Does your journey stop after taking the picture…

or do you actually edit and print them?

DSC_5190

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.

Henri Cartier-Bresson

You know when you’re working on the computer and you might have several things going on at one time concurrently? Well this is an awful lot like that…

Sometimes I think that taking the photograph is the easy part. You work hard at learning your craft, shooting anything and everything. This changes over time as you develop a sense of what really moves you to capture what is really meaningful to you. Then, if you have the opportunity to exhibit your work, you’ll need to edit and print it.

So much of what we view today is on phones, tablets, ipads,and computer screens so it is a rather rude awakening sometimes when it comes to the print.

I tend to not print my own prints. I want to have the best quality available and the widest choice of print options. This does not come without its own set of problems though.

I shoot in raw to give myself the best range of options when it comes to editing. I don’t want the camera to compress the image into a jpeg and throw out information that might be critical to my shot. We do after all make a photo, not just take a photo.

Likewise when sending my image off to print, I don’t want the lab to make choices on how it gets printed.

I have set up an editing environment that has consistent light, I calibrate my dedicated monitor on a regular basis, and I do test prints which I then check against my monitor for accuracy.

All of which is challenging because so much of the general public viewing is done with that wonderful backlighting that has to be then factored in when you send an image to print. That file needs to be adjusted so that the print that comes back or gets drop shipped to a client, looks exactly as it should.

I took the opportunity recently to look back on years of images as I was putting a collection together to print. It was a fascinating experience to look at the evolution of my own journey in photography.

I would highly recommend doing this.

Then take it one step further, don’t just post those images… print those favorites!

9 thoughts on “Does your journey stop after taking the picture…”

      1. I think the most important part of this is choosing a print company that offers what you’re looking for. Then send them a variety of prints (mono and images with a lot of different colors). when you get them back, see how closely they match color and brightness when it comes to where you might be viewing the actual print. Often companies will on first order print 6-8 images as a test. Then you take these images and adjust your monitor to closely match them. It’s a good starting point. I use a color calibration system (Spyder) on my monitor in addition to all of the above. I edit in Lightroom and use the print module to export prints with a bit more brightness and contrast which leaves my original prints intact for my website. Hope this helps, feel free to ask for any clarification!

  1. they live with you forever and if you post them people are always finding them, reviving them, introducing you to old friends and discovering new things you missed or forgot about those old friends

  2. Gulp! Printing is a whole other game and in my small town I have met with disappointment time and again. I miss the big city set-ups where the nuances matter, because they matter to me.

    1. Why spend all the effort getting the shot that you want and then be disappointed with the print. It is quite the challenge but depending on the finished piece, giclee, matte, cards etc I use about 4 different print companies so I feel your frustration!

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