Size and Distance Do Matter …

I shared this image with you a couple of weeks ago.  It is a panorama made of the second floor machine room at the Lonaconing Silk Mill.  So, why am I showing it to you again?

Well, this past Saturday, I went to Richmond and spent the day with Craig Rudlin doing some editing on the rough draft of the book he is putting together, as well as some printing on his 40+” Canon printer.  Craig will be including this image in his book and asked me if I would like a large print of it.  I said that I would, and I wound up driving home with a large sheet of expensive photographic paper containing an11.5″x34.25″ panorama print.  I don’t usually print things very large (13″x19″ sheet paper is all I can handle at home, and I do not send work out to custom printer shops), so having an image of mine this big has been revelatory in many ways.  One of these revelations is that when I step to within about three feet of the print, the curved perspective in the image disappears – lines straighten out and it actually feels as if I am standing in the mill.  This ability to really be physically drawn into the image like this is not something that can happen readily with a smaller print or an on screen image (you’d probably wind up with nose smudges on your monitor.) Some images just have to be large. As photographers, we all want viewers to engage with our images emotionally and psychologically, and we “dodge and burn” in order to guide their eyes through the scene. This level of physical engagement, though, was a new sensation for me, along with the fact that this was the first time I have ever had an image of mine printed to that size. This brings a whole new perspective to things ….