Mar 05, 2022

making prints

ink runs in my blood, possibly from working in the graphics trades after college, doing calligraphy and chinese brush painting where i learned to grind ink on stone. diving into this photography creative process has allowed me to indulge this fascination with ink on paper in another way.

about 10 years ago, digital cameras began to match the quality of film cameras.  similar tech advances happened with digital inkjet printers. that's when my lifelong interest in photography resurfaced. after buying a high quality camera and learning how to use it, it became clear a high quality printer was needed next.

i jumped in with both feet by purchasing a canon pro 4000. it's a lot of printer for just one photographer.  to me, it is worth it for several reasons:

  • it produces fine art/gallery quality, large, gorgeous prints
  • i can print as orders are made, reducing overhead and storage to maintain an inventory
  • it allows me to simplify (somewhat) the complex tech communications between camera, computer, editing software and printer
  • i can calibrate printing details based on my style of photos
  • it provides flexibility to do custom sized prints and use specialty papers
  • it makes gorgeous prints!
canon prograf 4000 has it's own studio

the tech specs of the printer explain how it can achieve these results:

it prints on paper rolls up to 44" wide. i haven't found the maximum length yet. 8' was pretty easy.  i'm working on a panorama from the top of the steens that could easily be 16' long & 4' wide. then, i'll probably try to go larger.

the print resolution is 2,400 x 1200 dpi = 3 million dots of ink in a 1" x 1" square. a 36" x 24" print will have 2.6 billion dots of ink. that's where the precision detail occurs.

there are 18,432 nozzles that distribute small, 4 picoliter ink droplets. 1 picoliter = one trillionth of a liter. there are 12 ink cartridges.

it's easy to get lost in the tech details and they may not make any sense to you.  the bottom line: this printer makes beautiful prints that equal or exceed what is found in high quality galleries.

my inspiration for this process is to maintain the highest quality possible from camera through to final print. i'm drawn to printing big; panoramas of hundreds of miles demand it. it's the best way i know to honor and respect the landscapes and wildlife that live here.

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