Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Display Your Photos: Why It Is Important

The motivation behind writing this article was a happy fluke. You can call it an aha moment, one of those happy accidents that reveal an insight you had not anticipated. Well, in our case today, that happy moment was... Chromecast. In case you did not know that, it now allows you to display your own photos in the background. I did that, selecting some of my landscapes pics.

And wow, what a revelation that was!

My clients rarely need prints, and even more rarely large prints. As a result, the maximum size I usually view my photos is limited by the size of my monitor - 21". I have printed a couple of large, 60x40" canvases for personal use, but generally speaking, it is extremely rare that I see my photos at any size larger than the monitor.

Well, let me tell you, it was a revelation to watch my own photos on a 46" TV screen. I strongly suggest that you do it (if you don't want to get Chromecast - although, it has my vote, it totally rocks - just use a USB stick, if your TV has a port).

You might think that the reason I'm suggesting this has to do with revealing flaws that you would not otherwise see. It's the exact opposite: Displaying and viewing your photos on a large screen/surface, allows you to see, quite literally, the bigger picture. When your photos are displayed on a 46"+ screen, and you're sitting comfortably on the couch a few feet back, you no longer care about chromatic aberration, about per-pixel sharpness, about micro-contrast. When you have an image that big in front of you, the buck stops there - it's just you and the composition. All the sharpness and contrast and vivid colors in the world won't save you if the composition is meaningless, dull, without emotions.

Before seeing this on a big screen, I thought it was a pretty decent capture. It's not. Once the living room is enveloped by your photo, you realize it quickly if there is no powerful story to be told

Photos you thought were great, no longer seem so. They might be eye-candish, with saturated colors, but seeing them displayed makes you painfully aware of their lack. Conversely, photos you did not consider anything special, strike you with their meaning. It is a humbling as well as rewarding exercise, that will teach you a lot.

The exact opposite happened with this image. Although I did appreciate the simplicity of this image, I never considered it anything remotely special. Well, let me tell you, seeing it on a 46" TV screen made me realize that its simplicity was the story

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