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Thread: Project 52 - Print

  1. #1
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Project 52 - Print

    With the new year about a month away, people will be considering photographic goals for 2018.

    One project I have been considering for a long time is what I would like to refer to as Project 52 - Print. It is exactly what it sounds like, printing a new image every week and then putting it away and storing it for prosperity.

    I have tens of thousands of images stored on my system and backup drives. I'm really the only one the knows what they are and while I do share a few on social media, chances are that they will disappear when I am gone. Even if my hard drives are saved and the data is recovered, chances are the formats and even the hardware may be obsolete, so none of my work will be preserved due to "digital rot".

    Paper prints, on the other hand, especially if they are properly stored will last many generations. Modern ink jet inks and acid free papers will last a couple of hundred years if they are stored in a dark, dry environment. In fact paper ink jet prints are probably the most permanent way of preserving images.

    Is there any interest out there with the CiC membership in joining me in doing one print per week?


    If there is, I and other printers in the group would be more than willing to teach people how to prepare images for printing.
    Last edited by Manfred M; 30th November 2017 at 02:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    Nice idea, I've been doing my own printing on a limited size printer: max size legal (14" x 8.5") and from a lab as large as 24" x 36". I've given away quite a few prints so hopefully my friends will preserve as much as possible, I also have quite a few containers holding images shot from my film days. In the next few weeks I plan to purchase a wide format printer, mainly to continue my enjoyment of the craft; plan is to create some lowlight prints and also put together a series for presentation.

    Right now I'm armed with Uwe Steinmueller and Juergen Gulbins "Fiine Art Printing for Photographers" text, recommended by a forum member after I inquired about printing classes for fine art photography. If you recall we recently discussed printing tutorials Printing Tutorials and I'm sure this will lead to some informative future discussions on the craft. I also think this may lead to an offshoot topic on troubleshooting printers; so we may end up with a new forum category.

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    skitterbug's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    I'm thinking about this suggestion because it is an excellent idea. My images aren't nearly the level as yours but yet, I want to keep some of them for the next generation(s) of family members. With names on them - on the back of the print maybe....... I've a few of mine that I've had printed and then framed. They are hanging on the wall in our family room.

    It would be great to know this 'craft' and maybe proper way to display them as well?

    How would the participants be kept accountable? In our photo P52 it is obvious when we don't post? I know I am a "grownup" but ..... being accountable to the group is motivating.

    Anyway, yes I am interested and would like to see how this Project 52 - Print would work.

  4. #4
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    Quote Originally Posted by skitterbug View Post
    How would the participants be kept accountable? In our photo P52 it is obvious when we don't post? I know I am a "grownup" but ..... being accountable to the group is motivating.
    I was thinking of posting the image that I printed. I know that doesn't prove I actually did so, but just like with the regular Project 52, there is no way to "prove" that I actually took one image per week if I post them with the metadata stripped out. Being adults, I think we should have some level of discipline and be honest with ourselves.

    To be frank, I will not always be home and when on the road, I know there will be a period of some weeks where I will not be able to print, so I will have to catch up (or work ahead) during those times. To me the important thing is that I will have at least 52 prints to show after a year.

    I was also thinking of occasionally showing a shot of the stack of prints, as my work progresses and if I end up framing or dry mounting the image and putting it up on the wall, a shot of that might be added too.

    Any thoughts and suggestions on the mechanics of "compliance" will certainly be appreciated.

  5. #5
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    I was thinking of posting the image that I printed. I know that doesn't prove I actually did so, but just like with the regular Project 52, there is no way to "prove" that I actually took one image per week if I post them with the metadata stripped out. Being adults, I think we should have some level of discipline and be honest with ourselves.

    To be frank, I will not always be home and when on the road, I know there will be a period of some weeks where I will not be able to print, so I will have to catch up (or work ahead) during those times. To me the important thing is that I will have at least 52 prints to show after a year.

    I was also thinking of occasionally showing a shot of the stack of prints, as my work progresses and if I end up framing or dry mounting the image and putting it up on the wall, a shot of that might be added too.

    Any thoughts and suggestions on the mechanics of "compliance" will certainly be appreciated.
    Like kidnappers we'll have to include the day's newspaper for "proof of life".

