This Cheat Sheet Will Help Make Printing Your Photos Easier

Printing your photos doesn’t need to be incredibly complicated; let us help!

Our friends over at Red River Paper helped us out with a colossal printer problem. As experienced as we are, we still don’t know all the sizes and information about papers. They’re kind of confusing even for experienced people. I mean, what’s another term for 8×10? Or a legal-sized paper? And do you know what the name for 17×22 inch paper is? Honestly, printing your photos is sometimes very confusing. If you’re in front of software, that can aid you quite a bit. But if you’re not, then it gets so complicated. So we hope this infographic will help. We hope it will make printing that much easier.

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Canon Just Made a Smaller Version of One of Their Best Printers

The new Canon ProGraf Pro 300 printer takes some of the ProGraf 1000’s best features and makes it smaller and more affordable.

While Canon is celebrating a lot today with their new EOS R5 and EOS R6, the truest bunch of photographers will probably be most interested in the company’s latest printer. The Canon ProGraf Pro 300 printer is aimed at advanced amateurs and students. It takes lots of the features from the ProGraf 1000, which is what we use to do all of our high ISO testing. Capable of printing at 13 x 19 inches, it uses a 10 color ink system with a new matte black ink. Plus, the photo black and matte black will have their own nozzles. That’s important, and the process starts when you tell the printer what paper you’re using. When we’re printing from Capture One, we always do this. Of course, it means you need to physically get up and dial in the closest Canon equivalent paper type.

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Galaxy: The Kickstarter That Stole Nearly $70,000 From Photographers

We’re sorry to say it, but we’re never going to get our money back from Galaxy Papers.

There was a time years ago when photographers could easily support the Galaxy Paper system. After all, both our names and Petapixel’s were on them for helping to drive the most funding to their Kickstarter project. But as the years went by, they became more and more silent as they took our money and ran. For analog photographers, one cannot express how much despair and sadness there is from this. They say that wounds heal, but scars don’t. And for lots of photographers, the hole that Galaxy left for us can drive us mad. I had all but forgotten about them and the reps I had tried over and over again to get in communication with. But nothing worked out–and it wasn’t until someone commented on their fully funded Kickstarter back in 2016 that the scars really started to become noticeable again.

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Print Your Landscapes: Red River Palo Duro Baryta Fiber Paper Review

With Red River Palo Duro Baryta Fiber Paper, the details in your photos will pop.

I’ve always admired how Red River created good paper at an affordable price point, but the Red River Palo Duro Baryta Fiber paper had me scratching my head despite the great details it rendered. The best way to describe it involves thinking a bit like watching an old school movie or even a more recent one shot on film. When you watch a beautiful movie shot on 70mm these days, you see specks and grain. That’s how Red River Palo Duro renders despite having a whole lot of detail. Why does it do this? To be honest, it beats the hell out of me. And even now I’m not sure I like it. But I respect the fact that it’s so different than anything else out there. The paper is said to mimic the look and feel of one of Ansel Adams’ favorites.

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Review: MOAB Entrada 300 (The Darling of Black and White Photography)

MOAB Entrada 300 makes black and white photos look great.

Printing is still a large part of running the Phoblographer, and MOAB Entrada 300 is a fascinating paper to us in many ways. Most matte papers we test have some sort of texture to them, but MOAB Entrada 300 is an oddity in this way as it is a smooth matte paper. The result is a loss of detail when compared to something like a luster or a glossy print. MOAB Entrada 300 instead has the look of something almost like Red River Palo Duro papers, which are designed to emulate the look of the darkroom. In this case, MOAB Entrada 300 is for a photographer who really liked black and white. More importantly, it’s for the person printing an image who doesn’t know where they want to place it. To that end, it’s excellent for displaying it anywhere in your home.

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Paper Review: MOAB Juniper Baryta Rag (This Is Something Special)

When using MOAB Juniper Baryta Rag, we were shocked at how different it is. 

