A Checklist OF Things To Look For In Prints

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When you’re evaluating print quality, knowing what to look for is almost as important as knowing how to achieve it. Many technical factors contribute to print quality. Here’s a list of things to look for when you’re evaluating print quality – yours and others’.
It’s not that every one of these factors has to be optimal to achieve great print quality. It is that every factor you optimize enhances print quality further.
Well Focused
No Motion Blur
No Sharpening Artifacts
Extended Depth Of Field
Extended Dynamic Range
Appropriate Lightness
Highlight Detail / Separation In Values
Shadow Detail / Separation In Values
Mid-tone Contrast
Gradation
No Posterization
Low Noise
No Noise Reduction Artifacts
 
Believable Color … or … Color Transformed With Intent
Color Without Artificial Color Casts
Variation In Single Colors
Saturated Color
 
Appropriate Materials
Appropriate Scale
Appropriate Presentation Materials
Appropriate Contextualization
Appropriate Price
So what’s ‘appropriate’? That all depends on the statement being made. The real question is, “What is the artist trying to do? And how well did they achieve that?” You can successfully break the rules if you break them for a reason.

My 12 Best Selling Images

Oriens

1

Oriens, 1999

Selva Obscura VI

2

Selva Obscura VI, 2002

Oriental II

3

Oriental II, 2000

Correspondence - Nocturne - XII

4

Correspondence XII – Nocturne, 1999

Reflection I Adagio

5

Reflection I – Adagio, 1999

Condensation II - Prelude

6

Condensation II – Prelude, 2001

Correspondence - Sonata in Blue -III

7

Correspondence III – Sonata in Blue, 1999

Refraction X

8

Refraction X, 2002

Exhalation I

9

Exhalation I, 1996

Resonance in Red and Gold IB

10

Resonance IB – in Red and Gold, 2000

Resonance in Blue and Gold IA

11

Resonance IA – in Blue and Gold, 2000

Wake I

12

Wake I, 2004

Enjoy this collection of my twelve best-selling images.

Click on the links to find their current prices.

Find out more about my editions here.

Find out about new releases here.

Is It A New Or Updated Edition?

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Revelation XLIII

Digital technology offers interesting new possibilities for print editions.

The appearance of the print may change.

It has long been an accepted practice that artists will change the rendition of their images over time.

Ansel Adams famously remarked,  “The negative is comparable to the composer’s score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways.” You can view the changes in Ansel Adams’ classic Moonrise Over Hernandez here. Some collectors search for the optimum print made in an artist’s lifetime, while others collect multiple prints to create a meaningful comparison.

The composition may change.

Similarly, it’s been accepted that a composition may vary if cropping is adjusted during printing, though typically this is a matter of fine tuning rather than dramatic change. Today, with composites, the composition may change by replacing components, often dramatically changing the composition.

I’ve released composited images and later changed the composition substantially.

In the following to image, Voyage Of Grace, the feather at the top of the waterfall was at the bottom of the waterfall in the first print sold. I chose not to start the edition again because it was not a substantially different statement. The one collector who has that print has a unique item with exceptional value. (I do offer print replacements for a fee, which the collector has not chosen to exercise.)

Voyage of Grace

Find out more about this and related images here.

Updated Or New Edition ?

For me, the question of whether to replace one edition with another or to issue a new edition is an interesting one. It’s one that my father – a traditional analog photographer – and most photographers of his generation do not have to address. New possibilities bring new challenges.

There are times when related but distinctly different images warrant a new edition.

The following two images are made from separate single exposures of the same subject made at approximately the same time, but their compositions and intent are quite different; one is straight and representational, the other is composited and surreal.

Antarctica XXXVIII

The straight image

View the straight series here.

Revelation XLIII

The composite

View the composited series here.

The two editions both complement and contrast with one another in ways that build value in each edition. In general, when you can align the interests of the artistic statement with the interests of the market, you’ve got a winning combination.

Find out more about my print editions here.

Sign up for my newsletter Collectors Alert here.

Download my free PDF on Editions here.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Watch Me Demo Softproofing & Proofing


Recently on TWIP’s (This Week In Photoshop) The Fix I spoke with Jan Kabili about the power of printing your photographs. Then I demonstrated how to get the best results possible with Softproofing & Proofing practices. Watch this and you’re sure to get better prints in less time with less waste.
Find more useful videos on TWIP’s The Fix here.
Read more with my free Color Management and Printing resources.
View more in my DVD series R/Evolution.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

The Best Deal I've Ever Offered On My Prints

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Members of my newsletter Collectors Alert just received a very special offer. Two prints for one very low price. It’s the best deal I’ve ever offered.
Collectors Alert will give you previews of new images, tell you the stories behind them, offer you special discounts, and alert you about upcoming exhibits and publications.
Sign up for my newsletter Collectors Alert here.

