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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.
Okay, there are some other things that you want to look for. So you gone through, you've decided, I'm going print photos. I've got to have pigment-based inks, so I want to be sure I've got a printer that can do a good black and white. Those are really your main concerns, because image quality should be the main factor that you're using to decide what printer you want to buy. Still, there is bunch of other stuff that you might want to think about, and the first one being size: How big a print do you want to make? We've been making this nice 13 x 19s, and that's because this print has a slightly extra wide carriage. This printer can actually do bigger than 13 x 19 if you stick roll paper on it. It comes with a roll feeder, so you could buy a 13 inch by 100 foot roll of paper, stick it in here, and do long panoramas and things like that.
So having this, this extra size, I think is really nice. Obviously, you don't have to go all the way to 13 x 19, but it's just nice being able to get a little bit beyond letter size. Some other things to consider are other ways of feeding the paper. In this printer, the paper goes in the top here and comes out the front, but if you want to print on really thick paper, card stock, or handmade paper, or stuff you find at the art supply store, it's also got a straight-through path in the back so that the printer doesn't have to go around the corner. So that's a nice--as long as you've got a large fine-art printer, it's nice to able to start working with different media.
You've been getting the print on paper or on wood and glass and things like that; obviously, we can't run those through here. But we can run really thick media, different types of transparencies, and back-print film, and all that kind of stuff can go in through the different feeding options. The last thing is just to think about how you want to hook it up to your computer. If you have a couple of computers or you want to make it available to your network, then you're going to want to think about, does it have wireless in it, or it does it have an Ethernet connection? The 3000, which is the printer that comes after this, actually has WiFi in it, so you can just stick it in a closet somewhere and not have to have it taking up all your desk space and still print to it.
So those are just kind of last of the considerations that you want to weigh in there. They are not as important as the image-quality considerations. But if you find a couple of printers that are roughly the same, but one of them has WiFi, that might be a better way to go. Paper path is pretty critical. Some people get hung up on ink cost, and I wouldn't worry about that. It's really difficult to accurately predict what the price per print is out of a particular paper. Photo printers are always going to be more expensive to print on than a normal inkjet Printer because they have got lots of small cartridges full of ink, and that's just not actually as efficient a way to work.
So you don't want to do a lot of document printing on one of these. It's going to be cheaper in the long run to buy a cheap laser printer, a $100 laser printer for printing your documents, and stick with these for just doing photos. So I wouldn't worry too much about per-print cost when buying a printer, because you are just not going to be able to get a good answer for that. Any questions?
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