Print Your Images to Be a Better Photographer

In the age of digital photography, very few of the photos we take will ever make it to print. There is something special about holding a tangible print of an image you have created in your hands. Here are some great tips for how and why you should be printing more often to become a better photographer and literally enjoy your images in a new light.

Nigel Danson advocates for printing your images, whether they be in a book or as artwork that you mount on your wall. Prints are tactile, and the medium you choose can change that way that the images are perceived. A high-gloss paper will convey a different feeling from an image than a matte, fine art rag. Danson shares his favorite papers to use, and how he creates his prints himself. As a start, you may wish to outsource your printing to save you time and money before you invest in special printers and papers.

Printing a photo will bring it to life, and having some of your own prints on display in your studio or office will allow you to enjoy them on a daily basis. Taking the plunge to print them yourself gives you even more control over the process, and a better feeling of satisfaction when you hold your finished artwork in your hands.

Log in or register to post comments

17 Comments

Kyle Medina's picture

I just bought the Canon 100 (waited for the deal). They look great and the immediate thing I noticed was that high ISO shots still look fantastic on print. Now I don't even care going up higher when shooting. Also know what medium to print on now for the look and feel of the image.

michael buehrle's picture

what's the ink cost ? that's always the kick in the balls about printers.

Anonymous's picture

Is he related to Thomas Heaton? LOL
Printing is a lot of bother. The problem being, if I'm really proud of a photo, I print it. Having seen it, touched it, and even smelled it on paper, I can't bring myself to share it any other way. So...I almost never post my photos! :-)

William Howell's picture

I love printing my pictures, but I don’t trust myself to do it right, so I have someone who does it for a living print my work.

Anonymous's picture

Several years ago, I took up half my garage to build a bathroom for a hot tub and large shower area. I asked someone if I should attempt to tile it myself or hire a professional. They told me, a professional has experience but will never put the time, trouble and attention to detail into it that I would. Just a thought. I always print my own photos.

William Howell's picture

I get what you’re saying, but there are only twenty four hours in a day and when I print I like my photography finished and framed.
Now don’t get me wrong I would love to print my own work, but the time, there isn’t enough!

Anonymous's picture

Agreed. Everyone has to decide their priorities, for themselves.

I started printing my stuff earlier this year after years and years of saying I should. I completely agree that it changes the way you interact with your art. Holding it physically is an experience. Seeing it matted and hanging on display in (even a super armature) show is exhilarating!

I'm just using an older consumer-grade Canon with 6 ink tanks, but if you can get a decent color calibration going, it does pretty well for 8x10.

I've had my eye on the PRO-100 as well, they seem to be pretty deeply discounted right now.

Joel Cleare's picture

You won’t be disappointed with the PRO - 100. I’ve purchased 4 in the past 2 years. The original printer still works fine. The othe 3 were purchased for the ink. I picked them up for $80 each after the rebate.

$80? That's nuts. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for that deal!

Your video has indeed convinced me that the time, effort, and cost of self printing truly is worth it. I'm just tired of sending out my work and then just waiting and hoping for the best. Thank you for that. BTW if I should be so lucky as to be selected for a print, please know I think all your work is exceptional but I most especially adore the image of the windswept tree. It is just magical..

Nigel Danson's picture

Thanks for the kind comment

Oliver Saillard's picture

I'm printing at home since one year or so, and I definetively love it! It's more expensive thant what I thought (given that I'd have to improve my screen and its calibration), and ink is quite expensive. But being able to hang your own 13"x19" pictures on your wall is a great pleasure and motivation.

And by now, almost all my gifts to friends and relatives are printed pictures.

Joel Cleare's picture

Agreed. Printing at home helped me a ton. I’m a lot more confident when ordering large speedy metal or acrylic prints.

Nigel Danson's picture

Thanks for sharing this Jordan ! 👍

Thanks for the interesting video! I print now about 2 years on my Epson SC-P800, startet by zero, learn it by doing, print now with adobe rgb from dng-lightroom-mirage with hahnemühle profiles. I love it! Why? The main reason was we like to travel and our fotos stand in closed albums or digital on some computer hardware, that was kind of sad. Now our pictures are in different size on many places in our home. The expierience of our travel live with us. My wife has a beautiful eye for frames, combinations, collages. We go and choose together the frames and build it up. Its now a realy fun hobby for both of us. The best thing, when we on tour, she give me input for completely new motives to shot, that was never before.
I print some handpainting from the first natives on earth wich i shot in south africa on hahnemühle deckel edge and put it on a bigger white back paper, so the opposite of passe-partout. The motiv its kind of magical. From b/w, over big macros to highkey there are so many variations to play with, to make your home special and with nice memorys, I am very happy that Lightroom is now not the end of the process. After some experience the time is not a big issue. :)