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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Print And Share Your Photos

Liberate your best images from their digital prison by making prints that you can show and share

One of the challenges of printing is learning about the different papers available. I currently print on many materials, including canvas, satin, cotton papers, luster papers and even translucent polyvinyl that can be put in lightbox displays. I use papers from Epson, Innova, LexJet and Moab, but there are many others available. It's a good idea to order sample packs from companies and see what types of paper best suit your work.

Once a print is made, the final step is to display it properly. You should have it framed with an acid-free mat behind glass. I prefer nonglare glass for my images printed on paper and a frame that doesn't compete with the picture for attention. Canvas prints can be stretched around a wooden frame by most frame shops. I like canvas prints because they don't require glass in front of the image and don't have to be framed if you do a "gallery wrap," wherein the canvas is secured in the back of the frame. onOne Software Perfect Resize 7.5 will automatically upsize and add gallery wrap flaps to your image for printing.

Be aware of the lighting where your prints will be displayed if you want the best presentation of your work. Most homes these days are lit with either tungsten or fluorescent lights. Neither of these light sources is optimal for print display. Tungsten bulbs give prints a yellowish color cast, and most fluorescent bulbs emit a green tint. In our galleries, we've used halogen MR16 bulbs to properly light prints. There are some exciting new LED bulbs now available that give off light similar to halogen with a fraction of the energy use. GE and Philips brands are on the cutting edge of LED technology. I think when prices become more reasonable, most lighting will be LED in homes and offices. For the price, halogen bulbs currently provide the best light source.

If you're an avid photographer, I think you'll enjoy the process of learning and mastering digital printing. Yes, I know there are still many great darkroom printers out there. All I can say is "power to you"—please keep the darkroom printing skills alive. Most of us will rely on the power of modern technology to translate our vision from the physical location where we took the image, to the digital realm of our cameras and computers, and then back to the physical world as a print.

See more of Elizabeth Carmel's photography at elizabethcarmel.com and thecarmelgallery.com. Workshop information is available at elizabethcarmel.com.


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