First prints ...

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
I've seen it discussed, but prints are the end product for so few people using digital cameras that once the answer becomes apparent - that 10 or 12 is quite sufficient, and for web purposes 5 is probably overkill - the conversation moves on quickly.
The camera itself and something called "image quality" become the end rather than the image.

But to be honest this feels like we're going well off tangent for this thread. It's a subject that deserves one of it's own
 

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
HeatherTheVet said:
I also found that the same print in 2 different sizes came back in 2 different shades. It was B/W so easy to spot, one has a green cast to it. Very odd.
Remember that unless you use a specialist printer, all your photos are printed using a colour process. Odd tints will happen from time to time but they should pick that up in their qc checks really. Might be worth a brief moan to them to see if they'll reprint it for you?
 

grebeman

Old Codgers Group
Remember that unless you use a specialist printer, all your photos are printed using a colour process. Odd tints will happen from time to time
The same is sadly true of modern ink jet printers, my old Epson 790 (which I ruined attempting to use third party inks) was capable of being set to black ink only and 2880 dpi, producing excellent black and white prints which, when I showed them to Adrian Davies, probably back in 2005/6 prompted him to ask me if I'd used Lyson inks. My modern Epson R800 insists on using all the colours to make a greyscale print, and does a poor job of it. For black and white I've found that I can set my Epson D88 to print black ink only, but it needs to be set to matte paper, it won't do it on glossy, nor does it give any indication of the dpi, although with best photo selected it's presumably as high as it will go, whatever that is. I've read that the Epson R2880 does a very good job of printing black and white and has specialist settings built into it's software. However that's an A3 printer and over £500, paradoxically it's inks cost much less than those used by the R800, although they are of a different formulation.

Barrie
 
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pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
Over the next week or so I'm going to have a try at printing some digital images on acetate and then contacting them in the darkroom ... however, as I have only a little HP1000 deskjet (used mostly for writing snotty letters to my landlords), it'll be interesting to see what the results are like ... probably better for my more abstract stuff :)
 

Pelao

All-Pro
Jul 11, 2010
Ontario, Canada
Stephen
I've always liked how you present your images Barrie, and have been meaning to ask you (for about two years!) how many pixels wide you make that border ... I know how to do it (at a push I can just about drive Gimp) but I so wish there was an option to finish an image with a border in LR ...
Hi
There are a bunch of different plugins or separate cheap apps that can add borders. But if you want a simple way to put a border in LR, go to the print module, and choose the option for a border, and then print to jpeg. This is what you would use if you we're sending the photo off to a print service. You can then post the jpeg online etc.
 
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pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
Thanks Pelao, I'd managed to work that out as well after I fixed it up with ImageMagick :)

Though so far as I can see there is much less control over the way the "print jpeg" is generated than through the full Export process. It doesn't preserve keywords (which get turned into tags when uploading to Flickr. ) and other metadata, for instance.
 

Gary

All-Pro
Aug 19, 2012
Southern California
Gary Ayala
I print. I used to print in a wet darkroom, now in my home office with my Canon 9500. I used to share printed images with other photographers. Little get togethers, snacks, coffee and lots of photo talk. I soon realized the quality of my home prints were just a bit superior to the bog custom Costco, Walmart and Mpix.

Just like the wet darkroom, where I went through thousands of 8x10's as a neophyte learning the craft of photography. I had a similar learning curve with digital printing, but with the compter guiding my eye and hand there is much less waste.

I love printing and do not print enough. I find that printing ... holding an 8x10 or 13x19 completes the photographic experience and cycle for me. (And it makes for a very special one-of-a-kind gift, especially if you self-matte and frame.) It just seems seeing a print with the light reflecting off the surface, is more powerful and realistic than seeing an image as a light source (I do admit that a monitor viewed image does project a je ne sais quoi, but like a movie, it doesn't seem real.)

