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You know there is still something really special about the photographic artifact, the final print. So much of our work in the digital context is on LCD screens or monitors, but there is something special when you actually have that print in your hand. It's almost as if it completes a photograph. Now one of the things that you need to do, if you want to create better prints, is experiment. What that could good look like is simply trimming the edge off of an image that you can see it in itself, or other times of course, what you might want to do is leave lots of negative space.
That will affect how you see color and tone and also how you see the overall composition of an image. Now one of the things that's most important is that you create bad prints, that you experiment, that you treat a file one way in Photoshop and then print it out and see which looks best. You know a lot of times we think we have to get it right the first time, but no one really does. You have to kind of treat your print as a rough draft, which will then guide you to create that final image. Another thing that I noticed that happens to a lot of photographers is that they only use one or two paper types.
This is so limiting. It only allows them to interpret their images one way. There are so many other possibilities. Here are a few different papers that I enjoy. One of my favorites is this velvet fine art paper. It has a lot of texture. Of course, I like other types of matte papers as well, and then two other of my favorites are Hot Pressed Bright, a really bright vivid white. it creates such strong colors. I have to say my all time favorite right now is this Exhibition Fiber paper. Now the point here isn't that you need to use these particular paper types, but rather, the point is that you need to experiment.
There is something about printing that requires intense experimentation. Now the last thing you have to keep in mind is that what happens to a lot of us is that we make these really interesting prints, but then they stay in the box. You need to get your work out there. One simple way to do that is to simply set an image in the print tray. I love to do that, kind of live with an image. Walk by it. After you have walked by an image four or five times, you will notice something different. Like with this image, I noticed, you know what, it's a little bit too red.
Now I couldn't have come to that conclusion without living with the image, without tacking it up somewhere in my studio, or in my workspace. So if you want to get good at printing, experiment. Experiment with the way that you print images, experiment with your paper types and experiment with how you display the photographs. I think that you'll discover by spending time on these different areas, it will help you create even more compelling and interesting photographs.
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