In his book, Letting Go of the Camera, Brooks Jensen talks of the benefits of taking the time to make 100 prints as part of a single project. Through taking this approach himself Jensen realised a number of learnings which he felt dramatically improved his skills as a photographer. His learnings included:
My own observations include the recognition that some images look better on the display than in print and vice versa.
Over the years I have come to sense that a simple linear ranking system (e.g., number of stars) while helpful, is lacking in expression. Through this work I hope to clarify my thoughts on the limitations of such methods. I am formulating a theory that the issue is I often use just one dimension of measurement, while in reality several dimensions are required. For example, a dimension could correspond to some particular outcome of a photograph, such as answering questions like: should this be included in a book; published to a web site; or whether it should be printed. A linear ranking system for each of these dimensions would offer some measure of relative merit. Higher ranked photographs are more likely to exceed the threshold for a particular outcome. Keep in mind, the need for linear ranking is only necessary to manage scale; having to work through hundreds of photographs and select just a few. A linear ranking system offers an iterative approach.
The first step, is to identify the 100 images to be printed. Then I will follow through 1 print at a time. Of course, when Jensen talks about printing he was thinking of the darkroom. I'll be working with the printer.