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Profile Your Printer

Prints made with default (left) and custom (right) profiles compared.


Good printer profiles help make good prints. Better printer profiles help make better prints. So, logically, you’ll want to use the best printer profiles to help you make the best prints.
How do high quality printer profiles contribute to print quality? A good printer profile helps render optimum shadow and highlight detail, gradation, neutrality and graybalance, as well as color rendition and saturation. (Remember, printer profiles characterize the combination of a printer’s hardware, ink, media setting, and the substrate you choose. You’ll need different profiles for different substrates on the same printer.)
How can you get good printer profiles? Look to three primary sources. One, use profiles provided by printer manufacturers; they’re free. Two, hire a printer profiling service; profiles cost approximately $100 each. Three, make printer profiles yourself; printer profiling systems run between $400 and $1000. (Profiles supplied by substrate manufacturers are of uneven quality; a few are good, many are bad.)
Which solution is right for you? It depends on both your printing conditions and needs.
If you’re using substrates supported by the manufacturer of your printer, try using the profiles they provide first; they’re often quite good. Years ago, Epson raised the bar on the quality of printer profiles provided by manufacturers. The highly sophisticated routines they use to produce their printer profiles processed by supercomputers are truly state-of-the-art. It’s arguable that you can produce better profiles, even with the most sophisticated profiling solutions available. Their profiling routines factor in subtleties like dot structure or screening frequency. One of the reasons a solution like this works is because the technologies and manufacturing standards they use are so consistent that the unit to unit variation between individual printers of the same model is extremely low. (It’s less than a Delta E of 1 or the minimum variation the human eye can detect.) Some, printer manufacturers, like Canon, provide a large number of profiles for substrates made by other companies; their quality is generally quite high with only a few exceptions. Other printer manufacturers, like HP, produce self-profiling printers. They need to be self-profiling, as the state of the printer is constantly changing; when nozzles clog, new nozzles come on line; when ink cartridges are swapped nozzles are replaced. One advantage to a system like this is you can quickly profile a new substrate on a printer with no additional equipment. The quality of the profiles is often good, but there will be times where you’ll want to improve upon it.
No manufacturer provides a comprehensive set of profiles that will cover the entire spectrum of fast-evolving substrate industry. A little experimentation with new media is advised, sometimes a lot. If you experiment with many medias or use more exotic substrates, you’d be well advised to have someone make custom profiles for you or do it yourself.
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Snapshots, History Panel, History Brush – Julianne Kost


“Julieanne Kost reveals there is far more to the History panel than simply un-doing mistakes. Learn as she reveals little known shortcuts for working with the History Panel, including how to fill with the History Brush, as well as a fluid method for painting between snapshots with no layer or masking knowledge required!”
View more Photoshop Videos here.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Finding The Magnificent In The Mundane – Chris Orwig


“Chris Orwig brings unique perspective, creativity and passion to all that he does. As a photographer, he subscribes to Marc Riboud’s observation that “Photography is about savoring life at 1/100th of a second.” For Chris the adventure is now, and the journey has already begun — discover, look, listen, learn and live.”
Chris shares that what’s imperfect or broken can be a source of depth, strength, and inspiration.
Find out more about Chris Orwig here.
Find his books Visual Poetry and People Pictures here.

We're Still Dreaming Of Antarctica


After a whirlwind tour of Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina and Torres Del Paine, Chile, Seth Resnick, Eric Meola, Arthur Meyerson and I are finally on our way home from our recent Antarctica voyage. (Check my Google+ , Twitter, or Facebook streams for a collection of quotes on travel and home.)
We’re all still dreaming of Antarctica. Whether for the first time (Arthur and Eric) or for the fourth time (Seth and I) Antarctica touched us all very deeply. We all had unique experiences. We all made compelling images in our own unique ways. And we were able to share the experience together. And yet, no matter how hard we try to put those experiences into words, something about the place defies description. Antarctica is a profoundly mysterious place. Antarctica is so exotic that when you’re there you often feels like you’ve visited another planet.
Here are a few quick thoughts from each of us.
“I saw deeper shades of blue than I’ve ever seen before. And I was able to get closer to it and find more dramatic angles than ever before. Every time we go back there are new surprises to discover.”  – Seth Resnick
“Antarctica was the fulfillment of a life time dream … the magical mystery tour. The light, the landscape, the color blue – otherworldly. I have never experienced anything like this before. I felt as though I was on another planet.” – Arthur Meyerson
“What impressed me most about Antarctica was the silence. I’ve never been anywhere as spiritual. Most places are spiritual because of their religion. This was a place that is spiritual because of its natural beauty. I sensed that everyone around me felt the same way. Although photographers become mesmerized by their subjects, for the first time I sensed that the spirituality of the place affected them very deeply. All of us were absorbing the beauty around us.” – Eric Meola
“Antarctica is never the same twice. It’s like a mirage that never fades. It seems simultaneously eternal and ephemeral. It’s as if spirit took shape – and when you got there you get to touch it, immerse yourself in it, and take it into you. You cannot go to Antarctica and return unchanged.” – John Paul Caponigro
Digital Photo Destinations is planning a new Antarctica workshop voyage for 2013.
Sign up for our pre announce list to be among the first to hear about it.
Email jpc@digitalphotodestinations.
Find out more about Antarctica here.

Torres Del Paine, Chile




(The landscape surrounding Torres Del Paine reminded me so much of the New Mexican landscape I was raised in that I found myself revisiting themes typical of New Mexico in the images I made in Chile.)
During the second part of our Antarctica extension in the famous Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile.
Dirt roads get you into the remote Torres Del Paine National Park (Chile) and to and from its five main regions. The three horns of Torres Del Paine mountains are the most impressive feature of the region, giving the entire range a surreal air. You’ll need a long lens to fill a frame with these key features or to do some serious trekking, which is the best way to experience this park but requires time, equipment, and physical fitness. The landscape surrounding these impressive mountains is arid, dotted with large and small lakes that attract the local fauna – puma, guanaco (one of south america’s five llama species), and a variety of raptors including condor and caracara. Early and late light and weather (fantastic lenticular clouds are common) makes or breaks landscapes here, so plan a visit at the best times of year and plan to spend a little extra time in case you have to wait for conditions to change.
There are five hotels in the park. We stayed at Hosteria Pehoe, charming though a touch run down, this tiny island retreat offers stunning views of the Torres just paces from your room.
A good guide will help you make the most of your visit.

View more maps here,

Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina



The highlight of our Patagonia workshop was walking on the glacier Perito Moreno in Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina. Viewing the glacier from a boat is a touristy affair offering limited mobility; if you’re lucky you’ll see a calving. Viewing the glacier from the extensive park observation decks allows you to control your angle of view at your own pace; you can see both the north and south faces. Viewing the glacier while you’re on it offers the best interactivity; there are an unlimited number of angles of view from which you can make images with any focal length, from wide angle surveys, to telephoto excerpts, to intimate macro details. Walking into this frozen wonderland is thrilling! The only thing that could put a damper on a visit like this is heavy rain. You can’t spend enough time there. If you visit the Perito Moreno glacier, my recommendation is to plan for a full day of ice trekking – or more.
The guides for the expedition company HieloYAventura are excellent: they set a warm casual tone; they’re vigilant about safety; they’re all accomplished ice trekkers. HieloYAventura offers three services; Safari Nautico (cruise); Mini-Trekking; and Big Ice, plus customized excursions.
(One other thing, our hotel Posada De Los Alamos was excellent.)