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In this course, photographer and author Ben Long explores the art and the craft of creating beautiful, archival-quality inkjet prints. The course looks at the anatomy of a print job: how a printer works, how to adjust and prepare your image to get the best results, and what happens to your photo in its journey from pixels to paper.
After a discussion of how to choose a printer, the course covers the process of preparing both black and white and color images using Adobe Photoshop. Ben describes how to take images from looking good onscreen to being properly adjusted for best results on paper, covering details such as sizing, sharpening, and color management.
With photographer and master framer Konrad Eek, Ben explores the creative decisions that photographers should address before printing. What size print? How does print size relate to the message of the photo and to the space where the photo will be displayed? What kinds of paper choices do you have, and how does your photo's content relate to the paper you choose?
The course also describes how to properly evaluate a print and how to handle common challenges that crop up during the printing process.
So all inkjet printers are going to do color, but if you want the option to do black and white, you've got to be really careful about what you buy. The tricky thing about black and white, and what this printer does really well, is that black and white can come out of the printer not actually looking truly neutral. We've been talking a lot about how you've got to have real black and you've got to have real white. You also want gray that's actually gray. And I don't know if you saw earlier, because of the lighting that we had in here, these black-and-white prints actually look kind of green. We've now gotten the lights fixed so that they do on truly neutral.
Not every printer can do this, and what I mean by truly neutral is this gray right here really does look gray. It doesn't have a slight green or magenta cast. It doesn't look too warm. It doesn't look too cool. That's a really hard thing to pull off. We didn't have inkjet printing technology that can do that until about 10 years ago, maybe eight or 10 years ago. So I think by this point you guys are really into black-and-white printing; everybody has been doing a little bit of it. So that's another critical consideration when you are printer shopping is you want to get a printer that can do a truly neutral black-and-white print. And again, that's a function of the ink set that's in here.
We've got three different blacks to work with, so they can get all these fine shades of gray, and they done a very meticulous job of making sure that when the black-and-white print comes out it doesn't shift tone as you move from one type of light to another. It also doesn't bronze, which means that different areas don't take on this kind of bronze look as you shift it around in light. When printing on glossy paper with this printer we don't get something called gloss differential, which means that black areas have a different level of glossiness than other areas. So if you're serious about black and white, before you buy any particular printer you want to look up reviews and things like that and see if the printer is actually good at black-and-white output. Any questions?
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