There is nothing quite like the experience of viewing a large photographic print. As you stand close to the print, it is as though you are immersed into that scene. This is why landscape photography in particular lends itself to large prints. A large print is not something that can be viewed quickly. Instead, you need time for your eyes to explore the detail, color, and tonality.
The reason I enjoy making large prints is because of the intimate experience between the viewer an the location. The viewer can stand in silence and view the beauty of the location, just as though they were standing beside me when I took the photo. At the last show I did, I had several people ask if the images were paintings. They were quite surprised when I told them that they were indeed photos, then invited them to have a closer look to see the fine texture of film grain.
It seems as though many people would prefer to hang a painting on the wall rather than a large photograph. As fantastic as paintings are, there is something very unique about photography. As landscape photographers, the only control we have over the scene is the composition. We are only able to take a rectangular cut-out of nature. The lighting, subjects, and weather are completely beyond our grasp. A photograph where all of the elements come together represents one brief moment in time, and demonstrates the sheer beauty of the natural world.
Next weekend, I will be showing 5 large format prints at ArtWalk on the Bay here in San Diego, California. Two of the prints are new from travels in the past few months. The others are from a trip earlier this year. I invite you to view the images in person at this event so you can see the detail, color, and tonality that I work so hard to produce.
I will also have some information, as well as a signup sheet for some photography seminars that I will be conducting in early 2010. I hope to see you there!