Learning to Print!

This past weekend I attended Michael Frye‘s excellent three day workshop “The Art and Craft of Digital Printing” in Pasadena, California. Michael is an excellent landscape and nature photographer who is very well known for his work in Yosemite and environs – as well as being as a master teacher of landscape photography. His workshops are extremely popular – and usually fill up quickly the day they are announced!

My first large 17×22 inch print – Crater Lake, Oregon

I first met Michael when my son David and I spent a day with him in Yosemite back in 2010 visiting a few of the non-iconic venues in the park that are among Michael’s favorites. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to take several of his other photography workshops – including a beautiful fall colors Eastern Sierra workshop and a mystical coastal redwoods workshop along the Northern California coast. But I’ve never before taken a workshop devoted entirely to learning how to produce digital prints.

During this weekend’s digital printing workshop, Michael taught us the processes he uses in Lightroom (and Photoshop) to create a master file of a photograph in preparation for printing – and the process of moving through proofing the print on smaller paper before ultimately making a final print on larger paper. During the weekend, we had access to three Epson P800 printers that Michael and his wife Claudia had set up for us in the classroom.

Since I don’t own a photographic printer, this was all a new experience for me – and one which proved very stimulating and gratifying. Holding a final print of one of your favorite images is a real delight – especially when it’s printed large (17×22 inch prints were our final output during this workshop). I also learned just how much time it can take to get to that point of hold your large print in your hands – as the process of printmaking is much more in pursuit of perfection than quickly posting a much smaller digital image on one of the social media platforms!

I came away feeling much more confident in my ability to create large prints – what many have said is the final stage of the process for any serious photographer! Michael (and his assistant Robert Eckhardt) thoroughly shared their years of experience in digital fine art printing – making for a very satisfying and productive weekend workshop! Michael has been teaching this digital printing workshop twice each year – and I can’t recommend it highly enough if you’re also looking to learn how to print like I was!

Note: Michael’s also the author of an excellent book on post-processing titled “Landscapes in Lightroom: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide” which I highly recommend. He includes a number of accompanying videos with the ebook that are among the best I’ve seen on the various aspects of using Lightroom effectively.

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