To print or not to print?

Now that it's so quick and easy to share images on line, why bother to print them at all?

I enjoy sharing images on line, but printing definitely has its own rewards too.  Firstly, printing brings me into contact with a physical (rather than a virtual) community.

The AGA Lab in Amsterdam is a lively community of printmakers working in different disciplines with different techniques which gives rise to a natural cross-fertilization of ideas and inspiration.

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Another reason why I enjoy printing is that the process of making a physical print - whether on a digital printer or on a traditional press - also brings with it a sensual pleasure which is by-passed when an image is simply uploaded onto social media or a website and forgotten about.  I enjoy the feel of papers and the smell of inks and the deep sense of satisfaction when the finished print meets - or even exceeds - my hopes for it.

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Making a print is a way of honouring the vision which moved me to make a photograph in the first place.  It is a way of acknowledging that the image is worth investing time and money in.  Printmaking also contributes to the life of the image, it allows the image to be explored creatively in an infinite number of ways with different inks and papers as technology and my vision for the print changes over time.

If you're planning a trip to Amsterdam you might consider combining your visit with a workshop or course with the AGA Lab, you might even be able to stay for a longer period as an Artist in Residence.

Looking forward to seeing you there!