I’ll know it when I see it.

A good print that is.

For the first time in many a long month I took some files to the commercial print shop today. Nothing special, just Fotomax. I had nine images printed at 6R size. Enough to see some detail and gauge whether they hold up to scrutiny off the screen and onto paper.

So what did I learn from the exercise.

Fotomax does not have the same judgment criteria as I do. They were returned to me marked “over/underexposed” and “blurred”. One had the highlights deliberately blown a little for a very strong contrast, one was what I call ‘high key’ and I’m struggling to see the blurring. Two are prints from scans of 50+ year old negatives of which I had lowish expectations. They look far too sharp!

One bird shot had a magenta hue to it, which I should have corrected in processing.

A landscape had a slightly chocolate-boxy feel to it and was arguably too saturated.

And then there are the black and white prints. To be honest I could pick holes with each of them. That is from a technical standpoint. But in all honesty the 5 are pretty much what I would have expected.

One I am happy with!

One I am almost happy with – it could have done with an extra F stop of depth of field.

One is perhaps just a little grainier than I had realized but it is nitpicking.

One looks a little ‘muddy’ in places reflecting the much higher ISO.

The last one is deliberately done in a silhouette style, hence the ‘over exposure’.

Here are the 5 B&W shots. So what do you think?

Bath weir

Breakfast at Tiffany's

B&W version Light in the Underpass