NOTE: To be completed. I want to take a practical course on digital printing with the Camera Club and study this in depth.
If commercial print companies are used see image guidelines for each lab. Images need to be either JPEG or TIFF), with whatever colour profile is required by the printer (usually Adobe 1998 RGB or sRGB) at the specified resolution (usually 300 dpi) and at the exact dimensions required.
It’s not a requirement to submit prints for formal assessment, so you may choose to submit your work on the self-directed project in a different format, such as a book or a multi-media piece. However for the purposes of this exercise please imagine that you’re going to submit prints.
1. Search the internet for different companies offering inkjet and C-type printing. Compile three quotes for getting your work professionally printed, with a variety of different options such as C-type or inkjet, for portfolio review. (The pictures don’t need to be framed or mounted.) Prices will be available on the companies’ websites. This kind of information is useful to inform your project proposal.
2. Imagine you will order from one of these companies. Prepare one image file exactly as specified by the printers. Please note that you don’t actually need to have your work printed professionally in order to complete this exercise.
3. Write a brief entry in your learning log, reflecting on whether or not you feel that an inkjet can be treated as a ‘photograph’.
Different labs providing C-type printing use different machines and different brands of papers that will produce subtly different results and varying levels of quality. Some companies often offer postal services, such as sending test strips for you to assess, so you can instruct their technicians to make any adjustments to the exposure or colour balance before making the final print. They will then store the adjusted file for any future editions.
Lower-end C-types can also be ordered online at a greatly reduced cost with fast turnaround times.