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Ron_Jackson
02-14-2008, 10:29 PM
I have printed out all 12 of my comp prints on 4x6 glossy and am ready to paste them on the mat board. Any suggestions?

Okay you know that's a joke. Now for the serious stuff. Selection of the image and the title we are all finding out is very difficult. But who prints your prints. I want to know who does it, and what do you specifically ask for when you send them the files. Who do you think is the very best comp printer out there because there are many.

This thread I hope will be the last word in how to prepare the image for final print, who is recommended, what exactly do we ask for, what to do with the prints when we get them back in our possesion and any other little secrets related to preparing and printing that will give all of use newbies the best possible chance.

Keith_A_Howe
02-14-2008, 10:36 PM
"This is for competition, could you please rush it through the lab and ship it next day air because as usual I am running late."

Other than that if you are already doing your own color and exposure adjustment and PS work,then why would you have to tell your lab anything? I get straight prints from the lab's big print special, they all have them this time of year, so I am paying the cheapest price I can.

Keith

Auralee_Dallas
02-14-2008, 10:47 PM
I use Bay Photo and Millers. They both have a place for competition prints on the ROES system. That only means they print them down for you. I send an email after I get my order number and give instructions such as, "don't print so dark you loose detail in the blacks, or the skin goes too orange." So far from the feedback I've gotten, print quality was never the issue when my print didn't merit. I think you should just use who you usually use if your are happy with the quality of the printing and mounting.

David_A._Lottes
02-14-2008, 11:17 PM
The density thing is the trick Ron. You need to set up some lights to make sure your prints don't wash out under the judging lights. You can just order an 8x10, check it under the lights and if it holds up order the 16x20. I don't know the specs. Something like ISO 100 f11 @ 1 sec from six feet or something. Anyone know the right specs?

Mark_Levesque
02-15-2008, 12:10 AM
I thought it was f16, iso 100, 1 sec.

Keith_A_Howe
02-15-2008, 12:28 AM
I thought it was f16, iso 100, 1 sec.

This is correct. Judgeing is at 6ft. to start with.
You want to print about 10-20%darker than your day to day work. That is a good guide to tell your lab if you don't do it yourself.
I would use the lab you have a relationship with and knows your color preferences if you are having them call the color.
Keith

Sandra_Pearce
02-15-2008, 02:25 AM
Last year at FPP Convention the judges did not feel that they had enough light I guess. The prints were handed to the judges and they passed them down the table in art tech. Talk about up close and personal. They were turned around on the turn table and then handed to the judges. I had only seen the judges walk up to the print to see something up close. They did a good job.

Sandra

Rick_Massarini
02-15-2008, 03:48 AM
All my lab does is print the file that I send them - straight up. Then they mount and laminate the print. All the color and density corrections are already built into the file as it is sent to the lab. If your monitor is calibrated, that should be all you should have to do nowadays. If the print is too light, too dark, or off color, it's because I sent them a file that was incorrectly adjusted for the purpose...

Teya_Rutherford
02-15-2008, 12:59 PM
I printed with Millers this year. I've printed my portrait work with them before, and without color correction, everything usually comes back beautifully. I use the soft proofing profiles, etc. I had them print to competition density for these and I think they are WAY too dark. I can hardly see any detail under my normal kitchen light, but there was no time to reprint :(

Keith_A_Howe
02-15-2008, 01:07 PM
I had them print to competition density for these and I think they are WAY too dark. I can hardly see any detail under my normal kitchen light, but there was no time to reprint :(
Teya - you must have missed the threads about how intense the light is they are judged under. If they looked good under your kitchen lights they would be way to light under judging conditions. It's probably perfect so don't sweat it.

Keith

D._Craig_Flory
02-15-2008, 01:09 PM
If you do like suggested ... setting up a viewing area in the camera room to review your images ... sit about 6' away as Keith said. Then move one chair left and one chair right and look again. Finally, move one more chair left and one more chair right and view again. A panel sits at a table and only one judge at a time looks straight at the image. So review your image in every position the judges will be in. It may be perfect straight on but not to the side judges. Plus, if it's a low or middle key, and the edges of the mounting material are white, they will see that. (that's why I order black-core gator foam)

Keith_A_Howe
02-15-2008, 01:14 PM
Last year at FPP Convention the judges did not feel that they had enough light I guess. The prints were handed to the judges and they passed them down the table in art tech. Talk about up close and personal. They were turned around on the turn table and then handed to the judges. I had only seen the judges walk up to the print to see something up close. They did a good job.

