Printing Your Photos

I came across this series of short videos yesterday of photographer David Hobby chatting about his introduction to printing his photography. Although short, there are some really good insights to be gained from watching these videos and this is why I thought I would share them.

For those that don’t know, David is the person behind strobist.com where for almost 13 years he has been putting together articles, tutorials, and other great advice on how to get the most out of your flashes, particularly speedlights. The ‘Strobist’ movement, I have no doubt, is almost entirely because of David and the amount of time he has spent educating people about the best lighting techniques available and how you can achieve them using modest equipment. This has also made many photographers get their flashes off their cameras – which is a good thing.

Video 1

Photojournalist David Hobby sat down with the Fujicolor Crystal Archive Paper team to talk about his introduction to printed photography and his early days in photojournalism. See how this background gave David the mindset of prints as permanent pieces in his first episode of the Beyond the Lens docuseries.

I was taken aback at how similar his introduction to photography was to my own. Actually, I suspect many started off in a similar way, getting introduced to photography at a fairly early age. Whilst I did take some photos of sport for my high school I suspect that our yearbooks aren’t quite as big a deal as they are in the States.

To me I think prints do two things. Number one, they are a selection process. It’s like you’re not going to print everything, you are going to print the stuff that is special, and they are also a permanence kind of a process, we want it to be around for a long time, like decades, this stuff changes like every 6 months – prints aren’t going to go away.

– David Hobby

Great advice at the end of the clip! It reminds me of an old Kodak saying (sorry Fujifilm) that an image isn’t a photo until you print it. I wish people would print more of their work and I just don’t think images were meant to stay as pixels.

Video 2

This one probably appeals more to photographers, especially those that have an archive of work spanning many years. Selling prints is a great way to subsidise your income or to create a passive income.
I had not really considered myself as a print to paper photographer for so many years having gone digital

  

– David Hobby
I think many of us find ourselves in this boat and we assumed that because the means of capture had changed that the means of delivery must change as well. I wish more people, including professional photographers, would print their work. I have the luxury of there being a big tub of photos at my dad’s house going back many decades and I worry that there are whole generations who will lose that when their parents or grandparents Instagram accounts cease to exist.

Video 3

Photojournalist David Hobby sat down with the Fujicolor Crystal Archive Paper team to talk about the importance of choosing the right photo lab. David knows his photo lab will always deliver amazing results and their offering of Fujicolor Crystal Archive Papers is the reason why. See how the right photo lab can make all the difference in his third episode of the Beyond the Lens docuseries.

Again, great advice! Your relationship with your lab is so important and you need to find one that you can trust to get the results you are after – a lab that prints your work as if it is their own. Unfortunately, as with so many things in life people judge a photo lab by its pricing and relegate the quality to second place. If you take the advice from video two, and only print your absolute best work, then you should be able to afford a bit more go with the quality over price. This is something you won’t regret in the long-term.

When you make that leap to trusting them that completely it frees you up to not worrying about that last step in the process and you can go back to the stuff you really should be worrying about, which is making your next good picture

– David Hobby

Video 4

Photojournalist David Hobby sat down with the Fujicolor Crystal Archive Paper team to talk about his favorite substrate: Deep Matte Velvet. No matter the image or printing situation, the Fujicolor Crystal Archive Paper family includes the different substrates you need without sacrificing color. See how printing adds inherent value to an image in David’s final episode of the Beyond the Lens docuseries.

Printing really has come a long way and the choices available to you, in terms of papers, is vast. I always considered fibre based black and white papers to have the best look and feel, but in recent years I have had to change my stance, especially with some of the inkjet options available. I have not seen the particular substrate that David talks about here, but I can totally believe it.

He also goes on to chat about how some images may look better on certain substrates which is another reason to use a lab that knows what it is doing and offers you some choice as to how, or on what, your images are printed.

Conclusion

I hope you found the above videos as enjoyable as I did. It reminded me that I really need to get back to printing my own work again – not only the work I deliver to clients, but also the photos that I take purely for my own pleasure.

Going forward, I will look to outsourcing my printing to my local lab and I will most likely continue this with all my professional work. They already print the images that go into the albums that I use. However, I would like to start printing my own personal work at some point. There are some great A2+ and A3+ printers available from the likes of Canon and Epson that will do the job nicely.

As always, if you have any comments or questions please feel free to send them via the comments below.

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