  6. #6
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Like kidnappers we'll have to include the day's newspaper for "proof of life".
    No problem at all "faking" that with today's PP tools.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    Count me in. I'm all for that.

    It may be that the print comes from an image that I captured some time ago. I very rarely print right away. It sits for a while until I'm sure that it is what I want it to look like. But, the print will have been made in the week that I said it is. In other words, I won't go back to some of the prints I already have and say I just done them.
    Last edited by Donald; 30th November 2017 at 10:09 PM.

  8. #8
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    I'm sure there aren't any rules regarding capturing the capture but would like suggestions on lighting (ambient or artificial) and final edit (SOOC or minimal adjustments)?

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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    Manfred,
    What an excellent idea but, if I am honest with myself, I must admit that I would not keep it up for 52 weeks! So, I will set myself a more modest target of 24 prints for the year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    If there is, I and other printers in the group would be more than willing to teach people how to prepare images for printing.
    I have half a dozen of my prints hanging on my walls and would like to take you up on your offer to help. My biggest problem so far is deciding what kind of paper to use(mat, luster, glossy, etching, etc) for different prints. Any advice that you can offer on this aspect of printing would be most welcomed.

    André

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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    This is a really interesting idea. I think I would learn a lot doing it, and it would be fun to have a portfolio. I already have a small number of prints that I keep in an archival storage box, simply because I never go around to figuring out how to frame them and where to hang them.

    However, I think I am probably in the same situation as Andre: I doubt I would get to 52. I may set a goal of a print every second week.

  11. #11
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    Quote Originally Posted by Round Tuit View Post
    My biggest problem so far is deciding what kind of paper to use(mat, luster, glossy, etching, etc) for different prints. Any advice that you can offer on this aspect of printing would be most welcomed.
    Andre - that is a difficult and challenging question to answer simply because the choice of papers is very much a personal preference based on your own tastes.

    If you print your own, the choice is quite broad, but if you go to a commercial printer, you are "stuck" with whatever papers that they use. When I first bought my photo printer, I also picked up a "sampler" box that had two sheets of a variety of different papers to see what I liked best. These are generally only available in one size (8-1/2" x 11" in North America). Your printer manufacturer likely has a paper lineup if you want to find a place to start.

    In the end, I ended up sticking with a matte paper that I usually reserve for B&W or portraiture prints and a lustre paper that I use for everything else. I am planning to experiment with different paper as part of this Project 52 - Print initiative.

  12. #12
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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    I forgot to respond to the question about papers, but my less experienced answer would be similar to Manfred's. when I started printing, I bought sampler packs from both Moab and Red River. It was fun to experiment. Because there were only two sheets of each paper, I ended up cutting some of them in order to do a bunch of A/B (and A/B/C/D) comparisons. I ended up with two defaults: Moab Exhibition Luster and Red River Artic Matte. I use the latter mostly for cards. I'm still uncertain about fine art paper and purchased a Hahnemuhle sampler kit that I haven't played with yet. Maybe that can be part of the experimentation for me too.

    One issue in choosing papers is the use of optical brightening agents (OBAs). Stark, very white papers are typically treated with OBAs. Many people disparage them because over time, they can deteriorate. I don't worry about it. I would rather have the photo look like I want now and deteriorate later than look like I don't want now, and for many of my prints, I want a really pure white. Others, maybe less so, and that's part of the experimentation.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    I agreed with Manfred and Dan about papers.

    It's a case of deciding what you like; e.g. gloss or matte etc. and going from there. As you know, I do mostly B & W. I have printed exclusively using Matt 285 from my preferred supplied, Permajet. However, they recently launched a speciality gloss paper for Mono. I thought I'd try a sample, but quickly go back to Matt. However, this paper just blew my mind when I looked at the print.

    The Matt is still a good paper - needs to be as I've several boxes of smaller paper and 3 boxes of larger paper still to use up.

  14. #14
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    One issue in choosing papers is the use of optical brightening agents (OBAs). Stark, very white papers are typically treated with OBAs. Many people disparage them because over time, they can deteriorate. I don't worry about it. I would rather have the photo look like I want now and deteriorate later than look like I don't want now, and for many of my prints, I want a really pure white. Others, maybe less so, and that's part of the experimentation.