My point is that similar to image capturing, self-printing will take a bit of time and effort to master, the the trade-off (at least for me) is a completion and closure of the photographic experience.

Additionally, I print via a Desk Top Publishing program. And as I crop according to what I feel is a best display of the image, the DTP program allows for complete border manipulation. Typically, I use multiple borders on the same print. From the inside out I have the images, then a quarter inch black border, a thin one-eighth inch white border, then another black border making up any cropping differences in image to edge of paper. So I make extensive use of wide and thin borders to fill in the edge gaps of ... say ... a square print. This is usually done with custom mattes.

Gary
 

Pelao

All-Pro
Jul 11, 2010
Ontario, Canada
Stephen
Thanks Pelao, I'd managed to work that out as well after I fixed it up with ImageMagick :)

Though so far as I can see there is much less control over the way the "print jpeg" is generated than through the full Export process. It doesn't preserve keywords (which get turned into tags when uploading to Flickr. ) and other metadata, for instance.
Yeah, I think the keywords are specific to LR. For the metadata there are choices in the export dialogue, but as I don't use Flickr I am not sure how they are carried through - although they do work for a jpeg posted elsewhere.
 

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
I think keywords are IPTC extensions for image data and aren't specific to LR, although LR certainly uses them of course
 

EasyEd

Regular
Dec 22, 2010
Hey All,

...it might be really helpful to have further reflections and advice from others who are either venturing into print for the first time, or from those who have been printing from digital files a while and can offer suggestions about selection and PP; most especially relating to getting prints done by labs rather than at home.

I'm particularly interested in printing monochromes, and I'll bet selection and prep are different for colour. Would it be worth having two different threads?
So I thought it a pretty open thread. That said I've no interest in hijacking any thread.

To me printing is a process that begins with your brain's interpretation of the photons hitting your eye and ends on - we'll assume - a piece of paper. So I will ignore the eye to sensor piece although it is critical even if only from the perspective of clouding your assessment of what you get on paper and go from there. So what image am I going to print? Some considerations include: What are the strengths and weaknesses of the image (purpose, composition, dynamic range, tonality, bokeh, etc) and the implications of the way it was captured relative to print appearance? Each of these could be a thread in and of itself. Monochrome or colour? What size? Do megapixels matter here? What medium to print on? What about presentation details? Matte colour, border, frames, etc Do it myself or lab? More threads in and of themselves.

Of the four images presented at the beginning of this thread I think the first is by far and away the strongest and I really like it. The way it is presented is really good and I bet it looks really good on paper although I would have "dodged" that white rock a bit more. The other 3 either don't appeal/speak to me or are confusing like the brickwork/beam/mast combo on the left in the last. Strong lens based pattern bokeh that is strong in one part of an image and not "balanced" elsewhere - for me - usually doesn't work so I'm not surprised at the print reaction. You have leaves showing one of black and white's strengths - texture - coupled with relatively speaking bright distracting bokeh - which should we look at? I'm wondering if "dodging" the bokeh would have worked? I really don't "get" reynard at all but the one comment I would make is are the teeth white enough?

I took a quick look around and from this source are a few "tips" for B&W Photos which I cut and pasted here. Seven Elements That Help Make A Great Black & White Photograph « Photofocus

1. Great B&W images tend to be simple, with their main components isolated and easy to identify.

2. Great B&W images tend to have depth and dimension – usually accomplished by creating visual layers that extend from the foreground to the background and all points in between.

3. Great B&W images rely on shape and/or form to make up the image. Hue and color distractions are gone. Only the shapes or forms made up by objects remain and can be arranged in such a manner that they draw the eye into or out of the photograph at the appropriate time and place.

4. Great B&W images tend to exploit contrast. The difference between the whitest white and the blackest black is the highest contrast point in the picture and this can be used to draw the viewer’s eye. Good contrast can help add depth and dimension as well.

