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Thread: Never underestimate the power of print.

  1. #1

    Never underestimate the power of print.

    There is much talk these days of all the shots sitting on people's PCs that never get printed. The last few days I have been printing off some of my recent shots to refresh some of the 40 photographic prints I have around the house. I have been amazed at the difference between what they look like on a computer screen, or on the web, and what they look like in print using a high-quality printer.

    If you have not yet had any of your decent shots printed properly, I would urge you to get them mounted and framed. There are plenty of on-line high-quality print facilities available.

    Anyone else noticed a big difference between screen and actual print?

  2. #2
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    Yes I did Rob I think big so the sort of thing I mean is I deliberately make the subject smaller with a view to printing big, like 30" x 20" or bigger.

    If I keep the subject about 1/3 of the image size it looks great with all the detail coming out and quite big enough, of course in some images the subject is bigger but that is not a landscape.

    The landscapes I do look pretty crummy in small size though, I don't do in your face photo's that you see around yuppie offices, just interesting scenery.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    Quote Originally Posted by carregwen View Post
    If you have not yet had any of your decent shots printed properly, I would urge you to get them mounted and framed.
    I have not yet taken the plunge and keep castigating myself for not doing so. Your post is just another very hefty prod for me to get off my a&*% and do something about it.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 7th August 2010 at 09:28 PM.

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    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    I think Jessops is about the cheapest Donald; a fiver for a little 24" x 16". Unless the offers expired.

  5. #5

    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I have not yet taken the plunge and keep castigating myself for not doing so. Your post is just another very hefty prod for me to get off my a&*% and do soemthjign about it.
    I'm in print mode at present. If you post one of your good shots to here and PM me the link and your postal address, I will print and post an A4 to you. I have a high-quality Epson 2400 printer.

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    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    After I rather reluctantly 'opened the mattress' and purchased a Canon 24-105 lens, I was rather disappointed with my first on screen images. But they printed perfectly sharp.

    Fine detail, and colours, do appear to look a bit blocky on screen, particularly when viewed close. The danger is that this can lead to oversharpening in an attempt to correct what doesn't actually need attention.

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    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    After I rather reluctantly 'opened the mattress' and purchased a Canon 24-105 lens, I was rather disappointed with my first on screen images. But they printed perfectly sharp.

    Fine detail, and colours, do appear to look a bit blocky on screen, particularly when viewed close. The danger is that this can lead to oversharpening in an attempt to correct what doesn't actually need attention.
    Hi Geoff,

    If you're shooting RAW then you can safely apply capture sharpening without even looking (300% @ 0.3 pixels), but for any other type of sharpening you really need to be viewing it at a LOT less than 100%; at which point 40% @ 4 pixels is often the "magic numbers" for me (this is for content/creative sharpening - I don't have to worry about output sharpening because I'm usually printing the long dimension at 22 or 44 inches).

    Keep in mind too that a print has far less dynamic range, which can go a long way to hiding blotchy or other uneven areas.

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    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    Cor; I think A4 is a little print. I can't believe it, portrait A4 yes maybe that is fine but landscape has to be big. Even when I was at school 50 years ago I thought 10 x 8 was small, now it is just ridiculous. I did 10 x 8 all the time at school but only one image exists now, and it is Saunders car, he went mad because his copy turned brown and because he went mad I didn't tell him I could fix it.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    ~ he went mad because his copy turned brown and because he went mad I didn't tell him I could fix it.
    LOL

    I know they say "don't fix what ain't broke", but I'm sure it doesn't apply in wet photography.

    Cheers,

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    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    The photography teachers real job was the lab assistant and Saunders came racing in to chemistry like a bull in a china shop screaming blue murder. The chemistry teacher knew the lab assistant had the film but for some reason told Saunders it was lost; probably because he raced in and disrupted the lesson by trying to kill me. I was asked to take photo's of his cars and I didn't wash his for long enough, but I did a copy for myself which turned up at my mums house recently.

    Never underestimate the power of print.
    Didn't have an SLR then, had to use a rangefinder and light meter, but as you can see I've not improved a lot and the balloon was supposed to be removed.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    Hi Steve,

    It is personally interesting seeing a scan of an old print like this, I have just bought a scanner and now have the capability (if not the time) to scan in some of my old prints and slides from 'yesteryear'.

