Monday, November 10, 2014

Inspiration in The Print

In case you didn't know, I work for a company that does chemical process printing, in the darkroom. While that isn't everyone's cup of tea, we generally say that pressing the shutter is only half of the photographic process. The other half is printing, holding, burning, and working with the chemicals to produce the print exactly the way you intended it. Each print is hand-made, one-of-a-kind, and subtly different from every other.

Something about working in the darkroom to create something you can hold gets me, but even if you're just getting inkjet prints from your instagram feed, holding something that you made is... empowering somehow. Like it justifies all the angst and learning and creativity and failed shots that took you to this one finished print.

Recently, Zack Arias put out a challenge to his followers on DEDPXL: Make a photograph with a narrative surrounding the idea "The World Has Changed."
He required that people include some specific elements in their narrative (a news delivery device, something spilling, a human element) and then gave us a month to complete our images before submitting them for critique.

I've been reading a lot of David duChemin's posts recently about making prints, which in turn have inspired me to make more prints and blog on my own about the effect it has on me.

Even before I knew what I was going to shoot, I knew I wanted to make a print for this assignment. Specifically, a platinum/palladium print.

I spent a few weeks getting the props and the model all geared up, we spent about three hours shooting, then another three or five hours working on the negative and printing. I shot everything digital, then we printed the negative on an inkjet printer, then into the darkroom (which isn't all that dark for palladium printing) and playing with chemistry to create the final print.


After the print dried, we scanned it (with a camera) and here you have the digital submission of the finished print.

My original hope was to mail the print in for my submission, hoping that the critique panel gets the same sense of wonder holding a physical print, but alas, they asked me just to stick with digital submission. Fair enough, I guess.

Anyway. Back to the original point: MAKE PRINTS, GET INSPIRED, SHARE THE LOVE!

Even if you can't get your instagram pictures printed in palladium (something I'm working on, but we'll talk about that later), you CAN get them put on some beautiful 100% recycled paper.

Take a look at Artifact Uprising. They are based in Colorado, print on recycled paper, and they are turning out some incredible prints at very reasonable prices.