Dinkerson Photo

Traveling Beyond my Bailiwick

Finally! Matted Prints For My Office


Ordering prints can be rewarding, or telling for an amateur photographer. Something about prints… they don’t lie!Β I had many of my favorite photographs printed, and discovered that only five of those were worthy of displaying.

This is good, though. My purpose, since the day I began photography some year and a half ago, has been to become the absolute best I can be. The only way this is achieved is by locating deficiencies, and correcting them.

So not only did my first prints bring about some great wall art, but they created an opportunity to learn and improve as well.



45 Responses to “Finally! Matted Prints For My Office”

  1. abu zar

    Congratulations !

    curious, what are some of the things that you saw as deficiencies in print that was otherwise not so obvious in the pre-print version (soft copy) ?

    • dinkerson

      Because this was my first rodeo, and I did no research (and that is unlike me), I simply walked into the print shop and asked for prints. There were no pre-prints to review, only high hopes that what I’d seen on my display would accurately transition onto a print.
      Strange, though, because the print studio that I used is highly acclaimed, and I asked them to give advice before I plunged into this. Their only advice was to just plunge and “see what happens”.
      Obviously, the deficiencies that I discovered between my mac display and my final prints were extreme color variances, and flaws that hadn’t been visible before now conspicuously peering from otherwise perfect shadows.

    • dinkerson

      Abu, I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but I’m a huge fan of your work. You’re one of the finest photographers on wordpress, in my opinion. And your work has been an inspiration to me as I stumble about with my own craft.

      Do you have any brief pointers for getting started with printing one’s work?
      Any pitfalls that could easily be avoided, or things to look for and ask for that will create the difference between true quality prints and, well… something one could get from his cheap printer at home?

      • abu zar

        Hi Nathan ( not sure if I got the name right ?),

        thank you for the wonderful compliment. Really, you flatter me but it made my day πŸ™‚

        to me, printing is the pinnacle, its probably one of the, if not the most important steps in the whole creative process of photography. Unfortunately, to date, I have not done a single print so you can see I am not at all qualified to give you much useful advice.

        what I will tell you is that one of the most important steps in any endeavor is to actually do it. theory and learning is good but u get a feel of things when you do it. so you are on the right direction. A friend of mine bought a used printer and does print at home and gets great result (don’t know the brand or model because unlike you I am waiting for that magical day when everything aligns and I jump into printing).

        there are many excellent books out there that will be useful along with printing and evaluating. I will list two that I read some time back (briefly) that I have bookmarked to get back to when I want to get started:



        Hope that helps.

        I love your work and especially what you can get out of the Fuji X100, which I have a soft corner for πŸ™‚

        I will be looking forward to seeing more of your work and hearing on how the dive into printing goes. All that best !

      • dinkerson

        You have the name right. πŸ™‚

        Thank you for the information. I didn’t know that you liked the x100! It’s a fine camera. Perhaps it’s a bit limited, but it has been great for me as I’m learning.
        I hope that this discussion will impel you to print some of your images. I mean, I’m tempted to print some of your images and hang them on my own walls! My favorites of your work are the waterscapes, and the US Western landscapes. One of these days I’m going to invest in a full frame with an ultra-wide lens for those landscape shots.

  2. riebobs

    I have this too! Getting your photographs printed (especially with such a minimalistic frame as you have shown above), really highlights flaws both with the colouring but also with parts of the composition that you may not have noticed when flicking through images on your computer.
    Really makes you look at the images in a different way to how you examine them on-screen πŸ™‚

    • dinkerson

      Yes, I agree. But what can also happen to you is flaws that simply do not show up on your screen are perfectly visible on your prints. Now that’s frustrating. And it can propel you to a whole new level of thought about photography whether you’re ready or not.

  3. enmanscamera

    There are still many photogs, like me, that survived as photographers before digital and photoshop. And being being able to print meant that survival.

    The beginnings of “digital” print making was disappointing. Print services then (and many still are) had no way of producing what we saw on our computer monitors. Then came monitor calibration equipment and Epson to the rescue.

    There are many photographers, whose images look good on the internet but will not look good as a print and I think you are beginning to find that out.

    If you don’t mind my opinion; I don’t believe most labs will give you calibration data that you can soft proof in photoshop. Ya gotta know what the final print will look like as you work that original RAW image…If you don’t, it is a roll of the dice at a lab. Oh, sure there are custom labs that will let you stand by their shoulder and if you find one stay with ’em.

    I print my own. I know what the final print will look like before it is printed. I get many choices of paper (actually it is not paper any more). The prints are all archival and that means a customer can hang in on a sunlite wall and never worry about fading. The colours, even B&W are my choice not some lab tech that doesn’t know what my creative vision is…how could they?

