The Photo Society Flash Print Sale Benefits Direct Relief

The Photo Society (with support from EPSON America) is launching a sale of photographic prints to help heath care workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Limited (20 print) quantities from 35 photographers, donated by The Photo Society (TPS) members, are available. Fifty percent of the profits will be donated to Direct Relief — an organization that is working overtime to supply protective gear and critical care medications to COVID-19 health care workers worldwide. The other portion will go to photographers who depend on traveling for income and have been sheltered in place. The 501c6 non-profit, Photo Society, is donating the expenses of the sale to Direct Relief and not realizing any profit from this flash sale.

Our print sale site is: https://www.thephotosocietyprints.org.

Most people expect photos to exist on their phones or in digital code somewhere, but prints are much more permanent and offer a different approach for a society awash in a daily bombardment of electrons.

In photography, the only thing that is archival is something you can hold. The print will be king when the filetype JPEG doesn’t exist anymore. 
So, we’ve printed a few images for you that are available inexpensively and will be shown on @thephotosociety, @epsonprophotography and TPS member’s social media throughout the months of May and June. 

It’s good to have some things in your life that are archival… objects that will last.  My Master’s project is on an Apple IIe floppy disk (back when this storage medium was actually floppy). I could maybe recover my project digitally with a lot of effort, but I rely on the print copies I kept from 30 years ago… they work just fine.

In a broader sense, even though we are still reading the kind of books you can hold, many other (formerly archival) areas of our lives are purely digital. Prints and words on paper are not machine dependent and are under-utilized in our society. This societal  reliance on machine-dependent electrons is at the peril of your grandchildren ever understanding what your life looked like. 

Kodak started this loss of history with their color negative films that were not permanent. This continues with digital photographs, which are also not permanent unless you print them. Anything that is machine dependent needs the machine that was built for these documents for you to ever be able to view it. Where is your computer from 20 years ago? Can you still read your Compuserve emails that had your photo attachments? Compuserve’s machines don’t exist anymore.

Epson is our corporate sponsor for this sale and they’ve printed these photographs on Legacy Platine with archival Epson inks. These prints should last 200 years on the wall according to Wilhelm Research and will last virtually forever if you put them in a drawer or filing cabinet.
Many thanks to Dan Steinhardt (Dano) at EPSON and Mac Holbert at the Art Authority who optimized all the files for these prints. 
If you are looking for a way to benefit medical worker heroes and the photographers that entertain and inform you for free on instagram… then it’s just a hundred bucks and you get an archival print for your benevolence.
Thanks to everyone who participated and to all of you who are purchasing these prints.

About the author

RANDY OLSON’s 27 National Geographic magazine projects have taken him to many countries in Africa, the Siberian Arctic, Abu Dhabi, American Samoa, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Dubai, Guyana, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kamchatka, Newfoundland, Pakistan, Palmyra, Republic of Georgia, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, and the South Pacific.
National Geographic Society published a book of his work in their Masters of Photography series in January 2011. Olson was the 2003 Magazine Photographer of the Year in the Pictures of the Year International (POYi) competition, and was also awarded POYi’s 1992 Newspaper Photographer of the Year—one of only two photographers to win in both media in the largest photojournalism contest operating continuously since World War II. While working at The Pittsburgh Press, Olson received an Alicia Patterson Fellowship to support a seven-year project documenting a family with AIDS, and a Robert F. Kennedy Award for his story on problems with Section 8 housing. He was also awarded the Nikon Sabbatical and a grant from the National Archives to save the Pictures of the Year collection.
Melissa Farlow and Randy Olson are photojournalists in the documentary tradition. Their work has taken them to 50 countries over the past 20 years. Even though they are published in LIFE, GEO, Smithsonian and other magazines, they have primarily worked on 50 projects for the National Geographic Society. They normally work individually, but have co-produced National Geographic magazine stories on northern California, American national parks, and the Alps. They photographed the southern United States for a book by Collins Publishing and have collaborated on over 70 books by various publishers.