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80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine Art Printing, The Sophisticated Inkjet!
This is a title on digital printing by Rockynook, a recently established publishing house specializing in books on computers, digital photography and image production. They distribute their titles through O'Reilly here in the US. They have strong ties to a German publishing house dpunct.verlag, whose specialty is computer science and digital photography. Most of the early...
Published on May 29, 2008 by John Jacobson

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92 of 96 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If What You See Isn't What You Get, You Need This Book
This handy, easy-to-use book by Uwe Steinmueller and Juergen Gulbins leads the reader gently into the expensive and complex world of Fine Art Printing.

Your first question for Fine Art Printing might well be: Why bother? Why not have your large format prints done professionally?

For instance, Epson, one of the brands discussed in the book has come...
Published on February 19, 2007 by Alexandra Bailee


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92 of 96 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If What You See Isn't What You Get, You Need This Book, February 19, 2007
By 
Alexandra Bailee "Lexa" (Tucson, AZ, United States) - See all my reviews
This handy, easy-to-use book by Uwe Steinmueller and Juergen Gulbins leads the reader gently into the expensive and complex world of Fine Art Printing.

Your first question for Fine Art Printing might well be: Why bother? Why not have your large format prints done professionally?

For instance, Epson, one of the brands discussed in the book has come out with a new, UltraChrome K3 line of inks and 13- 44-inch-wide printers. From my experience, these printers do indeed produce studio quality prints and prepress proofs. With prices ranging from $850 to $5000, they are affordable within the context of commercial production. Nevertheless, it might be a risky investment if you don't have a good grasp of the process and mechanics of printing.

This book bridges that gap. From a very basic level of color, lines per inch to materials and inks to more complex CMS management and software manipulation, this books covers the subject in enough depth to give you a real understanding, but it doesn't drown you're your interest in a flood of super-technical details.

One of the most common problems in printing is the disparity between what you see on your monitor and what comes out of your printer. Color management and monitor calibration are huge in printing and these subjects are covered well in this volume. (If you need more, specific information he publisher, Rocky Nook has another excellent offering: Color Management in Digital Photography.)

The whole process is fascinating - seeing the scene, taking the photo, moving the photo to the computer for processing, outputting the photo to hard copy. The question is: Does your print convey the story/feeling you wanted to share when you initially took the photograph?

One thing about the book amused me. It is replete with color illustrations and many of them purport to show before-and-after and/or the application of various effects. It's probably just my tired old eyes, but in many cases I was hard-pressed to see any difference. Nevertheless, when I tried the suggested techniques on my own work, I saw the results and was very pleased with them.

The fact remains that the more you learn about the printing process, even at a very basic level, the happier you'll be with the hard copy version of your photos.
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309 of 336 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Getting Better Prints, December 5, 2006
Many photographers seem to have optimism that they can improve their pictures by more work and study. How else can one explain the many photography books on the market? Apparently some believe that they can improve the printing of the pictures that they've already processed in photo-editing software. Here's a secret. In most cases, if a photographer follows the instructions that come with his or her printer, the printer will produce as good a picture as possible.

Why then do we have many books on the market telling us how to print? (Some of these books, like this one, call it "fine arts printing" or something similar. But the basic instruction is "set the switches the way the manufacturer suggests, and let the printer run".) What most of these books do is to offer some tips in photo preparation including some more unusual ways of using Photoshop.

This book starts with a general description of printers and papers. It then discusses the importance of color management, which is the process of making the images taken by the camera, viewed on the computer monitor, and printed by the printer all look the same. After describing the software switches to set to use the printer, the authors discuss the use of raster image processors (RIPs) and other printing software not included in image processing software or a printer manufacturer's software. The book ends up with discussions of black and white images; viewing images in the proper light; and presentation of prints, which primarily emphasizes matting.

