Thursday, 11 February 2010

Colours and printing and mounts, oh my!

So, in my last post I mentioned that the day had been a bit of a disaster. And this is why. In this post, I'm going to give some insight to the world of colour calibration, printing and repeating the procedure. Again and again.

Now, it probably has something to do with my lack of experience, but I have come to rather dislike trying to get prints to match the screen colours. I can adjust the levels to look right on a colour calibrated monitor no problem - I actually enjoy that to an extent. But getting the printer to play ball? Not a chance. It's so time consuming, I've found it's probably much easier to send it away and get it professionally printed. The jury is out on this one however until I actually try that. Based on what I have heard from tutors and other professional photographers though, it seems it's worth a shot.

So, that Monday afternoon. After messing around with the levels and other various settings, I had to make 4 or 5 prints in order to get the colours right coming through the printer. Absolute nightmare, even on the colour calibrated screen (which for some reason likes to make everything look orange). So, if you're a photographer reading this and have considered printing your own work - by all means, if you have the time, the patience, the money and the resources, go for it. If you haven't got a lot of money to waste on paper, ink and printers, consider getting them printed professionally instead. You'll save yourself a lot of hair loss. I'm not frustrated easily, not by any means, but it does try your patience. I got it right in the end, but only after hours of tinkering with the help of a tutor.

On to the mounts. The mounts were far easier to do. I got shown how to do them, so next time I need some I'll be able to do it myself. I got my head bitten off by one of the women in the office however. I got sent to get the mount cutter. One problem though - it was in the room where interviews were taking place. Course it would be. So I asked in the office if I could use it, I even asked after the lady in charge, but she's kinda intimidating to me at the best of times so I didn't go looking for her. This didn't help things.

So I camped outside the room with my laptop waiting for that small window of opportunity to grab the thing. Eventually, Iain came out and I rushed in after asking if I could to get the cutter. The lady in charge of it came in as well and asked quite bluntly what on earth I thought I was doing, and if I minded not throwing it around because I'd knock it out of alignment. It clipped the wall ever so slightly, which is what prompted this. If she hadn't have startled me though I do wonder if that'd have actually happened. Anyway, after a bit of "stop doing xyz you need permission" and retorts of "I'm not doing xyz, I asked, I'm not using it, the tutor is" I managed to get it to where it was needed. The mounts were cut, and I was a happy bunny.

If you have a mount cutter, or are thinking of getting one, I'd say it's worth the investment. Once I have all the other stuff I need to buy, I'll get one. Only because I have access to one in college. Really easy to use, really easy to learn how to use, and saves the stress of trying to get somebody you've never met online to cut them how you want them (been there, done that, got the t-shirt…). Of course, if they have the size you want in stock already, go for it, you can possibly save some money! Ebay seems to be the best place for this :)

Tomorrow, I'll post about my new 50mm lens!

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