Landscape Printing Q&A
Any questions? Back to a few of the techniques you showed earlier in the day, you had some check marks for CA and for lens correction.
And then there were a few others that you mentioned here. Is there any reason to not have those checked off? Do you lose something by keeping them on as a kind of backup for forgetting?
Nope, not at all. It's a preset that I pretty will run through and go through each time. Some people will actually if you go to your develop module, and you turn those checkboxes on, you can save yourself a preset called auto adjustments, whatever. Just go to your presets panel, click the little plus button, save it, and then when you do your import, there's a place to apply a preset. So if you've got a preset that does that which I have one of my workflow presets does it, so I can just pop down here and turn that on. And that way it's on gets check marked for all the photos. But yeah, there's no downside to it. It's not gonna hurt the photo.
We do. Is there a particular crop ratio you tend to lean towards when you're cropping your photos?
I first crop for appearance. More just straightening. So I generally won't really crop unless there's just a horrible distraction in the photo. Like as I'm taking it, I'm like I'm gonna have to crop this out. Unless there's a horrible distraction, I just crop for appearance for straightening things. At that point, I won't crop the photo to any ratio until I print. I'll just go to whatever ratio happens to be that I'm gonna be printing for. So I print a lot of 20 by 30s. That's gonna be a lot of the crop ratio. 16 by 20. 20 by 30 is really one of my favorite larger print sizes. And truth be told, you guys have an Ikea around here, right? So I go to Ikea and go to their frame section, they have awesome frames. And they're like big, I mean, there are frames this big. Nice black frames, nice white matte inside of them. They're like 15 or 20 bucks. If you go super big, they're like 20, if you go like really big, they're like 15. I buy the frame and then it comes and shows you what size to print out. Add about a quarter of an inch to that, I print out, I go to nationsphotolab.com, mpix.com, whatever it is, go there, I send a couple of prints in, and I put them into the frames. Back to the print ratio or to the aspect ratio, that's determined by whatever my output is gonna be.
Guys, seriously, hit Ikea. Get some frame. Because you know what's cool about that? Let's say you print, I'm trying to think of generally the size. It's not gonna be any more than like a 16 by 20. You know they're like six or seven dollars to print. So print like four or five of them and then change them out throughout the year. Because you kind of get bored of seeing the same photo over and over again. And if you spend $400 on getting it framed and matted, you're really less likely to change it out, so change it out a few times over the year. It'll cost you 30, 40 dollars.
Are there any comments on black and whites?
Comments on black and white. All I can say is what draws me to landscape is the color. I know it's like sacrilege. I mean, if you look at some of the founders of landscape photography. I know it's like sacrilege but it just doesn't do anything for me. Every photo I see in black and white that's a landscape, no matter how great of a photo it is, I wish it was in color. I can look at it, I can appreciate it, I can say that's great, love to see it in color. And this is just for me personally. That's why mother nature had given so many beautiful colors. For me, that's what draws me to a scene is I look at the sky and I look at all the colors that are out there and that's what gets me excited about going in a shoot. And so to take that color away, personally for me, is not something I can do. Of the conversions out there, is that kind of where you're leaning toward? Like what are some of the best conversions? I definitely go with the plugin. I think they're all good. You've got on ones, got a black and white plugin, Macphun has their tonality plugin, Nick has their black and white plugin. They're all good. They all do the same thing and they all give you a really good black and white.
Bunch more questions from the internet. Marie Picks wants to know how do you ensure that the lab is gonna print what you see on the screen? How do you make sure that it's gonna be true?
To make sure that the lab is gonna print what you see on the screen, the best thing you can do is calibrate, get one of those calibration devices like Spider or Colormonkey or something like that. They're usually about a 100, 150 bucks. But buy a calibration device. So Spider, SPY, DER. That's a good one. The Colormonkeys are going, I think they're a little bit more money. But the Spiders are really good ones for data color. And it's like a little device that hangs over your screen and it calibrates your monitor. And essentially, what it's doing, is it's making sure that what your screen is display as red is really red. And what your screen is displaying as blue is really blue because that can change over time. That's really one of the key things to get past. After that, a lot of labs, if you're not happy with it, a lot of them will reprint it for you. Maybe the first time you're gonna use a lab, don't send in a huge order. Send in a test printer, too, just to see that it's getting reproduced the way that you thought. They want you to get a good print. They want you to get a good print because they want you to come back. So if you get a print and you're not happy with it and there's something, give them a call. Every lab I've ever worked with has been more than helpful. I would definitely go down that route.
Are the presets added to in the lightroom? I know you tested some of this earlier. Are they added in the lightroom or does each one replace the previous?
Okay. I'll look at one really quick here. The grad filter, my grad filter presets they will replace the previous one. The one click presets that come with the creative live course, they are added to in that if one has a setting that goes on top of another one, it'll replace whatever was before. So if it didn't, it won't. If one has a setting that goes on top of the other one, it will replace it. And then my workflow presets, that's one setting only. So it won't replace anything.
Awesome. Matt, can you talk briefly about your backup workflow for your photos?
A backup workflow.
A backup workflow is buying an external hard drive and when I buy one, I buy two. So when I put my photos on to whatever hard drive that they're gonna go on to, I have another one that I plug in and I make sure they get copied over on to it. I could tell you the way I use a cloud backup, and that is, there's a ton of cloud services out there, the way that I use it I'm not putting everything on there. I am putting all of my iPhone photos on there because this is pretty much my family memories. This is what I take most family outings and get togethers and stuff with. I do back this up to the cloud, so that way, all that stuff's always covered. But when it comes to my photography, the way that I use the cloud is, when I'm done editing a photo, I save a full resolution file of that photo and I've got a folder up on the cloud and I put that up there. So at the end of the day, if everything I own explodes, I know that I have a final finished version of my photo saved somewhere, of my favorite photos saved somewhere. So that's how I use the cloud. Because you hear, Google come out with unlimited storage forever and ever of everything. But are you gonna upload two terabytes? Are you gonna upload 10 years of photos? How long is it gonna take you to upload a terabyte or two terabytes of photos. To me, that's not realistic. So I'm not putting all my originals up there, just one finished file.
Awesome. So hey, Matt. I assume you're working in 14 bit or more information but do you save an eight bit before printing and does it make a quality difference when printing to a large format printer?
Many printers will print in 16 bit. If they do, then I would do that. Will it make a quality difference if you print the 8 bit? I would challenge you to look on the wall and tell me that that was 8 versus 16. There might be somebody out there, I'm sure there's somebody out there that can do it. I don't think I can.