Does anyone know where in Scotland I could get some training on printing? I am moving to the Highlands so expect to be out shooting as often as possible throughout the year. Looking for something like a 1 day or a weekend course with a large printout or two at the end of it.
I am undecided about buying a modest printer to print out at maybe A4 and for anything I really like I would consider sending it off for printing at maybe A3 or A2; or if I should bite the bullet and get something like the canon 300 or the 1000 and print my own. Considering the initial outlay and the cost of inks I don't want to end up wasting a load of cash and ending up with disappointing prints whether I print myself or send them off. I have been watching a lot of the stuff on YT about selecting the right paper and colour profiles etc. so I would like to get to learn an effective workflow to help me get to the point where I have some confidence in my printing and that any errors are just down to my own subjective settings for processing rather than a basic error in choosing settings for printing.
Currently shooting with a Canon 5D Mk II but looking to upgrade to a Mk IV and perhaps a specific monitor for processing pics rather than on the laptop. Mostly looking to print landscapes e.g. the one in the link below. Ignore any of the older landscapes on my photostream. They were mostly shot before I knew what I was doing and a lot of the bird pics are record shots. I posted it on Flickr rather than here as it doesn't really fit the theme of climbing/mountain landscape.
Unfortunately I don't know of any courses in particular but I'm sure they must exist. That said, it is perfectly feasible to learn from the resources available online. For what it's worth, the following is more or less what I've learned and it has worked for me - take that as you will.
The biggest considerations before you start printing are colour accuracy and brightness.
I would recommend buying a decent monitor and a screen calibrator first. Decide if you are happy to shoot in the sRGB colour space or if you want to use the wider Adobe RGB colour space. If the former, you only 'need' a 99-100% sRGB monitor which will be far cheaper than the Adobe RGB equivalent. Worth reading into this before you decide - also see Alex Nail/ Tim Parkin's video on colour spaces on YouTube.
Figure out the correct monitor brightness and room brightness - usually much less bright than default settings; the calibrator should recommend a screen/ room brightness value you want to achieve. In short, if the monitor is too bright your prints will come out too dark.
I have a Canon pro 300 and I'm very happy with it. A4 is pretty small to be honest and I think if you're going to invest in printing you should go for an A3 printer, at least. The 300 is up to A3+ which is a fair bit bigger than A3 but not unmanageable.
Once you have a printer, get custom ICC profiles from your paper manufacturer. They should give you instructions on how to install them - at least Fotospeed do.
If you've calibrated your monitor, set your screen/ room to the correct brightness level and set up your ICC profiles, there really isn't much you ought to have to do to see good results in the print. All I tend to do is lift the darkest shadows a bit and sharpen for print - again, YouTube is full of advice on 'soft proofing' for print and all the rest.
Personally, other than being out in the hills, I've found printing to be the most satisfying aspect of photography as a hobby. If you're going to the effort of lugging around a big camera, it just doesn't make sense (to me) to end the process with a relatively tiny image viewed on a laptop or mobile phone.
You could check out Stills (https://stills.org/) who are in Edinburgh and do a range of photography courses as well as accessing photography equipment on a hire basis to use, etc. I’ve done two photography courses with them albeit quite a few years ago now and found them good. They were structured, but “loosely” I found (though no doubt that is individual tutor dependant), so allowed topic aspect and direction to drift a bit and concentrate on what benefitted participants particularly; subject to participants agreeing on the day. Plenty of time for questions and 1:1 interaction with tutor.
I see they have this course planned https://stills.org/product/project-day-digital-inkjet-printing/ , which would be using an Epson A3 printer, but they do, or did, bespoke training with a tutor if this course was not what you were after.
Dougie at Leading Lines would maybe be abel to sort you out. Worth checking his website anyway and maybe dropping him a line. Glasgow based.
Where in the Highlands are you moving to Prof? If you fancy turning to the Dark Side we have a Darkroom in Inverness where you can inhale chemicals 24/7 if you want.
Thanks all for the responses and the links.
Ring Ouzel, we are moving to Inverness area. Looking for somewhere to buy within reasonable commuting distance of Inverness but don't wish to live in the city itself. We are on a bunch of the local Facebook groups. Thanks for the info re the darkroom and chemicals. As a chemist that sounds appealing but I'm not sure dipping my laptop in the developing solution would deliver the results I need.