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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.
Ben: All right, Amber. It's the moment of truth. The prints are out of the printer. Amber: Yes! Ben: Let's see what happened. Ben: So, starting with this one. What do you see? Amber: It look so much brighter. It's so much slow clearer. I can see all the way details in the wood and everything. Ben: Cool! Yeah, it's interesting. We're getting two things. We're getting improved detail. There's also just--do you feel like there's a difference in terms of the focus of your eye? Amber: Yes. Ben: There's a--we've got a big brighter area, and that's interesting because you defined Ben: that area in the original edits with the vignettes that you did. Amber: Yes.
Ben: But there's not enough contrast in here for it to really pop out the way it is here. As you look at it, do you see anything else that you might think you want to experiment with? It's okay if you don't. Amber: Not immediately, but maybe I'd bring a little more back into the fingernail or... Ben: More highlight on, or more detail there. Amber: More detail there, maybe more highlight on the fingers though, yeah. Ben: One thing that I wonder about: now that I can see white, now that I can see how Ben: much texture there is to be had, I wonder, could the cloth go. Amber: Yes. Ben: A little more contrasty. Now we don't want to go too much; we don't want it to be unreal-looking, but that might be something to play with.
I think it looks great. All right and finally, Haley, looking through the window. What do you think? Amber: I like that. Yes. Ben: It seems a little more subtle. Ben: But we have--this again is serving your vignetting a little better than before. We've still got a nice pool of light in here that was getting a little lost in there. And again, overall, this image was predominately gray, and now it's got a little more contrast. As I said before, you were so close to this; you were off just by a few percentage points, and that's going to become easier as you do, as you print a lot more.
You're going to learn to look at a print and go, I think that's off by 1% or 2%. You're going to be able to tell the difference between really a dark black and just a dark gray. I think another thing that you may start finding as you edit more is you are going to learn more about how your screen corresponds to a print. But one of the most important things is just to start thinking of the histogram as a statistical tool. The tones in this image were largely clumped up around the center; in other words, the image Ben: was trending, statistically, to being very gray. Amber: That's right. Ben: And when it comes on a paper, that's sure enough what it is; it is very gray.
So, again, we've got to have the white and the black. But I think you got it here. Well done, and congratulations. I'm looking forward to seeing more prints. Amber: Thank You.
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