Tangible photographs and their ever-lasting bond with memories: The great resurgence of photo-printing culture

On this World Photography Day, as we celebrate photography as a timeless art, let us also acknowledge the power of a printed photograph in connecting the present with the past.

Tangible photographs and their ever-lasting bond with memories: The great resurgence of photo-printing culture
Even in today’s digital age, printed photos are useful for both personal and commercial uses. (Photo source: Pixabay)

By Manabu Yamazaki, 

Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory”

World Photography Day: Nostalgia is a powerful feeling which not only makes people revisit meaningful life events but also helps one realize the importance of past experiences and moments. And what better than old photographs to be the calling card of nostalgic reverie. On this World Photography Day, as we celebrate photography as a timeless art, let us also acknowledge the power of a printed photograph in connecting the present with the past. Many of us find our safe space in our cherished photographs, which encapsulates memories worth a lifetime, memories that make us long for the past, help us reflect on and even serve as motivating factors to act upon in the present.

Whether it is an old black and white photo album from our grandparent’s generation, or our parents’ cherished wedding album, the act of physically holding photographs captured years ago fills our heart with a sea of emotions. It is as if we are transported back in time, living those moments not in person but in spirit.

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The Covid-19 pandemic was a black swan event indeed, one that none of us saw coming. It brought with it a desire to relive ‘good old days’ where more and more people turned to old photographs to find comfort. As we stayed indoors with our family members, it also made us realise the importance of family connection and cherishing the precious moments, by capturing and framing them. What was so deeply interesting was how many artists captured the beauty of the indoors, emotions of their family members and were pushed to explore themes and subjects never photographed before.

It is safe to say that even in the most abominable situations, art finds a unique way to blossom. The massive surge in home printing and photo printing can most definitely be attributed to the growing awareness of people realising the significance of tangible photographs. This heightened awareness paired with the ease and advancement of technology makes photo printing an eternal phenomenon that has stood the test of time.

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While through vlogging cameras, people capture their everyday lives and then upload pictures instantly on social media, this is still limited only to a screen. It is the art of photo printing that then enables one to print those photographs at the tap of a button and thereby lock those memories forever. From a purely technological point of view, there are several enabling factors that have contributed to the seamlessness and widespread love for the art of photo printing.

A new work culture; a newer outlook

As the pandemic paved the way for Work from Home and Learn from Home culture, inkjet printers saw an increased usage amongst the home segment, especially working professionals, students, and creative entrepreneurs. This has in turn led to a revival of photo printing with people picking it up as a hobby while spending more time at home, making printers a must have accessory for the home segment. High-speed, cloud and Wi-Fi enabled ink tank printers are allowing users to initiate printing directly from their laptops and smartphone devices without any hindrances. Whether one is creating professional quality studio prints to display in their showroom, or photo printing to keep children entertained with creative projects, printers are equipped with the latest technologies to offer seamless printing solutions.

For the modern era, there is even more modern technology

The rapid paced life of today’s day and age highly demands comfort and convenience for people, which is certainly fulfilled by the flamboyance of technology in this new age. One can explore endless creative possibilities like never before owing to robust input to output photography solutions. This new outlook of developing the most quality driven photo-prints have been made possible with the advantage of fast print speeds, network connectivity, colour accuracy and the support of a wide variety of media types.

The arrival of digital mirrorless cameras has made photography mainstream and with the rise of avant-garde technology, we are capturing even higher quality images. In order to produce more edgy content, Artificial Intelligence too is a phenomenon being tested across the industry along with the growing demand for virtual and 3D imagery that is influencing vendors to install the latest technologies.

Cherish memories in the most creative way possible

Even in today’s digital age, printed photos are useful for both personal and commercial uses. Modern day photo printers enable not only the printing of great quality pictures, but they also transform selfies, portraits, and other images into magnificent physical photos. Portable printers are usually supported with apps through which one can add filters, create collage prints, and even add QR codes which can link to websites and be used as marketing material. So, while one can celebrate moments by taking out instant prints, they can also create a livelihood by honing their passion for the art of photo printing.

To enable such creative outputs, there must be a constant evolution of technology. We have noticed that there is now a demand not only for new technology but also products that cater to the unique demands of a particular market, the need for customization. Keeping the same in mind, at Canon we introduced the unique six colour ink tank printers specifically to cater to the diversity of the Indian market.

Thus, while technology has brought around a gambit of options to communicate and share memories, tangible photographs will always rank high as a means of holding onto special times. The unfortunate reality of life is that it passes by way too quickly and we often don’t realize it before it becomes a distant memory. Hence, it’s hard to imagine a world without photographs as they are our only reminders of the good times, of the people we love and the people we miss. A printer photograph will forever serve as our guiding light and technology will always be the enabler to turn that light into a definite print.

(The author is 
President & CEO, Canon India. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)

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