Fine Art Printing for Photographers: Exhibition Quality Prints with Inkjet Printers, 2nd Edition Reviews

March 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Digital Photography Product

Fine Art Printing for Photographers: Exhibition Quality Prints with Inkjet Printers, 2nd Edition

Today’s digital cameras provide image data files allowing large-format output at high resolution. At the same time, printing technology has moved forward at an equally fast pace bringing us new inkjet systems capable of printing in high precision at a very fine resolution, providing an amazing tonality range and longtime stability of inks. Moreover, these systems are now affordable to the serious photographer. In the hands of knowledgeable and experienced photographers, these new inkjet printers

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3 Responses to “Fine Art Printing for Photographers: Exhibition Quality Prints with Inkjet Printers, 2nd Edition Reviews”
  1. Conrad J. Obregon says:
    273 of 296 people found the following review helpful:
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Getting Better Prints, December 5, 2006
    Conrad J. Obregon (New York, NY USA) –
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)

    Many photographers seem to have optimism that they can improve their pictures by more work and study. How else can one explain the many photography books on the market? Apparently some believe that they can improve the printing of the pictures that they’ve already processed in photo-editing software. Here’s a secret. In most cases, if a photographer follows the instructions that come with his or her printer, the printer will produce as good a picture as possible.

    Why then do we have many books on the market telling us how to print? (Some of these books, like this one, call it “fine arts printing” or something similar. But the basic instruction is “set the switches the way the manufacturer suggests, and let the printer run”.) What most of these books do is to offer some tips in photo preparation including some more unusual ways of using Photoshop.

    This book starts with a general description of printers and papers. It then discusses the importance of color management, which is the process of making the images taken by the camera, viewed on the computer monitor, and printed by the printer all look the same. After describing the software switches to set to use the printer, the authors discuss the use of raster image processors (RIPs) and other printing software not included in image processing software or a printer manufacturer’s software. The book ends up with discussions of black and white images; viewing images in the proper light; and presentation of prints, which primarily emphasizes matting.

    Generally this book left me asking for more. For example, the chapter on papers included an excellent discussion of the technical aspects of printing papers, but when it came to the selection of paper finishes, a choice that one might find overwhelming given the number of papers available on the market, the authors tell us that it’s a subjective choice. I would have a liked at least a discussion of how they made the choice for themselves. Similarly few people would be able to figure out how to cut a mat based upon the sketchy description the authors provide.

    I also have to confess that I have a predisposition to dislike books by authors who recommend that the reader purchase software that they created. In the chapter on tuning tonality and color, the majority of the processes that they offer require the use of plug-ins that they sell. The processes that use unalloyed Photoshop are ones that someone familiar with Photoshop will be acquainted with, and if the reader is not acquainted with, are not described in enough detail to learn.

    If the manual for your printer has you confused, or if you’d like to learn a few more technical details about things like paper and inks, this book may satisfy your appetite. On the other hand if you’ve already got one book that tells you how to use your printer, and you are getting prints that look good, this book won’t add to your photographic skills.

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  2. Jorga "Lexa" says:
    82 of 86 people found the following review helpful:
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    If What You See Isn’t What You Get, You Need This Book, February 19, 2007
    Jorga “Lexa” (Tucson, AZ, United States) –

    This handy, easy-to-use book by Uwe Steinmueller and Juergen Gulbins leads the reader gently into the expensive and complex world of Fine Art Printing.

    Your first question for Fine Art Printing might well be: Why bother? Why not have your large format prints done professionally?

    For instance, Epson, one of the brands discussed in the book has come out with a new, UltraChrome K3 line of inks and 13- 44-inch-wide printers. From my experience, these printers do indeed produce studio quality prints and prepress proofs. With prices ranging from $850 to $5000, they are affordable within the context of commercial production. Nevertheless, it might be a risky investment if you don’t have a good grasp of the process and mechanics of printing.

    This book bridges that gap. From a very basic level of color, lines per inch to materials and inks to more complex CMS management and software manipulation, this books covers the subject in enough depth to give you a real understanding, but it doesn’t drown you’re your interest in a flood of super-technical details.

    One of the most common problems in printing is the disparity between what you see on your monitor and what comes out of your printer. Color management and monitor calibration are huge in printing and these subjects are covered well in this volume. (If you need more, specific information he publisher, Rocky Nook has another excellent offering: Color Management in Digital Photography.)

    The whole process is fascinating – seeing the scene, taking the photo, moving the photo to the computer for processing, outputting the photo to hard copy. The question is: Does your print convey the story/feeling you wanted to share when you initially took the photograph?

    One thing about the book amused me. It is replete with color illustrations and many of them purport to show before-and-after and/or the application of various effects. It’s probably just my tired old eyes, but in many cases I was hard-pressed to see any difference. Nevertheless, when I tried the suggested techniques on my own work, I saw the results and was very pleased with them.

    The fact remains that the more you learn about the printing process, even at a very basic level, the happier you’ll be with the hard copy version of your photos.

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  3. John Jacobson says:
    59 of 62 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Fine Art Printing, The Sophisticated Inkjet!, May 29, 2008
    John Jacobson (Riverside CA USA) –

    This review is from: Fine Art Printing for Photographers: Exhibition Quality Prints with Inkjet Printers, 2nd Edition (Paperback)

    This is a title on digital printing by Rockynook, a recently established publishing house specializing in books on computers, digital photography and image production. They distribute their titles through O’Reilly here in the US. They have strong ties to a German publishing house dpunct.verlag, whose specialty is computer science and digital photography. Most of the early titles published by Rockynook have featured German authors. While I don’t read German, the several books I’ve read in this series read as if parts have been translated from German, with occasional verbiage that reads as if it were transliterated, not translated. But the overall quality of the books is excellent, they’re filled with beautiful pictures representative of the authors personal work, and overall the clarity of the text is more than adequate.

    This is the second edition of this work, the first was published just last year in 2007. The publication of a second edition following so closely on the heels of the first suggests the rapid changes that are occurring in digital image production.

    First, some caveats. The book is not really intended for the casual photographer who may print out occasional 4×6 prints on his ink jet printer. It is not for those who are using color lasers or small dye sublimation printers. It is for photographers using photo inkjet printers. The emphasis here is on “photo.” Other printers are briefly discussed, but the discussion relates to “fine art printing.”

    What does that mean? It means one must be willing to make a substantial investment in both equipment and time. A high quality lower end photo printer with some printing capabilities for 13″, 17″, or 19″ paper will start around $500, and the prices go up from there. These printers typically have 8-12 ink colors, and large prints use a lot of ink. That means substantial ink replacement costs. Good quality photo paper in larger sizes may run $2-$4 per print or more, depending on size. By the time you’ve calibrated your printer, done several test prints, make adjustments, hopefully printed a final perfect copy, you’ll have invested some serious time and money to make a single quality image.

    The stated goal of the book is to teach you how to make museum quality prints. Museum quality means not only are the prints excellent in composition and rendering, it also means that they’ll last for decades to centuries. Besides outlining some of the tweaks in Photoshop that are an inevitable part of printing, there are discussions of the choice of archival inks, paper weight and finish, managing workflow, color, and presentation. The use of printing packages is covered. Both Windows and Mac systems are discussed. The final framing and presentation of prints is well covered.

    A real positive is that specific recommendations concerning three manufacturer’s printers are given, Epson, HP, and Canon.

    This is an excellent work for the serious amateur, and possibly a reference for the professional photographer who wishes to retain final control over his images. Also, this is a good introduction for those interested in discovering the requirements for high quality inkjet printing.

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