My father has been a photographer for many years. In his retirement he’s still going strong, experimenting with lenses, getting high quality primes from old film cameras onto the dSLR. He also refurbishes darkroom equipment, bringing old classic enlargers back into service.

Despite the number of people that now print from digital with inks, my father and I included, there are enough still willing to up their bids to secure the hardware he restores. And it’s not just to the UK, people as far as Hong Kong are included in his customer list.

My father prints a fair number of photographs. He’s done many paper tests finding out which of the many bands work best with each of his printers and ink combinations. He found that the results were extremely varied. One didn’t work with one type of ink, the absorption being so slow the sharpness of the image was lost and the paper stayed wet for many minutes. Others while appearing to be a good white resulted in a quite visible green or blue cast.

He’ll print photos, sometimes with different crops and processing and leave them standing on the piano in the living room.

“Live with them” is a comment he’s made on the selection of a final image from a set.

Over time the initial picture you’d have picked may fall out of favour as you notice some small detail or quality that makes another image more appealing.

In Lightroom it’s easy to select and reject images down into a small manageable set. I’ll then export them, copy them to other devices and view them in slideshow mode, letting each ones qualities or flaws have time to sink in. Shooting a lot of portraits it’s often the expression of the subject rather than a technical detail that often tips the balance for me.