If you're anything like me, you have wasted time, paper, and ink, and pulled hair out trying to achieve the perfect print from your digital files--especially neutral black and white prints. There are many solutions available, some that are very specific in nature, and others that cover...
It seems that every week brings at least one new paper announcement that promises to change the way we do our printing. Where a few years ago it was common to use only the paper and ink sold by the printer manufacturer, today many photographers are using third-party papers for the wider variety of surfaces and weights available.
It’s kind of difficult to believe that there could be much innovation in a material that’s been used for thousands of years, but I’m always surprised at the number of new printing papers that come out each year. Of course, the traditional surface photo papers in gloss and luster finishes continue to be the most popular choices, but there is an ever-widening variety of fine art...
Photographers, especially those dealing with large numbers of images, are always looking for ways to speed up the workflow and spend less time in front of a computer and more time behind a camera. Applications like Lightroom have improved the process tremendously, making cataloging and image adjustments easier and faster than before. If you have adjustments that you apply frequently, you can use presets to make it a single-click process, applying a number of adjustments in one operation.
Kevin Kubota has been providing presets and tools for both Photoshop and Lightroom users for quite a while now, and one of his products is a combination of a package of presets for Lightroom and a mini keyboard from RPG Keys that looks much like a numeric keypad on your keyboard. Available as a bundle for $349, or as a rental for $19.95 per month after a $49 setup fee, you get over 100 presets that do everything from black-and-white conversions to skin tone enhancements (and a number of interesting edge effects).
There was only one major large format printer announcement at PMA, but what an announcement! Canon showed off the new imagePROGRAF iPF5000 printer. This is brand-new from the inside out. Canon's first 17" wide photo printer, the $1945 iPF5000 is a direct competitor to the Epson Stylus Pro 4800. The printer features Canon's new Lucia pigment inks in 12 colors.
There are a large number of new papers and inks being shown at PMA this year,
with better archival properties and new surfaces - both traditional RC type
papers and fine art textures. Oriental, long known for their papers in the traditional
film market was showing a new line of inkjet papers, the Graphica Fiber Base
Glossy, ideal for those looking for traditional silver halide print quality,
Graphica RC Professional in gloss and luster finishes, Graphica Designer Art
Canvas, which can either be stretched like traditional canvas or mounted and
matted like traditional papers. The papers are available in cut sheet sizes
for desktop printers and roll sizes up to 42 inches.
MediaStreet was showing their new black only ink set and papers. Currently for
the Epson R series printers, MediaStreet has expanded beyond their Niagra continuous
ink system into what looks to be a very strong entry for dedicated black and
white ink jet printing. Their profiles have several tone curves that mimic traditional
alternative processing. The Niagara system now supports the Epson 4000, R300
and R800 printers as well as the Canon i9900 printers.
Arches, who makes the popular Infinity fine art papers was showing a new line
of papers from Canson. Surfaces include Torchon, Canvas, Mi-Teintes, and Watercolor
for the fine art photographer, and both PhotoGloss and PhotoSatin for a more
traditional look. The Canson line will be available in cut sheet and rolls up
to 50" width.
Hahnemuehle introduced a new series of fine art papers - the White Etching 100%
Rag in both 350 and 500 gsm as well as a new Photo Rag Bright White 308 gsm
Good news for many though is that Ilford has announced that black and white
film, paper, and chemicals will continue to be available, good news for the
many fans of Ilford film products.
Ferrania has a new line of archival paper out that offers excellent fade protection.
Compatible with dye and pigment printers, the paper is available in gloss and
Kodak has finally made their Professional line of inkjet papers available in
10", 16", and 24" x 100' roll sizes. These papers have
the look and feel of traditional Kodak gloss (F surface) and luster (E surface)
paper with the familiar Kodak logo on the back.
There were only a few new software announcements at PMA this year, but they
were good ones. One of the most exciting things I've seen at the show
is the new Pixmantic RawShooter Essentials being shown by Corel.
Welcome to Shutterbug's live show coverage from PMA 2005. The Photo Marketing
Association's annual show is considered to be the photographic industry's
most important annual event and is being held in Orlando FL from Feb 20-23 this
Every day throughout the show I'll be providing updates of major announcements
and new products that will most likely be on your list of future purchases. While
digital is the dominant theme at PMA this year, there is plenty out there for
the film shooter to get excited about.
Anyone who tells you medium format is dead hasn't seen the recent spate of products coming from all of the major players in the medium format market. If PMA is any indication at all, medium format digital is not only alive, it's thriving.
Hasselblad had the new H2D-39 on display in a private area. A solid digital update to the H1 system, the new version...