Join Joseph "PhotoJoseph" Linaschke for an in-depth discussion in this video The backstory, part of Processing Large Scale Black-and-White Photographs with Aperture.
Hi! I'm Joseph Linaschke, I'm a photographic storyteller, and what really means is that I get to travel to some pretty interesting places, and see some pretty interesting things, and photograph them for some pretty interesting clients sometimes. So, what I'm going to be talking about today is a process that I went through for creating a series of prints to hang in a gallery. About year or so ago, I was contacted by a local wine bar looking to do a new gallery hanging, and they normally would do gallery hangings for local artists. You know, I'm not a fine art photographer; I've really never really considered myself as such, but being approached and asked to do a little gallery hanging of course is quite cool and exciting.
So, to do this, I needed to do something different; something unique, and fun, and something that really talked about my type of work. So, I didn't want to just grab a random selection of photos, and print them out at various sizes, and formats, and so on. I needed something consistent, some type of a theme, and after quite a bit of discussion, we decided that the theme would be black and white printed on metal. So, what you're seeing here is the final hanging. These are a series of 20 x 30 inch prints, all black and white, of course, and printed directly onto metal. The reason that I approached metal was a friend of mine, awhile before I was approached, actually did a hinging of his own printing black and white on metal, and he told how successful it was, and how cool it looked, and I thought, well, this sounds like something I want to try.
So, I ordered of a stack of sample prints, and what I found it right away was that the way that this is printed is basically two different formats. You have a technique where the black and white image is printed onto, basically, a white paper, and then that is glued or it adhered somehow to the metal print. So, at that point, all you are really seeing is a normal black and white print that just happens to be mounted on metal. It may as well be mounted on plastic, or wood, or anything else. But then the other technique was where they printed directly onto the metal, so what you end up with is, instead of having white showing through the print, anywhere that would have been White becomes clear, and so you see the metal showing through instead.
Now, these are aluminum sheets, so there is a definite sheer and texture to the metal, and that comes through in the print in a really, really interesting way. So, once I saw that, it was pretty much a sure thing; that's what I was going to do. So ,this entire video is talking about how we went from the basic image, the original photograph, through the scaling, and retouching, and final black and white conversion, and then sharpening before it went off to a print. These were all printed at 20 x 30 inches, so that's pretty good size, but they're also printed at 300 DPI, which, to be honest, may have been a little bit higher resolution than I needed, but it was all part of the experiment, and I wanted to go ahead and print these at as high a quality as possible.
So, throughout this video, we'll be talking about that whole process, and here's the images that were hung in the gallery. We're not going to look at every single one of these for the entire process of converting from the original to the final, but we will take a look at a couple of them, because there were some different techniques applied. So, basically what we would do is start from the original image here -- let's switch over, so this is a bit bigger. We will start with the original image, do some basic retouching, and color adjustments. Let's see, there's the original, how it started, and then we do some essential color adjustments, levels adjustments, that sort of thing, and also scale it.
So, this image is considerably larger than the original. And then from there, we'd go ahead and do the black and white conversion. So, we'll be talking about all of the steps in the process here. Hopefully, if you're following along at home, and you have any of your images that you want to do this to with various pieces of software, you'll be able to create images that are ready for print at this size, and look really cool in black and white, and you'll be able to place your first black and white print on metal order. And I'm sure that once you see this, you'll agree with me, that it is just a fantastic medium, and it was a really great way to represent black and white photography.
So, come along for the ride, we'll have some fun here, and we'll see exactly how I did this process, and see if we can learn a thing or two.
- Straightening and cropping images
- Balancing levels
- Converting from RAW
- Comparing scaling methods
- Converting images to black-and-white
- Performing output sharpening
- Ordering your prints