With the selection of images for the Handmade Artist’s Book complete, I have started printing.  I have over eighty to produce and it is very exciting as the first images roll off the printer.  It will be a long job as each print goes through a soft proofing stage to make sure the printer will replicate what the camera produced, and then it takes sixteen minutes to print before drying.

The Printing Process Begins – Alison Price, May 2023

However, on the second print, I realise how complex the printing process is as I inadvertently place two sheets of paper on the printer feed instead of one.  As a consequence, I have a spoiled sheet as the print is marred by the pizza wheel problem, caused because of the combined thickness of two sheets going through the printer.  A cautionary tale as I contemplate generating almost ninety prints.

I review the images prior to printing at high resolution on the computer screen to reveal any sensor spots or other issues and check afterwards for any imperfections in the printing process, such as spots caused by the ink not penetrating the paper effectively.  The quality of the images is good and so the printing continues.  I handle the images wearing cotton gloves to avoid marking the paper.  I lay out all the images to allow them to dry for twenty-four hours.  I then interleave each sheet with acid-free tissue paper and pack them in the photographic paper boxes ready for the trip across the water to North Uist in early June.  I will be taking the ferry from Skye across the water to the Outer Hebrides to work with my bookbinder to make three Handmade Artist’s Book.

As I wait patiently (or perhaps even impatiently) for the prints to emerge, I realise how long the printing process is going to take.  I look at my project plan and panic as I only have two weeks set aside for this process.  The next day I make much better headway and as Day 2 comes to an end I have nearly completed the reed images.  I decide to keep up the pace and by the end of Day 3, I have half of the tree images printed and laid out across every clean and vacant surface in my house.  Day 4 sees the tree images finished and I begin printing the water lilies.

As the printing process comes to an end after six long days, I leave the final prints to dry.  I carefully place all the images in three boxes, one for each book with the images arranged in the order they will be bound.  I am very pleased with how the process has gone, and the performance of my new printer.  I have now bought myself some time to focus on the final amendments to my thesis. . .

Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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