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Red River Pros: Susan McCartney

Susan McCartney at Red River Paper Pro Corner

PPA Certified Photographer

Susan McCartney is a New York City based photojournalist, teacher and writer whose magazine, corporate and advertising assignments have taken her around the US and the world. She is the author of five books about photography, has won Communication Arts and New York Art Directors’ Club awards and her classic prints are now collectors’ items.

Susan McCartney - PPA Certified Photographer
© Susan McCartney

The Client

A long-term personal book project about the people of New York City.

The Assignment

“This shot was made on a late summer weekend in 2007 on the Coney Island boardwalk during a band performance. I hang around in interesting places and when I spot someone I would like to photograph, I ask their permission and then work with them for as long as I can, getting closer and closer. Some people will give you five minutes of their time, and some will be patient for an hour or longer.”

The Execution

“I used a Nikon D-200 digital SLR with a 20mm lens. A Nikon SB600 flash, mounted on the camera’s hot shoe, was aimed directly at the subject. At ISO 200 in raw mode, I exposed manually at around 1/250th of a second at f/16 and bracketed the exposure by changing f/stops. The fill flash was set to minus .7.”

Post Production

“Using Photoshop CS3, I played with the saturation slightly and also brought out the detail in the brim of the hat.”

The Output

“With my Epson stylus Pro 3800 printer, I printed this image using three different Red River papers – Aurora Art White, Arctic Polar Satin and UltraPro Gloss. I had a hard time deciding which paper I preferred, finally choosing the Arctic Polar Satin print for best detail in the shadow areas. I have the Red River paper profiles, but didn’t use them as I have found that Epson’s Luster, Matte and Glossy profiles work just fine for the Red River papers.

For fun, and because I sell prints, I also transposed the shot to black and white and then printed the black and whites on Arctic Polar Satin and Aurora Art, also with excellent results.”


Susan McCartney can be reached at susmcc @

Favorite Papers

UltraPro Satin

UltraPro Satin looks and feels just like traditional photo lab paper and features a medium depth luster finish.

Favorite Of: Jim DiVitale & Peter Randall

River Linen

River Linen adds a special dimension to your printed image with its premium quality linen surface paper.

Favorite Of: JVS & Helene Glassman

Aurora Art

Made using fine 100% cotton rag content, Aurora Art White and Aurora Art Natural offers the look and feel of fine art paper.

Favorite of: Marilyn Sholin, Matt Hoyle, Susan McCartney, & Kaitlin Walsh

Arctic Polar Satin

With its crisp blue white shade, Arctic Polar Satin ensures your images will project more brilliance. Its state of the art microporous coating will enhance details and color saturation.

Favorite of: Al Francekevich & Susan McCartney

Last updated: September 03, 2021

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