Those among us who grew up in the age before smartphones will remember that taking and sharing photographs used to be a very different proposition to today. For one thing, we had cameras, but we didn’t have them with us at all times. For another, we had film. 24 or 26 pictures per film was the standard, so we had to snap wisely. And for a third, we didn’t really have the faintest idea what we had photographed, or whether we had remembered to remove the lens cap, until weeks later after we had arrived home and got the pictures developed.
Of course, it’s a very different story today. We can take 100 pics, share them on Instagram and email them to the elderly relatives who are technically savvy enough to have a laptop but have not quite got to grips with social media. It takes a matter of seconds and it doesn’t cost a penny.
Utopia? In some respects. But the new dynamic means we tend to take those pictures for granted, and in today’s instant gratification world, they are forgotten as quickly as they are shared. Remember that excitement as you used to collect the photos from the developers, and then choose the very best to be enlarged or framed? The thing is, today there are even more ways of creating wonderful and lasting artwork from our pictures, and with digital technology we have 100 times as many to choose from. So let’s make the most of them – here are some ideas.
Canvas prints have, in general, become increasingly popular over recent years as a form of wall art that fits well in a modern, contemporary setting. There are specialists who can help you keep memories forever by turning your best vacation snaps into square or rectangular canvases on sturdy wooden frames.
These are the large-scale prints that are used by architects for technical drawings and diagrams. They are produced on thin paper and are typically black and white, although some specialists have started to supply colour versions, too. It’s not a style that will suit everyone – the images have an intentional “rough and ready” look and are usually unframed. However, if you like the industrial or shabby chic look, this could be just the thing for you. If you are of an artistic frame of mind, you can even have a go at making them yourself!
For something truly out of the ordinary, wood prints are definitely worth considering. By printing the images directly onto a natural wood surface, the picture attains an additional depth and uniqueness. In fact, it almost looks more like an amateur painting than a photograph. As you might expect, it is a stunning way to turn nature photographs into works of art, but it also works well with other forms – photographs of a busy intersection in New York or Tokyo are nothing uncommon. But printed on wood? That really has to be seen to be truly appreciated!
What’s your favourite way to display your photographs?