I spent a full day printing my work, with the assistance of a photographic technician, trying out different surfaces and identifying those producing the best results with different examples of my images. We had two Epson printers set up, one with matt paper and one with gloss/semi-gloss. As the printers began churning out my work I was very excited . . .
We spent the morning making test prints of about 24 images, starting with a matt paper, and then moving on to Baryta and a newly acquired silver paper. We then returned to the “matt printer” to try out the Hahnemuhle paper. By lunch, we had established that the Hahnemuhle and silver papers were most effective for the reed images and the gloss, and occasionally the silver for the tree work.
After lunch, we considered a short-list of images to produce at a much larger size including colour and black and white. In the case of the reed images, we chose to produce some on both the Hahnemuhle and “silver” papers to compare and contrast the results. While we would have liked to produce some very large prints, we were limited to the size of the portfolio case I had and the amount I could carry back on the train to Skye.
In terms of the results, many of the images looked stunning and I was extremely pleased with the output. Unfortunately, we had to cut the borders from the images in order to be able to get them in the sleeves of my case. I am excited that we have narrowed down the papers that best serve my work and it is now a case of refining choices depending on the final outputs I choose.
In this context, I discussed with colleagues the option of producing a handmade book and having seen the quality of my images in print, and the sizes I can produce, the possibility of a very large-crafted book does appeal. It also has the benefits of having more control over the quality and outcome, the delivery dates and flexibility in terms of my being able to include images from later periods of practice. It would also be an individual, personal and unique object. I need to reflect, investigate, and consider more whether to go with the commercial book, self-published or handmade book option.
I am very grateful to my colleagues who provided their time and patience, and sharing their extensive knowledge, insights and experience with me.