For some photographers, printing is the ultimate way of displaying their photos.
What do you think of immediately when you say that you’re going to sell a print? Is it just a piece of paper and nothing more? If that’s what you’re doing, then you’re probably selling prints wrong or the person that you’re buying them from isn’t doing it right at all. Because it isn’t done as much, printing is sort of a lost art–or at least it’s starting to become one. The art of bringing your photos into real life though isn’t something that loses its impact. Every time you see a photo of your manifest itself onto a piece of paper or other medium, it should be magical if done right. And that magical experience should be shared with others. But to do that, you have to treat others with the same respect that you would want.
The best experiences for printing really come when you do it yourself. It’s really convenient to have CostCo, Adorama, or other services print for you. But they offer a very sort of standard type of paper. In fact, if you looked at what company sells the most paper in America, it would be Fujifilm. Fujifilm? Really, you say? Yes. Go to any pharmacy and get your images printed, they’ll be done on a Fujifilm glossy paper. Fujifilm for sure gives the absolute standard for what you get from most kiosks of some sort. But if you’re looking for a different look, it can be a bit confusing. So here are some of our favorite papers.
The secret to better business cards is not only about having meaningful conversations.
“While this may seem like a null issue to some photographers, it’s a big one to others.”
If you’ve ever had prints made or seen them, then chances are that they’re all from the same Fujifilm paper used by Walgreens, Costco, Duane Reade, etc. That’s a glossy paper and that’s what people are so used to seeing. I’m going to tackle glossy in a bit. But first, I should really emphasize and talk about matte paper. Instead of these pharmacy prints, you should liken matte paper more to the types of paper that one would typically write on. Even then, matte paper isn’t really done a whole lot of justice by saying that.
“For the first time, I had felt betrayed. Years and years of an industry and marketing teaching me that Kodak Tri-X 400 was the absolute best and that there is no reason for you to go out there and try anything else.”
“Why someone told me that it’s a great film for street photography is honestly a bit beyond my comprehension.”
I like to equate my experience of film photography to that of the experience that the older generation of photographers who experienced digital for the first time. At 30 years old, I still haven’t had the opportunity or the time or step into the darkroom. I never had the opportunity to do it either in college or high school. So to continue with the evolution of film and how it can deliver pleasing images, I believe that using newer, sharper lenses designed with digital sensors in mind is a great way to get even more out of film. Ilford Pan F Plus is arguably the sharpest black and white film out there with TMax and Acros being a bit behind, but if it was sharp even in the days before all of these fantastic new lenses started coming out, then when using these new lenses the film should arguably be even better.
If you’re reading this post, there are strong chances that you remember disposable cameras. My mother, who wasn’t that tech savvy at all, turned to them often when her Olympus camera broke. My college graduation was photographed on one in 2009 when I and many others had switched to digital point and shoots. My parents used them at events. So did my aunts and uncles. I always remember how fun they were–small, portable, and almost never reloadable until Lomography created their own reloadable versions earlier this year. So it was a complete blast from the past when I decided to try out Ilford’s disposable cameras.
Ilford films are available for pretty much any type of photographer that you can name or list. At the moment, they have the largest selection of black and white films on the market as it is pretty much all that they produce. So with that said, there’s no good reason why landscape photographers would have been left out. Many photographers shoot landscapes as a hobby and very few actually end up selling prints of their images or being commissioned for tourist reasons. The look that Ilford film can provide is one that’s quite interesting. There are tons of photographers out there who shoot digital and simply try to create keystoned HDR photos. But that’s not really what film does.
The company quite literally specializes in black and white film and for that reason they offer a multitude of products for a multitude of applications.
While Kodak has created an analog film culture in the street photography community that is almost synonymous Kodak Tri-X 400, Ilford films have also been incredibly popular in capturing everyday life on celluloid.
“…if you didn’t know any better, you’d probably just completely skip the fact that there is indeed black and white instant film out there.”
“Look at what has happened on Instagram, look at the selfie world and the increasing amount of pay-per-view sites that photographers and models can make quick cash by selling ‘naughty’ photos online. I want nothing to do with that.”
“Maturing in the world of photography I realize that the correct gear helps to create a personal vision.”
“Capturing a person’s life and personality through a photograph is such a wonderful challenge…”
This beastly camera does a fantastic job in the studio.
My creative influences are widely ranged from the great photographers like Lindbergh, Avedon, Demarchelier, over literature like Paulo Coelho and Charles Bukowski right over to the cinematic world.
Alexander Laurent uses Fujifilm Acros 100 film in the studio.