Digital technology has brought with it many advantages to photography. It is much easier to capture the perfect photo without worrying about how many more shots you can take. This does present a small issue. Only having the images confined to the computer just isn’t good enough.
Whether it’s personal photos or for a client, we often want the best of our work as a physical print to display proudly in a photo frame or album. Now the solution isn’t as simple as clicking on the print button. You should prepare the photographs for print to get the best results.
Before you do any kind of editing work, make sure you calibrate your computer monitor. This is an essential step to guarantee the colours you see on the screen will accurately translate when printing. There are hardware and software tools you can purchase to achieve accurate monitor calibration. Companies such as Datacolor and X-Rite make a range of display calibration devices to meet the needs of photography enthusiasts and professionals.
With your monitor fully calibrated, you should also set up the right environment before you get to work on the images. Ensure there is sufficient lighting when viewing and editing any photos. If you are sending your photos to a lab for printing, ask them for advice on the colour profile you should be using.
For most photos, no matter how perfectly you took the shot, some light editing will help improve the final print version. Some basic options to consider are the image size, resolution, file type and colour spacing. Image resolution is best left at the default value to retain as much of the detail as possible. Though, you may need to slightly crop an image to have the correct aspect ratio for printing on your chosen paper size.
Sharpening the image can also improve the final look of the print. This should be done as the last step in the editing process. But don’t forget to zoom in to 100% to accurately see the results. Adjust the sharpening effect until you are happy with the final result.
Some labs will also provide a soft-proofing profile. This allows you to see exactly what the image will look like once the lab prints it. Check the guidelines of the printing lab to make sure you give them correctly formatted images before uploading the files.
You’ve done all the hard work, but there’s one last thing to do before sending all the photos for printing. Any reputable lab will send you a few sample prints for free so you can check the final look of the prints. The last thing you want is to have a large number of photos printed, and then to notice a small problem that could have easily been fixed. This will also let you see what the different types of paper are like, before choosing one for the final printing.
With just a little planning and preparation, you can make sure you get perfect looking photograph prints every single time.
This is a post by Jamie from Digital Exposure whom specializes in product photography for advertising and commercial purposes.
Some colours just launch themselves out of a photograph than others. The most powerful of all the hues is without a doubt red. Just a tiny splash of crimson in an image is enough to draw the eye. Using this trick to your advantage can have strong results. A red object such as a rose in the foreground of your composition can transform an otherwise uninspiring photograph into a great one.
Others colours that are capable of this same effect are yellows and pinks. Often a subject works well in photographs because of the use of these vivid hues. Often an identical object in a more neutral colour will leave the image looking very ordinary and without a central feature.
Luckily a photographer can deliberately seek out these colours and use them to create a composition. Even if it’s as simple as asking a model you are photographing to wear a pink scarf as opposed to a blue one. Seek red objects to add to an image instead of a grey. Used well, this trick can add a strong focal point to your picture however you have to be careful to avoid detracting from the main focus of the shot if the focus is not the red/pink/yellow feature.
This same rule works well when selecting a photograph to display such as print on canvas, or if you are buying artwork. You might experiment with a series of three images for example, with one being red and the other two less striking colours. The two, less vibrant panels will lead the eye to the central image causing a striking and memorable overall effect.
Just as some colours, such as reds and yellows scream out to be noticed, others tend to recede into the distance. Blues and greens, for example, often appear to blend into the background. Combining colours from these dominant and recessive groups can be a powerful way of adding more depth and drama to your pictures.
Choosing Pairs of colours to create impact has to be done with care, there is always the danger that they will clash. The best effect is usually achieved by combining complementary colours. Pairing Red and Green is a potent combination, as is Orange and Blue, or purple and yellow.
Unfortunately photographers can rarely be as fussy with the palettes as painters – it is usually simply just a case of noticing when two colours in a scene complement each other well and taking the photograph in such as way as to pair the two. The blues of the sea and the skye are often a useful backdrop as they provide a recessive, non-competing, and extensive backdrop against which to frame brightly coloured subjects.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 632 332.
There is resurgence in the popularity of black and white photography. The crisp and clean tones with its patterns, shapes and lines appeal to many keen photographers, art lovers and home owners alike. Black and white goes back to the very origins of photography; it is honest and true to itself. No flashy jazzed up colors to get in the way and delude the eye. It’s art in all of its glory, plain and simple. From the deep dark richest blacks to the crisp clean clear whites, it tells a story that begs the eye to draw in closer and discover the real story beneath the surface.
