Art photography

The big picture: making an art photography print from scratch


Nick Carver is no stranger to growing up. Not only does she take big negatives on big cameras, but he’s immensely passionate about printing and framing and making sure the work fills and compliments a space. In this video, he walks through the process of scanning a 6×17 Portra 160 panoramic film negative, sizing a space on the wall for the final 6 foot print, and even creating a custom frame for it.

Right off the bat, you know Carver has his head on his shoulders. I have great respect for his choice of a more subtle and neutral landscape photo to hang on his wall. In a world dominated by embedded HDR landscapes, this is certainly refreshing. I also admire his total DIY work ethic. I totally expected to see a custom 120 film holder with anti-Newton glass from betterscanning.com, but no. He has a little spun gear at home with a glass plate with risers to make sure the film is on the focal plane of the scanner. In the end, he ends up with a nice 340 megapixel digital scan that after inverting, adding curves, and removing dust spots, he then sent it to a lab to be chemically printed on paper. Fuji Crystal Archive Pearl paper with a gloss coating.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the project is the custom frame from scratch. I certainly don’t know of any ready-to-buy 2ft by 6ft floating frames on the market. Also, who would want to buy one, especially since it costs around $ 350 in materials alone to craft from scratch.

In the end, we end up with some pretty fantastic tips for understanding the place photography should have in a room’s decor. It’s about complimenting, not dominating. His advice couldn’t be more truthful, but we end up with the real home run:

Now I really mean it when I say it, that this is really what photography is. It’s about making prints, framing them, hanging them on the wall. This is where you are going to get your true satisfaction in photography. Take a photo, then just upload the file to Instagram, hoping people like it before moving on to the next photo in under half a second; that kind of satisfaction – it’s nothing compared to the satisfaction you get from having a print made and hung on the wall.

Nick Carter is an art and landscape photographer from Tustin, California. Not only is he an incredible photographer to follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but he’s a good educator and you can get information about his classes on his website.

And I know some of you are probably interested in his medium but sort of large format Shen Hao TFC 617-A camera. Here is a bonus video where he talks about it:



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