Quotes on Printing

I’ve collected a few of my favorite quotes on printing to share here, in no particular order…enjoy!

“The thing that is ironic is that the new digital technologies, to my mind, are way and away the finest printing processes that have ever existed – they are better than anything that has existed in the past. I find myself very, very excited to use this new technology that is going to destroy photography to make the best versions of it I’ve ever seen.” – Richard Benson

“I don’t think that the printed photograph is ever going to go away….I think it will likely become a minor aspect of the medium….I’m desperately practicing a minor art, and hope that it lives as long as I do.” – Richard Benson

“Quality doesn’t mean deep blacks and whatever tonal range. That’s not quality, that’s a kind of quality. The pictures of Robert Frank might strike someone as being sloppy – the tone range isn’t right and things like that – but they’re far superior to the pictures of Ansel Adams with regard to quality, because the quality of Ansel Adams, if I may say so, is essentially the quality of a postcard. But the quality of Robert Frank is a quality that has something to do with what he’s doing, what his mind is. It’s not balancing out the sky to the sand and so forth. It’s got to do with intention.” — Elliott Erwitt

“I photograph like a documentarian but print like a painter.” – Todd Hido

“With virtuoso technique, large prints can look almost as good as small ones.” – Attributed to John Szarkowski talking about Ansel Adams

“You don’t know if you’ve gone far enough unless you’ve gone too far, and then come slightly back.” – Brooks Jensen

“They say my prints are bad, darling they should see my negatives” – Lisette Model

“Darkroom work had, after all, never interested me except as a means to an end; the place I wanted to be was outside in the light.” – Robert Adams

“The negative is comparable to the composer’s score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways.” – Ansel Adams

“In music I still prefer the minor key, and in printing I like the light coming from the dark. I like pictures that surmount the darkness, and many of my photographs are that way. It is the way I see photographically. For practical reasons, I think it looks better in print too.” -W. Eugene Smith

“To convey in the print the feeling you experienced when you exposed your film – to walk out of the darkroom and say: ‘This is it, the equivalent of what I saw and felt!’. That’s what it’s all about.”-John Sexton

“Most photographers are lousy printers. Most always were. The difference is that in the old days you had to master a substantial skill set in craft before you could demonstrate how lousy you really were. Now anyone can simply buy a technologically superior printer for $500-$1000 and immediately demonstrate their lack of competence.” – Ctein, 2010

“My aim is not to exhibit craft, but rather to submerge it, and make it rightfully the handmaiden of beauty, power and emotional content.” -Andrew Wyeth