Luminous Landscape’s "From Camera To Print"

For a while now I’ve been wanting to have access to a good photo printer, but if I want prints of any reasonable size (17″ x 22″ or roughly DIN A2), I’d need quite an expensive printer, lots of ink and a much larger computer table. Right now the least expensive printer with a 17″ carriage is the Epson 3800 1, 2, 3, which can be had in Germany for 1275 EUR and till the end of October Epson offers a150 EUR rebate. While very expensive, this is also very tempting…

On the one side printing at home is too expensive and too complex; on the other hand, my experiences with printing labs have not been very good. The thing is, if I don’t print my photos, why do I take them? Surely not just to fill up my hard drive!!! And if I never print, then my only “output” if the Web, and for that I don’t need to lug around a large dSLR…

I need to think long and hard about all this stuff, but in the meantime, in order to inform myself better, I bought the excellent video tutorial “From Camera To Print (The Craft of Fine Art Printing)” from Luminous Landscape. I’ve been watching it in my free time, and I can recommend it to anyone who is struggling with the digital workflow or is looking to improve their print-making skills. The tutorial covers all aspects of fine-art printing: optimal raw exposure, calibration and profiling of monitor, camera, and printer, noise reduction, sharpening, soft proofing, print settings, black-and-white printing, matting and framing. I know, this is all techie stuff that has nothing to do with Art, but it’s all necessary in order to get great-looking prints.

The funny thing is, about an hour after I wrote my last blog entry, I was watching the “Input Sharpening” chapter of the tutorial and Michael and Jeff talked the entire time about Bruce Fraser, his book on sharpening and how the sharpening modules of ACR 4.x and Lightroom 1.x are heavily based on Bruce’s ideas of input sharpening and content-sensitive sharpening. The next chapter is called “PhotoKit Sharpener”, where they will probably cover creative sharpening and output sharpening. Cool!

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