    I scanned a print of a Mosquito (of the twin egined, wooden, De Havilland variety) and I did a photoshop (well, Elements) clean up on it, which is obviously an option you could exercise - except I have to say, I'm not too sure I improved it

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 8th August 2010 at 01:26 PM. Reason: 'ability' changed to 'capability' - my abilty is yet to be proven :)

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    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    It is nice to have old photo's Dave, and they clean up nice in photoshop.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    Quote Originally Posted by carregwen View Post
    If you post one of your good shots to here ... I will print and post an A4 to you.
    You are gentleman, sir. Already PM'd you, as you will have seen.

    And for everyone else's benefit, I'll post up my response in relation to Rob's first comment above:-
    I have been amazed at the difference between what they look like on a computer screen, or on the web, and what they look like in print using a high-quality printer.

  14. #14

    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    You are gentleman, sir. Already PM'd you, as you will have seen.

    And for everyone else's benefit, I'll post up my response in relation to Rob's first comment above:-
    OK, Donald. I have printed it and I think it looks superb - great shot by you.

    There were a couple of minor problems.

    1. The aspect ratio is not metric (A4/A3 etc) so when printing it you get a blank area top and bottom in order to fit it on metric paper (afraid that's all I have). I didn't want to crop it.

    2. You have a dust-bunny, which really shows up when printed. One thing you must do before any print is blow up to about 100% and examine the shot carefully, especially the sky or water areas. Dust bunnies show a lot more in print than on screen. You will want to edit your version to remove it. It's on the water on the right of the shot - I'm sure you will spot it.

    I printed it to A4 and then noticed the bunny. I then remembered what Steve (Arith) said earlier about landscapes needing to be printed large, so when I reprinted after removing the bunny I printed it to A3 size for you. I used Permajet Fine Art Delta Matt paper (271gsm). It's lovely paper, and I used that rather than semi-gloss because the misty nature of the shot seemed to call for it.

    I'll pop it in the post tomorrow. It will be rolled in a stout tube. Please be careful when removing as it's easy to kink the paper when pulling it out. I suggest you take it to a framer and get it mounted and framed. I'd suggest a white mount and plain black frame as it needs something to contain that wide open expanse of sky and water. But ask the framer for advice - they are normally very good at making the right choice. I'd also suggest non-reflective glass as BW shots can reflect a lot of light when hung.

    You don't need to pay me for it (but thanks for the offer). I would like my own print though to hang somewhere - it might have to be the garage though as I'm fast running out of wall space!

    You might want to try on-line print services for some of your other shots. I use Photobox, who are pretty good and reasonably priced. You can create an account and upload files up to 10MB in size. They also do special offers - two for one etc. And they can print up to 30x20 inches. http://www.photobox.co.uk/

    I think that even your dearly beloved will like this one. None of that 'the bridge ruins it' I hope.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    Now, I'm getting excited. Can't wait. And, thank you.

    And, damn, yep there is that dust bunny. Never saw it before.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    Should you be wondering what Rob has printed for me (and nothing may be of less interest to you), it's this, which a number of you have seen before. I've highlighted the dastardly Dust Bunny (or maybe Rob will come back and tell me there's another one!)
    Never underestimate the power of print.
    Last edited by Donald; 8th August 2010 at 12:46 PM.

  17. #17

    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Should you be wondering what Rob has printed for me (and nothing may be of less interest to you), it's this, which a number of you have seen before. I've highlighted the dastardly Dust Bunny (or maybe Rob will come back and tell me there's another one!)
    Never underestimate the power of print.
    No, that's the one alright. It looked really obvious when printed. I'm not sure why they show up more on print than on screen. Perhaps Colin knows.

  18. #18

    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    Here's an interesting exercise for you all. If you have never printed your work before, take what you consider to be one of your best shots and get it properly printed to at least A4. If you are in the UK then Photobox are good enough. It won't cost you much, and I think you will be pleased with the results. Makes sure you are free of dust-bunnies though, and check the sharpening is adequate.

  19. #19
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    I don't think their price for the 45" x 30" Poster XL is quite right at 9999.92 but it is a good price for 30" x 20", very competitive.

  20. #20

    Re: Never underestimate the power of print.

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    I don't think their price for the 45" x 30" Poster XL is quite right at 9999.92 but it is a good price for 30" x 20", very competitive.
    Yes, the 30x20 inch are about 18 each. But on a regular basis they have offers of 2 for 1 which is very good value if you need two. You need an account though (free) and they send you emails with all the offers.

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