Maybe it’s just because I’m in the midst of de-rusting and repainting my VW bus, but it seems to me that a lot of the routines I go through to make my digital prints sing are a lot like painting and polishing a car—cleaning off all the dust, making sure the paint’s blemish free, touching up the pinstripes, giving the chrome one extra coat of wax. It’s those small, almost subliminal, touches that make an ordinary auto stand out.
A lot of my photo manipulation techniques serve the same function. They don’t fundamentally change the photo- graph, but they get me a much better print of it. It’s likely you’re
already familiar with one or more of the methods I present in this article, but I’d be surprised if you’ve tried all of them. I use them so regularly that I don’t ever make a print that hasn’t ben- efited from several of these rituals. These routines are indeed, well, routine, but that doesn’t make the results any less special.