Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I remember back in the day when every picture taken was magically turned into a print at the local drugstore or camera shop.  In a way, it was easy, just dropping the roll off at the counter, filling out the order on the back of the envelope, then checking back in a few days.  But if your experiences were anything like mine, the prints rarely matched our expectations.  First, not nearly every picture was ever intended to see the light of day.  There were just too many "do overs" that no one needed to see.  Second, even for the shots wherein things seemed to line up perfectly, the little 4 x 6 rarely seemed to meet up with my vision for the image.  Ultimately I've decided that I was leaving too much up to the printers.  They were great at producing a perfectly average exposure and saved most of us from ourselves a lot of the time, let's admit.  But great prints need individual attention to detail, and mass production just wasn't a way to get down to the good stuff.

My frustration with the lab development and printing process was peaking at just about the time digital photography became available to the masses.  All of a sudden here was a practical, accessible, relatively affordable way to have complete control of the negative, from capture to print.  Never mind the discussion about when digital may or may not have exceeded the quality of film, digital brought so much control that my images were almost immediately closer to what I'd envisioned when squeezing the shutter.

Several years later, we're almost completely accustomed to viewing images on electronic devices.  We've got a million ways to share and enjoy images, and in my opinion the world is entirely better for it.  I love the instant gratification of sharing an image literally seconds after it was made.  Yet I continue to come back full circle.  The view on even my 24 inch monitor doesn't approach the pleasure of holding a freshly minted print in my hands and watching the light play off the surface.  No, certainly not every image should be printed.  But when you just nail that image, when things come together just right, there's something special about immortalizing that image on paper that really brings satisfaction.

No doubt, taking control out of the hands of the technician operating the print machine at the drugstore has meant that we've had to acquire some new skills.  Now, if the print sucks, there's no one to blame but ourselves.  But what else do you have to do with your life if not to continue to learn, adapt, move forward?  There's literally not one moment, if we're alive and breathing, that we have the right to sit and be complacent, to stop growing.  I'm personally so much a happier camper with the ability to have such an effect across the whole imaging process, I'm completely happy to accept responsibility for the results.

And with that in mind, I am glad to announce the availability of prints on www.curtisbrandt.com.  For a long time I've wanted to have a place where these are available, and that day is finally here.  As you click around, you'll notice a "BUY" button.  Click there to check on size and finish options.  There are currently a limited number of images available, but that will change with time, and before long I hope to have hundreds of images available from which to choose.  Until the collection is more completely filled out, feel free to inquire about a specific theme or location, I may have just what you're looking for even if it's not available on the website yet!

I'm sitting here looking at a fresh 16 x 24 print of the taro fields in Kauai.  I can't help but think back when the first thoughts of this image crossed my mind.  It's an amazing process: conceiving of an image, going out and capturing it, preparing the file with lots of care for a print, then holding the end result in your hands.  I have to say, the print of the taro fields is WAY beyond what I felt could be accomplished.  I'm completely happy with it and I know, if you see it first hand, you'll enjoy it too.  The metallic finish is out of this world!

I'd love to make a custom print for you, just click on your favorite, make an order, and you'll have an amazing print in your hands in just a few days.

Until next time...enjoy the photography in your life!

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