For a long time, I didn’t like much of what MOAB put out in terms of paper. But MOAB Juniper Baryta Rag really changed my mind. It is different from much of the other papers from Red River, Canon, and Epson in a few ways. For starters, this paper has a warmer color while it maintains a white look. MOAB Juniper Baryta Rag is a semi-gloss paper with a contrasty look. As a standard, we tend to use Canon Pro Semi-Gloss papers, but MOAB Juniper Baryta Rag is a pleasing alternative considering that many folks tend to find their printed images look too cold. And so if you’re not calibrating your printer and your screen often, or sharing the profiles with one another, then MOAB Juniper Baryta Rag could save you some extra work in post-production.

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Red River Palo Duro Baryta Fiber Paper Mimics an Ansel Adams Favorite

Palo Duro Baryta Fiber is Red River’s latest paper for those who want professional, museum-quality prints.

Whether you’re a print enthusiast or have yet to print your best snaps professionally, Red River’s new paper offering could be a great option for you. The Palo Duro Baryta Fiber 300 boasts rich tonality, depth, and feel of traditional wet darkroom fiber paper, promising prints that will meet, if not surpass, gallery and museum expectations.

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Rant: Modern, Dedicated Photo Printers Desperately Need Bluetooth Integration

If photo companies want us to print more often, they need to make it a whole lot simpler.

I think that one of the biggest things that I hear from all the manufacturers out there is that print is on its last legs, evolving, becoming more niche, etc. And to be very transparent, I think that they have themselves to blame. It’s only been in the past year that I’ve been bigger efforts from Fujifilm, Canon, HP (sort of), and Epson to really reach out to younger audiences. By that, I don’t necessarily mean age, but more photographic age. There are still so many photographers that don’t know what their images look like on a print and haven’t had the opportunity to really get prints made. I think that Bluetooth can honestly make this so much easier.

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The Phoblographer’s 2018 Guide to Making Prints for Your Loved Ones

Every photographer should give the gift of their work to their dearest, and what better way to do that than with a printed piece of art?

The holidays are coming up soon, and if you’re in the spirit, consider the gift of your own artwork to clients, loved ones, friends, etc. What you create is special: you put effort into it, you spend hours in post-production or with subjects, and you refine your craft and creative vision until you feel like it’s just right. Your art should be on someone’s wall, on their coffee table, in their cubicle, etc. Want to get started? Let’s take a look at some of our favorite options for 2018.

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Fujifilm: “Giftable” Print Product Sales are Up 40% Year After Year

Fujifilm recently took to New York’s Grand Central to display a number of photos in their FUJIFILM Print Life Photo Exhibition.

Fujifilm is arguably in one of the best positions to push the idea of the printed photograph onto a modern audiences, perhaps even more so than Canon. Go to almost any lab or printing service in America and they’re most likely using Fujifilm’s color paper. Recently, Fujifilm raffled off a few Instax cameras and told participants that their images would be displayed in their new Print Life Photo Exhibit. In additional return for submitting images, Fujifilm let participants know that they’ll be sending them an 8×8 print of their photo after uploading their images. The result: over 13,000 entries–which may not sound like a lot but considering the scope of the prizes and what most folks in marketing will tell you, was significant.

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What the Photographic Printing World Needs to Do to Appeal to a Younger Audience

The world of printing your photos is really confusing even as I’ve been doing it for years now.

Throughout all my meetings in the photo industry, what’s consistently spoken about is how little people print anymore. Indeed, it isn’t a necessary part of the photography process because you can’t double tap the images or scroll passed them. But printing is still the ultimate experience in photography. Folks of course want to get into it, but if you’re looking at it as an outsider, it’s pretty darned complicated. Your more common options are heading to a Walgreens and getting prints made there. But the bigger and better prints aren’t well known to folks.

Here’s what the photo industry needs to focus on to get better messages across about printing.

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John Potter: Creating a Curved Film Plane Paper Negative Camera

 

John Potter built something seriously awesome – a curve film plane paper negative camera!

“I built the curved plane paper negative camera as I liked the idea of creating images in a cinematic style,” is what John Potter tells us about his camera after a conversation about curved film planes. “Because I was using such a long negative, I needed to have a curved plane negative, so that each part of the negative receives the same amount of light falling on to it. With a flat plane negative, the ends of the negative would not get as much light falling onto them because they are so much further away from the source of light / pinhole.” He continues to state that there are no lenses involved.

