Digital issue for today– keeping prints alive – USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES – Photographer Andrew Funderburg is on a mission to keep photo prints alive.
Digital is great, he argues, but if future generations only know about looking at photographs on a smartphone screen or tablet, how will the art of sitting in the living room and passing around physical photos continue?
“If we don’t print these photos, they will die with this current generation,” he says. We need to encourage that millennials print photos, so their kids will be able to show off their childhood birthday photos to their kids, he adds.
Funderburg, a Portland photographer and founder of the Fundy SoftwareÂ firm, which makes blogging and album software for photographers, guested on theÂ #TalkingTechÂ podcast with us recently. Both a short version, and the longer, extended podcast are offered here.
Think about it for a minute. In the digital age, when was the last time you ordered a print, put it in a frame, and hung it on the wall?
Funderburg has a great point–it’s just that costs can mount up if we order tons of prints like we used to, and then finding room for them can be a chore. But it should be done.
FunderburgÂ is producing a documentary called “The Power of Print,” in which he argues on behalf of the printed image, and will go to France in July to film a segment for the work in progress film having a portrait made by a local photographer. The studio where was where his great, great uncle had his picture taken shortly after World War I and is still in business. Because they put their branding on the photo, Funderburg was able to locate the studio-something he never could have done had he just seen the photo on Facebook. (The photo is pictured above.)
In Portland, when not at the office, FunderburgÂ walks around town with a Leica M and Sony A7IIÂ camera and two lenses, 35mm and 55mm, in search of street portraits.
“My challenge is to walk up to someone, strike up a conversation, find out what they do, and get a great portrait,” he says. Funderburg never leaves home without a portable printer–he owns models from Canon, Epson and Fuji, and hands his subjects an example of his work on the spot. “It’s great to see their reaction when you give them a print.”
In the podcast, Funderburg also talks about the latest edition of his software, marketed to photographers, for designing wedding albums.
The Fundy Designer V7, just out, promises what he calls “automatic” album design in 5 minutes or less, as opposed to the hours normally spent. (To make it work, photographers need to make sure their cameras have the correct time in the menu, because the software works by using the time stamps and organizing images based on the events of the day, which in a wedding is usually bridal portraits, ceremony, family groupings, bride and groom portraits and party shots. The software also notes tags and ratings made after import into the Adobe Lightroom software.)
In the podcast, Funderburg also talks about how he made the transition from an english teacher in Japan to a software mogul in Portland, and the growth of the local tech scene, which is attracting refugees from Seattle and San Francisco looking for cheaper real estate.
Follow USA TODAY tech columnist and #TalkingTech host Jefferson Graham on Twitter, @jeffersongraham.Â