Sandra

Have you ever watched art tech before? That's the way it is always judged. It's supposed to be the JC takes them up to each individual judge ( so judges aren't handling the prints without gloves) to study "up close and personal" like you said. The same thing is done with EI prints. It isn't because of the lighting, in fact it's less light on the table in front of the judges then on the turn table. It's done to see all the detail and work that goes into the print. Wedding albums are also judged like this because it's hard to see the smaller images in an album from 6 feet away. Thanks for mentioning this so we had a chance to explain it for anyone who hadn't seen it before and might find it confusing.

Keith

Keith_A_Howe
02-15-2008, 01:16 PM
Plus, if it's a low or middle key, and the edges of the mounting material are white, they will see that. (that's why I order black-core gator foam)

or just take a Sharpie and carefully black the edges of the white mount board. Work from the back side.

Keith

Teya_Rutherford
02-15-2008, 01:29 PM
Teya - you must have missed the threads about how intense the light is they are judged under. If they looked good under your kitchen lights they would be way to light under judging conditions. It's probably perfect so don't sweat it.

Keith

Yep, I totally get that, but I was thinking they wouldn't be quite SO dark, kwim? I seriously couldn't see anything in the image that was darker than middle gray even if I squinted. ;)

Ron_Jackson
02-15-2008, 04:45 PM
The density thing is the trick Ron. You need to set up some lights to make sure your prints don't wash out under the judging lights. You can just order an 8x10, check it under the lights and if it holds up order the 16x20. I don't know the specs. Something like ISO 100 f11 @ 1 sec from six feet or something. Anyone know the right specs?

And then Mark corrected that. Now, that is good to know but it really doesn't help before you spend $50 or more to get the print made. And for the newbies like me and so many others, 10-20% darker? That for most of us is a trick in itself. "Is that dark enough?" "Is that too dark?" So if we don't get it just right, we can lower our score just because we haven't done this before. Maybe we had a merit image but because we didn't get the density printed correctly, we didn't get the merit. This is really tough for me and I am sure for others too. And if this happens and it's because of the print density being off, will we learn that through the judges critique?

David_A._Lottes
02-15-2008, 04:55 PM
Hey Ron
Here's where an experienced printer really helps. Back in the day my lab had "Master Printers" who were the only ones in-house allowed to print for comp....or at least that's what a guy who used to work for Burrell told me. Anywho, if you set up the lights you should be able to tell if your print is washing out. Thats why I would get a three dollar 8x10 first to check. And yes it could cost you the merit but if you ask a judge after the comp why your print didn't fly I'm sure they would tell you if it were a density problem so all you would need to do is have it printed deeper to get the merit. Bottom line, it is an experience thing......are you surprised? :)

D._Craig_Flory
02-15-2008, 05:03 PM
Most of the time - if it looks good under normal studio room lights it's not deep enough.

Ron_Jackson
02-15-2008, 05:04 PM
Oh heck no I'm not surprised. So, I will be sending you all my files and a blank check to have the prints made. Is that okay? :)

David_A._Lottes
02-15-2008, 05:20 PM
Ron...never , ever...ever....send me a blank check! Remember what happened last time. :eek:


I still have trouble opening jars. :rolleyes:

Sandra_Pearce
02-15-2008, 05:28 PM
Keith,
I have watched art tech through the whole thing two years in a row and they only looked close when they wanted to see detail just like the photography part. I didn't mind them passing it through the judges. The only thing, art should be viewed from a distance not close. I have no complaints, judging is a tough job. Ron, art tech will not be judged under the strong lights totally so the density does not need to be as strong. I have never had a judge make a comment about the density.

Sandra

Valerie_Harte
02-15-2008, 06:29 PM
"This is for competition, could you please rush it through the lab and ship it next day air because as usual I am running late."

Keith

I am ROTFLMAO... since I just called my new lab and said exactly that. And of course they take 2 weeks for competition gloss so I had to go back to the old one for this competition. It should be ok for regionals... I'll need to reprint anyway after all the feedback I get back from state. (my teeth are chattering more this year than last- I feel like "I should know better by now" haha)

D._Craig_Flory
02-15-2008, 06:51 PM
I am ROTFLMAO... since I just called my new lab and said exactly that. And of course they take 2 weeks for competition gloss so I had to go back to the old one for this competition. It should be ok for regionals... I'll need to reprint anyway after all the feedback I get back from state. (my teeth are chattering more this year than last- I feel like "I should know better by now" haha)

Hi Valerie;

I've had a spray booth in my studio for many decades. I do all my own spraying. A lot of labs have gone to a water based "roll-on" method which I hate. Their idea of lustre looks like a matte special. So for regular lustre, and for hi-gloss, I spray my own. I own a squirrel cage type, explosion proof, spray booth. I have known some studios who bought the explosion proof motor and made their own.