Generally this book left me asking for more. For example, the chapter on papers included an excellent discussion of the technical aspects of printing papers, but when it came to the selection of paper finishes, a choice that one might find overwhelming given the number of papers available on the market, the authors tell us that it's a subjective choice. I would have a liked at least a discussion of how they made the choice for themselves. Similarly few people would be able to figure out how to cut a mat based upon the sketchy description the authors provide.

I also have to confess that I have a predisposition to dislike books by authors who recommend that the reader purchase software that they created. In the chapter on tuning tonality and color, the majority of the processes that they offer require the use of plug-ins that they sell. The processes that use unalloyed Photoshop are ones that someone familiar with Photoshop will be acquainted with, and if the reader is not acquainted with, are not described in enough detail to learn.

If the manual for your printer has you confused, or if you'd like to learn a few more technical details about things like paper and inks, this book may satisfy your appetite. On the other hand if you've already got one book that tells you how to use your printer, and you are getting prints that look good, this book won't add to your photographic skills.
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80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine Art Printing, The Sophisticated Inkjet!, May 29, 2008
By 
John Jacobson (Riverside CA USA) - See all my reviews
This is a title on digital printing by Rockynook, a recently established publishing house specializing in books on computers, digital photography and image production. They distribute their titles through O'Reilly here in the US. They have strong ties to a German publishing house dpunct.verlag, whose specialty is computer science and digital photography. Most of the early titles published by Rockynook have featured German authors. While I don't read German, the several books I've read in this series read as if parts have been translated from German, with occasional verbiage that reads as if it were transliterated, not translated. But the overall quality of the books is excellent, they're filled with beautiful pictures representative of the authors personal work, and overall the clarity of the text is more than adequate.

This is the second edition of this work, the first was published just last year in 2007. The publication of a second edition following so closely on the heels of the first suggests the rapid changes that are occurring in digital image production.

First, some caveats. The book is not really intended for the casual photographer who may print out occasional 4x6 prints on his ink jet printer. It is not for those who are using color lasers or small dye sublimation printers. It is for photographers using photo inkjet printers. The emphasis here is on "photo." Other printers are briefly discussed, but the discussion relates to "fine art printing."

What does that mean? It means one must be willing to make a substantial investment in both equipment and time. A high quality lower end photo printer with some printing capabilities for 13", 17", or 19" paper will start around $500, and the prices go up from there. These printers typically have 8-12 ink colors, and large prints use a lot of ink. That means substantial ink replacement costs. Good quality photo paper in larger sizes may run $2-$4 per print or more, depending on size. By the time you've calibrated your printer, done several test prints, make adjustments, hopefully printed a final perfect copy, you'll have invested some serious time and money to make a single quality image.

The stated goal of the book is to teach you how to make museum quality prints. Museum quality means not only are the prints excellent in composition and rendering, it also means that they'll last for decades to centuries. Besides outlining some of the tweaks in Photoshop that are an inevitable part of printing, there are discussions of the choice of archival inks, paper weight and finish, managing workflow, color, and presentation. The use of printing packages is covered. Both Windows and Mac systems are discussed. The final framing and presentation of prints is well covered.

A real positive is that specific recommendations concerning three manufacturer's printers are given, Epson, HP, and Canon.

This is an excellent work for the serious amateur, and possibly a reference for the professional photographer who wishes to retain final control over his images. Also, this is a good introduction for those interested in discovering the requirements for high quality inkjet printing.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine Art Printing for Photographers provides a complete foundation for generating the highest quality fine art prints., December 8, 2006
I have had the privilege to encounter many books on the art of photographic printing, but never have I found one so succinct and to the point about what is needed to create great prints. Fine Art Printing for Photographers is that book. Its subtitle, Exhibition Quality Prints with Inkjet Printers, is quite apt as it does a superb job of getting to the core of what is needed to understand and create high quality prints.

What I find is that many books on printing focus on "The Printer". That is they focus on a specific brand of printer whether it be Canon, Epson or HP. This is a book that transcends a brand and focuses on what it takes to generate a high quality print.

