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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.
My print is done, its come rolling out of the printer, and it looks pretty good. Before I show it to you, though, I want to take a look at this. This is a print of the image that the student gave me. So this is the original image that I got this is the image that had been edited up to the point where it looked good on screen. And it's a good print, it's a great shot obviously. There is a problem with the print though as we looked at it. It's just a little too blue, it's a subtle thing. The whites aren't as white as they could be. That's what I've got here on my screen. And as you'll recall we made one edit which was to add an adjustment layer that warmed it up, not adding warmth, but getting the whites back to where they need to be, and when I printed that, I got this image right here. So I'm hoping these shows up on camera.
You can see the before and after. And my upper image, though it looked right on screen, when it printed, it just wasn't really quite there. The whites weren't where they really needed to be, and that was affecting her hair, the clouds in the sky as well as her skin tones. And it was a very simple levels adjustment to just shift that extra blue back out and get the colors back to where they need to be. Color printing then is not that much different from black and white printing. Obviously, there are big color changes that you can make but the really critical little adjustments are going to be about ensuring that black and white are where they need to and your neutral tones or neutral, so that you don't have a color cast.
Remember your eye sometimes works against you in this regard. In this case, when you're looking at it on screen your eye might be correcting that cast and hiding from you the fact that color is a little off. So you need to be sure to work by the numbers. Now, this final print that I got, this one that I think looks really nice, what does it look like compared to my screen? Well, if I hold it up here, it's close but it's really not an exact match. I'm getting more yellow here than I am here. So am I disappointed by that? No not really.
I, I feel like a print that I got is good. I like the way this looks. But if I really wanted to be able to proof the image on screen, I would have to take an entirely different course of action, and that's what we are going to look at in the next chapter.
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