The art of printing must be re-learned

30 August 2014

Back in the day I used to make some pretty good black and white prints. I was at home in a darkroom. Now I am having to learn a whole lot of new skills.

While reasonably good printers have been very cheap for quite some time, anything capable of printing any larger than A4 has been quite expensive – until recently. For my last birthday I was very lucky to receive a reasonably-priced Canon Pixma iP8750, capable of prints up to  A3+ (330 x 483 mm)Canon iP8750 and having rave reviews. I am learning how properly to use it.

I have used an old HP six ink A4 printer for years now, and to be honest, I have been very pleased with the results using default settings on supermarket glossy paper. (I have always tried to match my tehcniques – and my expectations – to my materials and equipment.) But neither Tesco nor Asda carry A3 paper, and nor do any of the photographic shops in town so I have had to shop online. So what’s good? Which paper should I use?

I want to do with a Pixma and a packet of PermaJet what I used to do with a Beseler and a box of Bromide. I learned much of my darkroom skill from Fred Picker’s Zone VI Workshop and Adams’ The Print. Both of these books still sit side-by-side on one of my bookshelves. I expected to find a host of places on the web that treated digital printing in a similar way. I was dissappointed.

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