Talbot and Dauguerre would be amazed.
Archer and Le Gray would have loved it.
We’re talking about Fine Art Printing of photographs – digital files.
First we need to go back a couple of years to understand where printing has come from – let’s go back to 1873. That’s about 50 years after Talbot and Daguerre invented photography and 25 years after Archer and Le Gray defined the collodion process. Imagine what people had to do to make a print, it’s 30 degrees Celsius and your (light-tight) covered wagon is deep in the desert. You’ve mixed your collodion plate, loaded it into your camera, you’ve selected, composed and exposed your plate and you now need to process it before the collodion sets. Did I mention that you had under 10 minutes to accomplish this or nothing would turn out. Hit and miss, it took and enormous effort just to get one copy (print) and that is all you ever had – if that. If you wanted another one you would repeat the entire process because back in the day, the photographer was also the lab and in the beginning the lab had to travel with the photographer.
It’s now 2017 and we’ve moved way beyond collodion. We still have chemical prints – made on Kodak Endura paper which are excellent . Chemical prints are a long lasting, colourful, cost effective way of displaying and preserving your images. Not to mention that the process is repeatable, consistent and as far as the photographer is concerned – painless.
The Lab Works has been delivering the highest quality prints and we’ve been doing it since 88 (that’s nineteen eighty eight). We were the leaders in the analog world and have continued that tradition delivering the finest digital chemical prints possible. We now bring that commitment to excellence to Fine Art Printing.
So, why Fine Art?
Fine art prints are made using a different process – an inkjet printer with special inks and special papers. But it’s much more than that as Fine Art Printing gives a name to the process of delivering the highest fidelity prints from your digital files. There are four key benefits of Fine Art Printing:
- Archival – pigmented inks are more resistant to fading.
- Higher resolution – printer prints at twice the effective resolution of Photographic paper prints.
- More colour – 12 Pigmented inks produce a wider gamut.
- Ability to print on special paper like the Hahnemühle Rag papers.
Visit The Lab Works or any Don’s Photo location to say hi or to check out the new papers. Order your prints through ROES. We accept 8 bit, RGB, tiff or jpeg files and you can leave the covered wagon at home.
Posted by Rick
I shot a roll of Black and White film last week. What a strange feeling – kept looking at the back of the camera. Nikon f2, Tri-X , with 50mm 1.4, 24mm 2.8 and 35mm 2.8 and no LCD! Battery was dead so I shot by feel, nice to have the latitude of film as I’m sure that I did not nail every exposure. Focus might be my worst enemy especially close up with the 50/1.4 wide open.
I’m getting my film processed and scanned today and am finding that this delayed gratification thing is kind of neat. While digital has brought the process of photography home and provided instant feedback this whole analog process is bringing back some cool feelings. Like patience!
So why am I going on about black and white film processing? Because I’m getting a contact sheet with my processing. It was once an integral part of black and white photography – process your film, sleeve it and contact it. The term contact came from the fact that the negatives would be placed directly on top of photographic paper and exposed to light – in direct contact. Your contact sheet told a story of your roll – a collection of images shown in the order they were shot that helped show the story you were trying to tell. It also told you some technical things about your exposures, you could see if you nailed the focus (or not) and you would also use it as a reference to find your negatives. And you could hold it.
We’ve faithfully re-created the contact sheet digitally and you’d swear it’s the real thing. Starting today and going through May, if you get a roll of Black and White film processed and scanned we’ll also make a contact sheet – for free!
Posted by Rick
Howard Hawk’s 1952 sci-fi/horror classic, “THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD” starred Margaret Sheridan and Kenneth Tobey. When the RKO studio had respected Hollywood photographer Ernest Bachrach shoot some promo’s featuring the two main actors, his choice on that day was his 8×10 camera and Kodachrome 25.
