Testing my Canon PIXMA Pro9000 printer (with the Mk II print head – long story which is on my blog somewhere) after it had been in storage for about a year. I am pleased to say, all it needed was a single head clean function carrying out along with new inks and now works perfectly. Not bad for a printer that was boxed-up in Oman, spent five months in storage there, travelled by sea and stored here in UK for another six months. The only packing preparation it was given was a clean, remove the inks and put the print head in its original foil pack with silica-gel, press out as much air as I could and seal with tape.  I am a happy bunny  🙂

I can now work on some prints for hanging on the wall of our new house, such as the one above from October 2013.
All I need is to decide what paper I will use: always had either Premium Fine Art Smooth or Pro Premium Matte (or their older equivalents) from the Pixma Pro range by Canon. But being back here in UK, the range of papers for both traditional darkroom work & digital printing are almost limitless. Bit like film, instead of hearing “gosh you don’t still use film do you?” I am spoilt for choice. It makes up for the (forgotten) dreadfully changing weather & very expensive fuel prices.

Retouching prints.

retouching-imagesRetouching prints.

As you can see, I have a bad habit of taking over the dinning room table when retouching photographs: side light from the windows is good (my excuse anyway) which is a must.

As most of my work is on matte fibre papers (even my inkjet prints are matte papers mostly) I can use a number of different spotting mediums.
Spotone dyes are (were) the best IMHO but Marshalls are now the only archival liquid dye I know of. Two other methods can be used with good results: a range of artist quality pencils & the Edward Weston use of ink & gum arabic.  For this I use Japanese ink stick and varying amounts of the gum arabic; depending on how glossy the paper surface is.

Ink jet prints will sometimes get the odd white or pale spot that went unnoticed on the screen (especially in high-key images) they can be retouched using the same methods used for fibre prints. Yes I know I could just reprint, but sometimes I won’t notice the fault for several days.
It could also be that I have developed a parsimonious reason; the cost of Ilford fibre paper is not cheap now, neither is good inkjet paper. If the retouching is done well enough, it will never be noticed when the print is behind glass.

Two things from the above: a tip from my wife (an artist who uses both watercolour & oils) is, look at the image upside down in a mirror. The other being, leave a print where you can see it on a daily basis: both remove the image from the minds eye, one then looks at it with a fresh mind-set.