    OBAs definitely fade over time and the fading can be blotchy as I have had that happen to me in the past when working in the wet darkroom. I have not noticed it with my ink-jet prints, but these are only a few years old.

    The other issues with OBAs is that these products only work when there is ultraviolet light present; so daylight or fluorescent lighting, as UV activates the brightening agents. It can be hard to determine whether or not a paper contains OBAs, but the word "bright" in the name of the paper is usually a give-away here, suggesting that it does.

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    I haven't printed this yet, this is just a work in progress but will probably be the first composition I'll submit. Wondering if the caption will suffice, too much, too little information? Also checking to see how visible the caption will be.

    Project 52 - Print

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I agreed with Manfred and Dan about papers.

    It's a case of deciding what you like; e.g. gloss or matte etc. and going from there. As you know, I do mostly B & W. I have printed exclusively using Matt 285 from my preferred supplied, Permajet. However, they recently launched a speciality gloss paper for Mono. I thought I'd try a sample, but quickly go back to Matt. However, this paper just blew my mind when I looked at the print.

    The Matt is still a good paper - needs to be as I've several boxes of smaller paper and 3 boxes of larger paper still to use up.
    Has anyone tried Epson Exhibition Canvas Satin? I'm not really into textured paper but the sample print I received looked good; definitely not a medium for close viewing.

  17. #17
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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    Further to Donald's mention of Permajet (I mostly use their Oyster which is a lustre paper), they also do sample boxes:

    https://www.permajet.com/Products/PermaJet-Test-Packs

    And offer a free profiling service for their own papers.

    Dave

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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    Thank you Manfred, Dan and Donald.

    Your suggestion to try different paper and see what I like is what I have been doing. So far, I have used mostly Canon papers and have settled on their 'Platinum Pro" for high gloss. I have also selected Hahnemule papers for fine art papers and like their "Harman Gloss Art Fiber Warmtone" as what I would call "luster" finish. I have also used their "German Etching" as a mat lightly textured paper. I am sure that the other paper companies offer similar finish and quality of papers.

    What I was looking for with my original question which was obviously not phrased very well, is: given that I have a photo that I want to print, which paper finish should I consider using based on the characteristics (vibrancy of colours, level of details, tonal range, etc...) of the photo? Sometimes, the choice is fairly obvious; high gloss Platinum Pro does not work well for portrait whereas German Etching does, however most of the time I find it difficult to select a finish and printing multiple copies of every picture would be hard on my budget!

    Any guidance that you can provide would be most welcomed.

  19. #19
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    Quote Originally Posted by Round Tuit View Post
    Thank you Manfred, Dan and Donald.

    Your suggestion to try different paper and see what I like is what I have been doing. So far, I have used mostly Canon papers and have settled on their 'Platinum Pro" for high gloss. I have also selected Hahnemule papers for fine art papers and like their "Harman Gloss Art Fiber Warmtone" as what I would call "luster" finish. I have also used their "German Etching" as a mat lightly textured paper. I am sure that the other paper companies offer similar finish and quality of papers.

    What I was looking for with my original question which was obviously not phrased very well, is: given that I have a photo that I want to print, which paper finish should I consider using based on the characteristics (vibrancy of colours, level of details, tonal range, etc...) of the photo? Sometimes, the choice is fairly obvious; high gloss Platinum Pro does not work well for portrait whereas German Etching does, however most of the time I find it difficult to select a finish and printing multiple copies of every picture would be hard on my budget!

    Any guidance that you can provide would be most welcomed.
    Andre,

    Have you looked to the paper manufacturer for guidance? For instance, I went to the Epson website and requested sample prints and also a media package (45 page booklet) describing their various papers, prices, suggested subject matter. The booklet also includes each paper's base weight, thickness, permanence, brightness, finish, etc.

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    Re: Project 52 - Print

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    I haven't printed this yet, this is just a work in progress but will probably be the first composition I'll submit. Wondering if the caption will suffice, too much, too little information? Also checking to see how visible the caption will be.

    Project 52 - Print
    Hi John,
    I especially like the shape off the tree (the big branches). I would be tempted to clone out the red/wite sticks beside the path.
    Maybe lighten the path a bit ??
    A good challenge for your printer I think, esp the green grass, the churchdoor...just My 2 cents...

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