This is the way photography began in its true form before the invent of colour images. These prints with their moody grays and soulful off whites are a reminder of what a great print should look like. Before the gaudy mistress of colour came into the affray this is what photographers used to convey emotion and feelings. Nowadays we see a bright blue and white clouds and miss textures and emotions, light and the absence of light that this photo would have conveyed had it been in black and white.
It has been said that there is something profoundly sexy about black and white photography that you just can’t get from colour. I firmly believe that this is true. Once you remove the color from a photo it is like stripping a scene down to the bare bones removing the layers and textures and leaving just the form.
What exactly is Black & white photography?
Early plates and films had limited sensitivity to longer (red) wavelengths of light and produce a certain interpretation of the subject, later films had a much more even response to colours (panchromatic) that led to a different look altogether. The differing chemistry and manufacturing processes used by various manufacturers resulted in different films producing subtly different renditions of the same scene. These small nuances were often unique to particular manufacturers and gave great character to the finished work.
It was however quickly discovered that adding a coloured filter in front of the lens caused a big change in the overall look of the image. An example would be that by adding a red filter to a photograph of the sky cut out some of the blue light while letting in the red component of the white light from the clouds. This resulted in the image displaying darker skies which added emphasis to the clouds giving them texture and depth. Other more complex uses of coloured filters allowed equally stunning changes to be made with the tones of human skin and flowers. Each photograph would vary depending on what film was used, what filters and where the image was developed.
Six tips for taking great black and white photos
Practise…. a lot!
The art of taking a good black and white photo is to learn to see the world without colour. They have trained their mind to pick up contrast and tone while blocking out distracting colours around them. This isn’t a skill that you can pick up in a short amount of time and comes with a great deal of practice. One of the great things about digital photography is that you can take as many photos as you like then delete at will. Dont be afraid to experiment.
Focus on the contrast
Black & white photography is about the black, the white, and all the tones in between. The human eye is built to pick up two things: light intensity and color. When you remove the color, your eyes become much more sensitive to the intensity of the light. Our eyes naturally pick out areas of contrast; its how we determine what objects are. As a monochromatic photographer, your ultimate objective is to convey a point using shades of gray. Use contrast to demonstrate whats important and what not. Learn to seek out scenes that display signs of high contrast naturally, this way your black & white photos will be more compelling immediately.
When processing a black & white image after it has been taken, the use of Photoshop techniques such as levels, curves, and layer blends give you a wide variety of output options. Photoshop will also let you add any filters that you would have ever dreamed if using with a camera before.
Pay attention to the texture
Texture is really just another form of contrast however it is perceived very differently. In reality texture is the regular or irregular (as the case maybe) pattern of shadows and highlights at various intensities. Black & white photography really lends itself to texture because colour generally adds another layer of complexity, therefore masking the most subtle textures. In black and white these distractions are stripped away. Art is all about textures and form.
Capture the image in colour
As mentioned earlier, many cameras allow shooting in black and white however If your camera gives you the option of shooting in color or black & white, however you should always avoid this as you are losing a great deal of what black and white photography is all about. The camera is really capturing colour, then converting it into black & white. Photoshop (or similar) can do a much better job of this colour conversion, in addition to adding a great deal more flexibility on the output of the final image. Its astonishing how different a photo can look solely based on the post-processing phase; therefore it makes sense not to limit you before the photo even makes it out of the camera.
Use colour filters
Black & white film photographers make use of colour filters to change the tones in their photographs. Most black and white images that you see have used filters to achieve effects such as a dark sky with puffy white clouds.
Although decreasingly common, using a colour filter with a digital camera is perfectly acceptable and at times has definite benefits however it is no longer necessary. Digital software such as Photoshop has the ability to apply non-destructive color filters. These filters will produce the same filter effect with as click of a few buttons. Isnt technology great!
Ben Burnes is an independent writer for Blue Horizon Printing, specialists in printing photos on canvas. Premium quality canvas prints at unbeatable prices. http://bluehorizonprints.com.au/ .
Photos on Canvas Perth, Paddington, New Farm, West End, Mt Gravatt, Holland Park, Wishart Springwoord and Daisy Hill, Canvas prints. We deliver to all of Australia…FAST.