Print is not Dead Despite the Rumors

Redwoods, Bull Creek Flat © Ansel Adams

Redwoods, Bull Creek Flat © Ansel Adams

I attended an exhibit of Ansel Adams work this weekend at the Peoria Riverfront Museum. To say that I am a fan of Adams work is a gross understatement. I wandered around the exhibit becoming almost teary eyed as I looked upon photograph after photograph that I had seen only in books and on a computer monitor. While standing in front of one of my favorite photographs, Redwoods, Bull Creek Flat, it struck me square in the forehead. This is why print is not dead. The experience of seeing this photograph with nothing between it and my eyeballs but a piece of acrylic is the reason print will never die. I felt as if I could literally step into the photograph, the depth and subtle details that no silicon diode can reproduce pulling me into the photograph.

Just so you know I’m one of those anal, obsessive, type “A” personalities. I like to have complete control over every aspect of my work, especially if I am going to sign my name on it. That means that I print my own photographs. I can hear the majority of you laughing and some just gasping at the mere thought. I have heard all the arguments about cost, time, and so forth. For me, it is about the end product and not about the bottom line—much to the displeasure of my wife.

Have you ever slid your memory card into the slot on the front of the printer and hit the print button? Odds are that the print that came out of the printer was less than exciting. I remember my first attempt at printing a black and white photograph; it was awful with hardly any detail and a green tint. That one print started me down a road filled with foreign concepts like color space, ICC profiles, color management, monitor calibration, and the list goes on. This is without a doubt the number one reason that no one wants to print an image onto paper themselves—“it’s really difficult to get it right”.

Today I can readily print a black and white image onto my favorite fine art paper Hahnemüehle Photo Rag 308 with fabulous results after only a few test prints. It is not impossible to obtain the results you want, but it does take time, practice, and education. In my case, it was nearly a year of trial and error until I developed a workflow that yields repeatable results. The point is, despite the sales brochure, do not expect to send your image to the printer and have it perform miracles on the first try. If you want to print your own photographs, do not be discouraged at the many failures you will have. These are all part of the learning process.

Whether you print your own or send it off to a professional lab, I challenge you to print one of your favorite images this week. You will get hooked on that feeling of seeing your photograph in print and after that you may quickly run out of wall space to hang all of your prints.

Jeff Burton Takes Honors in 2013 IAL Membership Art Show

Just You and MeJeff’s photograph Just You and Me of a sunset in Grand Haven, Michigan was awarded First Place in the Photography Division at the 2013 Illinois Art League Membership Art Show. Established in 1960, the purpose of the Illinois Art League remains the same today. The League offers workshops to help members increase their artistic skills, juried shows that allow members to display their work along with a newsletter and website to keep members informed of all activities.

Just You and Me captures the quiet moment of a stroll along the beach at the end of a wonderful day. The waves of Lake Michigan lap at the feet of the couple as they soak up the rays of the sun with the Grand Haven lighthouse in the background. The warm golden color of the sun glints through the glass enclosure of the lighthouse acting as if to light the way for those seeking to come home from a long summer day.

Jeff’s photograph of the falls in Turkey Run State Park named Punch Bowl was awarded Second Place in the Photography Division and his photograph of sunrise on Johnson Lake in Kewanee, Illinois called When Morning Arrives was awarded Honorable Mention in the Photography Division.

Jeff Burton is a Peoria, IL based Fine Art Photographer, who seeks to capture moments that instill a sense of calm and wonderment with the world around us. His photography style emphasizes the rich texture and tones of his subjects which are often overlooked.

Jeff Burton Awarded Third Place in 49th Rennick Juried Art Show

Peoria, Illinois

Jeff’s black and white image of downtown Peoria, Illinois from across the Illinois River was awarded Third Place in the 49th Annual Rennick Juried Art Show sponsored by the Peoria Historical Society. The show theme is Central Illinois with works depicting life within the region.

Peoria, Illinois captures the world-class skyline of Peoria Illinois. The night-time image emphasizes the urban romance of the city by accentuating the lights and glitter of the downtown region. The nighttime skyline is rich with history and commerce including the world headquarters of Caterpillar, Inc. Along with the skyline, the beautifully lit riverfront area illustrates the nightlife of the city and the “Spirit of Peoria” paddle-wheel riverboat is visible in its home dock.

Jeff Burton is a Peoria, IL based Fine Art Photographer, who seeks to capture moments that instill a sense of calm and wonderment with the world around us. His monochrome photography style emphasizes the rich texture and tones of his subjects which are often overlooked.

Peoria, Illinois and Morning Workout works will be on exhibition at the 49th Annual Rennick Juried Art Show in the Peoria Public Library, Main Branch, LL1 Gallery May 1, 2013 through May 31, 2013.