I bought my father a guitar last year. It's a nice instrument, more guitar than he'll ever need. It has a nice feel and certainly sounds good.
I wonder how the guy who built it, feels about it. Does he hold it like a treasure, something he's proud to be involved with, or is it number 27 finished this morning and he's ready for his second coffee?
Does he hold his creation as a piece of art or is that reserved for the guitars other people make. I've held a few instruments but never a great one. I've never held one of those wonderful wood wonders that you read about in the Christie's sale catelogue. The type of instrument that a team of investors own.
Photographs are also ment to be held. It might be in the daily paper, where you give up print quality and pick up dot-gain, but thousands of people see you work each day. I've had my share of newspaper shots but "up-graded" to magazines when I could get the work. Again it was something you could hold in your hand, even if you were just standing at Chapters. Books are similar to magazines, nicer quality and hopefully a comon thread keeps the photos together. So far I've had my work in 43 books, although when you get one picture on page 87 of a book on baseball it's not really your book.
All of these outputs are wonderful if that's what you want to hold in your hand. If you dream of the day when you can hold a newspaper or magazine with your picture in it, I hope that comes true this year.
For me it's the fine art print that I want to hold. Something that I can hold but then frame with wood and glass and hang on the wall to be studied. For me a good photograph means a good print hanging on the wall. It doesn't mean unbeatable quality, or grainless traditional prints, but something with impact that says something. Yes for me a success year of shooting comes down to a few prints hanging on the wall that have impact. I don't suggest this is true for everyone, but it is for me. I'm looking for the greatest image I can make and the final test is how the 20x24 looks framed on a wall.
Now that it's the start of a new year I can go through all the negatives and digital files from last year and come up with some great images to up-date the studio wall space. Most likely it will be a mix of digital printouts from my rodeo work, and traditional black and whites taken with the 4X10 or a film rangefinder. I'm not looking for a ton of images from last year, just a half dozen or so that I can hold in my hand.
My retail store for large format photo supplies is www.bigcameraworkshops.com
My retail store for rangefinder gear and Zeiss lenses is www.rangefinderstore.com