Fast forward 65 years and a local internet memorabilia dealer who specializes in Hollywood photography has just dropped off his latest scanning job. Now, we’ve scanned a lot of gorgeous images for him from many era’s but this one was different. We pulled out this 8×10 Kodachrome and almost fell over - almost like being there. Images shot on 8×10 are often special, while images shot on vintage Kodachrome often retain much of the original colour fidelity and to that end Kodachrome 25 was the best. So, to get a 8×10 slide shot on Kodachrome 25 made by a Hollywood studio in excellent condition is rare! The colour is as brilliant as the day it came off the processor.
While we can scan a piece of film this size on our Epson V700 this image called out for a drum scan. O.K., it screamed it. The really neat thing on this scan is all the retouching that was done right on the original 8×10 that would have been done with brush and dyes. There was a lot of retouching done directly on the slide as well as slightly slimming her face – no liquify tool here!
Shown below is a reduced size version of the scan that we delivered to our client. This is the web so we’ve posted them in lower resolution and in sRGB but the quality still shines through! Getting to work on images like these is what makes our job so much fun!
So take a look and enjoy something that is truly – The Thing From Another World!
Click on below image to see close-up enlargement of the face.
Posted by Rick
We love to document our lives and post them online. The digital world has made it easy to share pictures to family and friends via Social media, email, texting. But what happen to those pictures after they’re seen behind the screen? They’re often forgotten and sometimes even lost. With this in mind we have put together a few reasons why printing is important:
1. Not everyone is on social media – Yes, the digital world made it easier to share your memories but not everyone is online. As much as we love social media, there are people who rather enjoy face to face conversations instead of online. Even those you know on Facebook aren’t always online to see those new posts. Also, special people in your life like grandma and grandpa would be delighted to receive pictures in the mail!
2. Hard drives fail – Technology has helped us in so many ways. One of them is how it has allowed us to store data in one small pocket hard drive. But where there is pro, there is con. Let’s face it, hard drives fail, computer virus’s happen, even backups fail. Once you lose what you store in your hard drive or your computer, they’re gone. Forever. The advantage with printing is even when hard drives fail, your picture remain alive.
3. They are a conversation starter – Family gatherings? Catching up with friends? When your prints are on the table, one of your guests will take that album on the coffee table and someone will comment about the picture on the wall.
4. They bring back memories – This follows up to #3. Once the conversation starts, those pictures will bring back memories. They take you back in time to when those events happened. “Remember how great that cake was on your birthday?!” You’ll remember the food, the atmosphere, the happy times! They’ll take you back to when you graduated school, how amazing it felt getting that diploma or even the sand on the beach and hearing those waves.
5. Prevents your pictures from being stuck behind your screen – How many albums do you have sitting on your online gallery? And how many of them do you remember are there? Or has your online service been discontinued without notice. The more you add new memories, the older the others get and you’ll forget about them. When you have your pictures printed in an album, it’s always easy to go back and look at them again.
Keep those memories alive! Happy printing!
Posted by Rick
Winter is a beautiful time of the year to photograph. Snow, hoarfrost, icicles, frozen waterfalls, you name it! The list doesn’t end. Everything looks nice under the blanket of snow. The only problem is the motivation to go out there and brave the cold. Here are a few tips to help:
1. Prepare your gear. Make sure to have extra batteries with you to switch from time to time. Batteries tend to die faster in the cold. Have one in your camera and another (or two) warming up in your pocket.
2. Dress warm but don’t overdress. You want to be able to comfortably shoot and move around, especially when snow is up to your knees.
1. Inhale when taking a picture, exhale (away from your camera) after the shot. Otherwise you will fog your viewfinder and screen which will make it difficult to see your next shot.
2. Use your histogram. When shooting snow, you want to overexpose your shot a little bit to make your snow appear white.
1. Keep your gear inside your bag as you transition from outdoors to indoors. This will avoid condensation forming inside your lens and camera that could lead to shorting out electric components in your gear.
Do some research before heading out so you have an idea of what you’re getting. It also helps to see photos taken from that location to get inspiration from. There’s so much out there to shoot, but you won’t get them with your camera sitting at home. Go out and happy shooting!
Posted by Rick