5. Great B&W images rely on tone and texture to take the place of color and hue. This can be accomplished in many ways. Texture for instance can be enhanced with side lighting. Sometimes high ISOs are used to emulate film grain for more texture.

6. Great B&W images often rely on patterns to draw the eye into the subject of the photo. It helps form shapes and designate important elements in any B&W scene.

7. Great B&W images tend to minimize the background and accentuate the foreground. While this is not always true, if you look at the bulk of the work of some of the great old-time B&W masters, you’ll find this technique used in many of their images, particularly portraits.
Black and white photos are very very different "critters" from colour and the "old masters" spent a lot of time controlling print development and "dodging and burning" to enhance various features of their photos. Given that a lab will reasonably faithfully reproduce what you send them it comes back to the basics and what you do in post. I have often seen "it didn't work in colour" but I converted it to black and white and "it works". I'm not at all sure that what is said is right. I think often the novelty of looking at the image in black and white is what "works" and only with time and experience do you see the "flaws". I consider the 3 month course I took which was all black and white including film development and printing at University to be some of the best instruction I have ever had particularly with respect to black and white.

I apologise if I have been overly critical - I'm not trying to be.

-Ed-
 

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
This is a very old thread and I started it to present my own images and experience, and to suggest that perhaps the community would benefit from a couple of threads about "how to print". The idea obviously didn't catch on as it's remained dormant until Barrie woke it up again!

I still think it would be a good idea to have a more active "Printing" subforum.

As for your responses to my particular images, Ed ... I'm don't feel the need for you to apologise for being critical (I am a much harsher critic of my own photos than anyone else could be) ... but also please bear in mind that I didn't post them with an invitation for others to critique them (we do have a "Photo Critique" subforum for that, though it doesn't get much used)
 

EasyEd

Regular
Dec 22, 2010
Hey All,

My apologies. To me the gist is that when you have somebody print something of yours and it comes back and you don't like it - how do you really know if what you didn't like was something to do with the printing process or presentation or did the fact that it is now a print suddenly "bring out" other weaknesses in the image? The old masters controlled the whole process in an interactive way - assuming they developed and printed their own work. That way they could "fix" stuff as they went. Now if I send an image to be printed I need to be as absolutely certain of the strengths and weaknesses of my images before printing otherwise I could unfairly "shift blame" if i don't like what I get back. I saw your comments on the images and how they looked printed but immediately it occurred to me - were there other reasons you didn't like how they looked printed aside from what you mentioned. To me that suggested indicating what other "issues" I saw for your consideration. Again I apologise but stand by the idea that everything comes together in the print and that it can be very difficult to separate effects.

I'll return to keeping my mouth shut.

-Ed-
 

EasyEd

Regular
Dec 22, 2010
Hey All,

OK no prob. I do think discussion of printing somehow someway would be good.

-Ed-
 

grebeman

Old Codgers Group
Just to update a previous post of mine. I've been experimenting with my Epson R800 printer trying to print better black and white images using the full colour set of inks. I've found that I get little or no colour cast on a black and white print by dialling in -10 for both magenta and cyan. With my slightly defective colour vision I do have some problem in identifying colour casts, but those settings seem to produce black and white prints that match those I get from my simpler Epson D88 printer using a black ink only setting (black ink only can only be set on it when matte paper is selected).

Barrie
 

Pelao

All-Pro
Jul 11, 2010
Ontario, Canada
Stephen
Just to update a previous post of mine. I've been experimenting with my Epson R800 printer trying to print better black and white images using the full colour set of inks. I've found that I get little or no colour cast on a black and white print by dialling in -10 for both magenta and cyan. With my slightly defective colour vision I do have some problem in identifying colour casts, but those settings seem to produce black and white prints that match those I get from my simpler Epson D88 printer using a black ink only setting (black ink only can only be set on it when matte paper is selected).

Barrie
I haven't used my 800 in a while. Great printer. What paper and profiles are you using?
 

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