Print is dead!

Started Jul 20, 2014 | Discussions thread
Adrian Messenger Regular Member • Posts: 148
Re: Print is dead!

Nothing like an absolute statement to generate comment and ideas. While I did not read all of the replies, those that I did read made it clear there are those that agree as well as disagree. I'm a little of both, which means I'm not in the "absolute" camp of either side of the question. The uses, recording, sharing, displaying and the means by which people appreciate photos have changed.

Clearly camera technologies, many invented before the first digital camera, that make the recording of properly exposed images easier for those that are not serious photographers changed the idea of who could take a well exposed image.

Then software came along that made it easier to "correct" photos, instead of mixing chemicals and making proof sheets, and working in a darkroom. This of course encouraged the belief by many, that you can fix most problems in "post".  While I prefer the get it right first (during exposure) approach, software changed the idea of who could create a well exposed and "corrected" image.

As cameras got smaller, phone-cameras become more capable, this too broadened who will create images because more people had cameras with them all the time.

So, while I don't think the print is dead, I think the clients and market are shifting. People's usual engagement with a photo is now be from their phone or tablet, and their social web sites. There are many for whom that is enough. Some may even print their own photos, or send them out for printing for their own use.

Those same people might have in the past purchased photographic art -- the market is shrinking.

In the same way, CD's, then iTunes, now music streaming took steps to make music recording playback more convenient, the quality wasn't better than what came before it. But they grew because of the added convenience.

Technology changes in photography equipment have made it "easier" for many. But a well conceived and executed photograph I think will always look pretty stunning by comparison. And those that sell their prints will probably be up against those that now think their photographs or those like them are "good enough". And if that is what they believe they are probably right.

There is also the counter effect that as people become accustomed to a small JPEG file on a screen, versus if they see a properly conceived, executed, mounted and framed photograph the impact might be more powerful.

For those that see the difference, I think they will always value the print, and there will always be those that can see the difference.  I think someone else said, LPs are not dead, film isn't dead, heck even "landlines" aren't dead.

My two cents. A.M.

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