Mark Metternich • Fine Art Printmaking

In our digital world, the focus on printmaking is under threat. Here, Mark Metternich tells us how to make sure this valuable and important skill continues

As a photographer, there is nothing quite like mastering the art of a fine art print. For many, like myself, it is the crescendo of the entire experience of training, acquiring and developing an incredible image. Photographers invest tremendous amounts of time, energy, resources and money in education toward improving and even mastering their skills, but I believe many do not finish the training needed in post-processing, with an emphasis on printmaking, to master a fine art print fully. With vast misinformation on the internet about printmaking, this article will hopefully help you make dramatic improvements in your print quality. I hope that you are inspired to work at reaching the finish line to truly master an exquisite enlargement of your precious best images.

Point 1
Calibrate your monitor specifically for print output, in opposition to web/display calibration. As a color management educator and print lab consultant for over a decade, I have often been surprised at how many photographers do not realize that an LCD/LED monitor, calibrated for web/display purposes, cannot produce accurate feedback to allow for the production of an accurate quality print. Prints are not LCDs or LEDs. The media of print is nothing like the many thousands of mini panel light bulbs shooting intense photons straight into our eyes (via monitors). In complete opposition, prints are pigment on paper or sometimes other materials (or they are paper that has been subjected to color change by lasers or LEDs), and they are very dull in comparison. They also possess different colors and contrasts. The physics of the brightness, contrast, colors and general vibrancy of paper is exceptionally different, quite tame, dark and dull in comparison to the ever-growing brightness of monitors. The most significant point in making excellent, vibrant prints is to ...

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Based in the US, Mark has been a professional landscape photographer for nearly twenty years, with his fine art gallery prints sold around the world. In addition to leading photography workshops, Mark produces post-processing training videos, teaches post-processing online and is a contributor to photographic publications worldwide.

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