Sunday, April 07, 2013

Print of the Week

Recently I've been making a point of making a print of one of my photographs each week. Partly for practice, and partly to hang up the prints and enjoy them.

This week I chose a photo of a wood duck that I took at the New Orleans Zoo on our last trip. I've seen these ducks before and I love how colorful they are, but I've never managed to get a decent photograph until now.

(click to view larger)
Wood Duck

I would have liked to have a lower view point rather than shooting from above. But I was happy with the very plain background. It almost looks like he's suspended in the air. (As with most birds, it's the male that's colorful.)

I also would have liked a little better depth of focus, so that the whole bird was sharp, but at least the head and eye are good, which is the most important thing. One of the tricks I learned on this trip with the new Pentax K5 II is to push the ISO higher. The camera by itself (on automatic) is quite conservative with ISO. Most of the time I'm happy to trade slightly more noise from a higher ISO for a faster shutter speed and greater depth of focus (from a smaller aperture i.e. higher F-stop).

I printed this 13" x 19" on the last of my Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl. I've bought some new Epson Exhibition Fiber paper to try next. My first test small prints were too dark as usual, even though I have the brightness turned down on my monitor. Part of the learning process.

This was the first large print on my new Epson 3880 printer, an upgrade from my previous Epson R1800. The 3880 will print up to 17" wide as compared to 13" for the 1800. I'm looking forward to doing some 17" x 22" prints on it.

Along with the new printer, I also got an Xrite ColorMunki Photo device to calibrate my monitor and printer. So far, it's been easy to use and I had no problem calibrating my iMac display and creating color profiles for the printer. It's hard for me to tell how much difference it made, but in theory it will help ensure that colors match between the display and prints.

If anyone is interested in a print of one of my photographs I'd be happy to practice my printing skills.

See more of my photos on Flickr. This particular photo came from the New Orleans Zoo set in the 2012 Train Trip collection.

See also: other print posts

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