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Papers that Every Photographer Serious About Printing Should Try

The best experiences for printing really come when you do it yourself. It’s really convenient to have CostCo, Adorama, or other services print for you. But they offer a very sort of standard type of paper. In fact, if you looked at what the company sells the most paper in America, it would be Fujifilm. Fujifilm? Really, you say? Yes. Go to any pharmacy and get your images printed, they’ll be done on a Fujifilm glossy paper. Fujifilm for sure gives the absolute standard for what you get from most kiosks of some sort. But if you’re looking for a different look, it can be a bit confusing. So here are some of our favorite papers.

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On Making Your Own Photobook: What You Need to Know

Coffee table books, zines, photo books–whatever you want to call them, printing is obviously involved with the process of creating one. Photographers looking to have another way of showing off their portfolio rather than just showing off something on an iPad should truthfully consider the idea of looking at and presenting their projects in a photo book of some sort. This doesn’t mean that they need to be big, sprawling editions like the ones that you’re destined to see at a bookstore. Instead, they can be a bit more compact to fit onto a coffee table, in a messenger bag, or toted along for a trip to the beach. When you’re creating a photobook, you should really have these and a number of other things in mind.

When Should You Make a Photo Book?

Don’t get me wrong here, all photographers at one point in their career or not should make a photo book. But when? Well, here are some tips:

  • At the completion of a big photo project that you’ve been working on for a while
  • When you’ve got a very big portfolio of images. You can use them as mailers to send out to clients
  • When you’re looking to find a way to be more experimental with the images that you create
  • When you need money

To make them more valuable, you can also consider making them in only limited numbers.

Kickstarter? Or No?

If you’re considering a photo book and you’re of the more web savvy audience out there, then chances are that you’ve considered making a photo book by use of Kickstarter funds. Lots of photographers do it, we report on them often over at the Phoblographer. There are photographers who do Instant Film nudes and make a whole lot of money in the process of making the book. Then there are photographers who do things like documentary stories. Besides funding, Kickstarter has a few great tie-ins. For example, there’s the marketing involved. Companies often sit there scouring Kickstarter looking for ways to get money by building the marketing initiative of certain projects. Big blogs (my own included) also often look for these projects to report on. So if you’re looking to go big with your photo book, then try going for a Kickstarter. But in order to do that:

  • Consider the possibility of mass appeal
  • Get a gauge of the pricing you need
  • Consider setting the bar astronomically low. The reason why is because people are more likely to donate once they know that a project has been successfully funded.
  • Do a media outreach campaign
  • Post it to Reddit
  • Share it in Facebook groups
  • If you can find collaborators, ask them to help you promote it.

Choosing the Work to Be in Your Photo Book

Here’s where all of this starts to get pretty tricky. If you’re curating a project, it isn’t a good idea to put every single photo from the project in there. Why? Well, not every photo looks good in the space of a book. This is determined by a number of factors:

  • Colors: I’m going to get to this more later, but that is tied into the types of paper used
  • Vertical or Landscape: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not be that photographer that puts a photo across the layout so that it gets broken in half by a page fold/crease

And then there is the obvious stuff of curating a project. What I tell a lot of photographers is that you should look at the project and find photos that reach out to people emotionally. If it can make them react then they’re bound to sit there looking at the image and every little part of the photo. If someone is just thumbing through your work, then consider that to be death.

Layout 101

So if you’re not going to make photos go across the fold of your zine or book, then what do you do? Essentially, you’ll need to find ways to make them work on a single page. There are tons of layout options. You can put photos all by themselves or you can stack them next to other other. What I tell a lot of photographers to do though is to try to keep them as far away from the crease as you can. If you’re using a service like Blurb or Adobe’s options then they’ll give you warnings about this. Ensure that your images are also at a high DPI designed for printing. If they’re not, then lay those photos out smaller. The bigger and thicker your book is, the more you’ll need to work to keep those images away from the crease.

