Printing Workshop - Overview
I spent many years in the darkroom learning about tonal gradation, highlights and shadows - the fundamental principles of the Print have not changed much with the advent of Digital.
If your RAW file, or digital negative, is good then your work will be much easier, and printing should be a pleasure; however, how and what you shoot is down to you!
Making a fine print is technology and art combined, but more technology with digital imaging for sure, and there is no easy way or short cut. It doesn't matter how many plug-ins and "quick fixes" you load into your workflow, if you don't understand the fundamentals of what is happening behind that monitor then you are guessing.
At the core of my workshops is Colour Management - a preamble will enlighten, or remind you, of basic colour theory, which leads the programme as to how, and why, you need to understand what’s going on “under the hood." Once you understand Colour Management it becomes an innate, but unconscious process, and when issues arise – as they invariably do - then pinpointing those issues becomes a simple recall in your workflow.
Arguably the weakest (device) link in the chain is your monitor. Calibration and profiling is often seen as a simple push button process. With the myriad of manufacturers (Apple monitors need special attention) this workshop gives the student an understanding of how best to calibrate and prepare the conditions in which one should process images for output - "my print is too dark..."
From camera to print, the file should be cared for as a thing of great value! The process of pre-sharpening, establishing the dynamic range of the image, grading the colour and lens correction, are all first principles. The next part of the process is where much of the image degradation takes place, transferring files, resizing (including non-destructive cropping,) using - or misusing - plug-ins and perhaps the odd profile mismatch all lead to a guessing game for the final print.
The penultimate part of the workflow is soft proofing, selecting the best "Rendering Intent" and how to refine and hone the image for the print; then comes output sharpening. What paper you decide to print on should determine your output sharpening formula; paper choice is a discussion worth having, rather than trying everything and not knowing why: and of course add to this the myriad settings and configuration one must be expert at navigating throughout the complex, incremental process!
My workshops are for experienced digital photographers. Not just those who wish (or are already printing) to follow the craft of digital printing, but for photographers who would like to truly understand colour management and demystify how profiles are created, managed and carry the print process. Many of my past students have been professionals who admitted they did not "really" understand the full process, but came away enlightened.
If you join me, be prepared to work, it’s a full-on, two or three day course and I can guarantee that most of the information will be new to you or, at least, partly understood, so have a good nights sleep and be ready to concentrate and learn.