Printing your photographs

Printing your photographs

Rita put her large three framed triptych sets on the table arriving at the last Focused Lens mentoring program in a series and proclaimed that printing your work is the most important thing she had learnt.  What a valuable lesson for such a talented photographer.  They were stunning.

I have been asking my classes since I started teaching photography to produce physical prints and actually products.  Students have produced countless gorgeous calendars, books, framed prints and even more loose prints in their learning journey. .

Some of us older photographers would say it’s not a photograph until you print it.  A left over from a time when it was a transparency, a negative or a contact sheet if it wasn’t printed.  Times changed and so did the definition, but there has always been something very magical about a photographic print.  

There are so many reasons why printing your work is so valuable. Here are a few:

1. Printing your photography forces you to resolve your work.  Finish it.   

2. Prints become thier own reward for your hard efforts.

3. Prints show others you are serious about your work and will shift thier opinions about you and your camera. 

4. Printing forces you to take control and learn to use a consistent workflow of sound colour management practices. 

5. Prints are easier to critique and consume.  They make long term critique easier.  You can blue tac them to your wall and live with your work every day.  Sometimes it takes me months to decide if the print is worthy of sharing with the world, or ripping up and binning it. 

6. Printing is fun. 

7. Prints can be an archival storage system.  Who in your future will look through your files? Who will look through your prints?   Consider them as a legacy for your family and museums perhaps.

8. Prints make it easy to share and give others your work. 

9. A finished and framed archival photograph is the ultimate final product.  It shows you and others what is possible. 

I can’t say it loud enough or forcefully enough or too many times.  Print your photographs. Make the effort.  Finish them. 


Other notes: 

A new six month Focused Lens program is up on the Len’s School website. Monthly mentoring sessions on Wednesday evening in Sydney. Starting in June. Only three spots currently available.

Cyan and I are past half way to my sisters place. Only 16 more hours of driving to go. Lol. We will drive onto the Nullarbor today.   Thank you for all of the well wishes, every one of them is appreciated.

Yesterday was my sisters birthday. Sue turned seventy.  Today’s photograph is of what was probably her favourite car.  It lasted for many years and was part of my childhood. Today’s vehicles don’t last like the old ones did. Yes it is a 403 Pug.  I should have posted it yesterday but I didn’t think of it till after Cyan rang her to wish her a happy birthday.  Sending love Sue, your support is always appreciated.

Maitland Bar Peugeot Grave Yard, a memory now past. 4x5 inch BW Film. Photograph and text copyright ©️ Len Metcalf 2018



Artist | Writer | Photographer | Educator | Adventurer