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Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan. I was told once that if you want your work to live longer than you do then you need to print it or make a book. So today we’re going to talk about printing your photography. If you want your photography to last you got to print it. If you want it to be art you’ve got to print it. There’s just something exciting about holding a print in your hand. It’s a piece of art that you have maintained the color on, you’ve controlled and you now present it as your work. There’s so many different applications. You can sell fine art prints. You can do portrait kind of prints, which is a huge market for those who shoot weddings and portraiture. Selling prints afterwards is a huge market you should take advantage of. But there’s just something wonderful about making a print you’ll hang in your house and be able to have and show your work as a fine art piece.
But let’s understand how to do it. How do we go through the process? What do we have to do? Four or five steps to be able to create our images and get them printed. Let’s look at the surfaces that are out there. What surfaces are available to us? How does that relate to our work? And just see exactly how we can make our photography into art and print it.
Hey, shout out to Saal Digital that’s sponsoring this segment and printed all of the prints that we’re going to look at on the different surfaces.
So whatever photo lab you’re going to use, the first thing you want to do is get paper samples from them. They’re small samples are going to send out to you. Most of them do them for free. Some of them charge a little bit for them. At Saal Digital we have a page here that gives us the paper samples, the premium cover samples or the wall decor samples. You need those samples because it shows you the different surfaces that the company has. And it’s just the first step of being able to decide what’s best for your images.
This next step is crucial. If you really want to get a great print in the end you have to start with a calibrated monitor. We use a Spyder X Elite. It allows us to be able to calibrate our monitor so that we’re going to be able to match with what we’re going to see from Saal Digital.
Now you’re going to need to choose your images. There’s several criteria here that will make a lot of difference. Number one is, know your end use. What is this for? Is it for a family? It’s their wedding images. Is this because you want to do fine art prints? Is this, you’re creating a collection that relates to certain things like national parks or you’re creating a collection of patriotic images or who knows? What it is, you know, what is the criteria for selecting your images? I think it’s important in this process also that you choose images that you think are going to translate well. And this is an interesting example.
Here this image was shot. There’s a little bit of light gracing the side of the hill. It’s very open and open. But it’s fairly flat. And it just printed really dark, you know. And that’s why printing them and putting them on the wall is kind of a nice idea. Because you get a pretty good idea, you know, when you just make a quick print even if the color’s not exact or anything. Just, does it print well? Does it look good? And that’s a great way to be able to judge that.
Every lab that you work with is going to have profiles, color profiles. And those profiles are going to help you to see how your images are going to translate from your screen to the surface, the surface that you’ve chosen at your color lab. So at Saal Digital, if you go here at Saal Digital they have what is called ICC profiles. So underneath Professional Zone you click on ICC Profile and right here are all the color profiles for each of the different surfaces that they offer. When you click on one of these ICC profiles it’s going to download to your computer. You’re going to open the file and put it in your library. ICC profiles or color profiles depending on the lab you use are super important if you’re going to get a good result from your computer to the surface that you’ve chosen through your lab.
This next step is absolutely not necessary, but can really save you a lot of time and help you dial your process in. And that is to order some test prints either half size or smaller prints. But using the ICC profiles and applying them through Photoshop. Then making a print. You can see how that process works and just see the result when you get the final print. Or you get the test prints. You now can make some adjustments. You don’t have to do that every single time you print. But until you get your process kind of dialed in it helps you to see exactly how that profile is going to work.
So it’s time to look at some surfaces. I’m pretty excited about this because I’ve always wanted to look at my images on different surfaces and then decide exactly what I think is best for me. I mean this really is an aesthetic. What you like. What really works for your work. And it really is going to be different for every person. So this image I took in Zion Canyon with Cheyne Walls who is an incredible landscape photographer. And it’s just interesting to see this because Cheyne does most of his stuff on acrylic. So this is an acrylic print. An Acrylic Print, but the difference between this and the gallery print is this has got the same seven color UV printing. But it’s printed on the back of the Acrylic. So it’s got a very modern look and it’s got smooth finished edges so you can you can hang this as is. Which just gives you a beautiful really modern presentation and great color.
This print is on a Hahnemühle Museum Etching. It is beautiful paper. It’s 100 cotton texture. So 100 cotton has a little bit of texture to the surface. Just a small little bit of texture. It’s kind of interesting. It’s acid free museum paper. So this is probably going to age better than almost anything that we’re looking at here. It’s made to be museum quality and archival. I love this soft matte that Hahnemühle does because it just gives you great depth and beautiful color rendition. And you don’t get the glare that you get on this. When I look at these two prints side by side I think actually there’s more depth, more color range in that Hahnemühle Museum Etching than there is in the Acrylic Print.
All right this is a print that I shot with my Horizon camera. So the Horizon camera is a two frame 35 millimeter pano. And it just does a little rotating barrel. So this was shot on that Tri-X pushed to 1600 and then it’s processed accordingly. Pushed two stops. So that means that these are very grainy. And that’s on purpose. I wanted this to have this really beautiful grainy look. This is a Hahnemühle Photo Rag which is 100 cotton paper. It’s a soft matte look. It really has great depth and sharp detail. It’s true to color. It was a sepia toned image and it is true to color. You see the warmth in it. And that was very much the sepia tone.
Whereas this one is now, it’s a Metal Print. So it has the same matte surface. You got that seven color UV printing. But there’s a little bit of a shine to it. And it cools the image just a little bit. It has a little bit of a sheen to it that I really kind of like. Again, it gives you great resolution and great sharpness. This is another thing that is weather resistant. You’re printing on metal. I think I prefer the Hahnemühle Photo Rag. But Julene definitely prefers the metal. So we have a little bit of a split on that thought. But two great surfaces and two great printing processes.
