The New Norm
There's no great revelation in the following comment, but during my recent trip to China I reviewed seven portfolios, six of which were shown to me in a digital format using one device or another — iPad, laptop, and even a Samsung Galaxy phone. The one portfolio in which I saw prints consisted of a behemoth two-volume book set measuring 28 x 32", each volume containing forty 20 x 24" platinum palladium prints dry mounted into these giant handmade artists books.
What's fascinating about these seven portfolios was the difference in focus of the conversation about each. With the six digital presentations, the comments from the photographer were entirely about the image content and the project. In the one presentation involving physical prints, the entire conversation was about the process of making the platinum/palladium prints, the giant artist's book, and the physicality of the presentation. There were no comments about the content. In fact, when I tried to bring up the topic of the image content the presenter quickly refocused the conversation back to the physicality of the books themselves.
I was both surprised and amused that the wiz-bang, cutting edge technology for viewing images was so transparent in our conversations, and the old-fashioned paper and molecules was the only focus of conversation with that portfolio. I would have expected just the opposite. I took this as an indication how far we've come in the acceptance of digital image viewing that it wasn't worth a single moment of attention.