Man I am so ready for a Death Valley trip!! Very jealous!
As Tony mentioned above, printing can be costly and time consuming. It brings us back to the question of why are we printing?
For me, when I started to see my photos in print, it finally made my efforts as a photographer complete. Even before I printed my own, I used The Lab in Santa Rosa for prints. I still do for very large prints. Seeing the photos on paper I discovered that there was much more to see and learn from when looking at them. Much more than on a screen. I can hang up a test print on the wall and study it over several days and let it tell me what it wants.
For a while I had a small office across from my main business off just for printing and I started to print a lot. Now I am moving the printer into my spare room at my house. I have just a few ducks to get in a row and I can start printing again. I keep them in a flat file ready for matting and framing. This way I can be ready for when there is another club show or other venue for hanging.
Printing has made me a better photographer and I justify the expense as a tool for my growth as an artist. Just like the investments we make for a nicer lens or camera. And, it is a fascinating world! A world of paper profiles, types of ink, proper monitor and printer calibration, color space, etc.
Perhaps later on I will feel the draw to look into galleries or venues for selling but not now. I am content. I just invested in a great monitor and in a few months a new printer. I want to be able to print 16×20. It is also great that the new printers do not clog like they used to.
Enough of my rambling,
Just for the record, I’m posting an email from Cindee Beechwood on how the Marin Photo Club works. It may provide some food for thought.
I thought that I would reply to you directly about MPC. I have been on the MPC Board for six years and am familiar with how the Club operates. If you want to post something to the SRPS VP site, please feel free to copy or edit this response.
Currently, Marin Photo Club (MPC) offers 4 Salons and 8 SIGs; all of which are held on Zoom. The SIGS were created during COVID as a means to offer a way for members to get together. They have become very popular, and many members now prefer the SIGs over competitions primarily because club rules usually do not apply, critiques are offered by one’s peers and getting together functions as a social event where one can get to know other Club members. SIG groups include analog processing, creative, mobileography, landscapes, macros, monochromes, portraits, street and wildlife photography. Some SIGs have become so popular that for certain topics there are two SIGS and may have a waiting list.
There are no SIGS that are offered for Print. Since members participating in a SIG are limited to 12 people, the cost to rent a room to hold such a SIG does not make financial sense for such a small group; especially if there were many multiple print SIGs.
MPC offers three different meetings per month: Projected competitions, Education nights and Print competitions. Projected competitions and Education nights are held on Zoom and a member must be present to win for the Projected competitions. Print competitions are held in-person and members must be present to win.
I hope that this helps. Let me know if I can answer any more questions for you.
OK – Cindee has provided more good information on how SIGs work in the Marin Photo Club.
I’m copying it here so all interested parties can stay in the loop, and as a reference when we are trying to figure out our next steps.
A few things I may not have mentioned about MPC SIGs and Salons in my previous email
SIGs are held monthly and usually last about 2 hours
Group size is limited to 12 participants
Images shown are usually 2 to 3 photos per participant
I don’t want to be a naysayer because I like the idea of print SIGs, but here are some things to consider for Print SIGs. You are welcome to post these on the SRPS forum if you think this useful.
SIG Topics: Should it be one SIG where anything goes? Should it be specific to categories, i.e., landscape, monochrome, wildlife, which means several SIGs
SIG Meetings: How often do the SIGs meet and for how long?
SIG Group Size: Should be small so to be useful to the participants. If too many participants, then less prints can be shown per participant. Viewing of prints by too many participants may be difficult if everyone cannot adequately see the print. The more participants the less discussion can be held about a print image.
SIG Costs: Need to consider a venue(s) to hold print SIG(s) and the cost of room rentals. (This can get pricey if several SIGs were held per month.) Would need a rack(s) to display all the prints to be reviewed. Would need an easel or single display to hold the image being reviewed.
SIG Set-up/Take-down: It does not seem like a big deal, but someone would need to store display racks, and set them up and take them down for each SIG meeting.
SIG Leader(s): For every SIG held, there needs to be a leader and, or a co-leader who is in charge of coordinating the meeting and communicating with the participants.
SIG Members: There needs to be a commitment for members to actively participate on a regular basis and not just drop-in when convenient. Members should offer constructive critiques and not be hurtful or offensive.
SIG Prints: Printing can be difficult if someone does not have access to a printer or matting material. Since Costco no longer does printing, it can be more expensive and not as easy to have prints made. Prints should conform to a minimum size.
I don’t think I need to discuss the benefits of a print SIG because they have already been discussed by other members.
I’d like to join this burgeoning group. I have an Epson TS8220 with a print width of 8.5 inches. I use Epson ink and paper, make a print or two about once a month, and haven’t had problems with dry ink clogging the jet. I do waste a few sheets by trial and error to get the print to resemble the monitor screen. I’m wondering how others are doing this.
That sounds great! We can make it up as we go along.
Before we get together in person to look at prints, I’ll post a general message to the group to see if anyone else is interested in attending.
Regarding the printing workflow…. after about a year of fooling around, and two books on the subject, 20 Youtube videos, I finally think I have got this thing reasonably figured out.
There are a lot of little steps, but all are vital for good results.
At this point I can edit an image on screen, and with 95% certainty get a print that matches the screen.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect since after a few days of viewing the print in different light, I usually figure out something that I could have done better. But that is not the fault of my printing,, just my processing. The image on screen is the same as the image on the print.
I’d like to go over my methodology and see if it works as well for others.
In my humble fumbling with printing, I have learned much through trial and error. The 2 things I have gleaned most from my efforts are proper calibration of the monitor and the printer and correct paper profiles.
There is much to discuss and I am looking forward to the progression of this printing group.
I just got back from Photoclave with a strongly renewed interest in printing. I would love to be included in the lunch at Handline meeting.
while at Photoclave I spoke a bit with Bill Theis about printing. He does all his own printing as well as mounting and framing. I have written to him about a possible visit to his studio and also suggested it might be a fun field trip.
I have been looking at that very printer! Just some saving to do before it’s mine. I recently acquired a new monitor. It’s a BenQ SW272U, fabulous colour accuracy. Almost done setting my spare room as an editing and printing office. Really looking forward to getting together soon. Perhaps next week?
My printer is being ordered this weekend! Alan wants it here when the tech comes to install my new computer on March 4 or 5, so then I will have two machines to learn at once.
Herb, you mentioned some books – I would love to know what books or videos you recommend. Reading back through this thread, it’s obvious I have a whole new language to learn.
Cindy’s information on SIGs is interesting. It sounds like we are getting enough interested people to form one in this club. It would be great fun to meet once a month or so and show our prints to each other and exchange ideas and tips as well as critiques – or maybe just call them opinions.
I have been looking at that very printer! Just some saving to do before it’s mine. I recently acquired a new monitor. It’s a BenQ SW272U, fabulous colour accuracy. Almost done setting my spare room as an editing and printing office.