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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

DPP Solutions: Perfect Prints

Fine-art master John Paul Caponigro’s essential tips for print-making

14 View Your Proofs And Prints In Good Light
For photographers, light matters—at the point of capture, while editing, and when viewing proofs and prints. Choose lighting that’s bright and of the right color temperature.

While industrial and commercial applications favor 5000K, most displays for public viewing favor 3600K. Use full-spectrum bulbs, like SoLux, when you can. Your prints will look better under better light. All your hard work will go unrecognized if your prints are presented in the dark.

15 Handle With Care
Take care in the way you handle substrates before, during and after production. Store them in dry environments in snug, sealed, unbendable containers that are dust- and detritus-resistant. Once produced, use slip sheets to reduce abrasion. Avoid bending, scratching, scuffing and burnishing.

16 Annotate Accurately
Sign your prints. Number them, even if they’re not part of a limited edition. Note them with provenance or production history—date printed, and paper, ink and coating used. Use pencil for matte surfaces or pigmented ink for glossy surfaces. “Permanent” pens are waterproof, but not lightfast. Do this either on the front or the back of the print, but do it on the print, outside the image area, so that if support/presentation materials are damaged, the print won’t be.

17 Polish Your Presentation
Even the best prints will go under-appreciated if they’re not presented with care. There are many ways to enhance the presentation of your images—portfolios, binding, mounting, framing, etc. Be creative. Set a tone that complements your work. But don’t let the presentation compete for attention with your work.

Final Thoughts
With the mystery of the process of making great prints dispelled, the real mystery quickly will reveal itself—the expression of your unique ideas and voice. The choices you make during the process are what makes your work interesting, not the process itself. This is where the real work of art begins and where its real rewards are found. Ideally, you’ll find this to be a path of discovery and self-realization. If, at the end of the process, you arrive with a changed view of yourself and the world in which you live, then you’ve truly made a journey worth making, a journey we’ll all want to revisit by viewing your prints time and time again.

See more of John Paul Caponigro’s work at www.johnpaulcaponigro.com.


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