Photography

Printing my best photographs

Yesterday I said I seldom print my work, because I overwhelmingly show my work online and that’s how I like it. But seldom doesn’t mean never.

I’ve framed a handful of 8×10 prints of my work. Here are some of them hanging over my desk at my old house. I’d like to print and frame more, but we have only so much wall space and I own a lot of other art. Even the three prints in the photo above aren’t hanging in my home at the moment.

I plan to print all of what I consider to be my very best work. I suppose those prints can serve as a portfolio, but the big reason I’ll print them is so my sons can have them when I’m gone. To them, photography is my main hobby. I frequently had an old film camera along when I was with them. My older son and I have gone photographing together with our film cameras.

I don’t want them to even think about sifting through images on my hard drive or squinting at all of my negatives. I’ve already made an overwhelming number of images — the Photos folder on my hard drive contains about 70,000 images today. I’m only 53. Barring catastrophe I have a lot of life before me yet and will make tens, maybe even hundreds of thousands more images. Most of my images aren’t valuable or important anyway; a good number of them are outright crap. Would my sons even want to look through them all? I wouldn’t if I were them. Instead, I’ll provide them a tiny, carefully chosen subset, as physical objects they can hold and enjoy.

My plan is to print on 8×10 paper, but leave the images in their native aspect ratio. That’ll give me wide borders in most cases, but the prints will all fit cleanly into these archival storage boxes. They’ll probably all fit into one box. That feels right — enough to enjoy and remember me by, but not so many as to be hard to store.

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