On Printe

I'll never forget the moment I ordered my first canvases. My finger poised for the click, eyes anxious to see how they'd turn out- but I was reluctant. It's not often that I place print orders, and canvases are in a league of their own. I had no idea how they worked, how they're printed, or how much they were.

With the advent of digital photography, the majority of images created will never reach a tangible form. They're files and numbers and data and more technological than I'm capable of comprehending. Film was simpler. When I took Photography in high school, I was simultaneously enrolled in Chemistry. The two courses had more overlap than I thought possible, and I'm so lucky it worked out that I was in both.

Nowadays it's so easy to take a picture, that many don't understand the process behind photography or value professional photographers. The word "photograph" is a marriage or two Latin roots- "photo" translating light and "graph" meaning write. Because photography is writing in light, I've always thought of it as a science and an art.

In Chemistry we learn that light acts as a particle and a wave. When the shutter is released ("taking" the picture"), light waves enter the camera and are recorded when the particles react to chemicals on the film. The photo is a latent image and thus not visible until the film is developed with more chemicals. But film strips are small (generally) and don't look as pretty on the walls, so photographs are more likely to be printed with even more chemicals. It's a long process, but the photographer always ends up with a physical product.

Although digital sensors work similarly, there's no development process and no film, meaning an photograph could be taken and never seen again. Photographers now are more likely to post these images to Facebook and Instagram instead of printing them out and displaying them on the wall. I'm certainly guilty of this! But as I dive deeper into my business, I've decided to explore the fine art side of photography and frantically printed and framed about ten photos that are for sale at the Purple Peacock in Littleton. Framing is not my forte, and it took me hours of review reading to find just the right pen to sign the images with.

This month I upped the ante. In Bethlehem we have a new gallery known as 42 Maple. Angel from Larcom Studios (who designed MegaBug's fabulous logo and watermark!) asked if I would like to do a show with a sculptor from Massachusetts. I've had my work featured in galleries before, but I was responsible for occupying the entire wall space! Although an exciting task, it was also quite stressful.

The cost of printing and framing images adds up, which led to my hesitation at placing the canvas order. In a split second I mustered up enough courage to hastily click the submit order button, and there was no going back.

A week later I was greeted with bold color and familiar memories. The canvases glistened in the gallery light, people pausing to take a better look, discussing their thoughts on where each image was taken. One turns to me- "Are you the artist?"

To read about the gallery show on my MegaBug blog, click here.