I’ve rarely printed any of my photos, and recently I had a lesson in why this is a habit I should get into, especially if I’m to continue selling my work through microstock, Redbubble, Zazzle, and Fine Art America. I entered a local photo competition, which required an A4 size print of your work, framed, to display. I entered two works, one which printed out just fine, and one which really just didn’t look right. Darks were too dark, spot removals were obvious, weird halos in the sky around the foreground objects, lines too soft, bright colours not all that bright. What I thought would take me five minutes took all afternoon as I tweaked and printed and tweaked and printed and tweaked (and printed and tweaked and printed and tweaked and printed and tweaked…).
Eventually I got an image I was happy with, but it cost me all my new magenta cartridge and a fair whack of photo paper.
This weekend, I’ve been printing as many images as I can that I have on Redbubble, and now I sit surrounded by prints waiting their 24 hours to pass to I can see the final colour. Already I’ve learnt that black and whites seem to have a yellow tinge when they first leave the printer but that has faded to true monochrome. Otherwise, I’m pleased that so far, all of my prints look fine, although I haven’t yet gone over them with a fine toothcomb. It has cost me another magenta cartridge, plus a blue and yellow this time, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind that anything anyone buys from me to print should work out just fine (and I’ve now found a cheaper shop online to buy toner!).
It’s also made me review some of my older images, and I’m finding I’m not so happy with them as I once was, but I guess that means I’m learning something.
If you’re curious about that photo competition, I didn’t win anything, but apparently I caused “a lot of discussion” with the photo above. Still wondering if that’s good or bad!