Wide Format Inkjet Printing of Fine Art Photography Explained in New Guide

book on using wide format inkjet printers to output fine art photographs

wide format inkjet printingUsing a wide format inkjet printer to make frame-worthy enlargements of your favorite photographs doesn’t require you to be a software engineer or color scientist. That’s the premise of the new e-book “Digital Fine Art Printing: Field Guide for Photographers” by landscape photographer Robert Rodriguez Jr.

While he debunks the myth that printing your fine art photography is too complex, he admits that “There are so many variables involved that it’s easy to make a mistake in your workflow when you first start, and then wonder why the printer seems to have a mind of its own.”

He wrote this book on fine art photo printing for photography enthusiasts who simply want to use a wide format inkjet printer to consistently make great-looking photo prints.

Why Make Your Own Prints? 

Rodriguez considers printing his own images one of the most enjoyable parts of photography. He likes having complete artistic control and producing a tangible, finished product.

He believes that part of the artistic freedom of photo printing comes from experimenting with different paper surfaces and textures, and observing how different papers display an image.

In the end, Robert says he likes printing his own images because the print looks and feels exactly as he envisioned it. Prints tend to evoke more emotional responses in the eyes of viewers and don’t look different on different types of tablets and monitors.

The book covers a range of practical topics, including:

  • evaluating the characteristics of a good print
  • choosing the right printer for your requirements
  • choosing the right paper for your images
  • optimizing capture
  • processing images with vision
  • using color management software to control quality
  • using Lightroom’s Print Module and soft-proofing features
  • handling and presenting your prints
  • weighing the pros and cons of canvas vs. framed prints on art papers

Great Advice from an Experienced Teacher

Below are just a few of the tips Robert Rodriguez, Jr. suggests in the book. Many of his tips are based on questions he has received from photography enthusiasts who have attended his printmaking workshops.

Stick with a few papers at first: When you’re just starting out, settle on a few papers from one manufacturer and stick with them for awhile. Learn how your images are affected by the characteristics of each type of paper.

Learn to print on a smaller desktop model first. If you need prints bigger than 13 x 19, you can outsource the work until you have sold enough prints to justify the investment.

Choose the right size for the print: Consider whether your image would look better large or small. The scale of a print changes how the viewer interacts with it and the emotional response.

Learn how to use the Lightroom Print Module. It can remove some of the complexity, confusion, and repetition of steps from the printing process.

Take good notes: Use an app such as Evernote to keep track of details related to printers, papers, media types, photographs, and framing materials.

“The reality is that there is nothing quite like the look of a photograph printed on a beautiful paper,” writes Robert. “It differentiates you as a photographer and really conveys your dedication to the craft of photography.”

When he teaches classes in his studio in Beacon, NY or at other locations, he says, it’s great to see the sense of satisfaction students get when they realize that printing isn’t as hard as they originally thought

wide format inkjet printing

The book is lavishly illustrated with some of the author’s own photographs.

The 145-page book can be downloaded for $19.95 as a PDF, ePub (Mac, iPad), or Mobi (Kindle) file. A free book preview of the book can be requested through a form at the bottom of the order page.

About the Author

Robert Rodriguez Jr is a landscape photographer, printmaker, teacher, and writer who strives to convey the deep, spiritual beauty he sees and experiences in nature. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Robert transitioned to photography after a 15-year career as a music arranger and producer. His images have appeared in the New York Times, and his photography is featured extensively by Scenic Hudson, a non-profit organization dedicated to land and nature preservation in the Hudson Valley.

Robert owns and operates Beyond the Lens Photo Workshops, which offers photography workshops every year in the Hudson Valley and national parks around the country. You can learn more about his workshops by reading his Beyond the Lens blog.

At Freedom Paper, we applaud Robert Rodriguez Jr. for encouraging more photo enthusiasts to consider learning how to make prints from their work. We agree that experimenting with different paper surfaces and textures can be an integral part of the creative process.

