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The Importance of a Print

Lesson 31 from: From Capture to Print

Rocco Ancora

The Importance of a Print

Lesson 31 from: From Capture to Print

Rocco Ancora

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Lesson Info

31. The Importance of a Print


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Advantages & Pitfalls of Printing


Demystifying Color Management


Understanding Bit Depth


Best Color Space to Work In


Importance of Image Capture


Live Shoot: Natural Light


Live Shoot: Studio Lights


Lesson Info

The Importance of a Print

Okay, once we've printed the image and we have this passion for printing, what do we do with these images? And this section here is all about displaying and selling your work, and just what's out there in the world of printing, because printing definitely is not dead and printing is part of our industry. We should embrace it. I'm looking forward to a really exciting future where print is gonna become a norm again with photography. Okay. Let's look at the importance of a print. And the images you are seeing here now on the screen, these are pictures of my home. This is my entryway as you walk in, and this is what printing means to me. You know? This is my family. This is my family and my partner's family and this is our family's history. Some of these prints are original, black and white, fiber based prints that we printed many, many years ago. In fact, some date back almost, 40 years. So, maybe 50 years some of them, maybe even older. But, the wonderful thing about looking at old black...

and white photographs and the real fiber based print that was printed back in the day, is that, for me, there's really an emotional connection. An emotional connection to my past and an emotional connection to my family, because when I look at the, literally the picture that I'm holding in my hand, it's the same picture of the people that have held that picture that are no longer in my life, so that there's that connection that it gives me. That piece of paper that has been held in the hands of my family for many, many, many generations. And, we have to understand that printing is generational. We're not just printing for today. We are printing for our next generation. One of the biggest mistakes people make is that we try to sell photography, sometimes, like sales people sell refrigerators and cars, you know? That's not really what photography is all about. You know, photograph is about preserving our history, if we're talking about especially domestic photography, and it's a really, really important part of our future. Today we don't print. Today we've got USB sticks, and, imagine how much information already has been lost from family losing iPhones and losing USB sticks and hard drives crashing and computers not working anymore, wherein those days, we never had that problem. You know? We printed everything. My father printed everything. In fact, my father took photos, my family took photos, they printed them at their local mini-lab, and they stuck them in albums, and those albums today, to me, to my daughter, to my family, they are invaluable. It's an invaluable way of keeping past with our future. In fact recently, you know, we were looking for an old photo and we stumbled across these old photo books, and what was meant to be like a five minute exercise in finding this particular photo ended up with hours of enjoyment, going back and looking at these pictures. I mean, the same thing can't be said about ones and zeroes on a USB stick, so the importance of print is something that is very dear to my heart, and it's something that is making a huge comeback in our industry, and print is definitely not dead. And we're going to go through in a second and talk about all the different wonderful products that are out there in the world of printing. The most logical thing to do with your prints is to frame them, okay? Framing is the most logical one, especially for large prints. There is no point printing an image to this size or that size if you're just going to roll it up and stick it in a tube and forget about it. You print your work to display it. You print your work because that becomes a piece of art that you hang on your wall. Imagine this, the wedding picture of this particular couple, that they're going to be sharing for generations to come. So, framing, and we'll talk about different ways of framing a little bit later on, but framing is the most obvious thing that we do with wall enlargements. The other thing that I like to do as an artist, is sign your work. Okay? Signing your work is extremely, extremely important. Signing your art is an integral part of the creative process, really, because the instant you apply your name to that piece of paper and you sign it, it means that you are ready to have that vision complete. In other words, you're saying to the world, my vision is complete. My DNA, my thought process, my passion for my art, is in this, and now I'm giving it to you, and it makes it very, very special. Signing your work identifies your art for all times that you've been creating, I guess, and it's been completed and it's been approved and it's something I strongly recommend that you do. Now, the type of signature that you use on there could be a special signature that you make up just to sign your work. A lot of people at workshops and seminars say to me, I don't want to use my real signature because I'm worried about fraud, and someone's gonna copy my signature. Okay, so if you wanna go down that road, and you have to look at these things in today's age because not everyone's as honest as the next person. You have to think very seriously about that. You can make your own signature, that is, your own persona for your artistic work, if you like. So, the way I frame is very, very simple. I don't use a mat, so what you're seeing here is the print printed right out to the very edge and it's mounted, and then it's sunk into the frame itself with a spacer, and then of course it goes behind glass and it's all about, you know, that archival permanence. Okay? Now, the factors that contribute to the deterioration of fine art prints, number one is light. Okay? So if you're exposing your prints in full sunlight or you're hanging it on a wall where you've got sun streaming in all day 24/7, not a good option for storing your fine art prints. The other thing that we discussed earlier in this course was humidity. Okay? Humidity is the all time enemy of printed photographs, because humidity ends up causing mold. It ends up causing very, very rapid deterioration of your fine art prints. Then we've got heat. Environments that are too hot are also very detrimental to our art prints. And of course, the other one is exposure to ozone. So, ozone is a gas that's emitted from electrical equipment, and that's something that's in the air, and certainly overexposure to the ozone, you know, could obviously deteriorate your prints, okay? So the way we preserve our fine art prints, you know, number one, as I said, is framing. But when you frame, you only use 100% acid free mounting and matting materials, and you have to be quite specific when you are framing. Now, I try to do the framing myself, as in, we sub-contract to a framer that does all the work that leaves our studio, because I can control, at the end of the day, the quality of what leaves, but sometimes are clients are quite adamant that they've got their own framing, and they take the print as is and they take it to their framer. But with that, we give them a sheet of specifications of what they should ask their framer to frame their prints on. There's no point going through all of that, trouble in printing it and putting it on beautiful paper if you're gonna put it in a 20 dollar frame that's made with very nasty glues and the fumes eventually will yellow and stain the print in a very, very short amount of time. And then of course, glazing. In other words, the properties of the glass, are extremely important. So, glazing, there's all sorts of different glass, normal glass, but you can get, if you are hanging prints in environments where there's a lot of sunlight coming through, you can get UV glass, and you can get, anti-flare glass and all sorts of stuff, so glazing is another thing. Now, with prints like, whether you're shooting landscapes, you know, or like my work here, or whether you're shooting weddings or portraits, you know, selling your work is an extremely important part of your livelihood as a photographer. You know, this course in which we shot a portrait and then we edited a portrait and printed a portrait, but the exposure side of things, the editing side of things, the printing side of things, applies to any genre of photography if you are printing your work. Printing is printing. It's literally taking pixels on to the printed form. So, for the best part, and you know what leaves our studio is large prints like this, okay, for all of our wedding and portrait clients, but also we like to combine that with a printed book. Now, with printed books, there's a couple of different options, and for years, we struggled with finding the right combination of the extreme high quality we were doing with our fine art prints and then getting books that were worthy, I guess, of marrying up to what we printed in the fine art printing world. And finally the answer came, and the answer came through a company in Italy, Graphistudio, when they started introducing their HD printing, which absolutely, when I first saw it, blew my mind a hundred fold. So, with Graphi, what's different about them, their HD printing, well, they can print on fine art paper, which is a bonus, but because they're printing on a wide gamut machine, what that means, is that they don't just print the sRGP color space, they print the full Adobe RGB color space, which means you're going to get some pretty incredible color renditions that will just totally blow your mind. I'm gonna show you some examples in a minute of what this printing actually looks like and it will blow your mind. In fact, recently a couple of photographers, friends of mine, Graphi printed their photos for a competition. We're looking at high standard printing, would you agree? Okay? And they scored quite well. So, it is worthy of winning awards. So, that's the type of printing that the HD printing through Graphistudio is offering you.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Rocco's Photoshop Actions
Rocco's Printer Evaluation Files
Color & Luminosity Seperation Action

