- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Peachpit Press (November 25, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321385543
- ISBN-13: 978-0321385543
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,026,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Print Like a Pro: A Digital Photographer's Guide
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About the Author
Jon Canfield has written popular photography books, i.e. Photo Finish: The Digital Photographer's Guide to Printing, Showing, and Selling Images (Sybex, 2004); currently writes the "Output Options" column for eDigital Photo; and contributes to Shutterbug, PC Photo, Outdoor Photographer, Digital PhotoPro, and Connected Photographer magazines as well as to marketing pieces for Photo Trade News. His images have been published in the America 24/7 series and featured on MSN and Kodak Web sites. He also works for Microsoft, where he has helped develop digital imaging products, Picture It! and Digital Image Pro.
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The book begins with discussion of factors that generally describe the digital reproduction process and fundamental issues about digital printing, like color permanence and specialty inks. Setting up a system where the picture on the monitor and the printed product look the same is critical so Canfield discusses color management and profiling one's monitor. He next discusses printer settings for typical Canon, Epson and HP printers. He provides a short course in editing photos in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements to prepare them for printing, including instruction on layers, exposure and special processes like the use of filters to change the look of the picture. A chapter then follows on resizing and sharpening. Having laid down the foundations, he finally gets to actual printing, dealing with paper choices and which software settings to select when printing. He discusses special print projects like books and contact sheets. He finishes with a discussion of working with service providers who can furnish outputs beyond the capabilities of the individual photographer's equipment and with framing.
This book will prove extremely useful for someone just coming to printing and wanting some help, especially when one considers the clarity of the writing. However, even though clearly written, there is nothing about the book that might make it more useful to digital photographers then many other similar books.
A problem with the book is that it is both too simple and too complex. As an example of too simple, Canfield notes that often printers are unable to deliver the same shadow details as appear on a monitor screen. He recommends adjusting the Photoshop output levels of the photograph when printing, starting with a recommended setting, and then adjusting and reprinting if the problem is not solved. Tim Grey, in his book "Color Confidence" suggests the use of a target image that will allow one to establish specific output settings for one's printer, a method which many photographers have found useful. I don't believe that Grey has any proprietary rights in this method, and it has become such a standard amongst Photoshop users that I felt Canfield almost had an obligation to suggest something better than trial and error.
Another area where Canfield could have provided more detail was in the area of sharpening. He provides useful information about recommended settings for different subject matter but fails to note that the settings must also be related to image size.
On the too complex side is a lengthy discussion of raster image processors (RIPs), which are software programs that allow more extensive control over the printing process. All anyone who will derive benefit from the basic instruction provided by Canfield needs to know about RIPs is that they exist and that they are expensive.
I was also disappointed by the discussion of the use of service providers. If one is using a vendor to get large images because one's printer is limited to a certain maximum size, it is highly useful to understand that there are a number of processes available such as C prints or inkjet. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. There was no mention of these choices.
Still and all, for the beginning digital printer, this book will provide the groundwork that he or she needs to produce a good digital print.