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Tuesday, 18 October 2016

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If you're printing in the evening, do you have a special light to look at the print under?

[Yes, I use a Verilux Natural Spectrum Clamp Lamp. The model I have is discontinued and the newer Verilux desk lamps that are made in mainland China as opposed to Taiwan are getting unacceptably high percentages of poor reviews on Amazon. However the older model I use can currently be found on closeout for $68 (marked down from $99) at eGeneralMedical:

http://www.egeneralmedical.com/natural-spectrum-deluxe-clamp-lamp-ivory-model-vc01aa1.html

Mine has worked fine for since December 2008:

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2008/12/the-viewing-sta.html

--Mike]

Practice, for sure.

And right tools, too. I don't get screen reflections with my NEC monitor equipped with a hood (less expensive than equivalent Eizo). And I didn't realize how much easier printing could be until I installed ImagePrint 10 to work in conjunction with my P800; the soft-proofing capability alone (with virtually all built-in paper profiles) compared to Lightroom was, well, day and night.

What you need for your printing is a darkroom ...

I have a cheap work around Mike - ditch the Verilux and buy a range of cheap light bulbs and fluorescent tubes with wildly different spectra. Change bulbs/tubes until the print looks just right - voila!

I recently spent two hours with the very generous printing expert Eric Joseph from Freestyle Photo. I brought him a file and he printed it on about eight different papers. Some of the profiles provided by the manufacturer were absolutely horrendous, while others were pretty good.
I consider myself a very good printer, but Eric showed me how a custom profile from his recommended expert can really make a difference over not only a manufacturer profile, but even a custom profile made with inferior equipment.The problem is that such a custom profile is not cheap (between $120 and $150 depending on how many you have made) and it is specific to your particular printer and paper. So if you love switching papers, or upgrade printers, it may not make sense. If you are the lucky person that can decide on two or three papers and be happy with that, these custom profiles will absolutely save you time and money, and will help you get a lot more out of your printer.

"I keep at it after I really should stop and go to bed"

Sounds like my old darkroom habits.

There is no substitute for on the job training. Instruction books only point me in the right direction, working through the "failures" is how I make progress.

You are correct, continual practice (at anything) is always better than binge practicing with a long layoff. It's amazing how fast we begin to backslide.
Porches are wonderful places for most everything ...except computer work and color evaluation. Surely in the vast reaches of TOP World Headquarters there must be a quiet corner where illumination can be controlled. My inexpensive solution was a 4 head track light system from Solux ( since they ae black body radiators there are no spectral spikes or drops). With 4 small heads feathered to provide even illumination on a 4' -6'expanse of wall which is painted Munsell gray #8,I get a constant color match.

I'm still using an aging 4800 that is wipped into shape by Image print, so I look forward to reading your experience with it.
I love it, but have been told that modern print dtivers need it less than the old ones did.

Less pink.

Pratice makes perfect, sure, but you need a good teachter to nudge you in the right direction, too.

If not, you can practice yourself into a corner where you have to practice even more to get out of, if ever you discover that you are stuck.

VERY interesting commentary on practice and diligence. Thank you.
Who was the Redskins' quarterback whose motto was, "Practice does not make perfect, prefect practice makes perfect"? You seem to think otherwise and I agree with you. Rome was not built in a day.

I'd be interested in people's experiences comparing Lightroom and Imageprint on a P800. Aside from the ease of dealing with different paper profiles (and layouts), is the print quality really that different? If so, in what way?

Thanks

For a great print, the image needs to be in excellent condition. If the pop-up version of the above is accurate, there appears to be a bright halo along the left skyline. Common enough from sharpening, and some other PS tools.

Not everyone would notice; it would drive me crazy.

Could be an artifact of down sampling for the web, too?

[No bright halo in the print--. --Mike]

Another praise for ImagePrint. If you can afford it, get it. It has saved me time and money, and makes trying out new and different papers a breeze!

Mike, I am enjoying your printing saga enormously, not quite sure whether I am envious of the range of stuff available to you or thankful that I am grossly restricted here in paradise (Rabaul, New Guinea Islands)! :)

I bought the only printer available at the time which did not have multi-color cartridges, an HP OfficeJet 6000, which prints A4 size, and my paper is whatever lands in local stores. Right now, there is none (apart from office paper) which confirms my decision a month ago to buy up a bit big when they had something labelled "Kodak" in stock and it is glossy. I had never seen it here before. The last lot that hit the stores was something Chinese which worked pretty well to my untutored eye.

Oh -- if I had a bigger printer I would be in dad trouble. I have never seen photo paper bigger than A4 here. LOL.

But as an old lag from the B&W in the blacked-out bathroom days in the dead of night, and a perennially disappointed custom color print purchaser until the advent of Cibachrome, I am with you in spirit and enjoying the ride!

With my little outfit, I do test strips by selecting a slice of the image and pasting it into a new document several times. I then vary stuff in each slice. Can even type a note on the sheet to remind me of what I did.

Cheers, Geoff

I upgraded from the Epson 3800 to the P 800 a few months ago and it was a huge improvement. I got good prints from the 3800 but I just reprinted a photo on the P800 and the colors were dramatically better. Even more pleasing is the fact that I have very little hassle getting the colors right compared to my monitor without any special calibrating or fancy RIPs. It was a good move.

I am in with the P800 approximately as long as you have been with the 600. I am using Imageprint 10 and a profiled NEC monitor.

I have been using Harman By Hahnemuhle Gloss Baryta for many years now. I originally began with the old Harman Baryta FB AI, before Hahnemuhle bought Harman. It has changed ever so slightly, but I cannot seem to get away from this paper. I'm just stuck on it, for both color and B&W. Particularly in B&W, I think the prints are the closest thing to Ilfobrom Double Weight "F" surface silver prints. It has the same look, feel, and smell (of all things) as Ilfobrom DW. I remember reading the first review of this paper on LuLa. The reviewer, obviously a seasoned darkroom practitioner, related the tale of when he first opened the box of Harman, he was instantly alarmed at the first whiff. It smelled like traditional silver paper, and like any experienced silver printer, he was alarmed that he had just opened a box of paper with the room lights on. I think this has happened to anyone who has had their hands in a tray of Dektol. Humorous, but also an interesting tidbit: Evidently that paper was produced at the old Ilford paper factory where Ilfobrom was manufactured. It looks and smells the same. The surface is like air dried Ilfobrom DW as well.

Now that it's a Hahnemuhle product, I think it is a plus because a very good paper now has the backing and resources of Hahnemuhle. Also, very important to me: Harman by Hahnemuhle Gloss Baryta comes in 17x25 size. I'm probably one of six people in the country that dotes on this, but I think all of the manufacturers should offer this size paper. I print 15 inches tall on 17 inch paper on my P800. That gives me an image width of 22.5 inches. Very easy for framing/matting options. On the more traditional 17x22 size I am limited to a 20 inch image width (I always leave a minimum one inch print border). This leaves me with a 13.33 image height. For anyone capturing image files in the 2:3 ratio, 17x25 paper has a lot to offer.

Try a box Mike. You might be pleasantly surprised.

you may be interested in QIMAGE printing software......Just sayin'

"I'm not completely clear yet about how I want it to look."

But you'll know it when you see it.

Just by way of information, the operative publication for Quakers is titled "Faith and Practice".

I wish that Epson or Canon would make a 'Pro' A4 printer; one with a full range of inks and capable of printing true black and white photographs. I just don't have room for an A3 printer, plus I'm happy to print 6" x 9" on A4 paper. If I take a masterpiece (if) I can always have it printed larger offsite.

Mike.

Mike it's obvious you're not trying hard enough, I'm pretty sure if you apply yourself a bit more diligently to the task and stop taking short cuts and seeking easy solutions you will almost certainly eventually locate a more unsuitable location for the printer, you can the decide to print at night and sleep during the daylight hours.

This may require employing someone to walk and look after the dogs but I'm pretty sure this can be accomplished.

Good luck with the printing and keep us informed of the progress.

Michael.

Mike,
Your image looks lovely on my Macs, but my views can never equal your prints since the video file is already (likely) sRGB and reduced in size from original. So my only comment is "best wishes" in getting it just the way you want! It's a keeper! Just love that salmon-pink in the clouds.

If it were mine, I imagine I'd be wrestling with how much detail to retain or omit in lower left area and in lower right corner (shadows basically). Everything else is spot on to my emotions.

Yes yes yes to what Bernd Reinhardt said. I've found that a mediocre color profile can doom your efforts to run good print, and a custom profile can make a huge difference. Back when Eric Chan was charging just $20 a profile, I had him make profiles for probably a dozen of my papers. I use them to this day.

I like the challenge you've setup for yourself: Make a print every night you are home.

Some thoughts: Pick out three images that you want to print. Work on one image the first night. Print it out and then put it away. On the second night, work on the second image, print it, and then put it away. And finally on the third night, work on the third image, make a print, and then put it away.

On the fourth day, take out the first print. Look at it in daylight, inside the house tungsten/daylight, and then again in the evening under artificial light.

I wish I had practiced that recipe when I first committed myself to learning digital printing. I would have saved $$$$ and enumerable hours.

The irony is that slowing down will help you get to speed faster.

Final comment: I wouldn't worry about using a RIP. If owned a print bureau I'd say a RIP is an absolute necessity. But the last few generations of Epson printers have gotten so good, that if you are letting "Photoshop" manage the color, you will actually get better results without a RIP.

Now there are some folks who are extremely picky about black and white and will go to great lengths to emulate the best of the best platinum and silver halite pictures. And if you are obsessed about getting the best black and white results from a matte paper, you can spend a lot of time chasing your tail. There are good RIPs, image processing tools, and piezography solutions for extremely dedicated fine art photographers.

I am thrilled with the black and white prints I've been able to get with the Epson advanced B&W driver in combination with baryta papers.

As far as study guides go, I am a big fan of Dan Margulis. His books:

https://www.amazon.com/Professional-Photoshop-Classic-Guide-Correction/dp/032144017X/ref=la_B001ILHHCO_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1476986015&sr=1-2

and

https://www.amazon.com/Photoshop-LAB-Color-Adventures-Colorspace/dp/0321356780/ref=la_B001ILHHCO_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1476986015&sr=1-3

The books are phenomenal. Dan is sometimes dogmatic, and some of the chapters cover a lot of material while others may be somewhat irrelevant for those not concerned about SWOP (Specifications for Web Offset Printing).


Two thumbs up for Eric Chan profiles on my Epson 3800.

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