Photography News issue 20

30

Kit guide

MEDIAGUIDE

Free your best shots from their digital dungeon and put them on display for all to see with these eight great products for better presentation. You’ll be glad you did when the compliments start flooding in. Perfect Presentation ideas

There’s no doubting that, despite shooting more images than ever before, we do less with them. Sharing online is common, but printing has declined from the days when we had no other choice but to use labs or home darkrooms. There’s certainly little expense to viewing images digitally, on mobile devices or TVs, but is it the best way? Not always. There’s a definite thrill that comes from seeing your shot as a finished print; digital is cheap and fleeting, whereas a physical page, a framed print, canvas or a book is lasting. It’s also still the most fitting way to complete an image. After all, you don’t see art galleries full of LCD screens, do you? A properly presented image can also turns your photography into a gift, and is hugely important when dealing with clients; pick the right product to show off your photography and you’ll have a big impact on their level of satisfaction. In spite of (or perhaps due to) the relentless charge towards digital image making and viewing, manufacturers have fought back, finding more and more interesting and high-quality ways to present your photos. Today, we’re really spoilt for choice, and almost anything you can think of is out there to be ordered, from traditional prints, large and small, to canvas, metal and acrylic substrates. Home printing has also come on in leaps and bounds, with advances in paper technology keeping pacewith the demands of photographers using state-of-the-art cameras and printers, so if you gave up on inkjet printing years ago, prepare to have your opinions changed. Making your inkjet prints is influenced by your skills as a printmaker, sure, but also the quality of the paper used; the right stock gives a brighter base that holds inks better, producing more detail, and adding to the longevity of the print, while thicker papers are also less likely to crease and tear. Another way that presentation has evolved is shown in photobooks; again the variations on the theme are wide, but the essential pleasure of holding a well-printed and bound book of your photography holds true. So, take a look at these presentation ideas and make sure you give one of them a go.

Getting pics ready for printing While the products and services here all get the thumbs up from PN , when submitting images for print or doing it yourself at home, you need to be careful, no matter what you’re making. This just means being selective in what you print, and forensic in your editing, so that no imperfections or duff images creep through. For instance, you don’t want to print a book of your shots, only to discover a badly edited picture has crept through and has now wrecked the whole thing in classic sore-thumb style. Go over your images with

a fine-toothed comb, because, unless you ask them to, the guys at the sharp end don’t know that a blob of sensor dirt or a stray hair isn’t supposed to be there. Make sure you spend time thinking about the selection and order, too; even give yourself a cooling-off period to decide if it still works. And when uploading or inkjetting, take note of the colour profiles and levels of sharpening advised by the manufacturer. If in doubt, ask for advice; the companies here are all the friendly and experienced sort and it can make a world of difference to the results.

If you want something more interesting than a standard frame on your desk, Picture Bloc supply a range of neat free-standing desktop display blocks made from clear acrylic. This gives images an eye- catching three-dimensional feel where the pictures are visible through the top and sides. They come in several sizes and formats, the most basic being the seamless Picture Bloc where your photo is bonded onto a thick 25mm acrylic block, up to 10x12in in size; a chunkier 40mm block is also available up to 8x8in. One of the advantages of this, is that when bonded to the material you won’t ever have to worry about dirt getting between it and the crystal clear acrylic, as you would with a regular frame. If you want to swap images from time to time, there’s also the Magnet Bloc (up to 8x10in), which grips your shot between two acrylic frames using magnets at the corners, for a free-floating look; and the Slide Bloc (up to 6x8in) which features a thick block that slides into a clear back frame with your image sitting between the two. Uploading is simple and flexible and all the blocks come with a velvet backing, as well as being delivered in presentation boxes, so you can make a great gift from your photography. Picture Bloc Display blocks

One of the common problems when it comes to printing your shots at home on an inkjet machine is that the results can feel very different to traditional photographic prints; pick the wrong paper and they simply won’t have the sheen and depth you’re looking for. That’s not a problem you’ll face if printing on Hahnemühle’s Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm paper, because the stock’s bright white gloss surface gives a finish that’s almost identical to the silver halide photo paper you’d get from a lab. The substrate is made from 100% alpha cellulose (the most stable component of the pulp), and it’s also acid-free, providing an immensely durable surface for your images to exist on. The coating uses barium sulphate, which in turn provides a very wide range of tones, so you’re protected from banded highlights and blocked out shadows, instead enjoying a smoothness and depth in both areas, with especially deep and velvety blacks. Printed details are vivid and crisp, and because of the way the paper handles colours they can be as bright or as pastel-toned as you want them to be. At 310gsm, it’s got a reassuringly weighty feel and comes in sizes from A4 to A2 as well as rolls up to 50in wide for very large prints. Hahnemühle Photo Silk baryta

from £10

from £15

It has a finishalmost identical to the silver halide prints

CONTACT: hahnemuehle.com

CONTACT: picturebloc.com

Photography News | Issue 20

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