On Monday the 5th of March, Ed Dunne from Inspirational Arts began his series of five guest lectures. The Advanced Printing Workshop will enable us to print our work with much better results than we currently produce, we will also learn more about different paper stocks and which inks work with these choices of paper. Ed mentioned Japanese paper stocks quite often during this class, I've done a little research into paper stocks I've discovered that these stocks try to retain a fine organic texture similar to traditional Washi paper. The leading manufacturer of Japanese paper is a company named Awagami Factory.
The topics we covered in the first lecture were, critical appraisal of colour, colour spaces and also printing of PDI (PhotoDisc International) test charts. Ed described how the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) has standardised the use of illuminants which are theoretical profiles of visible light. The Commission of Illumination was set up in 1913, it's main function is to standardise the use of light and colour in a range of scientific fields such as photochemistry and digital image technology. The standards he discussed were D50 and D65, the former is the average colour of daylight and the latter is the average colour of midday light. D65 is optimal for photography and should be used in monitor calibration. Most interiors (including those designed for viewing photographs) use D50 lighting which isn't ideal, but it is a much more cost effective option.
Colour spaces were then discussed, Ed discussed each colour space at length and for what they're used for and why. He advised us to use the ProPhoto colour space in our work as it'll allow us to print and display a greater range of colours as screen and printer technology improves. He also advised us not to save our work as .jpg files as they can only use the sRGB colour space which has a small colour gamut.
Toward the end of the class we each printed a PDI test chart which Ed brought in for us. The test chart displays a number of objects under different sources of lighting in addition to tonal graphs and tables. My printer had a clogged nozzle so the test print wasn't accurate for certain colours but printing the test print was useful to see how a nozzle blockage affects the final printed image. When a nozzle is clogged it's possible for the printer to perform an auto-nozzle clean, this is effective at removing some ink which is causing problems. This nozzle clean can only do so much and when this method is ineffective a manual clean must be carried out.
I found the class very interesting, Ed seems like the type of person that can teach anything to anybody. I particularly enjoyed when he demonstrated the gamut of colours between colour spaces and why ProPhoto is the best one to use, especially as technology advances so quickly. A negative aspect of technology advancing so fast is that people aren't always able to realise that technology's full potential before the new technology takes precedent. I learnt a lot from the first class and I look forward to the other classes in the series, especially as we begin to print onto different paper stocks.