Try these simple rules, and you’ll be able to spend less time in front of your computer screen and more time in the field making photographs
In this age of digital cameras, super-computers and image-editing software that requires a PhD to master, it’s all too easy to spend hours under the soft glow of a computer screen endlessly fine-tuning your images. I call it the “postproduction suction.” You spend two hours behind the camera and four hours behind the keyboard editing, correcting and tweaking your shots. This phenomenon can creep into your photographic life, slowly embezzling your time away from the shutter release and into the return key until it dawns on you that you haven’t hit the trail for weeks, maybe even months. This sinking feeling is the realization that you’ve become the dreaded “desk chair photographer.”
Tips and techniques from one of the experts at Nash Editions will help you make your best black-and-white prints ever
As the digital march continues onward, there’s one thing that will never change: the pure aesthetic quality of elegant black-and-white imagery. My position at Nash Editions has exposed me to a wide variety of photographic art, and with that variety comes a plethora of problems. Much of my Photoshop skills are a direct result of problem solving.
Choosing the ideal texture to showcase the details and colors in an image
Experimenting with photo papers is one of my favorite things about printing. Besides the usual suspects—premium gloss and semi-gloss—I try different textures to see how they affect a photograph. Deciding which type of paper will best reproduce an image or series of images is subjective, though. It depends on the subject matter, whether I’m going color or monochrome, and the desired visual impact.
The digital print gives photographers more freedom and control in getting great images.
For landscape photographers, the print has gone beyond a simple record that goes on the wall. With printing so accessible to all, photographers have the opportunity to create dramatic, large-format prints that demand attention.
Improved (and more) inks, better papers and the latest printer technology mean inkjet prints that look better—and last longer—than conventional photos
Quality inkjet printers let you make professional-caliber color and black-and-white prints at home. And today, you can get printers that produce bigger, longer-lasting and far better looking prints—color and black-and-white—a lot faster than ever before. This delightful situation is the result of improvements in technology—print controllers, print heads, printer drivers, inks and papers, and ink-placing algorithms.
Showcase your talent with a book of your own photography
It’s an experience that used to be reserved just for professional photographers, but now you can feel the pride of holding a book of your very own images laid out with the care and skill of a professional designer. And while slideshows are a great way to share your photos, books can be used as gifts, to promote your business or to build an entire library of your own photo books. They can even be used to present book ideas to a real publisher.
Talented artists are always eager to embrace new technology if it has the potential to enrich their art and bring forth their vision. If he had access to today's tools, what would Ansel Adams do?
More than 20 years since his passing, Ansel Adams is probably still the most widely known black-and-white outdoor photographer. He didn’t shoot digitally because digital imaging as we know it didn’t exist in those days. But I think the legendary black-and-white master would be quite interested in digital imaging were he in his shooting prime today.
Photo labs aren't just for film shooters, by a long shot
How things have changed. As a new photographer many multitudes of moons ago, I developed my own film and made my own prints, in large part because I couldn’t afford to have a good lab do it. Today, in the digital age, it actually costs less to use a good lab—and the quality is excellent.
Learn how to get the best results from a photo lab
Like you, I enjoy making color prints at home using an inkjet printer, but I still find that a photo lab plays a big role in my photography. Although I increasingly shoot digital, I have a large archive of negatives and slides that I occasionally need digitized or printed. Yes, I can do some of that at home, but when I have dozens of images that need scanning and printing, I don’t hesitate to use a lab. While Photoshop can be fun, I increasingly want to spend my free hours creating new images rather than laboring over older ones.