Valerie_Harte
02-15-2008, 06:58 PM
Hi Valerie;

I own a squirrel cage type, explosion proof, spray booth. I have known some studios who bought the explosion proof motor and made their own.

Ok... now that just sounds scary to me. LOL. I really had these big plans about ordering the same print from 3 different labs that we had used and comparing and.... so much for that.

Val

PS- I did work the guitar photo before I printed it and eliminated the two you suggested. Thanks for your help!

Ron_Jackson
02-15-2008, 08:30 PM
So tell me what's wrong with Kodak Professional Glossy. I have been told by others that it is perfect for competition and needs no spray coat or laminate. Good to go as is and it's what WHCC uses for comp printing.

D._Craig_Flory
02-15-2008, 09:10 PM
Hi Ron;

Does the paper you mentioed get wet or show fingerprints ? Besides making an image as shiny as possible, spray lacquer also protects from fingerprints, or showing water spots etc.

Debra_Collins
02-15-2008, 09:45 PM
Ron - since you are in Florida - I used Reedy last year for state. I just sent them the regular files and they adjusted for the density and finished and mounted them correctly. They also colored the edges to match the image.

Talk to Debbie Alcorn. She's great. They also called me to tell me I had a problem with the order and would correct it before printing. They will do a full size test print for $7. Also I got miine in less than a week, which is good since I'm a procrastinator.

Ron_Jackson
02-16-2008, 03:14 AM
Thanks Debra. I know that Sandra also recommended ACI and they do the same thing. I knew that my lab WHCC did comp prints, it's in their catalog. I called them today after another photographer asked why I would use them since he did and had gone loan with their prints.

D. Craig, I can't answer any of that. I just know that they print on Kodak Professional Gloss for comp and they don't recommend spraying or laminating.

Cheri_MacCallum
02-16-2008, 03:25 PM
Last year at FPP Convention the judges did not feel that they had enough light I guess. The prints were handed to the judges and they passed them down the table in art tech. Talk about up close and personal. They were turned around on the turn table and then handed to the judges. I had only seen the judges walk up to the print to see something up close. They did a good job.

Sandra, it wasn't because it was too dark!!! With the art/tech there's lots of detail work and it's just easier to have them bring it to us rather than us getting
up and looking at every print on the stand. It would take forever doing that.

The only thing, art should be viewed from a distance not close.


We do both!!

Cheri_MacCallum
02-16-2008, 03:29 PM
Something else I wanted to add. The last several years we've noticed some really muddy prints under the lights and when they are taken out from under the lights they're not. We've since found out it's the lamination. So be very careful about laminating for comp prints!

Cindi_K_McDaniel
02-16-2008, 04:23 PM
So, does this mean lustre is not acceptable? Do the prints HAVE to be glossy?

Ron_Jackson
02-16-2008, 04:25 PM
Now Cheri just mentioned lamination and a possible problem with it.

I have also heard about problems with spraying the prints. The spray or rolling on of the material can be inconsistent. The spray can chip off.

So if there is a problem with possible finger prints on a glossy surface and that can take away (which of course I understand), what do you old time comp pros do? Is WHCC Kodak Professional Glossy not the way to go even though I have been told it's fine?

I need to place some orders but I don't want to buy what I don't need and I do want to be sure I get the best of what I do need.

Sandra_Pearce
02-16-2008, 04:43 PM
Cheri,

I know that you view the prints when they are first turned around. I in no way was complaining about the judging. I have not sat in on that many competition judgings so I was going by the year before when no prints were viewed from the table. I think you can get a better look at detail when the image is looked at closely. The point is this is a competition, the images have to stand on their own - up close or far away. Sometimes things are missed from 6 feet away. A lot of time and effect goes into each piece and I appreciate you taking your time to make sure the best image is recognized.

Sandra

David_A._Lottes
02-16-2008, 04:48 PM
Cindi
Lustre finish hides detail, especially when those lights hit it. Glossy is not required to enter, but recommended.
Ron
The print handlers are very considerate about fingerprints and dust etc. You'll see them gently brushing prints with their white gloves all day long. So the spray issue is one of longevity. If your sending the prints through several cycles of comp (local, state, regional, national) then I'd recommend the spray to protect them from all those different sets of hands. The print committees are as careful as they can be but who knows what happens to your prints on the display racks. If your sending them one time to national I wouldn't worry so much about spray. Also if your on a budget, no spray is cheaper.

