From The Frying Pan Into The Fire

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Taking quality photos is only the start. Sorry to burst your bubble young Bailey, but it’s the truth. The difference between great photographers and amateurs and intermediaries is the result. Anyone who thinks this only has to do with capturing the moment is wrong, dead wrong. A photographer has to get their images from the camera and onto the frame. From the frying pan into the fire. 

If you’re catching onto the tone, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this is a complicated process. Come on; who prints images anymore? Well, it turns out lots of budding artists who want to showcase their work. You can’t put up a link to the website in a gallery. 

So, you’re a photographer with a gap in your knowledge. Do you throw the camera down in rage? Of course not; you figure out how to fill the gap. Here’s what every artist needs to know, modern or otherwise.

Pick The Best Images

Before the printer begins to growl and spit out paper, there is the small problem of choosing an image. Sure, every photo an artist takes is a masterpiece that deserves pride of place on the wall. But, as you will agree, some are better than others. Which ones fill your body with pride? Which photos stand out from the rest of your portfolio? Which stand the test of time? They are the images which should get printed and immortalised for years to come. After all, they are the best depictions of your skill as well as your mood at the time. Pick up the camera and scroll through your collection. When you flick past something which gives a funny feeling inside, you should mark it as a potential candidate.


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Invest In Paper 

It’s weird that a piece of a dead tree plays such a big role in photography. The wood didn’t do anything special apart from live and die, yet it can make or break the outcome. And, that is something every artist should remember. The paper on which the image gets printed will hide the flaws and highlight the main features. At least, it will on a quality rag. First of all, photographic paper is essential. Anything on a standard piece of A3 or A4 will look silly. Next, consider Inkjet and Laser printing. The laser option is quicker, yet lacks accuracy and harms the overall detail. Finally, think about the consistency. From glossy to matte, the texture of the paper will either make the image pop or merge into the background. Depending on what you want to achieve, you should choose accordingly.

And Ink 

While we are on the subject of printing, let’s not forget the ink. Okay, talking about ink cartridges and the different types is boring. Don’t say that too loud, though, because you wouldn’t want to get judged. Again, like the paper, the ink plays a significant role in the outcome of the image. The first hurdle to avoid is variety. From Canon Pixma ink to Epson Stylus to Panasonic Panafax, there are lots of options. Of course, you might have never heard of any of these different types before, which is why research is vital. Try and cover as many bases as possible and link particular ink and toner to individual styles and trends. Oh, and don’t forget about the price. Ink cartridges are expensive, and photographers need to be able to afford the overheads. 

Understand The “Auto-Fix” Feature

The majority of modern printers come with this feature, and it’s one that throws photographers. Now, the first thing any self-respecting artist should know is that flaws aren’t bad. Of course, you are going to make mistakes because you’re not David Bailey. However, there is no reason to fix these errors in certain circumstances. The main thing to learn about the auto-fix feature is that it isn’t necessary one-hundred percent of the time. If you are going to use it, get familiar with the technology. Indeed, print images with and without its help and decide which ones look the best. As you already know, practice makes perfect. 

Use An Editing Program 

“Photoshopping,” as people call it in the trade, is a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, the right editing tools can enhance a photo from good to great. On the other, people do exploit the technology for their benefit. We all know about the numerous models that are edited to fit on the front of glossy magazines. From an artistic point of view, the editing process is a part of photography. The key is to use it to tweak small details which can transform a photo. For example, adding an effect is fine, as is messing with the brightness and contrast. Some of the best on the market include CyberLink PhotoDirector and PhaseOne CaptureOne. Adobe Photoshop is still a great tool in 2017. As a rule, it is better to print from a photo editing program because of the control aspect.

Turn Off Compression

A camera thinks it’s doing you a favour when it compresses an image into a JPEG. It isn’t, and it needs telling. Of course, you can’t tell it anything because it’s an inanimate object. However, it is possible to turn the feature off and to forget about compression altogether. Without it, the quality of the image increases as the features don’t get squashed. Whether you want to change the size afterwards is a decision for the artist. But, before the printing process, it needs to be au naturel. A word of warning: don’t edit a photo and save it back to a compressed setting. This is a sure-fire way to lose vital information as the transition isn’t smooth.


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Finally, preview everything before clicking the “print” button. Thanks to this feature, there’s no reason to cross your fingers and hope for the best. Instead, study the image in fine detail and make sure it’s up to your standards. That way, the end product will be special.

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