“Ron Martinsen is an internationally renowned commercial photographer who has educated over 800,000 visitors on his popular Photography and Photoshop blog. His printing series last year was a huge hit, but there was so much great information to share that his loyal readers asked for a book. Printing 101 Notebook: An Introduction to Fine Art Photography Printing is an eBook that is designed to help frustrated ink jet printer users get the most out of their investment by educating them on everything they will need to make great prints.”
Ron Martinsen’s ebook Printing 101 is packed with digital printing tips and tricks, peppered with links to more resources. In a casual personal tone he offers advice based on his real world experience. While the book is applicable to photographers using any inkjet printer, it offers more information on Canon printers than any other source I’ve encountered. The supporting interviews with industry leaders in printing offer even more information from a diverse group of individuals.
Find out more about Ron Martinsen here.
Get your copy of the Printing 101 Notebook at Flatbooks.
Learn more with my free digital printing ebooks.
Learn more in my digital printing workshops.
John Paul Caponigro
Here what top pros have to say about their printing – and Epson’s Stylus 900 Series printers.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.
Read more with my online Printing Resources.
View more with my Printing DVD.
Bambi Cantrell, Douglas Dubler, Greg Gorman, Jay Maisel, Steve McCurry, and Jeff Schewe share their thoughts and feelings on their work and how they relate to it when it’s printed.
View my Epson video interview here.
Find out more about Epson Focal Points here.
You can get Photoshop to display an image the way it will appear when it’s printed, before you print it, by softproofing an image. If you softproof before you print, you’ll get your best first proof or maybe even a finished print. Not to be confused with a hard proof or physically printed piece, a softproof uses an ICC profile to create an onscreen simulation of an image as it will appear when printed.
Wait. Haven’t you already done this by calibrating and characterizing your monitor with a colorimeter, choosing an editing space along with color management policies in Photoshop, and specifying the right profile for a printer/paper combination with your printer driver? Almost. Doing these things ensures that all of the different color behaviors of the devices you’re using are accurately described and that color conversions are handled precisely, but it doesn’t ensure that you will see exactly how an image will look when printed. Without softproofing, you see how an image looks on a monitor. To see an image on a monitor with the appearance of how it will look when printed, before you print it, you need to take the final step of softproofing the image. This simulation won’t change your file, just it’s appearance. Once softproofed, if you choose to, you can make output specific adjustments to your file before printing to get a better first print. Read More
Quickly cure curl in prints made from roll papers with D-Roller.
This device is extraordinarily simple and effective.
You might wonder why a simple plastic tube with an attached sheet of plastic costs as much as it does – 24” $259.99, 36” $279.95, and 50” $299.99. When you see how effective, easy, and fast it is to use you’ll realize it’s money well spent.
Here’s how easy it is.
1 Place a print on the white carrier film near the tube.
2 Roll the tube away from you, wrapping the print between the tube and the film.
3 Hold for a few seconds.
4 Unroll the tube
5 Turn the print 180 degrees and repeat.
6 Remove the flattened print.
Here are a couple of tips for using it.
The longer you hold the paper rolled up the more curl you take out; you can actually reverse the curl if you hold the paper too long.
Paper coming off the outside of the roll requires less derolling than paper coming of closer to the core.
Low humidity requires more derolling.
Non-rag papers require more derolling.
Though the very smooth plastic won’t damage print surfaces, you can include a cover sheet in the derolling process for exceptionally delicate materials.
Special rollers can be custom ordered for very long prints.
Is it really that simple? Yes!
Does it really work? Yes!
Visit inkjetart.com for more information.
Read more about the tools I use here.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops here.
Interested in printing on exotic substrates? Consider InkAID (inkaid.com). InkAID is a liquid coating that prepares surfaces for inkjet printing. Coating an exotic substrate’s surface will do several things. It will reduce dot gain, allowing the print to hold more detail. It will increase gamut, providing greater saturation. It will increase dmax, yielding a better black.
Artists are experimenting with many types of exotic substrates from aluminum, to acrylic sheets, to wood, to uncoated fine art and handmade papers. Basically, if you can get it through the printer and you can get the ink to stick you can print on it. InkAID helps the ink stick.
InkAid is easy to use. Stir it. Brush it on. Let it dry. Print.
There are currently five InkAid products. White Matte Precoat creates a white matte coat on any surface. Clear Semi-Gloss Precoat creates a transparent semi-gloss finish on any surface. InkAID Adhesive and Clear Gloss Precoat create a transparent glossy surface with two coats. Clear Gloss Precoat II creates a transparent glossy surface with one coat. When using clear coats, you can choose to let the coloration of the base surface show through (the material itself or a surface with an image) or you can coat it first with White Matte Precoat.
ping and handling.
