Adobe Lightroom is a fairly new and very sophisticated graphics software application that is allowing photographers to manage, optimize, catalogue, display, web view, and print their digital files. At this point it is a perfect complement to other Adobe programs, especially Photoshop. Lightroom can do what Adobe Raw and Bridge do, and a whole lot more. It does not do certain localized selective retouching and composite procedures the way that Photoshop can, at least not yet; but it can do most of the important image alterations in a very non-destructive way. Lightroom is rapidly becoming the platform of choice for digital photographers and already has most of the primary features previously only used in editing programs like Photoshop while progressing beyond with features Photoshop never had or may never have. As far as I can see, it is the most complete platform for working with digital camera files, and keeping up with all the user data associated with these files. Lightroom is composed of five modules, which are: Library, Develop, Slide Show, Print, and Web. These modules may be used together or separately according to what is needed in a person’s digital workflow. This outline contains info only on the Library, Develop, and Print modules as they apply to a working photographers primary needs.
Think about what you need to achieve before you pick up the camera.
The best way to make a great print is to know what one actually looks like. The only way to learn is by looking at a whole lot of work from great printmakers throughout history, and hopefully the best of your own time period. Looking at photography books is nice but is really looking at a simulation of a print not a real artwork (unless you are a book artist). There is no substitute for the real thing.
There is a great deal of confusion among photographers and artists, and those who sell and collect art, over exactly what the term “archival” means. Labeling a photographic print archival implies that it has met or exceeded a standard.
What is the standard? Is there one standard for all photographic images: color, black/white, inkjet, and alternative process? Is there a different standard for other, non-photographic prints?
This paper addresses two complimentary ideas. First, it is an example of the evolution of a photographic project and the cumulative effect of decisions made along the way. Second, it is an example of critical technical practices and how in-depth knowledge and uncompromising application can lead to a superior result. Taken as a whole, I trust it will illustrate the necessary synergy of the two.
The project examined here was photographed in 1995 using an old 11×14 Folmer & Schwing camera with a 10×12 back, a 14” Goerz Blue Dot Trigor, and 10”x12” Super XX film. I purchased the equipment with the notation of doing alternative process contact prints. It did not suit my shooting needs at the time and sat for many years. When I embarked on this studio project it seemed the perfect choice for the images I wanted to make. Super XX had long since been discontinued but a test proved that my supply, though less than perfect, was usable. Palladio, a manufactured palladium/platinum paper was available at the time and, since my enthusiasm for hand-coating paper had dimmed, it seemed a perfect choice. The paper proved capable of producing beautiful prints. Ultimately, I made a print set for the model and one for me. The project was then put away for a long time, never really resolved to my satisfaction.
In this article we’ll examine three basic factors related to setting up a home digital darkroom that tend to generate many questions and some debate: Environment, Display, and Photoshop’s Color Settings.