8. Printing, Processing and Review, Next Steps


“A photograph doesn’t feel real until it is a tangible physical object I can hold in my hand.” – Stephen Johnson

“The print is an idea made visible. For my process, a photograph isn’t a photograph until it’s a print. I love the physical presence of a print, from beginning to end. For me it’s a tactile, sensual experience. I want it to be an object of beauty, whether the subject moves you or not.” – Tillman Crane

Using the Lightroom CC

Detail Sliders


The histogram in lightroom tells you a number of things. It tells you basically how many light and dark values are in a photograph. A histogram that is skewed to the left indicates more dark than light and if it is skewed to the right more lighter areas than darker areas. It can also tell you if your Whites or Blacks have been clipped. I you see the histogram pushed up against either extreme it is likely, one of the two has been clipped.

There are five areas of the histogram from left to right Blacks, Shadows, Exposure, Highlights, and Whites. Below you can see a fairly balanced histogram and it’s photograph. notice the histogram drops down to the corner at each end.

In the following histogram the histogram drops down before it reaches either end, indicating a photograph is not properly processed and when this happens the images colour and tone suffer.

In this example the histogram is pushed up against either extreme, you can see from the image that both the Whites and the Blacks have been clipped. You will also see that the Exposure area of the histogram has been flattened,

Assignment Review

Processing Portraits

There are a number of things you want to look at when you are editing a portrait:

  • Check the White Balance to see if the image is too cold and needs to be warmed slightly.
  • Check the highlights and shadows you may need to reduce the highlights and lighten the shadows.
  • If the colours are a bit flat in the image bring up the vibrance and saturation a small bit.
  • Check the composition of the image, you may need to balance the image by cropping.
  • Decide whether or not you want to either soften the skin or enhance its texture. This can be done globally with the clarity slider or using a mask or bush tool.
  • The eyes are key to a portrait so her you will want to think about brightening the eyes, perhaps darken the pupil, and lighten the whites of the eyes. You may also want to lighten the lights that are reflected in the pupil. Be careful not to over do it.
  • You may want to enhance the lips. It could be the colour needs to be enhance or the texture depending on the kind of portrait you are working on.
  • Also you may want to think about whitening the teeth, again be subtitle with your adjustments.
  • Take a look at the hair should it be lightened or darkened to make it stand out from the background.
  • Other things that might be considered are eyebrow enhancements or eyelash enhancements. Again this depends on the type of portrait you are processing.

Printing in Vancouver

The are a lot of great places to print in Vancouver including London Drugs. If you do need some specialty printing the following places I have found can print to gallery standards, and provide gallery quality photography services:

The Lab is the top film processing facility in the city. They also do custom enlargements, copy services (transparencies, negatives digital files), the also do C prints, metallic prints, Giclees, scanning, and Mounting of photographs. They are located at 295 East 2nd Avenue, Vancouver. 604 876 1737
Tricera Image SolutionsTricera specializes in high end printers, scanners, and specialize in Epson professional equipment. In addition to this they do printing and framing to gallery standards. They can do very large prints. 
Fedelis Print Making are quality archival printers often used by many of our local galleries it is located in 1000 Parker Street and will work with you on your images to ensure it is printed on the correct papers and processed appropriately. They deal mostly with photo based artists and painters.

Types of Printing

The printing of a photograph in the digital camera age is no longer a chemical process, and there are so many more processes for printing. For me, when printing, I favour pigment ink on hot pressed bright rag paper or sublimation printing on metal. If you are printing at home then you likely have a small deskside multipurpose machine. If you are interested in printing your own 8.5 by 11 prints some of these machines can do a relatively good job provided that they can take the thicker papers. Thicker papers require that the printer has a direct path, one in which the paper does not curl. You should also be on the lookout for one that has a greater range of pigment inks. Keep in mind when printing that the whites are not determined by the pigment they are determined by the paper you use. So if you use an off white paper then your whites will be determined by its colour.

Camera Equipment

Vancouver is blessed with a lot of great camera stores more so than most cities I have visited, each having a different specialty, clientele, and expertise. London Drugs is a great resource for camera equipment but if you are interested in looking at a speciality camera store there are two that I find quite unique Leo’s camera store on Granville Street and Beauphoto on 8th Avenue. In my experience these two independent stores are staffed with camera enthusiast with a great deal of expertise.

If you are looking for camera parts Beau Photo, which has been operating in Vancouver since 1985, has a parts department, both new and used. They will also source and order in parts if they do not have them. So if you are looking for lens hoods or lens caps that have gotten lost just bring them your camera and they will find the part for you. They also facilitated camera repairs with all the major camera manufacturers. In addition to this they have a self serve printing service, lens and camera rentals, film and film cameras (including polaroid). If you are considering a new lens and want to try it out first the will rent you one of their lenses, if you decide to buy a new lens they will deduct the rental from the cost of the new lens. (They also sell used lenses and cameras.)

Leo’s Camera store which has been operating since 1955 also has lots of parts and will provide excellent professional expertise and guidance to photographers of all skill levels.

In addition there are lots of other excellent camera stores such as Kerrisdale Cameras and BC Cameras, of course London Drugs also has a great camera section. I would not recommend buying in big box stores unless you know exactly what you want, as knowledgeable staff can sometimes be hard to find and often don’t carry a large selection or specialty items.

Equipment Question

Equipment Choices

Buying Used Gear

Artistry of Camera