Why Make Prints

Different Viewing Experiences

Prints encourage images to be viewed in different ways. If you’re like most people, only the most important images to you have been printed, and only a few of those are displayed at one time or for long periods of time. We look at images that are printed differently than images that are not. Do you look more frequently and longer at images that have been printed or images that haven’t? Prints persist. They remain in our environment consistently and require little or no conscious effort for us to consider and reconsider them, yet often they demand that we do look at them more consciously. Making prints can become a part of the decision-making process to focus more attention on a select few images. When images are printed, they’re no longer lost amid so many other less important images. When printed, your images become more significant.

The choice of printer and paper together greatly affects the look and feel of the print. Experiment with paper textures and printer settings to find what works for your style and vision.

What Printing Can Do For You

When you make a print, you consider your images more carefully for a longer period of time and often multiple times. This adds up. It’s quite likely that along the way you’ll find many ways to improve your images. Repeat this process many times, and you’ll find that your vision as a whole will improve. Inevitably, when making a print, some things are gained and others are lost. The sacrifices you’re willing to make offer still more opportunities for you to clarify your vision. What do you want people to appreciate most about your images? Let this question be your guide as you first explore possibilities and later make decisions about how to present your images.

The many new opportunities that making prints presents will challenge you to clarify and declare both your artistic sensibilities and your creative goals. How would you like your images to look? How would you like others to look at your images? What do you want to accomplish with your images? How do you want people to interact with your images? Do you want to present your images as casual, everyday, highly accessible, utilitarian artifacts or scarce, highly refined collectibles? The way you choose to print (or not to print) your images will encourage people to look at, interact with, share and value them in entirely different ways.

Prints offer invitations for others to carefully consider not only what you’ve seen in individual images, but also your vision as seen through many images. Once you’ve made many prints, you’ll understand your vision better, other people will understand your vision better, and you’ll understand their vision better, too.

The things you make your images into will guide the viewer through a reenactment of your journey of discovery. For you, part of your journey of discovery lies in making prints; for them, part of their journey of discovery lies in appreciating the prints you make.

Read more about printing in my series of blog posts, “The Making Of The Print,” at www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/blog/category/the-making-of-the-print/.

John Paul Caponigro, author of Adobe Photoshop Master Class and the DVD series R/Evolution, is an internationally renowned fine artist, an authority on digital printing, and a respected lecturer and workshop leader. Get access to a wealth of online resources with his free ennews Insights at www.johnpaulcaponigro.com.

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