Shoot to print

Recently I had the opportunity of meeting the great photographer and master printmaker, Steven Friedman. Steven graciously showed me his studio and some of his spectacular prints. We had a very interesting conversation about photography and printing in particular. Steven shared with me the concept of “shoot to print” which I found absolutely fascinating. 

Most of us shoot imagery which ends up on our computers and is mostly shared in digital form. Only later do we decide to print some of our work. In Steven’s case, the entire process of capturing the image, from start to finish, is geared toward printing. In other words, every decision, technical or artistic, that is made during the capture process is aimed at the final print. Even though some post-processing and print preparations are involved, from the start Steven thinks in terms of the print. 

This print-centered philosophy is on full display in his massive fine art prints. The details, tonality and craftmanship are truly impressive.  

In terms of gear, Steven explained why he chose to work with the Phase One system and what is so unique about the system that helps him to produce such remarkable prints.

Over the course of my career I have met many great photographers but few of them are master printers. In fact, many outsource printing at a certain level, including me. 

The great news is that Steven has agreed to write for the Medium Format Magazine and share some of his stories and techniques. Stay tuned for more information. 

Make sure to follow Steven on his Instagram account. 

Do you print yourself? On the capture level, do you ever apply the concept of “shoot for print”? The idea is definitely worth exploring.

Today let me share with you some imagery captured during the recent Visual Poet Experience Workshop in Vancouver. The next workshop is coming up this month, this time Ibarionex Perello and I will be leading it together. You can secure your spot here.   

2019 © OLI Publishing Inc. All rights reserved.

4 thoughts on “Shoot to print

  1. I like to print some of my work but the process of printing does not always give the results I would like. Would love to learn more of Steven’s process.

    Love your photos Olaf. As always they are beautiful.

    1. Thank you Maureen. I know what you mean – the same happens to me. Printing is such an unique craft and it requires so much to learn. I am myself in the process of learning and trying to do it better.

  2. Thank you for the inspiring article on Steven! I am fortunate to know his works well as we live close to each other and share the passions of photography- he in colour and digital and me in monochrome and analogue. I like his meticulous approach to his craft yet completely understanding how he will bring it to fruition on his chosen medium. He knows when he sets out on journeys… the images he procures will be presented in the way he saw it. Thank you again for the article!

    1. Hello Susan,

      Thank you so much for your kind note. Indeed, Steven’s work, as well as his dedication to the craft, is truly impressive.

      Warm Regards,


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