Cheryl Walsh: Creating art from photography

Cheryl Walsh: Creating art from photography


Photographers printing their own work is
the most important topic in digital photography today. I’m a photographer
and a photographer makes a photograph and a photograph is a print. I love this.
And I love that I made this from beginning to end. That makes it more
special, infinitely more special. I shoot underwater because of the
environment it’s so peaceful and quiet. Everything moves in slow motion and the
colours are more vibrant. My world is isolated to me and the person I’m
working with. I don’t hear the distractions of anything going on up
here, it’s just quiet and peaceful and I feel like I’m in my own little bubble. I
love to collaborate with other artists. I’m working with people who make their
own gowns and head pieces. Everything that we work with – these are all things
that are being made by someone who has a passion for it. I’ve been telling my
models that they’re so amazing so beautiful, so graceful, they’re strong and
elegant and confident and competent. I want them to feel like they’re where
they want to be, doing what they want to be doing, and they’re so amazing that
they don’t even have to breathe. My dream was always to create really huge pieces
of artwork I want to create something that lifts people out of reality even
for just a few minutes. We have amazing cameras. Our lenses are
perfect, we don’t need to talk about our workflow or our editing software, we have
all that, everything is what we need. It’s the print; it’s the final image,
that’s what matters; that’s what’s important. Why aren’t we printing our
work? When I learned to print that changed everything. The work that we do – it’s expressing ourselves. It’s telling our story. We all deserve to be able to
say what we have to say. We deserve to have a voice. That’s really special Look at the shadows on your toes, all
this little fur – that’s the paper. That’s not just the image that’s the
paper. On other papers this would just be all black. Just to
shoot this level of clarity is already hard enough but then to have it in a print and translate
it exactly. And to realise this is all happening in water. There is a pool full
of water between me and this. The fact that I can see the grain of the
fabric, and I can just see it crystal clear. It isn’t just a physical thing, it’s
so so so much more than that. It’s such an emotional thing. Being able to give that to people. What you’re doing – it’s amazing. I have always used Canon. When it came
time to choose a printer, of course I was going to go with a company that is
interested in taking care of me. From capture to print; from beginning to end,
every single print that’s come out of that printer has been perfect.
I’ve never made a test print. I’m using the best equipment. I have the best
cameras. I have the best printer. Of course I want the best paper. Canson
Infinity is a company that’s been around forever. It fulfills all of my needs to
create my artwork it’s just a really unique special paper. I know which paper
I’m gonna print on as I’m making the image. The texture of the paper, the weight, the
feel, is as important to me as the image itself. My paper choice with this
particular image is part of my unique artistic signature. You can see here the
difference between the matte edition etching paper and platine fibre rag
and there’s just a little bit of a watercolor texture to the paper,
it gives it a completely different look. The gradiation in her face, in the
texture of her hair, the little details. They’re both beautiful and I get to make
that choice because I’m printing it myself. When you look at an image on a
screen it’s a resolution of 72. When you look at a print it’s a resolution of 300.
There are things you see in your print that you will never see on a screen. I
can make a print right in the middle of my workflow and see what’s there that I
can’t see on my screen. All of my images go to print. My workflow is really simple,
it’s important to me that the technology not get in the way of me creating art.
The printer comes with the software to print. We’ve got all my information here –
I’ve got my colour profile right there, then all I have to do is hit print. My
printer paid for itself in prints in no time at all. This is how I make my living:
selling prints. I have complete control over my business now. To create a 40×60 print myself, at home, here, whenever I want to,
that to me is being a complete artist.

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