Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Fine Print or not so Fine :)

Okay I'm sure the anticipation of waiting to hear why I do not print my photos has reached a crescendo of huge proportions by now!!! ;) So I will not keep you waiting a moment longer in-case that anticipation morphs in to unstoppable amounts high dudgeon and we wouldn't want that :)not to mention I would not be so cruel and shabby to you the reader.

Sorry it's taken so long to write what I'm sure will only make you cast your eyes to the firmament in shear disappointment but I've been preoccupied in searching out a new chariot, balanced in equal measure at a slight guilt at using this as a means to pick folks brains! Not out of laziness I hasten to add!

As I sit here in plain view hanging on the walls of my bothy are two paintings I did back in 1995, (not very good) but not a single photo. The reasons for which are varied!

1 I'm a stingy git
2 I'm a stingy Scot
3 I'm a.....well not that stingy ;) I was approached by a fine artist who wanted to paint one of my images in a commercial project. Firstly in an oil painting then a print run! Not knowing what to charge mixed with some guilt because they were doing all the work ie painting I said they could use the image for free. Said artist being an honest type put forward an offer which I was happy with, so a financial reward is coming my way after all ahhh karma!. Sorry I'm drifting now you can see why I decided to write an article instead of answering this in the comment section to Marks query... this will teach you not to ask ? Mark :))

4 Within a week perhaps less I do not like my work because I know it could be done better.

5 Whenever I did a small print I was hugely disappointed at the result. I now know there is a lot of calibration and sharpening issues involved which I could sort out.

Now to pick your brains! I must be typing the wrong search questions into Google as I can never find an answer to what I need to know! I would now like to print some shots for myself and I also have an outlet (coffee shop chain) that would be willing to put some up for sale. The question is do you print them yourself, can you without paying mega money for a printer? From what I can gather no, not only that with reasonably priced printers the photo will fade over time That alone would put me off as I would not want any potential customers disappointed.

Next I can't seem to find where (preferably in the UK) the professionals get their photos professionally printed. Added to which if they were professionally printed I would be worried they would come back looking crap ie because of the sharpening element etc etc and could not be sold not to mention money down the drain. So all-in-all I'm just sitting here printing nothing nada. And If I'm really honest I think my work is just a bit to amateurish, I find it really difficult to judge. I'd be happy if just 1% of my stuff was ok.

Oh well guess I'd better post a shot, after all that is what here is for :)


Mark Alan Meader said...

Whoa.. be careful what you ask, eh?:)
I think you're way beyond 1% success rate.. actually we all shoot a lot of crap and anyone who says they don't is lyin'.. only difference is knowing when you've got something good, (or potentially good) and what to do with it. I only asked because I myself find printing to be at least as rewarding as shooting, often more so (kind of a Zen question: if you have a photo and it exists only in a computer as 1's and 0's, does it exist at all?)
As for spending mega-money on a printer.. there is definitely some investment required, but damn, the quality you can buy now for a few hundred bucks(quid?) is amazing. Most are now pigment rather than dye and will last a long as any traditional silver print. Depending on the size and quantity you want to do, maybe better to start off letting someone else do for you.. don't know where you live in relation to a city, but must be some kind of pro photo output service (not the local pharmacy) somewhere around you, if not, the online ones are really quite good and cheap. Just print small proofs until you're satisfied with the color/tone and only then pop for the big one. Sure it's more stuff to learn and some frustrations along the way, but it's all part of the process, yeah?
Getting your work up in the coffee shop where people can see it would be very rewarding to the old noggin of not the wallet. Don't worry about the quality of your work.. you have a great eye and a natural feel for the surroundings.. at least I think so. Just my 2 cents worth...

donnie said...

I print all of my favourite pics - mostly on Hahnemühle Fine Art mat photo rag papers 310gsm and use an epson 3800 pro printer which is fun because it can do up to A2. Normally I print at 300mm or 400mm square for print sales for display. The paper has a nice rough arty feel and takes ink well - and it is great fun to play around with hue and colours till you are happy. I have also used baryta paper in the past which has fantastic rich colours and is great for detail.

Mook said...

Mark oh aye you need to be careful! Firstly thanks for the kind words :)

I will need to to try harder to look for somewhere local. I meant to include in the article that when I have looked for where the pros get their stuff printed locally all I could come up with was the likes of photobox, snapfish M Pix etc all the online stuff. That's what I meant by I must be googling the wrong ?'s and I do not know why I omitted it just an eejit. Thanks for the info on the dye v's pigment.

thanks again mark!

Mook said...

Donnie thanks for taking the time to comment :) Your information on the paper etc is a big help and could save me a lot off wasted time not to mention my hard earned groats. From what you and Mark say I'll really need to start printing some of my fave shots. Thanks!

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