Fundamentals for Great Prints


Lesson Info

Field Techniques for Great Prints

Tripods are important, especially when it comes to your landscape nature macro photography. Get a nice tripod, spend the money on a nice tripod. I use carbon fiber tripods. They cost a lot, but I'm so happy I own them because they're lightweight, and because they're lightweight, that means I'm actually going to take them and I'm actually going to use them. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten lazy with my technique and come home with soft blurry landscape photos. You could not do this handheld because I was shooting, the say F-16, my shutter speed was probably half a second. You cannot handhold at a half a second and get a sharp photo, so use a tripod. In the studio, let's use this photo as an example. In the studio, a lot of times, you can get away with not using a tripod because you're using strobes, and strobes can freeze the action and freeze the motion, so sometimes in the studio, I just like having the flexibility of moving around a little bit. The next point is great ligh...

t. Alright, Drew. Let's do it. Gonna change this one out. This one? Yeah, let's change out the crab. Cool. Aly is a high school senior, and I took that photo about, I don't know, about two weeks ago, maybe a week ago, I can't remember. So, why does that photo work, and why does the print look great? Well, it works because the light is fantastic and that's one of the most important things with getting great prints is look for great light. You notice Aly's lit up well, her eyes have really great catch lights, the background looks good. What I don't have there is massive contrast, right? Half of her face in shadow. You know, you've all taken photos like that in the sun at high noon, you know shadows under the eyes? It just looks terrible. So even for portraits, this is an outdoor portrait. I have no other lighting modifiers. This is just literally outside in the shadowy area, and I'm just looking for great, beautiful, fantastic light. That's going to help you also get better prints, cool? Bold colors, you know? Sally Lightfoot, awesome bold colors. Let's look at, here we go, this one. I'll just hold it here real quick. Look at the bold colors on this guy. Again, beautiful light. It's not an Aly white human portrait good light, but it's pretty good. Background's well lit, see? Even lighting on the background, even lighting on the subject, excellent. And I know when I take that photo I'm gonna be able to get a great print from that. And then, appropriate contrast. Now I just talked about how shooting at high noon, you're gonna get shadows under the eyes. And that's gonna be ugly. That's inappropriate contrast. (laughing) This photo, this is appropriate contrast. This is designed, he designed this photo to look this way on purpose. And you notice he's got a good light on the eyes. It's intentional. Inappropriate contrast is when you're at the, you're in Paris, and you're traveling, it's noon, and you're like, let's take a portrait in front of the Eiffel Tower, but the light's horrible. Well, that's when you need to bring your lighting equipment, and up your game.

To see a photograph at it's most powerful it needs to be printed. In this course, Mike Hagen will teach the basics of printing amazing photos. He'll cover settings and exports to print from Lightroom® and Photoshop®. The different sizes and aspect ratios to consider as well as how to sharpen for best quality. He'll show the different considerations for choosing the best paper and more. Start building your print portfolio with these essential tips in getting quality prints.



  • This is a good fundamentals class. Mike is an excellent teacher. If you are just starting printing, this would be a good choice. If you are more experienced at printing it is probably too shallow. I thought the price of the class was high for the time and detail of the lessons.
  • Good solid fundamentals class for beginners. If you're a fairly seasoned pro wanting to refine your output techniques, you'll probably find this class too general. It concentrates on the basics of achieving a good image with a basic overview of printer settings and Adobe output dialog boxes.
  • Unfortunately this class feels rushed,non-optimised and incomplete. The instructor projects a sense of expertise but often glosses over important questions. Moreover, many topics that seem endemic to this class are relegated to a mythical 'next class'. Why? Why isn't it here? Here, you will not learn about soft proofing, monitor calibration, printer calibration, extensive software suite (e.g. working in Canon's own software), framing, storage, and a myriad of other topics. Certain sections feel especially cheap. For example, when choosing paper types, Mike shows 2 examples comparing 2 paper types side by side. Fair enough, but that doesn't really do much when he himself mentioned 5 or 6 different paper types and he only has 2 examples? I know printing is expensive but surely this class should count as an investment which justifies printing at least 5 or 10 different images, on all different papers so that the students can have 25 or 50 different datapoints. In his defense, perhaps he simply did not have the time. It seems this class was one of those shorter 'photo week' classes that are done in one afternoon. Still, it feels more like what they wanted to do was split the content across multiple classes rather than have one comprehensive bootcamp. Better tutorials on YouTube.