About printing

I try to spend less time in front of a screen, doing post processing, and more time exploring and doing my best to capture the perfect moment. The basic rule is that in majority of cases, moving sliders in Lightroom or Photoshop can hardly achieve desirable outcome, if there isn’t a “good” light.

We use laptops, tablets and phones not only to review and edit images, but also to show them to family and friends by sharing on portfolio websites and social networks. While the advantages are great (reach, speed of delivery, etc.), presenting a photograph in the “old school” way is quite magical, especially with larger sizes.

From my latest trip to Japan, I wanted to print out a couple of images to be hanged on the wall and decided to try Saal Digital. Below is a brief review of Saal Digital offering and service, specifically regarding their "Wall Decors”.

Note: The original image was shot with Sony A7R2 and Zeiss Batis 25/2 and can be found here at http://martinsrna.com/galleries/#/still2/

Print quality
- The picture quality is great, print is very sharp, perhaps a tiny bit less saturated than on screen, but I did not do soft proofing (issues with my mac)
- The source image is a panorama with a resolution of roughly 70Mpx
- The wall decor itself feels very solid and is supposedly water and sun resistant (the latter should be proven later, as it is mounted opposite a window).
- Instaling the mounting took roughly 10 minutes, since I usually try to be precise.
- This is the first time I printed anything on aluminium composite panel, but definitely not the last.

- A nice variety of print options is available, ranging from now classic Artist Canvas, to high end Gallery Print.
- I opted for Alu Dibond, as I usually prefer the look of matte prints and aluminium composite panel should offer great saturation and sharpness.
- There are countless of formats available, various ratios even for square and panoramas and there is an option for custom size too.
- 3 mounting options are available, I chose the standard, which is practically a set of metal plates with stickers to be hanged up with 2-3 nails or screws.

- There is an option to upload images directly through the website, but using their app (both Mac and Windows are supported) comes with more options to edit.
- It is pretty a straightforward software, fast and easy to navigate in, but I used it only to pick the print format, upload, pay and order, since I do all my editing in LR/PS.
- Only JPG is supported, which should be enough if exported with highest quality possible.
- You can download the ICC profiles for soft-proofing, available for all the formats.
- You can also pay with PayPal

- Delivery took 3 working days, tracking with DHL worked and the package was very well wrapped.
- Took a while to unpack, but with all the cardboard, I was able to build a small cardboard house for my little niece - a nice bonus!

I am very satisfied with the both the print quality and service from Saal Digital and I will certainly print with them again (I also ordered a couple of posters). Highly recommended!


The new Sony (a7rII)

Humble, yet confident, Sony is not only strengthening its precious capability of producing superior sensors (for cameras/phones), but also playing quite a different game with its (for now) niche division. Instead of releasing a second generation iterated product like the rest of the industry, or even most of the mainstream consumer electronics companies, it created a monster. And how? By listening to its customers. All this while making profit after 5 years. It will be definitely interesting to see, how this works out in the long term, but it is already worth an HBS case study.

Check out the interview with Kimio Maki - Sony's Senior General Manager of Digital Imaging Business Group:



Sony a7rII, source: dpreview.com

Sony a7rII, source: dpreview.com

Four generations

...and almost 80 years in between.

Although this was originally not my idea, I stumbled upon this kind of picture on the Internet a long time ago and decided to make my own version. The smallest piece of the puzzle, my niece, was born a year ago and the portrait was the perfect gift for my grandmother.

As I have little experience (and gear) shooting portraits, my cousin helped me with the lighting and advised on other parts. I took a couple of shots of each "generation representative" holding an empty photo frame and used masking and layers in Photoshop to create a four generations photo.

Gear used: Canon 50D with Sigma 35/1.4 Art, Yongnuo and Canon speedlites and a reflection board.


Update (10 Jan 2015): "Four generations" placed second in the most popular photos on 500px portal, just couple of hours since being uploaded, with around 15k views as of now. Thanks all!