Improving Your Prints by Printing

Understanding theory is important if you need to know why to do something or how to do it, and we have several important theory workshops in the Open Studio Series. But sooner or later ink has to hit paper. The best way to lock in the learning is to print your work with a focus on targeted improvements—print, review, adjust, and print again.

In this session, we will get hands-on with printing right away. Bring 2–5 of your own photographs, ones that are finished enough to kick-start the process. We’ll start with a series of test strips on a standard photo paper, then move on to other papers more specific to your printing goals and the images you bring. As we go, we’ll review and mark up the test prints and make print-specific adjustments to the digital files. The purpose is not just to print, but to make prints that look their best.

The method will be to experiment with different media that we can recommend based on your goals for each piece. If you’re like virtually everyone who has participated in this session so far, you’ll get a lot of positive results by the end of the evening. Including some that are unexpected.

We’ll cover key points including:

  • Planning the print: selecting media, determining size and other presentation factors
  • Proofing: soft- and hard-proofing, and reviewing the qualities of the test prints
  • Optimizing: making print-specific adjustments based on proofing
  • Troubleshooting: detecting and fixing common printing problems

We’ll spend the majority of the session in a loop of hands-on proofing, printing, reviewing and revising. We’ll explain digital workflow matters only as much as necessary to illustrate the workflow loop; if you need more details on the workflow, see our theory workshops. At the end of this session, we want you to have seen the framework for optimizing a print play out several times, while walking away a collection of test prints illustrating different papers. You’ll also have one print by the end that you’d be happy to put on display.

For registration, upcoming classes, pricing, or more information about our Open Studio Series, visit our main Open Studio page.

“Of course now, everybody thinks they’re a photographer. Still, people should train. Learn the principles of what makes a good photograph. Ask yourself: why does this photograph look better to me than that one? And learn why!”
— Pablo Inirio