Saturday, October 20, 2012

aug(de)mented media realities, the sequel

If you are a fine art artist like me, that is an artist who puts out what he thinks is fine art, then you are probably wondering if inkjet prints stack up to other media that resembles it. Of course inkjet prints are their own media with their own character. It is like silk screen kind of sort of but not really. The inkjet way of putting down ink is a fine squirt, squirt, squirt. It is very controlled and precise, even and flat. Can you imagine 1000 tiny cans of spray paint on a stick and simultaneous control of each. If you can approach photo quality that is wonderful or the flat masking quality of silk screen. Anything in between you notice the fine spray effect. Not really sharp edges are dithered and.......ooh I'm too close.........I'll step back.......OK, it's not that bad. Rno, quit trying to make inkjet like other media, duh!

One thing I have enjoyed is drawing on a black page. I've used one of those white gel pens. It's not as clean as scratchboard but good enough for what I do. I wish I could find white inkjet ink. I would probably have to dedicate a printer just for that. I have a series of designs that printing white on black would be the bomb. Yes, I can print a white design on a black background but the white is the bare page and the black is printed one line at a time. Often if the printer setting is not right, you will see the print-head tracks across the page. The color looks like bands not solid color and uses lots of ink to cover the page. And if it don't look right the first time we got to try it again. I do do small test prints to see if I got it right, usually after I've made a few efforts amiss.

The tried and true method goes like this. See what hardware and software are used by some artist with bragging rights still intact. Repeat their results before you wonder off to experiment. I got an XP computer to feed the printer because the tools are there. I also can switch over to Linux if I need/want to.

Step two in the tried and true method is to apply ICC profiles. ICC profiles do a few things. They match the printer specs to a brand paper specs for the best outcome. There are ICC profiles for higher end photo printers and better papers. Other printers, well, good luck. If it will go through my printer I'll try it and note my results.

Step three is the costly one. It involves matching the PC monitor display to the printers output. This means what you see on your screen is what the print will look like. This is called calibrating. They have hardware for that. If you are a perfectionist, it will cost you a few bucks and some hours of learning to apply ICC profiles and calibrations. Get close to somebody who knows and tap their brain.

Anyway I spilled my DNA onto the printer while printing a photo of myself. The clone was perfect except he disappeared when viewed from the side, unlike Alfred Hitchcock. duh duh duh duh!

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