Surfaces are water resistant and can be reworked with subsequent printings, over painting, or distressing.
You may be able to use ICC profiles for similar inkjet surfaces (if you get lucky), but it’s more likely that you will have to create new ICC profiles specifically for this surface to achieve the optimum results, especially if the final state of the coated substrate is not white.
InkAID is acid free and contains no optical brighteners. Nonstandard tests (hang samples in a window in direct sunlight next to other prints and compare) indicate longevity is roughly on par with similar inkjet prints. Longevity ratings obtained from standardized tests are not available as the variety of substrates being used today is so vast.
A liter costs $25. A gallon costs $65. A sample set (5 ounces of five products) is available for $21 plus ship
InkAID.com has a useful FAQ section answering many common questions about it’s use. The book Digital Art Studio: Techniques for Combining Inkjet Printing with Traditional Art Materials by Bonnie Lhotka, Karen Schminke, and Dorothy Simpson Krause is another source of useful information.
Find InkAid here.
Read more about the tools I use here.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops here.
Black and white printing presents several significant challenges; the ability to produce a neutral color, the ability to maintain that neutral appearance under different light sources (reduced metamerism), the ability to attain graybalance (consistent color throughout the entire tonal scale); the ability to achieve a very dark black (high Dmax) without sacrificing shadow detail (low dot gain), and longevity. All of these things are now easily attainable.
Black and white inkjet printing has come of age. In past years, there have been many compelling solutions for making black and white prints with inkjet technology; some have been fraught with problems (third party quadtone ink sets clog easily) and others have been expensive (ColorByte's ImagePrint RIP). Today, superior quality inkjet printing is both affordable and easily achieved.
Successfully managing color for digital printing requires that the color in an image file be converted from its device-neutral color space to a device-specific color space. (Typically this occurs by converting from Adobe RGB 1998 or Pro Photo RGB to a device-specific color space defined by an ICC profile characterizing a specific combination of printer, ink, paper, and driver.)
Using Photoshop, you can either convert color in an image before you send it to a printer driver or after you send it to a printer driver.
Choose one method of color management – not two. Easily made, a classic mistake is using both. Double color management typically results in a print that is too light and magenta.
The Epson printer driver provides many ways to manage color conversions and get reasonably good color. Two methods offer the best results; the Photoshop route and the Epson route.
How do you choose either of these methods?
Let Photoshop’s Print window (under Color Handling) guide you – Let Photoshop Determine Colors and Let Printer Determine Colors. (While the principle is the same for most printers, interfaces will vary. Here’s information for the most current Epson interface.)
If you choose Let Photoshop Determine Colors under Color Handling, select a profile for Photoshop to make the conversion with (a paper/ink/driver specific profile not the interface default of Working RGB) under Printer Profile, choose a Rendering Intent of either Relative Colorimetric or Perceptual, and then click Print Settings. In the Print window choose the correct Printer and then change Copies and Pages to Print Settings. Select the correct Media Type, uncheck High Speed, and choose the highest printer resolution available. Finally, change Print Settings to Color Management and select Off (No Color Adjustment). The Photoshop route turns Photoshop’s color conversion on and turns the printer’s color conversion off.
The Photoshop route tends to hold slightly more saturation but it’s rendition of neutral colors and gray balance is usually not as good as the Epson route. The Photoshop route is the route to take when you want to use a custom profile. Use it if you are printing with either third-party inks or papers which require the use a custom profile to accurately describe the behavior of the alternate media.
If you choose Let Printer Determine Colors under Color Handling, choose a Rendering Intent of either Relative Colorimetric or Perceptual, and then click Print Settings. In the Print window choose the correct Printer. Change Copies and Pages to Print Settings to select the correct Media Type, uncheck High Speed, and choose the highest printer resolution available. Finally, change Print Settings to Color Management, choose EPSON Standard (sRGB) under Mode, and select Color Controls. The Epson route turns Photoshop’s color conversion off and turns the printer’s color conversion on.
The Epson route tends to deliver a significantly improved rendition of neutral colors and gray balance with slightly less saturation. Try it when printing neutral colors. Use the Epson driver’s Advanced B&W Photo feature for black and white images.
Each route works well. Each route yields slightly different results. Test them to see the differences. (Note that you cannot see the differences between printing routes when softproofing; you have to make physical proofs to see these differences. They can significant.)