Varnishing an inkjet print: The Practicing Photographer

Published by | Thursday, October 17th, 2013

varnishing an inkjet print

In this week’s installment of The Practicing Photographer, Ben Long doesn’t go anywhere near a camera or a computer. Rather, he joins photographer, master framer, and author Konrad Eek in looking at an inexpensive, hands-on technique to add richness and luster to inkjet prints: mounting the print on stiff board, then painting the print with varnish.

Some backstory: As Ben explains in his Inkjet Printing for Photographers course, to get the richest blacks and most-saturated colors in an inkjet print, it helps to use paper with a matte finish. But you might prefer a slightly glossier finish in your final print.

Konrad’s technique provides the best of both worlds, with some additional benefits. The varnishing process adds a handmade, painterly look to a print. And it eliminates the need to use glass in the frame—which is great, because glass itself can make a print look less rich.

Too many digital photos spend their lives trapped in the confines of the computer—I know that’s the case with mine. If you’re in the same boat, let’s make a resolution to get our best photos onto walls, shall we?

Check out this week’s installment of The Practicing Photographer, then watch Ben’s Inkjet Printing for Photographers course and Konrad’s Matting, Framing, and Hanging Your Photographs. Happy varnishing!

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