Preparing Print Files
Let's get on to editing and producing those files, because if you're going to put a print up on the wall, it must be perfect. Who defines perfect? Only you, but it needs to be perfect.
Would you call yourself a perfectionist?
Well, interesting, let me talk about this photograph that you can see, which is absolutely perfect up there. It's been hung up in the gallery, and it's there, and Doctor Les Walkling comes up to me, and he says, "Peter, I don't quite know how to explain this to you, "but we need to have a look at the print "of the mine, over there." And we walked over, and he says, "There's a spot, there." And I looked at it, and I could see what you can see on the screen, now. And I thought, holy hell, the person who's my hero has just come up and told me I'm a loser because I've got a spot on my print. I thought, oh. So, I quickly opened up my laptop with the file, the printed file that I'd used, and I saw that it was actually spot free. The way that we worked it out what th...
at it had been incredibly hot in Perth, 40 degree days.
Sweat from the framer had landed on there, and they had said nothing, framed it, and hunged it. At least it was-
Hung it, hang it?
They put it up on the wall.
And at least it wasn't my fault, so I was lucky. But yeah, look for that sort of stuff.
The other thing that can happen is, a couple exhibitions ago, I had a print put up, and I walked around when it was hung, and then as I looked at it, there was a color gamut issue, which, I know this surprises you, that I pushed to the edge. The blues just had basically blocked up.
And I looked at it, and the gallery owner said, "Oh, I love it." And I'm looking at it, and I could not come to terms with it. This was about one o'clock in the afternoon. So, I rang the lab that sometimes prints some of my bigger prints, and I rang it to make sure that my printer would be there. Went in there, we printed it, went and got it mounted, and put it back up and replaced it. I put it up back at home. My sister comes over to pick up something from my wife. She walks in, and she fell in love with this picture. What did my wife do? She sold it to my sister. (laughs) I said, you can't do that. I said I wasn't happy with that. She goes, "She's not gonna show anybody."
I want a sister like her. That's great. Okay, so preparing the printing files, how do we work? What I find is, I create small, A2 sizes. Now, we're gonna show you A2 sizes, A4, A3, A2, so it's big enough to see all the details.
(Tony) Four times the size of that.
Yep, and then I view it critically. In fact, what I do is, I've got a little corner of my studio, where I've got a pin board, and there, that's the shot by exhibition up on the board, and they're just sitting there so that I can go and look at them. I'll be sitting there, talking on the phone, probably to Tony, sort of tuning out a little bit, and so then I'll walk up to those prints and I'll write little notes on them about what I need to do to make them perfect. Because, yes, it's only ... We get improvement all the time, but they just get better and better. So, spend the time. Don't have an exhibition on Tuesday and have the prints finished on Monday. Have them finished two Mondays before, so that you've got time to work on them, print them out one Monday before, give yourself time is my recommendation.
You know, I agree with you 100%, and I do a similar thing, where I'll print prints out, and I'll, if I don't have space on the wall, I might even have them on the floor. I've actually sat, and had it over the weekend where I've had them on the floor in the lounge room. Or what I sometimes do is, I'll print them at night, and I'll do a whole run of prints. I'll put them on the table, so that my daughters and my wife, when they get up in the morning, they'll get up and they can't help themselves. They'll have a look through, and I'll just come in and say, "What do you think?" And they'll say, "Oh, I really like these three, "you know, but what's that one, there?" So, yeah.