Printing Images – SPRS Participation?

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    Herbert Gaidus

      Greetings All,

      I was wondering if we could have a discussion on this forum as to the level of interest members would have in having their printed images critiqued, and/or counsel on printing images.

      I’m a rank amateur at this for now, but hope to develop my skills in the coming year.

      Per the most recent invoice from the N4C, “If your club has not been participating in the N4C print competitions in 2023, but if you decide to participate at some point in 2024, we will invoice you at that time for the remaining portion of the year at the rate of $4.55 per competition. There will not be any refunds once participation starts.”

      We have a board meeting coming up on February 15, at 6:00 PM. I would like to add this topic to the agenda.

      If anyone with an interest could weigh in on this topic, it would help to gauge the level of interest and help plan for 2024.




        In case many weren’t aware, Ellen Storz has been organizing SRPS print exhibitions for the club, including one just last July-September 2023 at Finley in Santa Rosa.

        Here’s a copy/paste of her 2023 email describing entering in it – to give you an idea that many members do print and exhibit.

        Reminder – the due date, May 15th 2023 is coming up for our July-September 2023 show in the Person Wing of the Santa Rosa Finley Community Center.

        We will be on the second floor which has a wide hall with great walls and lighting. The show will run from July 6th thru September 20th.

        Our reception is already listed in the Santa Rosa City Guide. – July 6th 5-7pm. Check out the second page –

        Since our last show had a creative theme, this show will be called “Person, Place or Thing”. The name describes the theme.

        There is 106 lineal feet of wall space, so we should be able to have a large show.

        There is no gallery or rental fee for this show, so the receipts from all sales will go to each artist.

        May 15th will be the deadline for submitting your entries. Submit up to 3 entries, indicating your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices. We will choose as many as we can depending on the total number submitted.  Steve Meunch has set up a gallery for the submittals. Go to our competition web site, Organization -> Galleries -> SRPS Exhibitions -> Person Place or Thing

        The image labels will be developed from information you provide with your entry. If you wish to sell your printed images at the exhibition, you will need to enter a price with the label info. Your images may be designated NFS if you want only to show them but not sell them.

        Herbert Gaidus

          Thank You Nancy,

          I was not aware of this, and never previously had anything to submit.

          Maybe Ellen Storz is one of our resident printing “experts”?

          It would be good to have some means of getting those interested in printing, to actually generate quality images without a long painful learning curve.

          Also, the clubs “experts”, still might be able to learn something from each other.

          I’m finding printing color to be as challenging and rewarding as the first time I developed a B&W print in my early teens.


          Bill Stacy

            Yes, great idea. I would definitely participate in print competitions at SRPS.

            One thing for the Board to ponder – who will transport the winning prints to the N4C in San Leandro every month? Some clubs have a separate print competition manager to handle the logistics of print competitions.

            Herbert Gaidus

              OK Bill,

              I knew it sounded too easy.

              Do we know of any neighboring clubs that do compete in prints? Marin?

              If so, maybe we could find out how they do it, and/or whether they would care to share the burden.



                Actually, it’s more complicated than that. If a club is to participate in prints, that club will host a competition in rotation, hire the judge and run that month’s competition. Then I forget how they get the prints back to the other clubs. It’s in the N4C rules on their website. Check it out.


                  I’m having trouble finding the print comp info on the website.

                  Gary Oehrle of the Livermore Valley Camera Club is the Print Chair for N4C.

                  Marin does do the print competition. Cindee Beechmore is also a member of the Marin club and she maybe can give more detail. Or Trisha is N4C secretary and Pat Carlson is our N4C representative.

                  For those who don’t print, former member Steve Ruddy is a professional photographer who offers print services. I’ve used him as well as many others in our club. He’s very responsive.


                  Herbert Gaidus

                    OK Nancy,

                    So maybe we should continue to explore the possible approaches for N4C print evaluation, but also consider some alternatives.

                    If there is enough interest among club members, then perhaps a peer based review of images might make sense.

                    Even if this only meant that members could bring images for review at the next social gathering, field trips, or separate meet-up to evaluate and exchange ideas on printing.

                    I’ll try to contact some people that I know have expressed an interest in printing to see if they can comment on this forum.



                      Yeah. It’s hard to get people to start to use this resource. Replying All in emails may be annoying to some, it is the most expedient way to have a conversation.

                      I check the box to receive follow up replies here which keeps me in the loop that there’s been a reply. But I don’t know about new entries unless I come here to the Forum.

                      I would love for the Forum to be an effective tool. Marin Photo Club uses the comp site for their Forum and even their big club doesn’t have a very active forum participation on it.

