I get many clients that come in asking about prints from slides and negatives. Many have heard that it is impossible to get quality prints without spending a fortune and are just checking before they toss their old slides and negatives. Then I show them some of the slides and negatives that I have scanned and printed and they are shocked.
Today I want to address a little about color balance. I’m not talking about corrections that we make to our photos to make them look more natural, or that we do to enhance the colors to make them look more pleasing to the eye such as warming an image up but I am talking about color balance as it effects the print that we hang on the wall.
I often get calls that ask me if I have a certain type or make of paper and most times I have to reply “sorry no I don’t”. Then I am asked why? Well there are a lot of different companies that make paper and some really good companies at that. The problem is that each paper has good qualities and bad and I have to weigh that before I bring the paper in.
Another question that I get a lot is “Should I sign my prints”? and “How should I sign my prints with a real signature or printed digitally”?
First let me say I DO NOT HAND SIGN MY PRINTS!!!!!! Why? My signature is horrible! I see so many artists with amazing signatures then there is my signature that looks like a bird flew over the print and dumped on it! So for me a digital signature is the only choice.
Well I have not had the chance to offend anyone yet today so I may as well change that. Over the past several weeks I have been trying to figure out what has been bothering me about photography and I have not been able to nail it down. There are a few things that upset me like photographers that give away their services for next to nothing, or photographers that pass off bad photography (such as out of focus or underexposed) as art. But this was not it, I could not figure it out till late last week. On Thursday I was talking to a photographer that just came back from a trip and had a chance to listen to a amazing photographer give a lecture, in talking to her I came to realize part of what it is that has me so upset. Then this past Saturday I was listening to a radio show that I love and he mentioned that a company needs to have a clear vision of what they are about if they are going to succeed, so I sat down with pen in hand and tried to figure out what my vision is, was or will be. While doing that little exercise I finally put all the pieces together, the thing that has been bothering me about photography, and many other things in our modern world, is that we have sold our soul to technology and the brevity of things like photography, writing and communication.
Okay I am not one to buy something just because it may work, but I have been thinking of this for a while. Then when I was watching a video today I saw that the presenter was using one I thought that I would make my own colour checker and see if it works. This is the first version, I already can see a number of changes that I would do, but first I will play with it for a while then make the changes.
“What are the differences in printing companies and what should I look for when selecting one”?
This is a question that I hear a lot from people. It seems that anyone that has the money can get a printer (and many people and companies do) thinking that they can start offering printing services. So what are the differences you should look for.
1) Make sure that the printer that you use is knowledgeable towards colors and density. If I hear one more time that the color is “yucky” I am going to loose it!! There is a reason that a color is off, and a good printer will know the difference between cyan and blue and magenta and red. There is NO adjustment when printing to remove “yucky”, it is a color and / or density issue.
If your basement has gotten wet, or even really damp, and you have photos down there you need to take action now. If the pictures are just damp (not wet) and you can get them out of the albums, boxes, etc you need to do so now. Take a towel and lay the pictures on the towel with the image up (not touching anything) and let dry. If you do not do this when they start to dry they will stick together, or stick to the album pages.
If the pictures are wet (and hard to handle without them coming apart) try to drain any standing water then freeze the pictures. NEVER wipe the pictures with a cloth as this will cause the emulsion/ ink to come off. If you can freeze the pictures flat on cookie sheets with the image side up, but do not try and pull the wet pictures apart if they have stuck together – just freeze them.