Oh, also don’t forget about text. Lots of photographers tend to opt out when it comes to text but as a neutral viewer, I can’t tell you how important it can be. Additionally, the placement of the text shouldn’t make the eye strain. So go a bit bigger with the font.

The Types of Paper

If you’re creating a photo book for the first time, consider the types of paper that you may want to work with. Some folks go for a luster type of paper with a bit of gloss, but consider the fact that if someone is viewing your book under a light source that the light is going to reflect off of the paper. That sometimes doesn’t do justice to the images. In my living room, I’ve got a number of zines and some of my favorites have matte pages or something with just a bit of gloss to them. Gloss can make colors look better, but it isn’t always the best viewing experience. So you’ll need to balance your needs here.

While this may seem like a null issue to some photographers, it’s a big one to others.

On Making Your Own Photobook: What You Need to Know

Coffee table books, zines, photo books–whatever you want to call them, printing is obviously involved with the process of creating one. Photographers looking to have another way of showing off their portfolio rather than just showing off something on an iPad should truthfully consider the idea of looking at and presenting their projects in a photo book of some sort. This doesn’t mean that they need to be big, sprawling editions like the ones that you’re destined to see at a bookstore. Instead, they can be a bit more compact to fit onto a coffee table, in a messenger bag, or toted along for a trip to the beach. When you’re creating a photobook, you should really have these and a number of other things in mind.

When Should You Make a Photo Book?

Don’t get me wrong here, all photographers at one point in their career or not should make a photo book. But when? Well, here are some tips:

  • At the completion of a big photo project that you’ve been working on for a while
  • When you’ve got a very big portfolio of images. You can use them as mailers to send out to clients
  • When you’re looking to find a way to be more experimental with the images that you create
  • When you need money

To make them more valuable, you can also consider making them in only limited numbers.

Kickstarter? Or No?

If you’re considering a photo book and you’re of the more web savvy audience out there, then chances are that you’ve considered making a photo book by use of Kickstarter funds. Lots of photographers do it, we report on them often over at the Phoblographer. There are photographers who do Instant Film nudes and make a whole lot of money in the process of making the book. Then there are photographers who do things like documentary stories. Besides funding, Kickstarter has a few great tie-ins. For example, there’s the marketing involved. Companies often sit there scouring Kickstarter looking for ways to get money by building the marketing initiative of certain projects. Big blogs (my own included) also often look for these projects to report on. So if you’re looking to go big with your photo book, then try going for a Kickstarter. But in order to do that:

  • Consider the possibility of mass appeal
  • Get a gauge of the pricing you need
  • Consider setting the bar astronomically low. The reason why is because people are more likely to donate once they know that a project has been successfully funded.
  • Do a media outreach campaign
  • Post it to Reddit
  • Share it in Facebook groups
  • If you can find collaborators, ask them to help you promote it.

Choosing the Work to Be in Your Photo Book

Here’s where all of this starts to get pretty tricky. If you’re curating a project, it isn’t a good idea to put every single photo from the project in there. Why? Well, not every photo looks good in the space of a book. This is determined by a number of factors:

  • Colors: I’m going to get to this more later, but that is tied into the types of paper used
  • Vertical or Landscape: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not be that photographer that puts a photo across the layout so that it gets broken in half by a page fold/crease

And then there is the obvious stuff of curating a project. What I tell a lot of photographers is that you should look at the project and find photos that reach out to people emotionally. If it can make them react then they’re bound to sit there looking at the image and every little part of the photo. If someone is just thumbing through your work, then consider that to be death.

Layout 101

So if you’re not going to make photos go across the fold of your zine or book, then what do you do? Essentially, you’ll need to find ways to make them work on a single page. There are tons of layout options. You can put photos all by themselves or you can stack them next to other other. What I tell a lot of photographers to do though is to try to keep them as far away from the crease as you can. If you’re using a service like Blurb or Adobe’s options then they’ll give you warnings about this. Ensure that your images are also at a high DPI designed for printing. If they’re not, then lay those photos out smaller. The bigger and thicker your book is, the more you’ll need to work to keep those images away from the crease.

