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We live in a world of screens. We are bombarded by hundreds -- maybe thousands of photos a day. So why is it so important for serious photographers to make great prints of their best work? The answer is simple:
The orchestration of light and dark tones onto a piece of heavy art paper, which then melds into one cohesive, luminous whole is still a magic trick to the human eye seldom seen in day to day life.
It ain't easy, but when it's done right the photo almost jumps from the wall, aglow with depth inside the dazzling highlights that sparkle with perfectly placed precision atop the mysterious underpinnings of mid-tones and shadows, each revealing a secret texture and flavor, in turn anchored by a foundation of solid blacks that seem to go on forever behind the surface of the paper.
Now take that power and literally magnify it into a wall hung photo that is 2', 3', 4' even 8' in size and you've created a luminous paper image relatively few humans are ever lucky enough to experience in person. The scale, content and artistic vision combine to dazzle the senses and stir the soul of the viewer; and you, the lowly photo artist, have become a magician!
The ability to create an image that mesmerizes the viewer through the power of its print is shared by all great photographers; it is through the print that excitement is generated, be it in a museum, a gallery or the living room of a home.
A luminous art print of an enduring photograph is still something that excites the senses of the human animal. The intimate communion between a great print and an entranced viewer cannot be rivaled by the far more ubiquitous backlit screen. It is an experience we still recognize as special; a motivational inspiration. In it's most effective form, a springboard from the world of ideas into the sea of possibility. I believe some call it "art".