Making a Fine Art Print, Or: What Photography is Really About

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For photographer Nick Carver, photography is not about likes or comments or followers on your social network of choice; photography is about taking photos you love, printing them, and getting them up on your (or someone else’s) wall.

This might seem like common sense, but it’s common sense that’s not so common in the day-to-day of finding clients, paying the bills, and getting those small jolts of self-confidence from online affirmation that your latest photo is worth the time it takes for a few hundred people to double tap their smartphone screen.

Carver reminded us of this in this short video, created back in October of 2015 and unearthed yesterday by Reddit user Mr_Supertramp.

There are a few great lessons nestled inside the nine minute and twenty-one second video. To start, there’s some great info about scanning, editing, and preparing a huge negative for printing. Then, Carver talks about what’s involved in framing the high-quality print.

But the best parts don’t come until the very end. First, Carver talks about why he decided (and now prefers) to print subtle fine art pieces like this desert scene:

This is a much more understated composition with a simpler color palette, which is exactly why I chose to frame this piece. There are enough of those ultra-epic landscapes out there today and I feel they tend to be overbearing as wall art. A good fine art photography print should accent a beautiful space rather than overpower it, and that’s what I tried to achieve with this piece.

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Finally, he ends the video by talking about “what photography is really about,” our favorite part of the whole thing:

I mean it when I say it: this is what photography is all about. It’s about getting prints made, getting them framed, hanging them on a wall. That’s where you’re gonna get your real satisfaction in photography.

Check out the video for yourself above if you need a bit of inspiration, but fair warning: it’ll make you want to print one of your favorite photos ASAP. And if you want to see more from Carver, check out his website, subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.

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