    My advice, if ya want it.
    Is to spend some money and take the time to learn how to make that final print your vision. Begin by getting something to calibrate your monitor. Next, check out Epson printers, not the cheapys, but those recommended by photographers printing and selling.

    • dinkerson

      Your opinion is always welcomed and valued here. As a matter of fact, I had considered asking you about this, but questions from amateurs can often be a touchy subject. I’m certain you know what I mean.

      Having a go a self printing is a thought that hadn’t entered my mind, but it sounds like a fun plan. And a plan that I’m completely on board with.
      Thank you very much for spending the time to offer such helpful suggestions.

      After looking around at the Epson printers, I see that they are pricey. This’s fine; however, I’ll need to really put some thought into what I need out of a printer.
      If I’m going to invest, I want to make sure that I’m getting something capable of producing my intended results.
      If you ever have any more time to discuss ink, paper, calibration tools, and your specific choice within the epson brand, feel free to stop back by any time.

      Very glad to hear from you on this.

      • enmanscamera

        My experience is at your disposal anytime. Don’t hesitate to ask. Anyway I’ll surely have questions of you sometime.

        I believe printing would open up a whole new world…lots to learn and when you hand a person a fine print they will react much different than when ya send β€˜em a JPG.

        I calibrate my monitor with a Spyder Pro from Datacolor. That means your monitor shows colors properly. And the calibration is saved as a profile in Photoshop.

        Yes, quality printers are pricey, but they are worth it. I just wore out my Epson 2400 and I intend to replace it with an Epson stylus pro 3880. The 3880 is a 17-inch printer. It’s perfect for 16X20 and smaller.

        The 3880 is over $1000.00 here in Canada, but prices are always higher here and I think you can do better.

        There are lots of different papers available, but I suggest staying with Epson for a while, they have a great selection.
        Epson premium luster is excellent. start with that. I always do tests with 8X12 before putting out $ for larger sizes.

        Ink is expensive and like fuel for your car…the more you drive the more you use. But, print yer own is cheaper and once you learn how to print you will never go back to a lab.

        Both Epson and Datacolor will send you piles of info on their products.

        OH, if you are like me, and like black and white…you are going to, Well, I won’t write the word I thought of, but believe me; your B&W prints will be amazing.

        I frame all my own. And save$$$$ doing that. We can talk about that in the future.

      • dinkerson

        Thank you, John. This information has been a big help. I can’t tell you enough how great it was for you to invest this time in doing such a fine job of answering my questions.
        I’m going to go with your advice here, and I’m of the persuasion that this will likely save me a great deal of frustration in the future.
        You’re the third photographer who has recommended the Spyder Pro calibration device; there must be something to it then.
        Well, thanks again John. I’m off to empty my pocket book.

  4. lolabees

    It’s been really cool to watch your dedication to your photography and your progress. You have and are developing quite a nice talent!

    • dinkerson


      You’ve seen it from the start. And surely there has been a notable change since then.
      Thanks, Lola. For all of your support.
      Sometimes I couldn’t help thinking that it would be fun for Steph and me <— correct) to get together with you guys for drinks.
      It would never work, because it would probably be a big lousy flop. But still, you know, one thinks about these things.

      • lolabees

        I admire your dedication. I’ve found an interest in it too but haven’t been able to dedicate any time to it. I agree, if the four of us got together for drinks, it would definitely suck… unless you spent the whole time thinking about the stinky toe “like” lady. haha! I just saw that. Hilarious! I do think it would be great fun!

  5. fragglerocking

    They look fabulous on the walls, the frames you’ve chosen are perfect for the photo’s and the room, I should think you’re dead chuffed with the result!

    • dinkerson

      Why yes… I’m very chuffed, indeed. πŸ˜‰

      And thanks so much for the kind words. Don’t you just love those frames? πŸ™‚
      I love the simplicity of design and the wide matting.
      Probably would have been happier if all of the images had turned out nicely, but I was very pleased with the ones that did. I’ll get this down someday.

  6. Paula

    This is a very elegant office and looks terrific in B&W. I wonder what kind of office it is. I can see a hard hat in the pic :S. I can’t believe you undertook photography such a short time ago πŸ™‚ My hat is off to you, Dinkerson.

    • dinkerson

      Paula, my company restores water towers.
      We also do federal and state inspections on towers all over the US, to ensure that they’re up to the applicable standards.

      My job consists of everything from sales to tower inspections; from client relations to training of new personnel.

      • Paula

        Thank you for answering Dinkerson. It sounds interesting. Are you a civil engineer by profession?

