Last night's workshop was my first time doing that particular workshop. It can be a little extra stressful as you are covering new material for the first time in front of a group. Also, one never knows what questions will be thrown at you. Will you know the answers; will you make a mistake or look stupid? Well I guess I usually do look stupid but when I do a class I usually do it because I am comfortable with the content I will be teaching.
Last night's class was mostly talk with a little show and tell at the beginning and then some Digital Workflow stuff specific to Printing and Photoshop and ICC Profiles in the later half. During the process I gave out some good tips and some warnings but more importantly there were some excellent questions asked.
For the first time I 'advertised' the class outside of the club (or on this site) at three other clubs but mostly because some members of those clubs wanted to know when I was holding this class. Turns out several of the people that wanted to attend the workshop e-mailed me to let me know they could not make it but that I was to let them know when I would do it again.
However, I did get a good response from the advertising in that we had a couple travel all the way from Duncan, a fair drive and a long ferry ride, just to attend the class. We also had guests from North Vancouver, Abbotsford and Burnaby. Note that most of the club members are from Delta (Ladner and Tsawwassen) and Surrey and Richmond. A great turn out.
The class went very well and I have received some great feedback already. During the class some questions popped up regarding acquiring some products or supplies I talked about. If you go to the Workshops Link (above right) on this site and then navigate to the "An Intimate Evening with the Epson 3880" workshop you'll find a link for a PDF file of Links and Information Sites. I will continue to add to this file over time but will list a few of these items people asked about here.
First up, you should protect you printer from dust and other debris and I recommend having a cover for your printer. After purchasing my Epson 3880 the first thing I did was order a cover for it. The one I found was a little expensive for a cover but after receiving it, it's an excellent cover! So much so that the TUMI cover is actually now listed on the Epson Site as an official accessories. I purchase a lot of my stuff from Amazon.com. Here is the Amazon link and the Epson link.
Amazon - Stylus Pro 3800 Tumi Printer Cover (Its cheaper here right now)
Epson - Stylus Pro 3800 Tumi Printer Cover - then click on OPTIONS
I discussed handling the paper before feeding it into the printer. You should use white cotton gloves to avoid getting fingerprints and oils on to the paper. Make sure to use them all the time after you have printed you images also.
Amazon - CK Products Large White Cotton Gloves, (Pack of 12 Pairs)
Once I have a page I lay it down onto an anti-static and grounded matte and then I brush off the paper (printing side) with a carbon anti-static brush. This serves two purposes. One, I clears off any debris or loose fibers that may be on the paper from the factory that can ruin a print. Secondly, by removing the static from the paper, you'll prevent the static from attracting debris, dust, cat hairs and such, from your home or printer as you position the paper onto into the proper feed tray. Again, make sure your printer is dust free.
Amazon - OP/TECH USA 3611242 Work Mat-Large (24 x 42 Inch)
Amazon - Kinetronics StaticWisk, 11" (280mm) Long Hand Held Anti-Static Brush - There is a less expensive 5.5" version of this brush.
Someone also asked about prints that continue to sweat, or as its called in the business "Out-Gassing". They also noted that they stopped printing on Luster papers because of this problem. What typically happens is after a print is made and then framed one of two potential problems occur. The first being that the print will develop a wave and will not lay flat which looks very bad. The second potential problem is that a thin white haze appears on the inside of the glass. This is called "Ghosting". Both of the problems typically happen because the prints were not allowed to dry properly. Based on the printer, the paper used, the ink type and the manufacturer of the ink and on environmental variables such as the relative humidity and the temperature and air movement, prints can take from a half a day to almost a week to dry out properly. You must ensure your prints are dry before framing.
So yesterday I described the process for dealing with this and will include this in future classes. Note that this usually happens with Luster and Glossy Papers and then again usually with Dye based printer but it can happen with Pigment Inks on Matte papers. After I make a print I lay it down face up somewhere dry and clean. I let it dry for at least an hour. I then lay a sheet of bond paper over top of the print. I use an acid free bond paper but you can use regular bond paper for this. And, actually, the thinner the better so do not use backing boards and such. Also, the paper needs to be the same size or larger than the print.
The next morning I look at the paper that is on top of the print. Chances are that it will be very warped and will feel almost moist. I then lay down another sheet of the bond paper over top of it and wait another day. I continue this process until the sheet of bond paper no longer 'waves' and feels completely dry. This process could take three or four days. For good measure you may want to wait one more day but it is usually good at this point.
If you are not going to be framing your print then this step is not necessary. But note that if you are selling it and passing it on to a customer, you should do this in case they get it framed right away. Also, having a dry sheet of paper on the print serves as a great way to 'protect' the print from dust and fingers and such. I usually leave this protective cover sheet on the print when I insert it into the protective polypropylene bag. Note that the bag, will act like a picture frame and may stick to the print if the print has not been properly dried. The cover sheet will help with this problem.
Here is the paper I use.
Amazon - Southworth Fine Business Paper, 25% Cotton, 20 lb, White, 500 Sheets
For the Poly bags I use the Crystal Clear Bags (TM). These are super strong museum quality acid-free and lignin-free crystal clear bags. The adhesive strip is located on the bag and not on the flap to better protect the print when inserting or removing it.
Amazon - Crystal Clear Bags 16-7/16" x 20-1/8" Crystal Clear, Protective Polypropylene Storage Bags, with Flap, 100 Bags
Another option for drying prints is this booklet from Adorama. This is a little more expensive but works very well. It also allows you to stack the print into a booklet which can save some space. However, these thicker pages will not buckle or wave and an indicator that everything is dry.
Amazon - Adorama Print Drying Blotter Book 19"x24" For Drying 16"x20" Photos
If you are looking for a nice cover paper to protect the image and pass on to a client, this Adorama paper works very well. Note that this paper will not work for 'drying' your prints. Here is the Amazon link but it is available at Adorama.
Amazon - Adorama Acid Free Print Cover Buffered Tissue Paper, 16" x 20", Pack of 100 Sheets
And lastly, I store my Bond Paper for easy and ready access in these Archival Methods storage boxes. Archival Methods makes a great line of boxes including some nicer boxes and portfolio type boxes for storing Fine Art Prints that are more suitable for showing clients.
Amazon - Archival Methods Print Lux Box 16.25 x 20.25 x 1-1/8", Black
For all those of you that attended last nigh. Thanks. And as usual, if anyone has any questions about any of this, printing in general, the 3880 or anything photography related, please ask. You can leave a comment here below or you can contact me via e-mail in the CONTACT area of this site.
© 2011 François Cléroux
(Version 1.00 - November 2011)
Please feel free to leave comments, corrections, ideas, thoughts or suggestions.