Ratings and Reviews

Roberto Valenzuela

I honestly consider many courses to be great, but optional. However, this course by Rocco Ancora is a MUST! It helps the photographer complete the circle of being a photographic artist. Our job doesn't end at the edit, it ends with the print. When your clients can hold and enjoy your creative vision physically, that is when the magic of being a photographer happens. I have been so fortunate to travel the world teaching and meeting some of the best photographers in the world. That being said, I can say with confidence that nobody can teach this combination of Photoshop retouching / fine-art printing better than Rocco Ancora. I believe in this class so much, I traveled to Seattle to attend this course to be part of the live studio audience. I have never done that before. But that's how important I consider this material to be. I am so happy I took the time to go and learn from the man himself. Now, I will get this course to watch it, dissect it, study it, and practice it. Very excited to see how the knowledge in this course will propel my career further. --Roberto Valenzuela

a Creativelive Student

I was fortunate enough to attend this class in person and got to experience Rocco's prints in person. The quality is absolutely breathtaking and a game changer, Learning these skills will really help my business in a number of ways. In the past, I have had a difficult time convincing clients to purchase typical lab prints through my studio, as opposed to buying them through Walmart or Costco where the quality was "close enough." Rocco's method that he shared in this class creates three dimensional images of unmatched quality and images that just jump off the page. The knowledge from this course will empower me to help run a sustainable business and thrive as a photographer. You would be foolish to not learn these methods and incorporate them into your business. Highly Recommend!!

April S.

I have invested time into learning Lightroom and Photoshop, my own gear, and my particular photographic style, but the one thing I am really lacking is a solid understanding about preparing an image for print, and the various print options (e.g., paper types). When I saw this course come up on the CL schedule it caught my eye immediately so I RSVP'd for the live broadcast. I was at work when it started and couldn't watch at that time. I do listen in from work sometimes, but after 2 minutes of listening to this course I realized it was one I really needed to watch closely and focus on. So, I stopped the stream after a couple minutes and bought the course. I have never done that before. I always wait and watch as much as I can in the initial broadcast (or rebroadcast) to decide if a course is one that I really should spend for. I knew right away though that Rocco was presenting the very information I was lacking and needed, and I wanted it! In addition, it was clear to me after looking him up online that he's a consummate professional with lots of experience and his delivery style even in just the couple of minutes that I listened reflected that. I already have X-rite ColorMunki Display and Colorchecker, a good monitor, and I have a photo printer (Canon Pixma Pro-100) but I'm lacking that technical understanding of color and know I'm not using my resources to their fullest. I use my Canon Pixma to test-print images before uploading to the print service I use. My method isn't ideal since the service uses different printers and ink, and paper depending on what I choose, but at least I have a much better idea of what my image file will give me in print form. After Rocco's course I believe I will be much better equipped to prepare my images and choose the options best suited to each image. I'll still test print if only because it's fun to see something on paper, but I expect the results I get from the print service to be much better once I really know how to put this knowledge to work for me.

Student Work