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Thread: How Often Do You Do It?

  1. #1
    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    How Often Do You Do It?

    Make prints that is.

    I have a confession to make. In spite of the fact that I have a wonderful printer (Epson 3800), I rarely make prints. In the old days, before my photographic experience was lit by the soft glow of an LCD panel, the natural conclusion in a photographic expedition was a print. Now, I seem content to process the file and simply catalog it in Lightroom, occasionally sharing it electronically with friends or in forums, or more rarely to include it as a file in one of my design projects.

    So I'm curious about how others view printing and how often you make prints of your final images. Do you save them up and make prints in batches? Or do you print each worthy image as a natural part of your workflow? Are you displaying your prints? Framing and matting them?

    Long ago I was employed as a custom B&W printer for many years and have probably made over 10,000 paper prints by conventional darkroom methods. But since returning to photography a little over a year ago, I have produced less than 25 prints. I really want to break through what seems to be a mental block of some kind.

    I'd enjoy hearing about your experience with printing in the digital age.

    Thanks!
    Tim

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    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Re: How Often Do You Do It?

    I print in batches. I do it; every chance I get :-)
    I may print (various sizes) once every two months. I keep in "print" every image that I put on my online gallery (thousands stay on the computer) and if its special, I'll have it framed. I matt and clear bag the unframed prints and store them in a flat file. Most of them I'll rotate and frame and hang in my house the special ones I enter into local shows and contests.

    I print with a Canon ipf 5000 and use about four types of paper. I have never had a clogged head with this printer or any other problem printing intermediately.
    Last edited by mwalker; 21st March 2008 at 05:51.
    Mike

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    Re: How Often Do You Do It?

    I have two different modes for what I do. For my photo biz work, I am printing several times a week, sometimes 2-3 times per day to get print orders out and shipped to clients. So in that sense, I print quite a bit. For my personal/artistic stuff, I do print a lot less, but I force myself to make a couple prints a week. Couple of reasons....I have found that the print itself helps a lot with my online screen work. Although I can see everything on the large monitors, I find that I do not always get the size or crop looking the most pleasing, despite all the other printing I do. I had one shot of a field of Texas Bluebonnets that I really liked. I made an 8x10, then and 11x14, then a 13x19....was not "thrilled" with any. Went to a 16x20, and still did not get the feeling. I finally made a 24x36 of the thing and that is when it "hit". I finally got the feeling that I was trying to convey....as though you were standing right there in the field of flowers. (I shot it with a 1DsMkII and a Sigma 12-24 lens at 12mm, so the wide effect was really part of the feeling.)

    I personally think printing is an important part of the entire process, and lately, I do find myself making more "quick prints" of things that I shoot for pleasure. I have stacks and books of them laying all over, and when folks come by, they just love leafing through my "cast offs" as I call them. They get to see the "creative process" as snapshots, complete with lousy crops, missed color, over/under sharpening, etc.. Then when they see the "final" rendering, they really start to understand what I was working for.

    There is nothing more fun than holding a great looking print in hand for me. That is the objective, as far as I am concerned. Screen views and all are wonderful, real prints are still the most enjoyable for me.

    All "final" versions of anything get saved to a special "print" folder structure. Partly because I use a RIP and find it easiest to get to things that way, and partly because I want to have those finals to reprint them should I need to.

    LJ

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: How Often Do You Do It?

    Mike and LJL: Thanks for sharing that. It's exactly the kind of thing I need to hear to get my motor running. And I agree that having a print as an end result is the perfect closure.

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    Re: How Often Do You Do It?

    Tim,
    I also think it worthwhile to print onto different papers also, mainly to see how things actually look and to test textures and stuff. The polished old car you had posted an image of is a good example. I would probably do the sepia on a matte paper or Epson Ultrasmooth, simply because that would suit it. However, I would do the color on something like Lexjet Fiber Elite Glossy or Pictorico High Gloss film, as the chrome and details would just jump, plus there would be a feeling of depth to things that is hard to capture.

    That kind of stuff is really hard to "see" on the monitor. You can softproof and all, but that does not deliver the feel of the paper or other media, only the proper color balance.

    LJ

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: How Often Do You Do It?

    I hear you on the paper thing LJ. There's a stunning variety available. So far, I've only played with two types; Epson Ultrasmooth Fine Art, and Epson Exhibition Fiber. The UFA needs a certain image type to avoid going flat (at least for me) but I love the feel of it. The EF is really up my street as they say since it reminds me so much of the F surface papers of my darkroom days.

    Just this morning I decided to get past my reluctance to print and made a print of the car you mentioned (straight B&W without the tone) on the Exhibition Fiber and that paper is killer!

    Making prints is yet another area of digital photography that requires a little study, trial and error, and a lot of patience. The good news is, it's now possible to do it with the lights on!

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    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: How Often Do You Do It?

    All the Time..... I mean NEVER... I never Print / did that in High School....oh soooo long ago
    I suppose I'm lazy and obviously not a working photo professional so I'm always off to 'IMAGINATION' OR 'DUGGAL' in NYC
    Cheers ! Helen
    Last edited by helenhill; 21st March 2008 at 14:19.

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    Re: How Often Do You Do It?

    I do not consider any image of mine acceptable unless it will print out well. I print everything that I think is of merit. The print is the final 'proof' for me. It is very easy to get a luminous B/W back lit photo up on screen, but a good print is much more difficult.

    I must advise though that I am 60 yrs old, so....but, and this is a big but, I will continue to have a shoe box full of prints around for easy perusal and even some kind of permanence... for what they are worth.

    Bernard

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