "digital photography". Digital Photography is exactly that, image creation, albeit on a light sensitive medium called a "sensor" with its 34 Mega Pixel rating. What misdirected me was the whole infrastructure of sensors, memory cards, computers, imaging software, raw files, jpegs etc. I completely forgot about the most important outcome for "me"......print.
I had a big breakthrough in my photography when I began to speculate about my images and what they would look like if I had them printed?
This question in my mind has had a huge impact on my education, technique, my vision and how I approach my shooting and subject matter.
I wonder how this image would look if I printed it? WOW.....
This question brings me to the point of this blog post now. Over the last year and a half, I have built quite a portfolio of images that I felt inspired to have printed. I wanted to experience the richness of colour, tones, hues and dynamic range that I saw with my eye at the time of shooting. This has been a thrilling experience because the final outcome of a physical end product in my hand is how I feel a photograph should be experienced.
Sharing images from one computer screen to the next is fine and certainly has tremendous impact. Printing my image and having that experience for me brings the whole experience of photography full circle.
My friends at Kodak Express Kilburn do a wonderful job in taking my digital images and presenting me with the final print. They have been great teachers to me in helping to fine tune my post processing to achieve the perfect balance of colour, light and shade.
The image below shows of my latest collection wonderfully displayed by Ash, Anis and Hansh. They bring a high level of professional expertise to their print service and come highly recommended.
Magician, Lecturer, Speaker.