LINKS

Book: Digital Fine Art Printing: Field Guide for Photographers

Wide Format Inkjet Printing Paper & Supplies

 

Buying a Used Wide Format Printer for CAD/GIS Jobs? 8 Things to Consider

wide format printerCanon Solutions America has published a white paper entitled “Buying Used Wide Format Printers- What You Should Know.” The paper lists eight factors that can influence whether the short-term savings of buying a used wide format printer will make economic sense over the long term. They point out that latent hidden costs associated with a used wide format printer can prevent you from saving as much as you might expect.

Here are the eight factors that can add increased risk to purchasing used printers:

1. Security: A used printer could be useless in a secure environment if the printer’s controller isn’t running a Windows 7 operating system or higher. Older printers also may not have some of the security features that have been added as information has become increasingly electronic.

2. Software License: Some software licenses can’t be transferred to a third party. Software license(s) you acquired as part of the used printer may not be transferable to you.

3. File Processing Speeds: Some older printers have slower processing speeds and smaller memories than newer models. A smaller printer memory can take more time to print large, multi-page PDF, GIS or BIM files.

4. Printer Drivers: Manufacturers typically don’t update drivers for discontinued models of printers. As a result, drivers for older systems might not work at all when the operating systems of individual workstations are upgraded. If a 5-year-old printer is two three generations behind in print driver technology, printing from your CAD or other Windows applications may not be fully supports. So, your print could be missing important fonts, layers, line weights, etc.

5. Print Quality and Color Output: Older, used printers may print at a lower resolution, making it more difficult to render the quality required for complex black-and-white and color files.

6. Service and Parts: Getting service and parts may be an issue, particularly if you don’t buy the printer from the manufacturer or an authorized dealer. The availability of some parts may be limited as the older printer gets closer to obsolescence.

7. Financing: Leasing used large format printers usually carries higher financing rates. The risk of obsolescence is exacerbated if you are locked into lease for several years.

8. Total Operating Costs: If your print volume is low, the printer will likely be in stand-by mode for most of the day. Older equipment is often not as energy efficient as comparable new models, which can result in needless energy costs over time.  Other costs to consider with older equipment include slower file-processing times, the inability to correctly print large, complicated files, and the likelihood of increased downtime.

Technology Keeps Changing

The white paper points out that “Only you can determine if there is sufficient reward for your business by purchasing a used wide-format printer. It always feels great to find a ‘deal.’ However, consider how much technology has changed over the past several years and how it is likely to change in the future.”

LINK

Buying Used Wide-Format Printers — What You Should Know

New CAD/Technical/General Use Printers

 

Inkjet Canvas Innovation: Hahnemuehle Canvas Metallic

Metallic Inkjet canvas - Hahnemuhle Canvas Metallic

Inkjet canvas printing options blossomed this spring when Hahnemuhle introduced Hahnemuhle Canvas Metallic 350gsm. This bright white, finely textured canvas has an elegant silver and pearlescent gloss that adds a novel, shimmering effect to inkjet canvas prints. 

Metallic Inkjet canvas - Hahnemuhle Canvas Metallic

“This iridescent Canvas Metallic is a great product that extends our successful Hahnemühle Digital FineArt Canvas range perfectly.” said Andrea Sippel, product manager of Digital FineArt Paper for Hahnemuhle GmbH. “For vibrant and shimmering art productions, digital art or collages as well as fine art photo prints, Canvas Metallic offers an entirely new, amazingly shiny three-dimensional look. The sample print shows a painting of Jesus Vilalonga that blends perfectly with the elegant silver shine.”

Hahnemuhle Canvas Metallic is perfectly suited for use with the easy-to-use Hahenmuhle Galerie Wrap system. It is available in three roll widths: 17, 24, and 44 inches.

The ink-receptive coating on Hahnemuhle Canvas Metallic can handle the extremely high ink densities needed for dark colors. It can reproduce a large color gamut and images with sharp resolution.


Call the experts at Freedom Paper at 866-310-3335 if you have any specific questions about Hahnemuhle Canvas Metallic. We would be happy to tell you how it compares to the other fine Hahnemuhle inkjet canvas products we offer.

LINKS

Hahnemuhle Canvas Metallic 350 gsm

 

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