News & Notes
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Ink Press Ink Jet Papers
In olden times printmakers toiling in the darkroom had a fair sampling of paper surfaces from which to choose, as well as paper "tones" that ranged from warm to cool, depending on the paper characteristics modified by the developer used. Alas, those days are past, with less and less surfaces available. Now, however, the choice in paper surfaces and weights has returned, albeit in the form of ink jet papers for output using both pigment and dye-based inks. Today, the proliferation of ink jet paper brands speaks to the growing market for these products and provides the photographer with perhaps even more possibilities than even was available in the heyday of the chemical darkroom arts.
There are numerous issues that concern today's ink jet printer and that should play a part in making paper-buying decisions. There's the weight, feel, and defined surface of the paper; the way it accepts ink; whether it is waterproof or not; the archival quality of that paper (even with various types of ink); and, last on our list but not least important, the price per sheet. In addition, printmakers need to know the proper "profile" to apply when making prints, the handshake between the image-editing program and the specific ink, paper, and printer used.
A fairly new player in this field is a company called Ink Press Paper. Working hand in hand with professional photographers on one end and paper makers on the other, the company has come to market with a line of papers they feel will specifically address the needs of photographic ink jet printmakers with a variety of surfaces and weights. The company emphasizes that all their papers are "archival," which they define as being acid- and lignin-free. Plus, they have reduced and in some cases eliminated the use of brighteners to enhance the look of the papers. Dubbing them "universal media," the company also states that all their papers are waterproof. Perhaps most interesting, the company states that their papers, even with quality attributes that put them in direct competition with the higher-end papers of competitors, will sell for up to 40 percent less than similar papers from perhaps more recognizable brand names.
The full selection of their papers can be found on their website, which also provides very helpful hints on applying profiles to numerous printers, including Epson's 2200, 1280, and R-series; Canon's i-series; and Epson's 7600-9600. It provides a quick and easy method of applying profiles and how to load them into your system. To get the profile just click on Products, select the paper and then scroll down for a choice of custom profiles. For those who choose not to go this route the site also suggests generic settings with certain printers, concentrating on the Epson 2200. It also gives helpful hints on print dialog settings for the best results.
The full selection of papers, including photo-type and art-type papers, both single and double-sided, are sold through retailers and resellers. We especially liked the Picture Rag in bright white, with a warm tone version available as well, and the Velvet Extreme, a 40 mil stock that sells for a very competitive price.
For outlets, check their website at: www.inkpresspaper.com.
14th Trierenberg Super Circuit 2005
After 10 years of cooperation with Hasselblad, the Austrian Super Circuit begins its 2005 edition with a new main sponsor and contest name. The new sponsor is Trierenberg Holding, the world's leading manufacturer of thin printing paper; hence the new contest name, Trierenberg Super Circuit. The general theme of the competition is free in monochrome and color prints, plus color slides. In addition, there are 17 different theme sections, including "nature and wildlife," and "men at work." The very best prints and slides will be included in a big exhibition tour running through Austria, Germany, China, and Qatar. Prizes to be won include a Hasselblad camera and cash prizes worth 40 euros. The closing date for entries is May 2, 2005. For more information, contact Trierenberg Super Circuit, Postfach 364, A-4010 Linz, Austria; fax: ++43 732 60403013; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.supercircuit.at.
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