This question came in this morning from a TOP reader named Scott Price and I thought I'd throw it up for others to answer:
In my quest to produce a decent body of printed work, I've come across a question that may prompt some interesting discussion among your readership. What do you do with all the test prints you produce while you refine your final "portfolio" image? For example, I use 8.5x11 sheets for proofs before I take the plunge and commit about $10 in ink and paper for an attempt to print a 13x19 for my portfolio. As a result, I have some very nice 8.5x11 prints of images from my portfolio that I keep, but don't really have any specific plans to use. In some cases, I have multiple versions of the same image due to minor tweaks I've made to exposure or other minor adjustments.
One thought was to take the 8.5x11 versions that were identical to the 13x19 portfolio prints, put them in a binder and use this as a "mini-portfolio" that is more portable and easier to show to friends and family. The problem with this idea is that I actually really just want to show-off the larger versions to my friends and family.
I've ruled out distributing the "draft" test prints that I subsequently edited, because I wouldn't want to send out prints that didn't represent my very best efforts. That said, it seems somehow wasteful to let these prints pile up in a box somewhere, never to see the light of day.
I'm not even sure that recycling is even an option, given the cocktail of chemicals and additives that go into modern fine art papers, but I could be mistaken in this understanding.
So, my question to you (and the TOP readership at large) is, "What do you do with your test prints?"
Thanks in advance for any thoughts!
(I know what my answer is, but I'll hold off for now so as not to "steer" any discussion.)
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Featured Comments from:
Zafar Kazmi: "I don't usually throw away my prints, so I am developing a big stack of 8.5 x 11's. However, on rare occasions, something is so bad that I throw it to recycling. I recently printed a 12x12 which I did not like and left by recycle bin in my office to be recycled. A couple of days later the print resurfaced on the wall of another office in my suite, where it has been taped for the last few weeks. I don't know whether to laugh or cry about this but I have started using the shredder now."