Thursday, May 7, 2009

A New Way of Doing Things

Oak Tree II © 2009 Dianne Poinski

Here is the hand-colored version of Oak Tree II.

I showed the black and white image in my last post and talked about having professional scans made of the hand-colored original.

I picked up the CD with the finished scan from Sacramento Giclee yesterday as well as a couple of proofs. After a couple of tweaks, the color was right on.

Now, I have been hearing for years how important it is to have professional photographs made of your art, but as a photographer I didn’t think they were speaking to me. I was wrong. I was wrong because even though my medium is photography, the fact that I hand-color the print creates an “original” and it’s important to reproduce that image as closely as possible.

I had a system that worked for many years. I would make an 8 x 10” print, hand-color it and use that as my “original”. Then I would scan it using my flat bed scanner. This is a fine way to do things if you are just trying to document your work but to make high quality prints from this scan was a challenge. The color was never right and while it may have looked good as an 8 x 10” print or even an 11 x 14”, try going larger than that and you were in trouble. I did make larger prints and to almost everyone else they looked fine, even good, but I knew if I wanted to take my work to next level it was time to start having those professional scans made.

Before I made this decision, I briefly played around with “hand-coloring” in Photoshop which is not really “hand-coloring”, but I did it anyway. I thought I would still have originals and my prints would be the images I did in the computer. This didn’t feel right either. I wanted my prints to be actual “reproductions” not just similar images.

Now with my new way of doing things, the scans are made from a 16 x 20” original. This change alone would make a huge difference, but now I also have quality in the color and the contrast but more important, it’s something I feel good about showing.

This is going to be an investment in time and money but it feels right, and since I am not busy doing shows right now, this is the perfect time for this project.


  1. Beautiful image Dianne. I think the extra investment spent will be well worth it! I need to do the same to some of my older B&W prints too. What a job though - there's so many to do I wouldn't know where to start.

  2. Thanks Rachel,
    It is a labor of love I guess!