A print in the hand is worth two on the screen

I greatly value the sponsorship I have received from Fotospeed over the past 11 years. Fotospeed has a philosophy of continuous product development and customer service that is unrivalled. The whole team at Fotospeed are fully aware of the value of the physical print. Photography is a creative process that begins with the germ of an idea.   Magnum photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson rightly said, “The final act of photography is the print”. The well-crafted print is a thing of beauty in its own right and should not be confused with the scene before the camera. These are two completely different and separate entities.

For me, there are two strong reasons to make prints. Firstly there is digital asset management, I’m not so naive as to believe that the files that I work on now will be viewable in years or decades to come. Technology moves on and so do file formats. Hardware and software can easily fail catastrophically.

Therefore you need a hard copy of the pictures that you value and are irreplaceable. Also, the only way to preserve your work for posterity is to print it so you have a hard copy. Don’t believe technology in its various guises will provide a solution for everything in perpetuity.

From an artistic point of view, the print offers a consistent expression what you wanted them to see on the paper. Once he is laid down on paper and you are satisfied with the result that is the finished product. In general, everybody looking at your print with suitable illumination will be seeing the same picture.

If only this were true in the digital setup. To get an exact replica of your sRGB file even with calibrated monitors is an extremely tall order. Even when a monitor is calibrated the calibration can be carried out to varying standards of brightness, contrast and colour temperature. As I have said on many occasions when talking to photographic societies an image on a monitor is a jumble of RGB numbers and profiles. This provides an infinite number of variables to change the appearance of the image.

Here is a free hot hint

If you worry about the quality of the bespoke printer profiles you make or receive, there may be an easy solution. It is not always possible to get the best print of a test chart which directly affects the accuracy of the printer profile.


Why not try the Adobe Colour Print Utility (ACPU)? This little gizmo has the ability to correctly print the test chart without any added tags.  This is a new bit of software is new to me although it has been around for around 10 years. The Profile test Chart is an untagged file. Do not print Profile Test Charts through Lightroom it will automatically add a Tag. Photoshop may be used to make the print but do not allocate a tag when asked by Ps.

As an alternative, download the Adobe Colour Print Utility from the Fotospeed support page. Save the file to somewhere you can find it again. After opening the Utility you will be asked to select a Tiff file to print. That tiff file is the Printer Profile Test Chart, that you will have also downloaded Fotospeed website.


Before printing the test chart ensure that you have No Colour Adjustment ticked in the printer driver.

New Fotospeed Fineart Matt Paper – Platinum Cotton 305

Key Features of Platinum Cotton 305

* 305gsm 100% cotton

* Natural white base with a smooth surface

* Acid and OBA free

* Ideal for archival images

* Wide colour gamut

* Compatible with dye and pigment inks

* Available in cut sheets and rolls

Snowdonia Mono Printing Masterclass
14 – 18 January 2019

In The Master Printer Tutorial, you will discover the secrets of how to transform a dull colour file into a stunning mono picture to make you proud. The masterclass will appeal to those photographers seeking to become more expressive in the interpretation of their chosen subject matter. Each of us has a vision and style that we use to make our pictures.

During the sessions, we will be discussing how to make pictures that demonstrate what you saw and felt about the subject. Making pictures is a process. On this masterclass, we shall examine the picture making process and its inter-connectedness to enable you to make better choices earlier in the workflow. Group pic

The Photography Show 

I’m making a very rare visit to The Photo Show this year, so if you are around on Monday and bump into me please say hello.