Author Topic: Getting into Printing Project / Artistic shyness  (Read 1433 times)

RobOK

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Getting into Printing Project / Artistic shyness
« on: September 14, 2022, 22:23:28 »
I am going to print, frame, and hang three large prints, either ones that I have or yet to take. I have a large format Epson (that hasn't been used in a decade), I will use that or more likely get printed by a printer.

My style of photography is mostly at family events, social gatherings, travel, and some street. People like my images, especially family portraits.

When I look through my collection, the voice in my head says "that's not good enough". I think if I start printing even 8.5 x 11s more regularly, i will get more comfortable with what I like or what looks good. I feel a bit intimidated by printing big.

So, not a specific request, but if people have been in similar situation of making some larger prints.... what do you look for in picking images for printing? I will have some theme for the three pictures, but as yet I don't know what. Timeline for me is open, say next 2-6 months.

Thanks,
Rob.

pluton

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Re: Getting into Printing Project / Artistic shyness
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2022, 05:44:52 »
If the Epson printer can still be used, making a few prints on cheaper, smaller paper is a good way to get back into thinking about prints, and how images are perceived through prints instead of on LCD screens.  Good luck with your old printer.  Sometimes they still work, sometimes not.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

RobOK

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Re: Getting into Printing Project / Artistic shyness
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2022, 22:26:18 »
Thanks for the support @pluton! If I get time this weekend I am going to try it out. I replaced the waste ink cartridge (forget the official name), probably will need to do some ink jet cleaning too!

Akira

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Re: Getting into Printing Project / Artistic shyness
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2022, 23:05:14 »
I just watched this YouTube channel.  The ink jet print should be handy to decide if the candidate image is worth printing large.  And then the C-Type print seems to be worth considering for the final large print.  The explanation starts at 23:33:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7vTIyRcSZI
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pluton

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Re: Getting into Printing Project / Artistic shyness
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2022, 02:06:33 »
In the video, the personality arguing for Type C didn't mention that all Type C papers are resin coated.  Also, for some reason he didn't mention that Type C prints are guaranteed to fade if exposed to light (displayed in a room).  IMO inkjet --- with pigment ink---is way better.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

Akira

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Re: Getting into Printing Project / Artistic shyness
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2022, 04:53:30 »
In the video, the personality arguing for Type C didn't mention that all Type C papers are resin coated.  Also, for some reason he didn't mention that Type C prints are guaranteed to fade if exposed to light (displayed in a room).  IMO inkjet --- with pigment ink---is way better.

I hear that Type-C is essentially similar to the print from the negative film.  So, the fading should be inherently inevitable.  Do you think an inkhet print mounted in a frame with the cover glass is better?
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

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Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Getting into Printing Project / Artistic shyness
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2022, 08:08:14 »
I hear that Type-C is essentially similar to the print from the negative film.  So, the fading should be inherently inevitable.  Do you think an inkhet print mounted in a frame with the cover glass is better?

You could look into this topic in Wilhelm's book on print permanence.

The best inkjet paper and ink combinations last a very long time either in dark storage or when displayed and exposed to light.

As for type C prints, some products are more archival than others. What is good about C prints is that their surface is not as easily damaged as that of some inkjet materials. So they can withstand handling better. But this could be paper-dependent as well. I found that Epson Heavyweight Matte Paper is quite sensitive to touch and the ink is on the surface and is easily damaged, whereas the same company's Archival Matte paper (which apparently is sold under different names) is not as sensitive. It is good to consider these mechanical characteristics as well as light and temperature resistance.

Early Epson Photo inkjets sold in the consumer market had terrible issues both in terms of the print head clogging but also the prints could fade visibly in months. Since I moved into their pigment-based products, I have not seen any shifts.

With regards to choosing the images to print, I think this can be a very time-consuming process. I make a lot of smaller prints because I want to look at a set of photographs next to each other and compare them and see how they work together as a group. This I find to be much easier to do in print than on screen. So I make a lot of small and medium-sized prints for this purpose, and make decisions about image choices and adjustments to create a cohesive set. Then I may print it larger and typically store in a portfolio box or binder. I can then show these to people if I meet them in person. However, I don't have a great deal of free wall space and I am reluctant to make new holes to the wall, so I am not often making large prints for displaying on walls. I do have a few and maybe space for a few more, but I haven't been inspired to do them yet. It is indeed difficult to choose a few images that will be hanging there for years or even decades and seen every day. Take your time in making the choices, and if you're unsure about the images, use a frame which allows you to replace the print if the first choice doesn't work well.  Think about colour, image brightness and what kind of tones and colours you want to see every day, and what kind of mood the images elicit. If mounting frames next to each other, think about how the images work together, don't just choose random subject matter but make sure that the adjacent images work well together and complement each other. If you need to make a custom framed print, then it becomes more difficult to replace the image as the cost of framing is higher, so do that when you are sure you'll like the image for a long time.


RobOK

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Re: Getting into Printing Project / Artistic shyness
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2022, 22:23:43 »
Thanks to multiple people on the printing / paper / ink topics. I did not get a chance to run the Epson this weekend, but will tomorrow.



