Recently I have been getting back into an old habit. The kind of habit that we all used to be in, but somewhere along the way, we've lost the feeling of it.
I've been making prints of my photographs, to hold in my hand, to put in a frame, to tape into a scrapbook, to toss in a box and rediscover in 10 or 20 years.
There is something about holding a print, big or small, of a picture you made. Oh sure, you can put it up on your big-screen TV or carry it around on your iPad, but it isn't the same. The physical print still has some magical power that the screens just can't match.
I'm not even talking about how prints (good ones, anyway) are printed at 300dpi and your computer screen can only display 72dpi. I'm not talking about how a printer can display bazillions more colors and a higher level of detail and better saturation than your computer can. I'm just talking about making something you can physically hold - and the catharsis that creation provides.
With this in mind, I challenge you to make prints of your photographs. You can get those cheepie 4x6s from walmart or you can take them into a real lab and have them done by an expert. You can set up the darkroom in the bathroom or take your film to a lab. For our purposes, it doesn't matter. I just want you to FEEL the physicality of what you have created by being a photographer, by pressing the shutter, by choosing the creative lifestyle.
Go through the archives and print some of your favorites and put them in frames or mail them to friends. Print some of the ones that suck, the out of focus, underexposed dregs of your hard drive. Print them out just for the satisfaction of tearing them in half, lighting them on fire, and moving on.
Hold, in your hand, a physical form of a photograph you created. Maybe it doesn't do anything for you at all, but I bet it does something. I bet it helps you to be more creative, to get back in the habit we've all seemingly forgotten. Creation doesn't stop when you lift your finger from the shutter or when you save the file from photoshop. You will truly feel that you have created something when you have the physical form of your image in your home.
I bet you notice a difference.