There was almost no way to avoid The Great Dress Debate of 2015, even if you had little interaction with the internet yesterday. I couldn't scroll through my Facebook feed for two minutes last night and miss the earth shattering controversy.
The whole argument made me realize something about the world we live in. We access the internet in a thousand different ways on hundreds of different devices. We look at things on 5 inch smartphone screens, 15 inch laptop screens, and many even larger than those. That's the thing, millions of people saw that dress in whatever way their their device interpreted it. This may sound crazy, maybe not even that big of a deal, but it is.
Last year, I bought a Retina Display Macbook Pro and compared to my old Macbook, the cyber world looked more enhanced by leaps and bounds. My photos looked sharper, and colors were more accurate. I quit using my external monitor because my photos just didn't look great on it anymore. A photo I pushed and edited on my new laptop looked blown-out and lacking in detail on all my older screens. Sharpness was lost, colors that weren't there suddenly appeared to have swallowed my entire art piece. Then I realized, most people aren't seeing this photo on their Facebook, Flickr, or Instagram feeds like I am on my fancy new screen.
The regular man doesn't color correct his monitor, or even have a sense for what "accurate colors" even mean in the computer world. No matter if that dress was blue and black or white and gold, someone on a oversaturated, blown-out Samsung Galaxy screen saw it differently than on a less retina-burning iPhone screen.
Bottom line, we can't control how people see our photos in a digital space. We can, however, have more control over our photos in the real world, through printing our work. Sharing photos online is awesome and I certainly do it more often than I print, but we need to remember that the internet should not be the final resting place for our work. The digital space is a great gallery for photography, however online sharing should only be a penultimate step in finishing a piece. Photographers, print your work. You won't be sorry.