Printmaking : basic knowledge and skills

So, what do I/we need to learn to make digital fine art prints? Here’s info I compiled.

ICC Color Managed workflows – How to Make Them Work
 – Monitor and printer profiling
 – How and where to apply profiles
 – Softproofing in Photoshop
• Important scanning concepts and practices
 – Resolution, bit depth, controlling tonal range
• Camera Raw file strategies
• Photoshop techniques and productivity tips including:
 – How to establish optimal tonal range
 – Mastering curves and why that is important
 – Selection strategies
 – The power of layer masks
 – Cloning and Dodge/Burn layers
 – Blending modes
 – Sharpening strategies

• Targeting for Output to Different Printers

• Interpolation Strategies to Upsize Files

Topics include…

  • Color managed workflow from input to output
  • Adobe Bridge, Camera RAW, Lightroom, Photoshop
  • RAW conversions
  • Sophisticated color adjustment strategies
  • Black and white conversions and toning solutions
  • Local correction and masking
  • Sharpening
  • Resampling
  • Noise reduction
  • RIPs and printer drivers
  • Printer maintenance and fine tuning
  • Essential printing tests
  • Substrate surveys
  • Print handling and storage
  • Fine art printing techniques

Topics Include

Digital Printing Technologies
Monitor Calibration
Color Management and Profiles
Profile Creation
Fine-Art Papers
Print Aesthetics in a Digital World
Fine-Tuning the Print to Beauty
Print Lighting

Using Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom for Digital Camera Files
Getting the best results from Digital Camera Files
Color Management (covered in depth)
How to insure consistent results from monitor to final print
How do I color-profile my own monitor, scanner, and printer?
Image Processing
Recommended techniques for working on files
The Master File and adjustment layers
Photoshop selection tools—tips and techniques
Setting density and color balance
Retouching, burning and dodging
Preparation of files for output to various printers
Using the “Sharpen Only Edges” action (included)
Equipment Selection
Printers for proofing and final output
Storage for large image files, CD and DVD writers
Archival methods of mounting and matting digital prints

explore the recent technological developments in fine art digital printmaking. By combining the latest digital printmaking and image editing technology with traditional fine art photographic printmaking techniques, students will learn how to efficiently optimize their digital images. Participants will learn methods that will enhance their ability to create high quality digital input and output either with their own equipment, or in conjunction with an outside service provider. The class will focus on developing a personal image optimization workflow that encourages a non-destructive and efficient approach to enhancing one’s images. Additional in-depth discussions will include color calibration, color management, advanced imaging techniques, output options, substrate choices, and permanence issues.

  • Uitleg over kleur en kleurruimten zoals sRGB en AdobeRGB
  • De juiste instellingen voor inkjet printers in Adobe Photoshop CS2 en 3
  • Het kalibreren van het beeldscherm
  • Het maken van een print-papier profiel van je favoriete papiersoort
  • Het gereedmaken van foto opnamen voor Epson kleur en zwart-wit printen (histogram, kleurcorrecties, contrastaanpassingen, omzetten van kleur naar zwart-wit en retouches, werken in meerdere aanpassingslagen)
  • Archiveren en bewerken in Adobe Bridge en Lightroom
  • Zwart-wit printen met de UltraChrome K3 zwart-wit inkten

Topics covered include:

  • Photoshop CS techniques
  • Digital Workflow & Output
  • Monitor Calibration
  • Choosing the right papers and inks
  • Sharpening
  • Dodging and burning
  • And much, much more

(See also Books and courses BA – fine art printmaking – pro printers)

Related blog reading : Prints

Another read : my article about 19 century travel photography and old photographic processes


I’m about to take my digital photography a step further.

Slowly starting in May 2005, learning new techniques, digital workflow, Photoshop and the lot of the lot, I am now about to learn/take on digital printing. I’m looking into workshops printing.

I ponder however… “if” …

Since years I have a collage of 25 baryte prints hanging -unframed and sloppy taped- in the hallway. Every now and then I touch and appreciate the fine quality of the paper prints.

So, daily seeing few fine vintage baryte prints and two of my own made analog color prints, I wonder if I will ever have a similar feeling for own digital prints?

Or is it going to be “when” ?

Or what ?!

Fine art photography and graphic arts in general will for sure lose some of their physical appeal. The matching of a photograph with a carefully selected type of paper, this emotion resulting from the production of a physical object, and the opportunity to approach the image though its physical properties. Some of us will therefore keep printing just like some us still prefer to work with film. But my contention is that it will become a niche at best.

The days of prints are gone. Fine art screens have the upper end. The revolution is here.

Two interesting articles :″| On Photography & Printmaking
Image Disembodiment?

Studio JDH | Judith den Hollander | Fine Art Fotografie en Fine Art Prints.
Waarom ik kies voor fotokunst op papier.

Managing a digital photo collection

Related to my post :”| Managing an (historic) analog photo collection

Currently I am working on a corporate ‘photo collection’. A project that is about sorting out analog and digital photos.

The first phase is the inventory of all photo/media files (analog and various digital formats) that sit on hard disks or sit in albums in cupboards or lie in banana boxes. It involves structuring thousands of photo files and adding meta data to the files. The second step is selecting analog photos and digitizing them. The scans and the digital photo files will eventually go into a database and be shared online.

Digitizing is mainly done for the purpose of online sharing and preserving the analog originals.

But what about preserving the original digital files? How to preserve all digitized material? That is of course the big question for all that want to preserve a collection.

In the news came a WIPO workshop. Here’s what we read :

Unlike analog materials, digital works do not ‘self-preserve’ if left alone in a stable environment. Digital materials tend to degrade and lose their integrity quickly, and without warning. As a result, content can effectively disappear without the possibility of recovery. In addition, the formats and hardware necessary for accessing and rendering digital works in a perceptible form are becoming obsolete faster than ever, as new technologies emerge. Thus, digital preservation now requires that multiple copies of a work be made over the course of its “lifetime,” in different formats and in different storage locations.


Digital preservation can involve the exercise of one or more of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights, especially the rights of reproduction, distribution, communication, and adaptation. Because copyright exceptions pertaining to digital preservation are not uniform throughout the world, copyright law has different effects upon digital preservation in different jurisdictions. The copyright-digital preservation interface also varies depending upon the nature and source of the content, whether it is in the public domain, and whether cooperative agreements between rights holders and preservationists can be achieved.

More on the WIPO website

I think I need to put forward the suggestion that we print the best digital files on the best archival paper and add the new prints to the archival silver gelatin prints and color prints and file in proper acid free boxes and proper filing cabinets. All for the sake of preserving/ managing the collections. Oef, a though cookie this project….

And as for the copyright, another challenging layer is added to this.