Inkjet Printing for Photographers

with Ben Long
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Inkjet Printing for Photographers
Video duration: 0s 5h 53m Intermediate


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.

Topics include:
  • Why print with inkjet?
  • Types of inkjet printers: dyes versus pigments
  • Making image adjustments specifically for printing
  • Printing black-and-white photos
  • Resizing an image
  • Choosing paper
  • Working with sharpening and noise reduction
  • Color management


- [Voiceover] Hi, my name is Ben Long and in this course, Inkjet Printing for Photographers, I'm gonna show you how to print because as far as I'm concerned, an image is not finished until it's on paper. Taking a picture is a physical act, moving through the world, seeing, positioning yourself, exploring your subject and its environment, and finally manipulating the camera. It's all very physical and I want the end result to be physical also. I wanna have an actual object that results from my shooting process. You can't be a good photographer without having a sophisticated relationship to light, to tone and color, and if your only experience of manipulating and evaluating color and light is on a computer screen, then you're missing out on working with the true color of the real world.

You only get that from paper and current inkjet printing technology lets you explore printed color with a precision, with a dynamic range, and a permanence that you never had in the chemical darkroom. So printing is not just about creating a physical result, it's about the further exploration of your image, your subject, and most importantly, of life itself. I've got a fairly big monitor, but I've got a bigger printer. On paper I can play with scale in a way that I just can't do on a computer screen and as I scale images up, they become landscapes and environments that I can explore.

As I scale them down, they become these little objects that I can live amongst. Image size can dramatically change my relationship to an image, and I can't get that on a computer screen. Sure, with an electronic image, I can beam it all over the world, but honestly, I don't care. It's not a real picture at that point. It's just more calories that we consume from the media bubble. When I put it on paper, it gains heft and most importantly, when I put it on paper, it just looks better and that's why I print, because I want to see my images at their very best.

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