With the print sizing settled, I started the final image editing. I was surprised by the selection that the curators made; many images that will be in the show aren’t the ones I print a lot. Indeed, there are several that I’ve never printed.
In addition, I usually try to make each print of any given image in the Staccato series better than the last one. That means I don’t rest on what I did the last time I printed something. I go back and search for ways to improve it, often going back to the original individual exposures and re-compositing them. I was unclear on how far I should take this for the exhibition printing, since the curators had picked certain images, and might be disappointed if what I sent to be hung was significantly different from what they decided they wanted in the show. I decided to live with that discomfort until I got further into the printing.
I started by proofing all 17 images on 8×10 paper. I used normal glossy paper, not the Exhibition Fiber I’ll use to print the pieces for the show. I used the lesser paper to save a few bucks, and also to save effort, as the printer can feed it from the paper hopper, and I don’t have to feed it one sheet at a time. I did, however, use the profile and color settings I will use for the final printing, in order to catch any gamut mapping problems. Then I went over each proof in bright light, both at normal viewing distance and with a loupe.
Six images looked fine. Eleven had problems, mostly small ones. One image, which, as luck would have it, turned out to be the one the curators wanted printed big, had two significant defects. Big ones. Ones that meant starting over from the original exposures. Two hours later, I had a new image. I liked it a lot better. Would the curators?