Ron_Jackson
02-16-2008, 05:11 PM
David, so what spray is recommened for this? And, how scary is it to take a print when the deadline is up and begin spraying it?

Linda_Gregory
02-16-2008, 05:29 PM
I have done all methods...spray, lamination and gloss paper. Last year, in my video critique, one of the judges (yes, I actually had TWO!!) commented about the great print quality. All from last year were laminated except the metallic.

I am going with straight Fuji gloss paper this year. I liked the lamination but there was a bit of milkiness that I didn't care for and although the gloss paper isn't the same, I'm going to stick with it.

And when I mount on black gatorfoam, I STILL use a black sharpie on the edges to make sure it's black-black and none of the edge of the paper gives a glimpse of white.

D._Craig_Flory
02-16-2008, 05:31 PM
David, so what spray is recommened for this? And, how scary is it to take a print when the deadline is up and begin spraying it?

Hi Ron;

You do NOT want to spray lacquer on prints at the last minute ! They need time to "cure" from the inside out. Also, you can't put it on too heavy or you run the risk of the dreaded "Orange Peel" effect. To do it best .. they should get several light coats allowing sufficient time in between.

Linda_Gregory
02-16-2008, 05:36 PM
We liked three days for three coats when we did it. May take longer because ONE spec of dust in any one of the coats and you're stripping it and starting over.

David_A._Lottes
02-16-2008, 05:39 PM
Linda and DC are right (as usual)
I've seen prints stuck to tissue paper because the spray hadn't cured before they were packed. :(

What you could do is gamble that they will make it through this first round undamaged and then send them in to be sprayed after this first run if you want to send them on to more comps.

Ron_Jackson
02-16-2008, 05:56 PM
I think I am going with Linda on this one and go straight paper. The price of the prints mounted is cheap enough if there was any damage, I would just order fresh prints. This way I take out the risk of screwing it up after the fact.
Thanks for helping me make up my mind. I was just about to order these on 40x60 canvas knowing there wouldn't be any finger print problems and show big to win big right? :)

Cheri_MacCallum
02-17-2008, 01:04 AM
Lustre finish hides detail, especially when those lights hit it. Glossy is not required to enter, but recommended.

I have printed all mine the last few years on luster and they have been great! Two went loan this year. When under the lights you can't tell the difference in glossy and luster unless the luster is really texutred, then it's a problem!

On the lamination...at Fla the last few years and at the TN guilds this past week. ALL the prints that were flat under the lights were laminated. Only when we judged them for awards could we see that they weren't really flat.

David_A._Lottes
02-17-2008, 05:00 AM
Way to go Cheri!
Now you tell me. I hope Cindi didn't trash her prints. :eek:

I guess I've never seen a lustre spray that didn't have a texture to it. Thanks for the heads up. And congrats on the loan prints. :cool:

Cheri_MacCallum
02-17-2008, 01:02 PM
Thanks David,
I will however be trying something different this year. I've done it once before for one print and liked how it turned out. I'll be printing on epson enhanced matte and spraying with high gloss. It gives a look kind of like fiber paper, just slightly glossy. It reminds me of an old illford paper, can't remember the surface. The print I did this way was a bw and looked good under the lights. It had a luminous look!

Debra_Collins
02-17-2008, 06:04 PM
Thanks David,
I will however be trying something different this year. I've done it once before for one print and liked how it turned out. I'll be printing on epson enhanced matte and spraying with high gloss. It gives a look kind of like fiber paper, just slightly glossy. It reminds me of an old illford paper, can't remember the surface. The print I did this way was a bw and looked good under the lights. It had a luminous look!


Cheri, is this something you do yourself or have a lab do?

Cheri_MacCallum
02-17-2008, 06:26 PM
Cheri, is this something you do yourself or have a lab do?

I print myself on a 9600, canvas and fine art papers.

Michael_Gan
02-17-2008, 06:27 PM
We use two print methods. Bay Photo usethis super duper High gloss "print comp paper that is outstanding. The paper is very "plasticy" and I like it over the metallic prints that some ar using.

We also printed our own for the first time using Hanamuhle's Fine Art Photo Rag Paper and sprayed with a couple of coats high gloss laquer from Sure Guard. three of Leslie's loan images were printed this way.

We printed the 16x20's on the 3800 and the 20x24 on 9880 Epsons