      • dinkerson

        I’m not an engineer. Civil engineers call me in to consult with them on theses projects. I give them the particulars, and they write the specs.
        This procedure has worked so well for us that we’ve seen little need place an engineer on staff.
        I’m more of an expert in the specific arena of storage tanks.
        Now, I’m wanting to continue this conversation, at your convenience, to discover a little more about you. I’d like to know more about how you’ve landed this lifestyle of travel. πŸ™‚

      • Paula

        πŸ˜€ I do not travel that much, though my husband would not agree :D. I am a translator with about 25 days of vacations per year, so you see I can’t travel that much. I love questions.. ask anything you want. The reason I asked you if you were a civil engineer is because I work with those on a daily basis being a translator for a motorway company πŸ˜‰

      • dinkerson

        I see. I used a translator a great deal back in the day. What an incredible skill. The translator that I used would keep up with me while I lectured for a couple of hours. And he never seemed to skip a beat. But then again, how would I know if he did? πŸ™‚

        Cool job you have, Paula. And I’m not surprised.
        I wonder, how many languages can you translate? Not that two wouldn’t be impressive, I’m just interested to know.
        I can translate one, but nobody seems to find that useful. πŸ˜‰

      • Paula

        Hello Dinkerson πŸ™‚ Yes, it is a really demanding job especially getting aquainted with specific profession as engineering. I translate everything from loan agreements, to work contract agreements, tenders, technical specifications and when necessary I do consequtive translating (interpreting). Right now I only do English/Croatian, but when the opportunity comes I also translate books from French. I can use a few other languages but not professionaly such as Spanish and Portuguese. I started learning a few more.. my goal is to undertake a different language every year for the rest of my life πŸ˜€ to get at least the basics.. it is not a high level of learning but it can get me to many places and make me able to chat with the local people πŸ˜‰ Which one can you translate?

      • dinkerson

        Well… you can’t really translate just one. I was trying to be clever, but it didn’t work. πŸ˜‰
        What an interesting person you are Paula. πŸ™‚

    • dinkerson

      Good style is far too seldom demonstrated these days.

      I believe that good style can create a sense of well being.
      You know, a lot of people will watch a movie portraying a “glamorous” job – a job with style – and they get the grass is greener complex.
      I rather think life is what you make it.

      • WordsFallFromMyEyes

        It is what you make it, Nathan. It gets exhausting making it some days, but oh joy others :).

        Agree with you on style.

  7. Jessica

    I love this, by the way. So awesome that you were able to get your stuff framed! And are you still having a hard time accessing my site? No one else has mentioned it to me… I really do want to update a few things about it, though… I love the way your site is looking these days. Hope you’re well! Have a great weekend!

  8. rangewriter

    The difference between print and digital is like the difference between my cell phone zoom and the Hale telescope in California. Digital on screen really spoils us. This is where the old guys that learned their craft in a tiny little darkroom have it over those of us that pick up a digital camera and start playing around with photo editing software.

    Stick with it, Dink. You have what it takes to master the art of fine prints.This goes beyond the eye of the artist and into the science of what the eye sees. I’m excited for your new discoveries.

    • dinkerson

      Linda, thank you for this kind comment. I’m feel ashamed that it’s taken me so long to respond, even though I know you’re not offended. You know how sometimes these comments can arrive at a bad time, and then get lost in the distance.
      I believe that the response here, from all of my readers, has been informative. And my plan is to keep with this hobby, and the discovery of its many facets, for many years to come.
      Your cell zoom and the Hale Telescope comparison was spot on.

  9. George Weaver

    Where are you, Dink? I worry.
    Hey, I found out that my monitor displays way more pixels than my old monitor or than yours. That’s why I can see the bad stuff in my photos and yours. Primarily color noise. My friend (the IT specialist and guru) did not believe that I saw terrible color noise in his clouds photo until I made him come to my house to see it. My LED, full HD, 1080P monitor just simply displays more pixels. However, most people don’t see the flaws because they don’t have the latest monitors. So you are okay, probably with most followers. I sent the link to a monitor like mine if you are interested. BTW, I also see lots of color noise in two other people’s blog photos. They both use Mac computers.

    I know you are going to think this is nuts, but I am going to recommend that you try Walgreen for printing. Ray also told me that they have cutting-edge technology in printers from Fujifilm and calibrate their equipment every 48 days. I saw both a print and a canvas print lying there on the counter for another customer when I picked up 11 prints of Cheeky. They were very good prints. So were Cheeky’s. I paid $2.22 for 11 prints (4×6 or whatever the regular print size for snapshots is.) And they were ready the morning after I uploaded them the night before.

    Hope all is well with you. πŸ™‚

    • dinkerson

      George, no need to worry. All is well.
      Work has become almost all consuming, so when I’m not involved with that, I’m either snapping pictures or spending time with my wife and kids. So little time, these days, for anything else.

      I am interested in a monitor like yours. And I’m surprised to hear this about Walgreens. Who knew?

      • George Weaver

        Thanks for letting me know that all is well. Yes, do not neglect your beautiful family. πŸ™‚ Everything else can wait for you to reemerge!

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