by Christina VanGinkel
I have been focusing on the things I can do with my home printer more lately than I ever thought I would. What got me started was a photograph that I had done in a studio a few years ago. It was inexpensive, and I never saw the actual photograph itself outside of its finished, framed form, as I had ordered it matted and framed. So, when I accidentally shattered the glass when I was moving it the other day, I was shocked to see that though it was printed on very thin paper, it still looked great. The more I looked at it; I was able to determine that it had been printed on an early version of a home printer. This really did not shock me, as I recall the photographer at the time going on about her new equipment, and that she was doing some of her printing in house on a new color photo printer, and that is why she was doing the prints so inexpensively
Now a few years down the line, it still looked great, done in sepia tones to look as if it was printed at the turn of the century. I was thinking of this when I saw some pendants an acquaintance of mine had made. She had taken photographs of various objects, printed them on her home printer in color, black and white, sepia tone, and assorted effects. They were printed relatively tiny, and were encased behind glass and trimmed with wire. Some were set like a cabochon, but with glass over the front of the pictures. Little wonders, beautiful, and made for a fraction of the cost over what a focal bead would cost. She also does stained glass, and I believe that technique somehow plays a part in how she assembles these.
The most amazing part of it is though, that without access to a computer and printer, these never would have been accomplished, and yet so many of us take our computers and photo printers for granted, as if we have always had technology of this degree available. It is all so relatively new, that many of us are just starting to spread our wings when it comes to ways to put these fantastic resources to use, outside of printing our family's vacation photos, and filling our latest scrapbook pages.
The next time you are taking photos, reflect on all the possibilities that exist for putting your finished photographs to use. Think about the capabilities that lie within your computer and printer for both altering the photos and the infinite ways to print them. Think of how to put them to use beyond filling a frame or pasting into a scrapbook. Snap away a whole days worth of prints, print them off, and assemble under glass over your coffee table. Try some of the different papers available for running through your home printer that allows you to create iron-on designs and decals. Get creative, try something new, and most of all, have fun!