This month, Photo Review had the privilege of attending the Kayell-sponsored Fine Art of Inkjet Printing workshop presented by Dr Les Walkling. [By Margaret Brown, February 2015]
No matter how long you have been involved in digital imaging, there’s always something new you can learn, particularly from other experienced practitioners. So it’s always worthwhile to spend time listening to experts and, often, the value of the new information you pick up will more than cover the cost of participation. This was forcefully confirmed at the Kayell-sponsored Fine Art of Inkjet Printing workshop presented by Dr Les Walkling on Tuesday 24 February.
Rob Gatto of Kayell in Sydney welcomes participants to the Fine Art of Inkjet Printing workshop .
Kayell has been providing these workshops in Sydney and Melbourne for several years and has conducted roughly 20 of them to date. Each workshop runs from 10:00 a.m. to a designated 4:00 p.m. (although the workshop we attended ran roughly half an hour longer). A maximum of 20 participants can attend, each one sharing a workstation with a Macintosh computer connected to a Eizo ColorEdge monitor plus an Epson Stylus Pro A2 3880 desktop printer. Each participant is encouraged to bring a USB thumb drive containing several images to print during the day.
Participants share a workstation consisting of a Macintosh computer connected to a Eizo ColorEdge Monitor plus an Epson Stylus Pro A2 3880 Desktop Printer.
The day consists of a roughly equal mixture of instruction and practical activities focused on producing high quality prints. Tuition is delivered in a friendly, open manner and participants are encouraged to ask questions and participate actively in discussions. One-on-one instruction is also readily available to deal with individual participants’ problems.
Les Walkling provides individual advice to a workshop participant.
Kayell provides A4-sized sheets of Canson Platine Fibre Rag (a semi-gloss paper) and Canson Rag Photographique (a matte paper) for images to be printed on. The different surfaces of these papers enable participants to see how semi-gloss and matte papers can change the appearance of images. They also demonstrate the need for different types of black ink for glossy and matte surfaces.
Topics covered in the presentations include paper selection, preparing RGB images for printing, organising a professional colour managed workflow, soft proofing, image resizing and sharpening and monochrome printing. The day ends with a discussion of common problems experienced by photographers when printing their work, with a focus upon problems identified by course participants.
Rob Gatto in discussion with a workshop participant.
In the workshop I attended, there was plenty of time available during the day for individual participants to seek assistance from either Les Walkling or Kayell’s Rob Gatto, who was on hand during the day to answer technical questions. Each participant was given access to a set of course notes and video clips to enable them to review at their leisure and expand upon the information provided in the course of the day.
By the end of the day, most participants would have answers to the key questions associated with producing fine art prints:
1. How do I make my image file ready to print?
2. What instructions must be given to the printer to ensure it delivers the desired result?
3. How do I tell the printer what to do?
I certainly picked up plenty of useful information during the day and I believe every participant gained new expertise to further their printing activities. The course fee of AU$395 represents excellent value for money for any photographer seeking to develop expertise in digital printing.
About the Presenter
Dr Les Walkling (http://www.leswalkling.com/) has degrees in science and philosophy and has taught drawing, fine art photography and media arts history and theory at RMIT University in Melbourne since 1983. During that time he became the Program Director of Media Arts at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia (1993 ““ 2005) before being appointed as a Senior Research Fellow and Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant recipient in the School of Art (2006-2010). He also supervised more than fifty MA and PhD research candidates.
Dr Les Walkling in action at the Sydney workshop on 24 February 2015.
According to his website, since 2011, he has divided his time between ‘researching, writing, creating, thinking, exhibiting, consulting, travelling, mentoring, lecturing and teaching’. As well as the Kayell workshops, he has conducted regular digital photography courses since 1993 through the Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) as well as training seminars and professional development programs for the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP), the Australian Commercial and Media Photographers (ACMP), and cultural institutions such as the National Gallery of Victoria, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Library of Australia, the National Archives of Australia, and the Australian War Memorial.