Why is printing the de facto standard?

Started Aug 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
Gerry Winterbourne Forum Pro • Posts: 14,305
Re: Why is printing the de facto standard?

IceAge wrote:

You actually answered your own question in the way you asked it: de facto means roughly "that's the way it is because it's that way, and not for any external reason".  History has something to do with it: for most of the time photography has existed it hasn't been possible to judge - or apply or compare to a standard - in any other way.

Ever since I saw the view up the Western Cwm of Everest on a cinema screen in late 1953 I have preferred the luminance of screen viewing to the reflected light of print viewing: but unless you pass the original slide on there's no way other people can assess it, while with prints you can make as many copies as you wish to pass around.

Seems odd for me but everyone always talks about pictures as if it's assumed printing will be the final product.

Here you're making a common mistake: it might be common for people to make that assumption but it isn't everyone and it isn't always.  Take away your hyperbole and it comes down to "many people assume that many other people will print their photos" and that's true.  It's equally true that many people never think about printing.

I mean printings great don't get me wrong, but it's just not what people do these days, except for a few centerpiece photos and whatnot.

It's not what you do.  It's not what I do.  It is what my wife does.  It is what many people do.  Both are common; I have no idea which is more common and I don't see how it can matter.

When I view my pictures they look fantastic on my TV. Only when I move from computer to TV do I get a really WOW factor, it's the same kind of finished product feeling as printing for me. And isn't that what people would do with slide film? View it on a projector?

Yes.  But slides were relatively rare compared to prints and you couldn't carry a screen and projector round easily.  And it's much easier to pull out an album than to set up a projector, darken the room and hold the interest of everyone in the room.  I carried two bodies for years, one with slide film for me and one with print film for my wife.  As between us there was no majority but there's no doubt that more people wanted to look through her albums than watch my slide shows.

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First camera 1953, first Pentax 1985, first DSLR 2006

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