When a photograph touches your heart and brings you closer to the hum of life is it worth investing your savings in this piece of artwork? How do you place monetary value on something that is subjective at best?
Over the years of my travels I have collected several very meaningful pieces of artwork that remain very precious to me. I have a watercolor painting from a young Massai man that I met in Tanzania that will always remind me of the red suka caped warriors herding their cattle on the savannahs of the Serengeti.
It is a simple but graphic depiction and it places me back on safari instantly with all its sights and scents. I recall Massai with perfect English and cell phones standing next to their mud packed bomas surrounded by acacia thorn fences and on the lookout for lions.
The print is placed next to two larger companion photographs I composed of lions, one up in an acacia tree, another, sitting in the savannah grasses, like the Lion King. They complete the picture, so to speak, for me. They bring the emotion of the location and experience to my senses.
How do you place value on this feeling that these images give to me?
My walls at home are covered with photographs, paintings, carvings and other pieces of artwork, mostly my own but each of them transports me to different worldly locations that make up the journey of my life.
A petroglyph plied from volcanic ash to a shaft of coconut fiber husk is displayed next to a series of photographic Giclee watercolor prints that depict an ancient Polynesian village. The thatched hut, waterfall and outrigger canoe complete the desired effect of my dreamtime where I may be a sailor from Captain Cooke’s sailing adventures or a Gauguin character lost somewhere in the tropical South Pacific.
The artistic expressions that are created cannot be repeated. We may record something similar but no two days are ever the same. Sunrises are different. Everything changes. Capturing moments in time are singular to that event.
If what attracts you brings you joy, buy it. Its value lies in what it brings to your soul.
When you have that source of inspiration in hand and are ready to purchase your photographic print it is important to be sure that what you are getting is as archival as possible, not only how it is reproduced but also in how it is displayed.
You want to use acid free mounting boards, linen tape and glass that does not touch your print all exhibited in good light but not placed in direct sunlight.
Those emotions that pulled you into the photograph will fade fast if the print breaks down and loses it resilience, disappearing before your eyes in a few short years. You want to relive those moments over the course of your lifetime.
In general fine art photographs are more archival than ever before. I prefer Giclee prints reproduced on a watercolor substrate or canvas. Both have a unique individual look about them with vibrant, saturated color and archival finishes. Standard digital prints will also last longer with today’s technologies. This becomes the choice of the artist’s creative expression and how the completed image is produced.
Displaying fine art photographs or other pieces of artwork in your living or work space is a momentary escape when viewed. Like a brief meditation you can take a series of deep breaths and recharge with positive memories and emotions. You will find that devoting a little savings into such personal pleasures will fill your life with just a little more happiness.
Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2009, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com. You can contact me through this blog or through email at: email@example.com