This is actually a film print. It was shot on 4×5 sheet film, a scan, and then made into these great prints. We have two different prints here. We start with a matte print on this side. It’s a PVC Foam Board Print. You have a seven color UV printing. This is on Acrylic. This is on PVC. It is a beautiful print and it’s a matte surface. The advantage of that is it doesn’t reflect the room. The disadvantage of this Acrylic is it does reflect the room. But the advantage of the acrylic is I just see deep into the shadows here. And the color is so vivid. It just gives you beautiful color. When I look into this, like looking into the black here, I just the black is just kind of there. It doesn’t feel deep. It doesn’t have the depth that I feel in this. This I feel the depth of that entire image. I’m looking way back into it. It just feels so amazing. This is great actually. The PVC is great for indoor or outdoor. Which is interesting because it’s really, it’s extremely stable in weather. So it’s indoor/outdoor and that’s a great advantage of that as well. There’s those first two surfaces. Which one do I like the best? I love the color depth on that Acrylic. It’s pretty amazing.
Here’s another print on those same two surfaces. We’ve got the PVC Foam Board Print and we also got the Gallery Print. That glossy Gallery Print, you know it’s interesting, my experience with this is a little bit different. I mean, I love the depth. I absolutely love the depth in the Gallery Print. But because this was shot on film, it’s a Rainy Day in Paris, a remake. This is all done in one shot. There’s no retouching in this image whatsoever. But we also put a little bit of diffusion on it in camera. And that diffusion is fighting the glossy on this, on the Gallery Print. So when I look at this, that diffusion feels nice with that matte print. It just looks and feels really, it feels at home with that matte print. You do again, the blacks just kind of are solid. You don’t see into them very well. You see a little more detail into the blacks here with the Gallery Print. But on the PVC Print it’s, you don’t see much depth into the blacks. But it is certainly beautiful with that soft focus. I don’t know what this one, this one I’m not so sure. I might go with the matte surface with this one. If I was going to put them up in the same room together, and these do go up in the same room together, I would choose the glossy because I like it so much on that darker print, that Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks on that darker print. I think it looks much more spectacular. The color is certainly brighter. Here, same things we saw in the other prints. So all right. There you go, Rainy Day in Paris.
This print is really interesting because we’ve got on a Hahnemühle Photo Rag paper. That is just, it has a soft matte is what they call it. It’s got incredible sharp detail and clarity. I mean, it is just beautiful. I see such detail in the piping on her dress, in the boat, in the background into the back. It’s just gorgeous. I absolutely love that paper. The Brushed Metal here, now this is a Brushed Metal Print. It’s an aluminum surface. It’s got, you know, it’s a seven color UV printing. But it’s really, you can use this for signage. It’s great for outside. It’s great for weather. There are some things that look excellent, high contrast black and white. Those kinds of things are going to look great on this. This was not the right print because there’s so much white in it. We just see the silver and it just overwhelms her. It overwhelms the scene. But I guess the consolation is that Hahnemühle is just beautiful. I mean it has, it’s great for art reproduction. And it’s 100 cotton. Beautiful image, great depth and intensity. I’m in love with that, I really am.
These are two very interesting surfaces. These are very different. All these have been very different from one another. We’ve got a Metal Print but it is a matte surface. Also it’s that same seven color UV printing that we talked about with all of them. Great sharpness and great resolution. So this one is a Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta. So it’s a hundred percent cellulose, bright white. It’s a glossy surface. It’s really high color intensity. You feel the high color intensity and sharpness with it. I love the texture of the paper. There’s a slight texture through the paper that is just beautiful. It has a bit of a shine. It doesn’t shine like an acrylic print by any means. But it does have a little bit of glossy. You see it when I move it there when it’s not completely flat. We’re picking up the lights of the room. So the Metal Print is just more subdued color wise because it’s on that matte surface.
All right, I quickly wanted to put this up. We do have a black and white that was done on that Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta. And it’s just, it does show great black and white. You see great color tones. The gray tones look fabulous. See as it works through the clouds. For black and white I think that’s a great way to go. It just gives you a great rendition and gives you beautiful black and white tones.
So we have looked at these two surfaces before but I wanted to look at them as something that is just really landscape and bright color. This is a pano I shot, a two frame pano that was shot in Monument Valley. Great color. But this is our Metal Print. I find it interesting because this is that matte surface. But it feels like there’s more color in it when you’ve got this kind of rich color. That matte surface seems to be much better. It just, it works better with this really deep color. Great color of course. This is the Acrylic. This is the acrylic that’s printed on the back of the acrylic. These both have a very modern design. They have smooth edges so you can put them up and use them as just, as is. So it seems like the metal is just a little more magenta and the acrylic is just a little more cyan. Although it’s hard to judge that. Because there is so much color and so much depth in that Acrylic Print that it’s really difficult to, you know, the color shift is very, it’s very interesting. It’s hard to see. But beautiful print, either one of these. I find the metal much more compelling in this really bright colorful situation than I did in some of the other more muted situations. So I think that metal would make a much better print if you’ve got really vibrant bright colors. The Acrylic, I think, is great all the way across the board. The problem again with these two is matte doesn’t reflect the room. Acrylic does reflect the room. So you have that issue overall.
So there’s a look at the process, everything from how to choose your images, how to create profiles and selecting your paper. Get over to Saal Digital and order some samples so you have surface samples you’ll be able to look at to decide exactly what you like. Reference back to the different things that we showed you here today to help you make decisions on the prints that you’ll hang in your home or sell to your clients. The Hahnemühle paper is just beautiful and the Acrylic has so much depth. Boy it’s a hard decision for me. I’m going to think about that for a while. So you keep those cameras rollin’ keep on clickin’!
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