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Last weekend I attended a local art show here in beautiful Camarillo, California. Having spent quite a few years working the Fine Art circuit from Malibu to Santa Barbara, (now guiding workshops and teaching photography with Jansen Photo Expeditions), I have a lot of respect for artists who put their art out there in hopes of a sale or two over a weekend. For them, there is a complete creative circle with their photography or other art forms they pursue.
This art event was a bit different from your regular art fair. This show was paired on the same grounds as our local artisan community with open studio doors, allowing you to visit the artists at work. This would include mostly painters, sculptures, and assemblage artists.
Being a bit different from photography, seeing their works in progress provides a physical connection to the creative process, which has always been refreshing to me.
In our digital photographic world, (where our eyes seldom are away from one sort of device, keyboards, touchpads, and screens), photography is now relegated to this realm for the most part and is not always brought to physical completion, in my opinion.
Darkrooms and chemical processing, dodging and burning with cardboard cutouts and the use of enlargers in creating the tactile photographic print are a thing of the past. There still are a few that enjoy a step into the darkroom now a then, and Millennials who have discovered this process for the first time. In any process film or digital, the print has always been the final expression of this art form. I’ve had the pleasure of many art commissions over the years. Small prints and mural sizes as seen here on this post. Seeing one’s vision reproduced on a grand scale is something you really can’t put into words.
We live in an amazing time, that allow us to print our photographs on many different substrates. From metal and wood panels to canvas and contact vinyl and an amazing array of papers, the options seem limitless.
I always suggest printing a few of your best images from time to time. Leaving photographs stored on hard drives really doesn’t do them justice. I’ve heard it said, a photograph is not a photograph unless it’s printed in one form or another. This closes the creative circle and provides a physical and emotional connection to one’s creative efforts.
Learn what it takes and explore your printing options or get out there and participate in one of many local art shows in your local community and see how your visions stand up in the real world. Don’t let your photography languish in creative isolation online with thumbs ups and likes on social media alone.
All the best,