Stephen Bay's Photography Blog

Pens for Signing Inkjet Prints

Traditionally prints are signed with a pencil and I prefer to use one whenever I can. Pencils work great on matt paper which has a rough surface that picks up the graphite in the lead. However, I make most of my prints on various types of glossy, luster, or baryta papers which are coated and prevent the pencil from leaving a visible mark. I’ve tried many different pens and markers and none of them are perfect, but the one that works the best for me are the Tombow Dual Brush Pens.

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Should I Do My Own Printing or Outsource it to a Professional Lab?

As someone who prints a lot, I often get asked if it’s worth buying a possibly very expensive printer and printing your work at home. There isn’t a simple answer but in short I would say that if you enjoy the printing process, then by all means go ahead and get one. It can be fun, artistically rewarding, convenient, and may be cheaper than using a lab. The flips side is that you can also waste a ton of money, tear your hair out in frustration, and wish you never bought the damn thing.

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Adobe Super Resolution and Topaz Gigapixel Ai

Adobe just released a new update to Camera Raw with a feature they call Super Resolution (this should be available in Lightroom soon). The main point of this update is to use AI and machine learning techniques to learn how to upscale an image to a higher resolution. In traditional upscaling methods, one basically stretches the image to cover more pixels and it works much like curve fitting in algebra (i.e. interpolation). The difference with AI methods is that they can actually manufacture details and textures and not just scale what exists.

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How to Choose a Paper for Printing Your Photos

I love to print my own photos but when I started printing I was overwhelmed by the incredible number of papers available. There are hundreds of options on the market and I was paralyzed by having too many choices. So I took the easy way out. There were a few sheets of luster paper included with my first printer, so I tried them, liked the result, and I just stuck with that paper for many years.

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My Printing Checklist

When I need to make a print, I have a step-by-step checklist that I go over to minimize preventable errors. The last thing I want to do is send my file to lab for an expensive large print and then notice a dust spot when it’s hanging on my wall. 1 - Calibrate your Monitor If I haven’t calibrated and profiled my monitor recently, I will do so before starting to work on an image for print.

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