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Encouraged by Epson, Rib Sheppard has now delivered this fourth edition of his New Epson Complete Guide to Digital Printing and, if you are sparked by books with large, lavish pictures, this will be the one for you.
Camera and printer technology has changed in remarkable ways with digital compacts and DSLRs carrying previously unheard of resolution levels and picture taking abilities that demand far superior printing qualities.
Much of this book is, of course, very pro-Epson but as Sheppard says it is principally “about the enjoyment of creating great prints.”
Beginning at the end, the book starts by analyzing the ingredients that constitute a great print and poses the question: should the monitor display match the print?
Sheppard’s answer is that the monitor should be taken only as a guide; more critically, the technical issues must not be allowed to overwhelm the aesthetic purposes.
Many examples are given if what Sheppard considers to be bad prints … garish and ‘off’ colour, lack of highlights and shadow depth, poor cropping and incorrect printer settings. The lessons apply not only to the use of Epson printers but to the whole field.
A good print starts where you take a picture, so the book’s 14 pages on ‘camera essentials’ will not go astray.
Other topics include the printer workflow, selections of papers, pigment versus dye inksets, appropriate software and how to use it, creating printer profiles and much more.
IMHO and regardless of Epson’s involvement, this is one of the best books on printing.