Many books will tell you about dots per inch and printer resolution. Fine Art Printing for Photographers concentrates on items that will allow you to make an informed decision on what will work best for your specific needs and equipment. It describes the differing types of inkjets; Piezo, thermal, continuous flow etc. The book describes types of inks, types of paper and the effects of all of this, along with the external conditions, on the permanence of your photos.

The book is laid out in nine chapters covering printing techniques, inks and papers, CMS management, fine art workflow, fine art printers, printing packages and RIPs, black and white, image judgment and presentation.

When assessing a book to purchase I have to ask myself, does it just rehash the same things that some other author has done or is there something more to the book? One area that I seldom see addressed is paper -- questions such as what is the best type of paper for what I am creating? And how will this paper work with this type of printer? When you think about it, inkjet photographic paper is as new as digital photography itself.

Fine Art Printing for Photographers devotes a whole chapter to the process of paper and its interaction with the various types of inks. The authors go into the ingredients of the various types of paper, coatings and how they interact with the air pollutants that can cause fading. They describe the types of surface and paper finishes and how to match the appropriate inkjet technology with the subject, paper, and ink.

Another chapter is devoted to understanding the different color models -- RGB, LAB, CMYK, and grayscale. While a lot of books talk about color models, Fine Art Printing for Photographers does one of the better jobs of helping you with the visualization of the color spaces and of color-space mapping. They describe how to profile your monitor and your printer to work as a team.

In the chapter "Tuning Colors", the authors provide numerous tricks to help you bring out the best in your photos. They describe "Soft Light" techniques, removing blue casts, and how you can use a traditional wet color darkroom technique called "ring around" to help evaluate an image to see if it has the appropriate color balance and density.

Uwe Steinmüller has been a photographer since 1973 and has been exhibiting his work worldwide since 1978. In 1999, he launched the web magazine "Digital Outback Photo," which attracts about 4 million visitors per year, and currently focuses on digital workflow, RAW file processing, and the printing process.

Jürgen Gulbins is a prolific author who has written and translated books on topics such as CAD, Unix, DTP, typography, Internet, document management, Linux, and various aspects of digital photography.

Regardless if you are an amateur or professional, Fine Art Printing for Photographers provides a complete foundation for understanding what it takes to generate the highest quality fine art prints and how to master the techniques of the masters.

[...]
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the best on the subject, December 14, 2006
By 
RonG (Chicago, Illinois) - See all my reviews
For a lot of people, maybe most, picture printing means downloading your digital camera images into any of the readily available consumer software packages, clicking on "print", and hoping for the best. Sometimes they're happy with the results, sometimes not. Most people, I would guess, never get beyond this point. Some portion of this group eventually move on to using the automatic correction features in their photo software, but they are still relegated to clicking "print" and hoping for the best. Their prints are probably better than before, and most people are perfectly happy to stay at this level.

To move on to more advanced printing, you start to get involved in tasks such as color correction, image sharpening, and a host of other activities that can, if used correctly, provide you with a much improved image. Then, you move on to more advanced printer usage, with color management, calibration, and other tasks to provide you the ability to print what you see on the screen of your computer. This book provides the reader with the fundamental knowledge needed to set up the workflows necessary to create high quality prints.

Fine Art Printing for Photographers is among the best books I have seen on the topic of producing high quality prints. The basic technologies are covered in detail, as well as the basics of the workflow required to turn a digital image into an exhibition quality print. Now, there will be those that really desire to only know what they need to get to the print itself. For them, parts of this book may not "feel" necessary, but I'm a firm believer in the idea that you really can't get to your best potential work unless you really understand the underpinnings well. The first 3 chapters of this book cover this material in sufficient detail to suit most readers, and certainly provide a good grounding for anyone desiring to move on to other texts on specific parts of this discussion. Chapters 4 through 8 provide practical knowledge on printing for a variety of printers. Every printer is slightly different, and these chapters provide information to at least get you started down the road to excellent quality using these printers. Beyond that, it's really "learning curve" to get to a high level of expertise on the printer of your choice. The last chapter covers the topic of display of your prints. This isn't an exhaustive coverage of the topic and the author makes it clear that that wasn't his intent, since this is a topic that demands its own book, of which there are several available.