With regards to choosing the images to print, I think this can be a very time-consuming process. I make a lot of smaller prints because I want to look at a set of photographs next to each other and compare them and see how they work together as a group. This I find to be much easier to do in print than on screen. So I make a lot of small and medium-sized prints for this purpose, and make decisions about image choices and adjustments to create a cohesive set. Then I may print it larger and typically store in a portfolio box or binder. I can then show these to people if I meet them in person. However, I don't have a great deal of free wall space and I am reluctant to make new holes to the wall, so I am not often making large prints for displaying on walls. I do have a few and maybe space for a few more, but I haven't been inspired to do them yet. It is indeed difficult to choose a few images that will be hanging there for years or even decades and seen every day. Take your time in making the choices, and if you're unsure about the images, use a frame which allows you to replace the print if the first choice doesn't work well.  Think about colour, image brightness and what kind of tones and colours you want to see every day, and what kind of mood the images elicit. If mounting frames next to each other, think about how the images work together, don't just choose random subject matter but make sure that the adjacent images work well together and complement each other. If you need to make a custom framed print, then it becomes more difficult to replace the image as the cost of framing is higher, so do that when you are sure you'll like the image for a long time.

This paragraph is very on point to what I am wrestling with, especially "It is indeed difficult to choose a few images that will be hanging there for years or even decades and seen every day." and I think I have to start slower and not try to arrive at the final answer all at once. I did print some about 10-12 years ago, and they are still around in our house but not prominent. But they were of my precious daughter and our handsome dog, fairly "safe" topics.

As I put in the title of the thread, part of this is about building my confidence muscle about sharing my work.

I may go Black and White, I think that would fit the house and space. So perhaps some urban/street work.

I really like the idea of printing candidates and will do that for sure! (which was the genesis of this thread)

pluton

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Re: Getting into Printing Project / Artistic shyness
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2022, 03:32:28 »
I hear that Type-C is essentially similar to the print from the negative film.  So, the fading should be inherently inevitable.  Do you think an inkhet print mounted in a frame with the cover glass is better?
A pigment inkjet print NOT behind glass is superior---fade-wise---to Type C. 
I don't get the 'behind glass' thing for photos; Paintings don't seem to need glass, why should photos?  Exceptions perhaps for rare and un-reproduceable historic items.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

Ann

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Re: Getting into Printing Project / Artistic shyness
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2022, 07:11:29 »
Pigments fade in UV-rich light and wood-pulp papers go yellow with age.

The problem with C-prints is not only that some of the dyes fade at a faster rate than others but, if the print was poorly processed when it was made, the rate of deterioration can be a lot faster.

Glass helps preserve any works on paper but they still should never be hung where they get hit by direct sunlight.

Paper is another matter: I am very sad that a water-colour that I particularly prize has turned quite yellow because the artist apparently used cheap paper some 60 years ago.




Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Getting into Printing Project / Artistic shyness
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2022, 10:58:16 »
A pigment inkjet print NOT behind glass is superior---fade-wise---to Type C. 
I don't get the 'behind glass' thing for photos; Paintings don't seem to need glass, why should photos?  Exceptions perhaps for rare and un-reproduceable historic items.

Regular glass attenuates UV light a lot, reducing the print's exposure to it and generally slowing decay. However, I read that some print and inksets (R260 with glossy paper, R280) can change colour slightly faster behind UV filter than glass, as the blocking of UV changes the balance of wavelengths which the print is exposed to, leading to different rates of fading of the different inks, which then results in the color shift. However, this seems to be a relatively minor difference.

To ensure longevity it is probably best to study Wilhelm Research's results on fading on the same inks and paper that you're using, or choose materials which are tested to do well under the display conditions you're expecting from the print.

I've never seen fading of pigment-based Epson inkjet prints whether behind glass or not. However, the early dye-based inkjet prints were really terrible in terms of how they could shift colour in months in indoor light if exposed to ozone from an air purifier.

On the pigment-based Epson P700 and P900, this document gives print permanence ratings that show that the UV filter (glass) significantly improves longevity.

http://www.wilhelm-research.com/epson/WIR_Epson_SureColor_P700_and_P900_Printers_2021_07_23.pdf

For example, Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper (260)
displayed under glass: 135 years
with UV filter: >250 years
framed without glass or filter: 76 years

For these papers and inks, it would seem better to frame them with glass (and UV filter) than without any protective layer.

Also the dye-based Claria show better permanence under glass or filter:

With Epson R280 and Premium quality glossy paper:

under glass: 98 years
under uv filter: 82 years
displayed bare: 14 years (!)

14 years is shockingly bad IMO and such materials should be avoided. It's quite clear that the pigment-based prints show an advantage over dye-based.

Dogman

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Re: Getting into Printing Project / Artistic shyness
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2022, 16:34:57 »
My printing has slowed recently and I haven't checked Wilhelm information in years.  I don't recall specifics but at the time I chose Epson printers/inks and matte papers.  Most photographers like a paper with a finish like an air-dried glossy from the darkroom days.  I'm a contrarian I guess.  I found I really love the look of high rag content matte finished papers often referred to as "fine art" paper.  I find it presumptuous to call my photography "fine art" but the papers are beautiful--all that I've tried anyway.  As a standard, I've printed most of my photos on Epson Hot Press Natural.  It has been, until recently, economical in comparison to Canson and Hahnemuhle with a velvety surface that can appear to add depth to the photo.

Very few of my photos go on the wall for display--most end up in fiber archival boxes.  I just recall the Epson fine art papers with Epson pigment inks had excellent longevity figures years ago when I bought my first Epson printer. 
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pluton

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Re: Getting into Printing Project / Artistic shyness
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2022, 04:36:10 »
Prints displayed in a typical dwelling interior are already in a largely UV-free environment, unless UV generating light sources are in use.  In most interior settings such as home, office, classroom or place of business, much or most of the UV present in the exterior sunlight has already been eliminated by the glass of the windows, assuming the windows are not made of exotic glass that passes UV. 
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA