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Thursday, October 07, 2004


Central Park,New York

Two for the Road

This shot is absolutely gorgeous on matte paper in b&w.  It is the first really good print I've done with the new setup.  Not only the subject, but the tonality.   Your eye goes right to the smile, then to the hands and then to the pattern on the girls dress (at least that's how my eye goes).

8:33:38 PM    


Central Park,New York

Met Night

Things came together today.  I am getting absolutely beautiful prints - a combination of things: the Power Retouche b&w options (this is Kallitype); figuring out the last few bits of IMAGEPrint; some things I learned in PS; and of course the 2200 with Epson Enhanced Paper & the Hahnemuhle paper for final prints, although I have to say they look damned good on the Epson Matte Paper.  I learned that ImagePrint actually has a setting for which inkset you are using - one for the photo black and one for the matte black.  The only thing, is I can't really get the web image to glow with the same tonality that the prints have.  No, they don't look like darkroom prints on fiber paper.  But I tell you, they have a beauty and presence of their own.  In short, I'm very happy with this combination. 

8:31:20 PM    

Another problem (they like to call it a challenge) about having to keep one foot in the darkroom and one in the digital world - that I didn't realize until I switched to the digital side was: it is very hard to be expert in both areas at the same time.

Becoming a fine art printmaker in the digital realm is just as consuming as doing it in the chemical world.  And example of this is that I've been using both the curve command and the level command in Photoshop for at least 7 years - but until I really went through the Photoshop for Photographers book carefully - I didn't know what I was missing.  In this case it was the simple fact that when you hold down the ALT/OPTION key and use the slider in the levels command you are put into the 'threshhold mode.'  As Johnny Carson used to say: I DID not know that.  I had been picking levels by eye - as opposed to by the numbers which is much more accurate.

Another thing I didn't know - and this is pretty basic - what number of pixels per inch do you need for a print?  I had heard that 360 ppi was best.  (I know, I might have mentioned this before).  Turns out not to be true.  First off, depends on the size of the print.  For prints under 16 x 20, you will do just fine with somewhere between 200 and 260 and that generally it is a good thing if the ppi divides evenly into the printers dpi.  Is that a big thing to learn? It is because you are speeding up the print time and lowering the file size.

Another thing - I sort of knew this from experience - but it was nice to read it in a book.  Apply the unsharpening as the very last step and to the print file you will be printing from.  In other words, if you are working on a large size file for touch-ups, color correction etc.  At the end, before you do any unsharpening - create your smaller file and then do the unsharpening.

Anyway - these are just examples of small things that I've picked up since the darkroom went bye-bye.  Certainly not interesting to anyone who isn't futzing with these things - but nevertheless I stick them in the blog because - well - what else am I going to write about?  Politics?  Nah.  Raises too many hackles these days.  I will just conclude by quoting GW and say that the digital print world, well, uh, it's hahd woik.  Very hahd woik. [ed. DB is trying to spell Hard Work the way GW pronounces it.  We prefer hahd whork]

 

11:51:44 AM    


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