All in all, I found this book very helpful. In the area of workflow especially, the book excels in providing the nuts and bolts of how you get from digital image file to completed print. For my own purposes, that was really the most important topic for me, and book delivered this very well.
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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference Book, December 7, 2006
By 
Finally, someone has produced a book that isn't a rehash of a printer user guide but is , in fact, a practical guide to getting the most out of my expensive large format printer. I myself am an author and a fine arts photographer and many times need to print out large images. I found his book to be rich with information that I want and need to know to to get the best quality prints. Those people printing 4x6 images on their photo printers can experiment until they reach the right combination of settings. For those of use printing large size images, multiple prints means time and lots and lots of money.

This book begins with the basics and takes you all the way through to the finished print. Most importantly for me, the book doesn't assume you are working with an Epson printer. The descriptions and directions are written in a clear concise manner. They include lots of tips that are based upon their considerable experience. The color examples throughout the book are beautiful.

If you want to get better prints without having to ship your images off to a lab, this is the book you must get. Eat beans for a week if need be, but get this book.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's rare to find a book with no redeaming qualities., June 14, 2012
By 
Greg Miller (Jeffersonville, IN USA) - See all my reviews
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What I expect to get from a book on printing would a lot of information about color management, output sharpening, paper selection, and some things I probably never thought about. The color management chapter starts off with an explanation as to why the authors aren't going to "waste" time and space in their book on color management, stating it's "the most demanding subject in digital photography", but it's covered in many other books so if you want to learn about it you should buy a book about it. When I got to the part about sharpening, they provided no information other than it's important and one of the authors happens to have written a book about it that you should buy. They do provide a list of papers they "like", but virtually no useful information about them. Most of them only had a brief sample of the technical data provided by the manufacturer with no comments. And the ones that did have comments were brief like "Great. One of our favorites", or "Very sharp".

The bulk of the book is actually screenshots of how to use various pieces of software and hardware, taking up a lot of space but providing virtually no or little information. Since the book was published in 2006, and it's now 2012, all of the screenshots and accompanying text is obsolete. And even back in 2006, this information is basic information that would be included with the instructions for the device you bought.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very High Quality Publication, July 8, 2007
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Producing exhibition quality photographic prints on an ink-jet printer requires a knowledge of many areas - printers, papers, inks, color management, editing software, handling and preservation. This outstanding book covers all these topics with the authority of experts. The authors' in-depth knowledge enables them to distill the essence of each topic into very concise prose, which is a pleasure on both the first reading and for subsequent reference. I have tried using other books on producing exhibition quality prints and found them wanting. With this book, I have quickly taken my prints to a new level.

As a minor issue, there are a number of places where a good editor could have tightened up the prose, added a clarifying sentence, or removed a germanic grammatical construction. Maybe for the next edition the authors could engage a more discerning editor. However, this does not affect the book's overall clarity.

One of the pleasures of this book is its design, with beautiful examples of the authors' own work, and a very extensive list of references for further information.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Basis for learning what is involved in fine art photographic printing, November 16, 2007
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Concise information regarding the process of creating a fine art print. Well written and informative. I Wish there was more in depth information available on creating ICC profiles for printers, how to create them, how to fine tune them, and how to test them.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing, April 1, 2010
By 
M. Berg (Alexandria, VA) - See all my reviews
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I was hoping for something that would provide in-depth insights into high quality print making, the use of profiles, etc., but did not find anything here that isn't covered better elsewhere. The title suggests that this book is about high quality printing using ink jet printers, but itdevote several pages to the history and features of other print technologies. A major section of the book also discusses the latest technology from the major printer manufacturers, but this is transitory information that tends to lose relevance very quickly - information that I would look for online or in a magazine, not in an expensive book. It reads like a high school term paper where the author tries to display his knowledge of everything. The book simply lacks focus, and I would not recommend it.
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