                      One thing they do do is have a number of active SIGs. Special Interest Groups. Street Photography. Salons! Macro. Print. Many subjects. Organized by members who want to start and run a SIG. Some meet in person and some by Zoom. Many limit the number in a group. I’ve been waiting to get into a Salon SIG.


                      Herbert Gaidus

                        Very Interesting Nancy,

                        Maybe a SIG should be considered for our club as well.

                        Sounds like what I have been describing – perhaps a special interest group in Printing that would manage their own affairs.

                        Do you know if it runs on a separate forum or is part of their own website?

                        I’ll ask Cindee and Stephanie if they could comment on this forum.




                          Hi folks,

                          I am glad that printing is being discussed. I started printing a few years ago when a client gave me an unused Canon Pro-100. It has been a great learning tool and has successfully wet my appetite for more. I am looking into upgrading to a larger printer later this year. Since I have been teaching myself, there has been a great learning curve and lots of trial and error and expense. Paper, inks and software upgrades have paid off and now I can get a consistent good result that closely matches my monitor.

                          While it would be great to eventually enter prints into a competition, I would be most interested in meeting up with folks to share printing experiences and learn from each other. I feel this might be a good place to start.

                          Perhaps after we get consistent results and are happy with our prints, then we can talk about entering N4C events and other things.


                          Herbert Gaidus

                            Hi Ed,

                            I agree wholeheartedly. I’m still trying to tweak the details, but at this point I’m only thinking about how the print will look, and not the digital entry.

                            With enough interest, we should be able to figure something out that would allow us to meet and exchange critique and ideas for improvement.

                            Maybe then we can better gauge the viability of entering prints in the N4C competitions.





                              Would it be possible to meetup and discuss this as a group? Maybe over a lunch somewhere. Weekends are best for me or after 3 on Thursdays. I live in Sebastopol. The restaurant Handline has a great outdoor eating area where a group could meet and chat about this. I am actually aching to have folks to talk to about this.


                              Tony Reynes

                                I was involved in print competition for a number of years in my old club in Chicago. Of course then, DPI (Digitally Produced Images) was in its infancy. Initially, those images were a joke and most people avoided the category and either bought a printer or had their work done at the local Costco.

                                I tiptoed  into the fray with a cheap printer and low-end paper. In a short time I rationalized a larger printer and more/better paper could be used for competition, clients and selling images at fairs. Total investment for 2005-2010 was about $8,000. The big Epson with its inks and rasterizing software was about 4-5 k; paper, mattes, frames, plastic envelopes and a small tent for fairs added up to almost the same amount. I went to a couple of  fairs and found the print prices were low and the competition high. My clients loved the prints but few wanted to pay very much. My images for competition were fun, glorious and did well. But, being somewhat of a perfectionist, the final print was proceeded by many many test copies.

                                After a few years of heavy use, I started traveling more with my photo workshops, my Epson’s print head clogged from lack of regular use. Then I bought a new Canon. When we moved out here in early 2019 and I found that I had all these new places to visit and I realized that my Canon printer was probably going to suffer the same fate as my old one: lack of use in a very dry climate. Reluctantly, I sold all my gear about 3 years ago.

                                So today, I very much miss my old printer but I recognize it doesn’t fit my life any more. My true printing needs are limited and a printer needs to be used on a regular basis. Net of this whole narrative is that my owning a printer is an added commitment to another long term relationship. If the relationship isn’t maintained, things can get expensive.

                                Herbert Gaidus

                                  I concur with Tony on the fiscal responsibilities/impact of owning a “fine art” printer, and have to admit that in the first year of ownership I was intimidated by it and probably wasted more ink on the maintenance cycles from disuse, than I did putting ink on paper. You really need to use these beasts regularly in order to get a reasonable yield from your ink.

                                  Fast forward one year later – I think I’ve got this thing basically figured out, and am using it at least once a week with far less wasted paper than in the past.

                                  I find that it has helped me judge and improve my image processing by an order of magnitude. Coupled with the sheer satisfaction of producing a tangible item of “art” that doesn’t need electrons to view I know that I will never stop printing.

                                  Ed, I like your idea of lunch at Handline and will get there with some images as soon as we can schedule time together. We should probably wait till after the “atmospheric river” passes, and then I’m afraid I’ve got 10+ days to the east side and Death Valley planned.

                                  When I get back we can repost a time and place to the club at large, and see who else would like to participate.

                                  Handline is great Ed, maybe I can coerce Paul B to join us if the schedules work out.



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