Inquire by emailing me at jpc@johnpaulcaponigro.com.

Alumnus Michael J Quinn's New Print Portfolio

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I have been honing my photographic skills over the last several years. Making strides in composition, story telling and mechanics of photography, I still lacked some finer processing skills and the art of printing. I decided that a Print is the ultimate goal of a photographer. There is just something very tangible, very permanent about a print. Anybody can flick though a series of images on an electronic device. But actually taking the time to make a print, matting, framing ,hung on wall and lit well -takes considerable more effort. It also then requires more contemplation by the audience. I think they place more weight and value on the print than in electronic form. They are more willing to commit more time with the print.
During the span of a year, I completed both of John Paul’s Intermediate and Advance printing classes. At that point I believed that I had achieved the skills required to attempt my own Print Portfolio.
There is just something substantial about the physical print. Let’s face it, we can casually look through ton’s of images on our electronic devices. They are there and then gone. But having a book full of prints is something completely different. You engage two more of your senses, touch and smell. Every book has a certain feel and personal experience to it. It evokes more of an emotional response than the electronic equivalent.
So my goal with this project was several fold.
1. Create a body of work of 24 images
2. Improve my image processing
3. Improve my print quality / skills
4. Share with as many people as I can
A decision had to be made on the format of the book. Landscape, Portrait or Square. I deiced that the square format was the most versatile of the three. With a square book I could print any aspect ratio that I wanted and not feel constrained to a particular style. Since I knew this book was going to be a work in progress and may change over time, I thought being versatile was a good trade off versus being locked into a portrait or landscape format.
The next decision that I had to make was the size of the book. I based this partly on common size of paper available. The other influence was what kind of reaction I wanted from people when they viewed the book. I made 5 prints on 13×14 inch and 17×18 inch papers and then just stapled them together to simulate the two sizes of the book I was considering. I printed horizontal, vertical and square images. I had my own opinion and then solicited several peoples opinions. The larger size won hands down. You would not think that 4 extra inches would make that dramatic of a difference but it really did. It took the scale of the book from something casual to something cherished. The larger size was just so much more engaging.
The paper choice for my Epson 9900 printer, (after some experimentation) Epson Ultrasmooth. It brought an extra dimension of depth to my ice images. The warmth of the paper gave an extra separation to the printed images. I decided that the easiest form factor would be to use 17″ wide roll paper. Then I would just allow the printer to cut the sheets to a length of 18″. This way I would not have to do any post printing trimming of the prints.
For the physical book, I had a custom binding post book and slip cover made. I choose the binding post style so that it would be easy to replace prints and so that I could completely change the theme of the book if I desired. For materials I choose Black on Black on Black. This might be generic, or called corporate, but I liked the neutrality of it and its future potential. Each of the three surfaces were a different material, so that added a subtle variation to the book. I added just a splash of Red into my debossed logo. The inner front and back sheets are sanded mylar. This essentially adds an end sheet to the book and enhances the experience when opening the book.
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I learned a lot through this process. It was a great growth experience. Having a project focuses your mind and creativity. Completing a project gives you a sense of accomplishment. Sharing the experience – I hope I can inspire all of you to do something wonderful.
Find out more about Michael Quinn here.
Read more Alumni Success Stories here.

Free PDF – All About Limited Editions

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Edition structures disclose the number of prints that will be made of an image. Edition structures vary widely – some are open (without limit) and some are limited.
There are no standards for limited edition sizes. Practices change at least once a decade – sometimes more. Fifty years ago, the practice of limiting photographic editions was unheard of. Thirty years ago, the practice of limiting photographic editions became wide-spread. Twenty years ago, the most widespread edition structure contained 50. Ten years ago, a large number of editions were offered at 25. Today, many editions are restricted to 12 or fewer. Tomorrow’s edition structures will likely change again. Throughout that time, while there has been a constant trend favoring limited editions of increasingly small size, open editions have persisted and succeeded.
One should note that average photographic print prices have escalated substantially in that time, far in excess of economic inflation. This escalation isn’t uniform in the market; the low end has remained relatively unchanged, while the high end has exploded.
Should you limit your editions?
Should you buy only limited edition photographs?
Before you decide, find out more in this free PDF.
Subscribe to Insights enews and download it free.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.