Oh, also don’t forget about text. Lots of photographers tend to opt out when it comes to text but as a neutral viewer, I can’t tell you how important it can be. Additionally, the placement of the text shouldn’t make the eye strain. So go a bit bigger with the font.

The Types of Paper

If you’re creating a photo book for the first time, consider the types of paper that you may want to work with. Some folks go for a luster type of paper with a bit of gloss, but consider the fact that if someone is viewing your book under a light source that the light is going to reflect off of the paper. That sometimes doesn’t do justice to the images. In my living room, I’ve got a number of zines and some of my favorites have matte pages or something with just a bit of gloss to them. Gloss can make colors look better, but it isn’t always the best viewing experience. So you’ll need to balance your needs here.

While this may seem like a null issue to some photographers, it’s a big one to others.

Matte vs Glossy Paper: What Should You Print on (Premium)

How does the old saying go? If I recall it’s something like “My photo isn’t done and isn’t a photo until it is printed.” This is an old saying, but one that holds true for many photographers as they grow and progress. Arguably speaking, one of the biggest accolades of photography as an art form is the idea of printing your photo. Seeing your photo in real life on something other than the screens that you stare at all day and night is a testament to your work. Some may consider printing to be a dying art and it is arguably a hard sell due to it being an experience that you need to have in person. With a world that has growing economic disparity and that puts more emphasis on getting that double tap on your photo vs seeing it in galleries live, printing is an art form in and of itself that black and white photographers really should look into.So let’s just start with the basics and explore things that many photographers have never even thought about.

Matte Paper

If you’ve ever had prints made or seen them, then chances are that they’re all from the same Fujifilm paper used by Walgreens, Costco, Duane Reade, etc. That’s a glossy paper and that’s what people are so used to seeing. I’m going to tackle glossy in a bit. But first, I should really emphasize and talk about matte paper. Instead of these pharmacy prints, you should liken matte paper more to the types of paper that one would typically write on. Even then, matte paper isn’t really done a whole lot of justice by saying that.

Unlike the paper that you write on typically, matte paper tends to be thicker and is sometimes called “cardboard stock.” For what it’s worth, it’s also much more durable. When you put your hands on the paper, it has a much different tactile experience than anything that you’ve felt before and that’s often due to how the strands of fibers are put together. Matte paper tends to absorb light in a scene rather than reflect it. If you’ve ever seen a matte computer display and a glossy computer display, you can immediately tell that one is much easier to edit on than the other–often times it’s the matte. It tends to cut down on reflections but also does different things to your photo. At the same, matte can make your colors more dull unless you calibrate your software and printer to know that you’ll be printing on matte paper. While that may sound complicated, it’s literally the case of one or two clicks of your mouse.

Some of my favorite Matte papers are made by Epson and Red River. Generally speaking, it requires greater amounts of ink to make the colors look more saturated. But that can also be offset by the lighting. Lighting for matte prints are a whole other story. For that reason, lots of photographers prefer the look of matte for black and white photos.

Glossy Paper

Glossy prints and paper tend to be what folks commonly associate photo prints with. Why? I honestly want to blame the industry. It’s sometimes cheaper to make and people are often spellbound by the look of their prints. I’m not going to lie here, it’s pretty difficult to make a photo look bad on glossy. But for what it’s worth, there are different types of glossy. What you’re most used to seeing from pharmacies are glossy prints but then there is semi-glossy, luster, pro luster, satin, etc. The marketing terms can be interchanged for forever, but glossy paper can be defined as paper that when you look at it and shine light on it, you’ll clearly see reflections. But just like your cell phone’s screen, it makes the colors, text and all pop so much more.

Glossy paper and prints can make for really great printing experiences. Colors often look fantastic with glossy paper. Despite my saying that Glossy paper is the most commonly used option, that doesn’t mean that it’s only a basic offering as I was lead to believe years ago. There’s lower end glossy and higher end glossy.

How You Light It Matters

Matte prints and glossy prints are both different beasts. I want you to imagine, if you will, the photos that you probably have in your home. Maybe they’re framed. But as you walk around them, are there reflections? Then note a few other things:

  • What color is the light in your room?
  • What color are the walls?
  • What colors are in the print?
  • At different times of the day, are there more or less reflections on the paper?

