There are a few stages my chosen images must travel through before they graduate to being Prints In The Shop.
In Photoshop, a little work is need to ensure the colour, highlight and shadow all match my vision along with that all- important sharpness, but with a very light touch. Areas of black and highlights can be tricky to work with and can be even trickier to print.
Once completed, print testing begins. This is where the fun starts and I say that quite ironically as many an idea has become bin fodder because the print just does not work, such as the Tulip image below. This one is due for its second test as it has presented a few problems with contrast and darkness.
A screen image is a light box and a print is not. A light box will add illumination where a print does not. Therefore the print comes out darker with much less contrast and appears relatively dull and a whole lot darker. In my case, a whole lot darker than it is anyway. I order small test prints from Spectrum Photographic in Brighton, re-edit as needed until the print comes out right. I am glad to say my tests are fewer now, as I have gotten to know the properties of my chosen paper. My wallet is much happier, too…
Paper choice is key to good prints and getting the desired effect. My first prints started life on a beautiful textured watercolour style paper, but was easily scratched with minimal handling, mainly within the blacks. This turned out to be a big problem with framing. It did not take long to realise these just could not be sold. Having Spectrum Photographic as a local printer allowed me to go in and explore how the images looked on different papers, resulting in a paper choice that is rich, lower in contrast and very robust with a visual quality that is soft and buttery.
As for the originals, they are now available as samples, for those local to Worthing to see if the prints look good on their wall before buying. Good comes after bad, doesn’t it?