Streamlining Art Reproduction with the Epson S80600

No matter what size the print facility, efficient workflow, speed and quality are always top of of mind. The same holds true for Josh King, who runs Sacramento Giclee, a five-person shop that works primarily with artists who need scanning, reproduction and custom framing of their artwork.

Sacramento Giclee reproduced an acrylic painting for a canvas wrap.

“We’re a custom print shop, and we do everything from capturing originals to printing, installing, shipping and framing,” King says. “We also do some big jobs for hospitality or healthcare where we might do 200 prints.”

As his business has grown, King has explored new ways to speed up production while maintaining quality, and last September he decided to pair an Epson SureColor S80600 64-inch solvent printer with the two aqueous printers in his operation.

The Portrait Print That Wouldn’t Burn

Sunset Photo eSatin Paper
Shelley Bigelow and her daughter, Blakely, with the print that survived the fire that destoyed the family’s home near Manton, Mich.

A high-school senior portrait of Shelley Bigelow’s daughter, Blakely, rose from the ashes to greet her as she surveyed the scene of her home just devastated by a raging five-alarm fire near Manton, Mich. It was just about the only item that survived the fire. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

The print of her daughter was the lone ray of light in a black mess of soot, water and ashes that marked the spot where her home once stood.

Sunset Photo Paper“The picture was hanging on my office wall on the second floor and it went down through everything to the basement, and there she was looking at me,” recalls Bigelow. “We never found traces of the frame or the glass; just the picture. With seven hours of burning and five departments, the picture still smiled at us after all we went through.”

Judy Gilde photographed Blakely’s senior portrait session about three years ago. The 16×20 wall portrait found in the fire was printed by Gilde on Sunset Photo eSatin Paper, mounted on a dense mount board, framed and placed behind glass. Gilde does just about every type of photography imaginable in this rural area of northern Michigan, and prints her own work with an Epson Stylus Pro 7900.

“Sunset eSatin is our standard paper. When people pick up their photos they think there are three prints stuck together, and it’s just one print; that’s how thick it is,” says Gilde. “I always try to use the best photo papers and products for my work, but I never expected this kind of performance. She does need to have it replaced because the bottom half of it has smoke damage.”

Bigelow plans to keep the print, however, as a memento of a difficult time made somewhat less difficult with the miracle of photography and the print that wouldn’t burn.

“We’ll keep it forever, and we’re happy it survived. Judy told us it would withstand so much, but I didn’t realize how much it would withstand. She stressed how much quality was in the work, and she was right; the color is still brilliant even through the soot,” says Bigelow.

Prints that Win: As Long as One Man Believes

Photo by Amy Feick

An expert portrait photographer – primarily weddings and seniors – Amy Feick won a Sunset Print Award at the PPA Northeast District competition for an image outside her expertise.

Feick, owner of Twin Shutterbug Studios in Port Huron, Mich., successfully translated her eye for the human portrait to a portrait of the interior of an abandoned church in Detroit. The title of her image of the crumbling edifice, As Long as One Man Believes, references the lone chair set in a cavernous background; a reminder that this once beautiful church housed hundreds of worshippers.

“I think it’s the emotion of a place falling apart that should be sacred, but it’s not. I looked online after the photo shoot and saw what the church looked like prior to its abandonment, and in less than five years it had been scavenged and stripped out. In general, that’s what’s happened in much of Detroit,” explains Feick. “I was there with a group of photographers, one of whom is an urban explorer, and there happened to be an opening at a door that someone had broken down, so we went in. I liked the angle of the inside of the church and shot on a tripod I lowered to the floor, using a wide-angle lens to capture both the floor and the ceiling.”

Feick used only natural light coming through the windows and processed it using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro and did some dodging and burning to bring some areas out and dampen down others. “It was sort of monochromatic anyway, but in black-and-white it’s very simple and pulls you toward the lone chair in the middle, which kind of got lost in the color,” says Feick.

The final touch was the presentation on Sunset Photo eSatin Paper, printed with Feick’s nearly brand-new Canon iPF6400S inkjet printer. Since it was printed on Sunset inkjet media, Feick receives an iPad Air, in addition to the Sunset Print Award trophy, pin and gift certificate.

“I’ve been printing my own work for about two months. I was against doing my own printing for years because I didn’t feel like I could create the right color and look. A friend convinced me to try it, and I like it better: I like the saturation, color and detail I get printing my own work,” explains Feick. “I love it; I can send it to the printer and someone can pick up their print in five minutes.”

Prints that Win: Lemon Fresh

Sunset Print Award Antonelli Institute
Lauren Driscoll (third from left) won a Sunset Print Award at the Antonelli Institute student competition for her print entitled Lemon Fresh.

Each year the Antonelli Institute of Graphic Design & Photography holds a huge student photography competition. This year, second-year student Lauren Driscoll walked away with a Sunset Print Award for her lemony-fresh commercial product shot entitled, well, Lemon Fresh.

And fresh it is, especially for Driscoll, who won for a type of photography outside her comfort zone. Her forte is fashion and portraiture, as you can see from her portfolio when you click here, but Driscoll doesn’t feel as comfortable with commercial photography.

Each student can place two prints that they print and mat themselves into each category, which includes landscape, photojournalism, commercial, editorial, fashion, portraiture and others. From there, the faculty judges narrow it down to the top 12 in each category. Those 12 are then judged by outside professionals that include local photographers and alumni, who rank them and then pick best of show, which was Driscoll’s Sunset Print Award winner.

Sunset Print AwardFor her award-winning commercial capture Driscoll says, “I laid everything out and tilted the bottles to give it a more fun and playful look. Shooting down on an object is more unique and eye-catching, so you tend to look at it longer because of the different angle. I’m into a rustic, organic feel with my photography, which is why I used that wooden background.”

For the lighting Driscoll used a strip box modifier reflected off a piece of white foam board leaning against the wall, which bounced the light to the other side the way she wanted it.

“My teachers always say to work smarter, not harder. I wanted to get the most out of that light before I had to bring in another one and I liked the look it gave,” she says. “During processing I did very little work to the image: I bumped up the contrast, enhanced the yellow so it popped more and took out some random dust and dirt spots. I really didn’t want to change it too much from its raw form.”

After she graduates from the Antonelli Institute, Driscoll plans to assist wedding photographers for on-the-job training, while doing freelance photography on the side. “My dream is to have my own studio,” she says, and it looks like she’s well on her way to realizing that dream.

Epson Reveals New Lower Pricing for the Stylus Pro 4900

Epson wide format inkjet printer on saleIt’s hard to believe we’re nearing the end of 2012, but of course we say the same thing every year. As we get closer to the end, keep an eye out for great inkjet printer deals that tend to materialize.

Case in point is Epson’s announcement this week that it lowered the price of the Stylus Pro 4900 models by $200. Now you can get the Stylus Pro 4900 Designer Edition for $2,295 and the Stylus Pro 4900 w/ UltraChrome HDR Ink for $1,795 at LexJet.

The Designer Edition is more expensive because it includes the EFI eXpress for Epson, which is a RIP (Raster Image Processor) software that helps make production more efficient, especially for proofing and configuring photos for print production.

Both printers feature Epson’s precision MicroPiezo TFP printhead and UltraChrome HDR Ink to ensure the best possible color and tonal match between monitor and print.

For more information, and to find the right printer for your applications, contact a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538.