Scale changes ideal viewing distance.

To see a 4×5” print you have to get close to it. You can’t see anything but its shape and color from the end of a long hall. To see a 6×10’ print in its entirety you have to stand well away from it. If you stand very close to it, you won’t be able to see the whole image, much less anything else.

The rule of thumb for determining ideal viewing distance is to stand at three times a print’s diagonal dimension. This tends to place the entire image well within a viewer’s field of vision in such a way that overall general detail can be resolved at once, minimizing panning and scanning.
Of course, zooming happens. Both artists and viewers tend to view works of art from many different distances; examining details closely and evaluating a total composition distantly. Viewing distance changes perceived scale. Viewing distance subtly changes the quality of the viewing experience. So viewers tend to compare a variety experiences, dynamically forming a total impression of a work of art.

What do you think the ideal viewing distance for prints is? Comment here!

Check out my Printing downloads here.

Check out my DVD The Art of Proofing here.

Find out about my The Fine Digital Print Workshop Series here.

Printing – Big Prints

September 9, 2008 | 3 Comments |

Scale can have a dramatic impact on the way images are experienced.

We’ve been printing up a storm here! All the prints are made on an Epson 11880. The prints can be very large. Up to 64″. How big do I typically print? Generally under 30×40″. Would I like to print bigger? Yes! Why don’t I print bigger more often?

Here’s the problem. How do you handle them during production? How do you present them (framed or unframed)? How will they fit in the exhibition space? How do you store them? When you get really big, all of these practical considerations become really significant.

New possibilities bring new opportunities and challenges.

How big have you printed? What did you do to overcome these considerations? Comment here!

Check out my Printing downloads here.

Check out my DVD The Art of Proofing here.

Find out about my The Fine Digital Print Workshop Series here.

We go into the ins and outs of advanced color management in my workshop series The Fine Digital Print. No matter what their level, it helps everyone participating. In my workshop The Fine Digital Print Advanced we take it step by step from concept to practice. In my even more advanced printing workshops The Fine Digital Print Expert and the Fine Digital Print Master we assume a higher level of knowledge and go into what doesn’t work perfectly. Here are a few examples. 1 – LCD monitors are too bright for precise prediction to print. 2 – Photoshop’s softproofing Simulate Paper Color is too aggressive.  3 – Printer drivers overink prints delivering slightly dark prints, typically losing subtle shadow detail. 4 – A majority of users don’t view their proofs and prints in ideal light. The cumulative effect leads many to think they’re doing something wrong (They might or might not be.) or that color management doesn’t work. It does. It just doesn’t work perfectly. And it’s important to know what the limitations are.

In my workshops, seminars, and DVDS, I cover what you can do to overcome these imperfections through proofing and then move on to other issues you can only address through proofing. Traditional photographic printing master John Sexton saw my demonstrations during the Epson Print Academy and remarked that watching them felt like deja vu because while the tools have changed the core concepts remain the same.

It’s been my mission to make color management relatively easy to understand and implement without dumbing it down. It can be done. No one else I know takes a more systematic and thorough an approach to proofing as I do.

I sat down several weeks ago with Scott Sheppard of Digital Photo Radio to talk about key Color Management and Proofing. Scott’s a great guy. Easy to talk with. Asks all the right questions. Scott’s one of the little guys doing big things. Digital Photo Radio is done entirely by one man. But the product is so good it seems like it’s created by an entire media team. I love to see individual entreprenuers go for it and succeed big. Scott’s done that.

Check out the audio cast and find out more about Digital Photo Radio here.
Check out my DVD 6 Simple Steps to Good Color Management here.
Check out my DVD The Art of Proofing here.
Check out free Color Management and Proofing resources on my website here.
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