Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fine Print(ing)

We ordered a canvas print for our dining room wall this weekend and my anxiety level is sky-rocketing.  It doesn't seem like a too-good-to-be-true company but it's safe to say that I'm having trust issues for various reasons...

The main reason seems to be that I have NO control over the printing process.  The company we chose let you preview what your picture would look like on the canvas before you submitted the order...some sites cropped the picture in an odd manner so I hope this company's preview is correct and I won't find any surprises when opening the box!

It is extremely hard for me to give up control when it comes to pictures and printing.  When working with our photographer for engagement and wedding pics, it was very challenging for me to keep my mouth shut and NOT suggest this angle--or that angle--to shoot from.  At the end of the day, he did a great job and my anxiety level did go down some after we were able to see the results :-)

Just the other day I downloaded a basic PhotoShop app for my phone.  And I don't know why.  I despise digital photography and all the manipulative software that is available.  In my personal opinion, the digital manipulation has taken away the true talent of photography...anybody can push a button but it takes true talent to first know what type of film is best for the situation, composing the picture, correctly adjusting the camera for the best lighting/depth and most of all making the picture interesting without adding some crazy flare effect in Photoshop.

When digital photography seemed to be "the only way to go" I made the switch from film and bought a digital SLR.  And I don't know why.  I despise that camera and that was the end of my photography.  I just want to go back to the days of Black-and-White film and the darkroom.  I thrived on the anticipation of finishing a roll, developing the film and burning-and-dodging the image as I made the print, rinsing all the chemicals off and then waiting for it to dry...hours upon hours would go into just one print.  Nowadays, if you don't like the picture you hit "delete," send one you DO like to Walgreens or print it from your home computer.  And if you have the software, you can do all sorts of things to make it look better than it truly is.  That, my friends, is NOT photography.  But rather that is knowing how to use a computer.  Am I bitter?  I sure am.

A PhotoShop Before & After...a real photographer would know how to set the aperature the first time!  And why do they always have to over-expose the skin tones in PhotoShop?! Grrrrrrr!

I know I'm not the next Ansel Adams and I never could have been.  But when I look back at some of my prints I really miss my days in the darkroom.  And I'm telling you now--if that company jacks up the canvas print we ordered, boy howdy, God only knows that I will be fuming!

I never get my portfolio out to show people because it makes me feel too vulnerable.  I immediately see a printing/cropping/mounting flaw or see something that I wish I could go back and change.  However, since I am in COMPLETE control of this situation, I will share some of my work  :-) Unfortunately, I have not transferred many of my prints to digital files...and there are some that I really, really should get transferred.  But here are a few that have been scanned!

My friend, Tony.  This shoot was done indoors with natural light only (northern exposure).

More of Tony...he was pleased with these pics ;-)

I did a series of figure photography with this model and the shoot was amazing...but the rest are probably not appropriate for Blogger!

Eiko, a Japanese student that I knew.  She was fabulous to work with!
Another one of Eiko...I need to find the print of her that involved layering negatives and making one print!
"Sweet Dreams."  An on-purpose double exposure using slide film and a large-format camera

England, 1997--Queen of England's vacation home
The scanned image doesn't do this pic justice but I still love all the shapes.  Also in England.

My heart is with B&W portraiture, but when you have a blushing bride as gorgeous as this you have to capture it in color! 
At age 14, I took this photo of my cousin and it was printed in a lab...Can you see the qualilty difference of lab printing v. hand developing? 

Part of the Creighton campus--if done in a lab, this picture would come out horrible.  But with some dodging and burning it is amazing.  Last I knew, it was on permanent display at the Student Union.

A bicycle gang at the Gene Leahy Mall in Omaha.  Asked if I could take their picture and they posted up this way. Not trying to brag, but look at how the wildly different skin tones still came out perfectly!

The Castle Rock monument near Oakley, KS--taken during the summer I worked in Western KS & Oklahoma...Won best-of-show in a contest!

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