Those are just a basic number of questions to think about and the list can go on and on. But let’s set up some general rules. If you’re printing on matte paper, then make sure that the light source is directly hitting it. If you’ve got a matte print, try placing it closer to a window to absorb that light. If you’re printing with glossy paper, then make the light source either directly above it or indirect. This will give the paper full illumination, brighten the colors, and cut down on reflections.

Printing

Finally, there is the whole process of actually printing your images. When it comes to doing this, I strongly recommend getting a dedicated photo printer. You don’t need the highest end options, but the reason why you should strive for one of these printers is because they have multiple inks that work harder to get the colors more accurate according to the Adobe RGB scale. That also requires having a monitor that can cover a decent amount of that scale. Software like Lightroom, Photoshop and Capture One can do a great job with handling printing; arguably Lightroom does it the best. Then what you also need is some sort of color calibration tool. I’ve been using Datacolor’s tools for years. This will help you get more consistent results across the board and you can then create color profiles of your monitor to send to the printer to make your print match what you see on the screen.

Or at least that’s the goal…

The Meural Canvas: An Interactive Photo Frame That Responds with Gestures

If you haven’t heard of Meural, then the Meural Canvas may be something you’re going to want to pay attention to, photographers! The company has been around since 2014 and making art installations interactive and fun for artists everywhere–and that doesn’t just apply to hipsters. What’s special about the Meural Canvas is that you can think of it as a large sort of iPad but instead of responding to your interactions via the screen, all you need to do is wave your hand and swipe in order for the next photo to come up. That’s significantly tougher to explain about while reading a blog post, but like all other materialized art, you need to experience it in person.

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First Impressions: Polaroid Pop (Square Format zINK Paper)

The Polaroid Pop isn’t from the company Polaroid Originals–and that’s absolutely showing in every single way. By all means, this is a digital camera designed to simulate the Polaroid and Instant film experience without using anything nearly close to the original film. The new zINK paper is designed to be more square in format to seem a bit more like what the Impossible Project tried for years to keep alive and that Polaroid Originals now manufactures. So at a recent event here in NYC, I had the chance to play with the Polaroid Pop. I’ve tried some of the company’s other cameras and I simply cannot get behind the idea of zINK. The Polaroid Pop is really no exception.

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Dress Up Your Space with These Beautiful Wood Prints from WhiteWall

Images from WhiteWall Online Photo Lab

The award-winning WhiteWall Online Photo Lab has recently included a Direct Print On Wood service to its growing product portfolio, offering another unique way for photographers to display their prized photos. While we’re all fond of sharing our photos online, there’s still no better way to showcase and admire our own work than having them on print or on display. If you fancy putting your photos on display in a more eye-catching way, using vintage frames has become a popular option. Or, you can simply get wood prints — yes, you can have photos printed directly on wood for a nature-inspired and rustic look. The Berlin-based company has also been known for printing on other materials and formats such as acrylic glass, metal, and canvas, making this new product an interesting addition to the list.

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SwapSnap Wants to Take Hammer and Nails Out of Hanging Your Photos

If you’re one of those people who’s been awoken in the middle of the night by a photo falling off of your wall, you may want to consider what SwapSnap is trying to offer. Essentially, they’re a photo printing company that is trying to let you print your images with them and hang the images on your wall without damaging your walls. Essentially, the system uses a grippy surface that sticks to your wall and then uses magnets to hold the photos up. You can then place photos slightly over one another in an overlay fashion.

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Photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders Talks About His Portrait Process

All images in this post are screenshots from the video by Epson.

Photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders has created photo series’ that have been exhibited at the Sundance Film Festival amongst other places. He’s a celebrity portrait photographer who started out, admittedly, not know what he was doing. But later on he learned and eventually networked with a number of celebrities–which translates into him eventually photographing them. Since he’s been doing this for a while and on large format, he’s still very tied to the print. Until a few years ago, there weren’t any fine art matte papers that got the image perfect. But Epson’s new(ish) Legacy Fibre paper is exactly what he wants.

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