The Last Step

Have you ever cooked an elaborate and complicated meal? First, you research a recipe. Then, you go out shopping for all the right ingredients, sometimes even to a few different shops. Lastly, you carefully prepare the ingredients and cook them in just the right way to create a wonderful meal. And then, imagine, you just throw it away, without smelling or tasting it, and start with the next one.

Have you ever started a laborious project for work? You research the topic thoroughly and speak to all your colleagues about the tasks ahead. You then sit down for several weeks and work on the project day in day out. You neglect family, friends, and health because it motivates and captivates you. And then there is the day where you are finished: You can harvest the results from your hard work and you see that it payed off. And then, imagine, without showing your results to anybody, you just close the folder on your smart machine, lock it away, and start with the next project.

There is always a last step you should take. And to me it feels like I have been missing out on the last step of photography until now: I spent many hours into researching gear before I bought my first camera. Since then, I have invested many, many more hours into researching how to use it properly, how to get the settings right, which lens to buy next, how to edit photos, and so on. I spent hundreds of hours outside, walking through sun and rain, with frozen feet and hands in fog and snow, with sweat and exerted muscles in the sun. I have spent hours editing photos and shared them somewhere on social media for some people to see. And then? I have closed the photo file on my laptop, maybe looked at it one or two more times on my tiny smartphone screen, and went out to shoot new pictures. But I have never done the last, and maybe most wonderful step: Using the digital information for which I have spent countless hours to get, all the single bits of 0 and 1, and capture them into physical form: a photo print to touch, feel, smell, and look at.

I have printed two of my photos on fine art paper at an online shop some months ago. While the result is nice, it was also rather expensive, but more important than that: I want to learn this last step myself. And I want to be able to fine tune the results exactly as I want them to, and I want to experience the process of printing. So I bought a printer (quite expensive), some ink (even more expensive), and some paper to test on and I will attempt to print myself in the coming weeks. I do not have anything to show yet, but hopefully soon. Until then, here are some spring photos, mostly from the botanical garden of our town, including pasque flowers, the common black bird which always visits us in the evenings, a great tit, and a humble fly.

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