Prints That Win: Science

Ubly, Mich., photographer Vanessa Longuski fell in love with photography during her senior year of high school. Joining the high school yearbook team gave her the opportunity to explore the world of photography even more. Realizing a growing harmony with the art form, she decided to enroll at Central Michigan University where she first studied still photography, but then later switched to photojournalism.

Today she’s a professional running her own business, Moments Captured by Vanessa, where she primarily photographs weddings, but her passion really lies with the nonchalant nature of children. Her most recent win at PPA Northeast for her image “Science” is a testimony to her passion. This win in the Portrait category was printed using LexJet Sunset Photo eSatin Paper.

“My initial thought was to be more stylized instead of standard, and I really try to understand what the child likes so I can capture genuine facial expressions instead of a cheesy smile,” she says while breaking down her process. “I feel that’s what sets my prints apart from the rest.”

Besides the excitement and love from her customers, the most rewarding thing about photography for Longuski is the competitions. When competing, she gets the opportunity to learn and achieve her goals as well as push herself to work harder to improve her craft.

“Looking back from where I  started to where I am now, has truly grown because of competitions. They are so challenging and when you win, it’s an honor,” she says. “It reminds me that I’m doing something right.”

If Longuski could give one piece of advice, it would be: “Don’t give up. Keep trying, even if you don’t get to the point where you want as fast as you want, you’ll get there eventually.”

 

By Kyjahana Irizarry

Kyjahana, a Florida native, is currently studying Business of Art and Design at Ringling College of Art and Design. During the summer of 2019, she interned for the marketing department at LexJet, where she wrote employee profiles, social media and blog posts, helped produce podcasts and videos and acted as project manger for the annual internship video.

Introducing: Sunset Hot Press & Cold Press 100% Cotton Papers

When a photographer captures a particular image, there’s a moment when the vision becomes reality – and it’s in that instant when the photograph is printed. Before that, it’s just a concept. It’s the print that matters.

Sunset Hot Press Smooth Bright White 300g

To help the artist’s story come to life, we’re introducing two new 100% cotton papers to create that final desired effect.

Both of these new papers are compatible with aqueous inks, and are acid-free for long print life. They’re ideal for photography, art reproductions, unframed cards or high-end, customized home décor.

And while the quality of these papers can go head-to-head with other fine art options on the market, they are priced very competitively.

“We’re addressing the high-demand for papers like these while also addressing the highest quality concerns at a very attractive price,” says LexJet VP of Sales, Justin Lehman. “These are the finest options for photographers or artists who are putting a lot of emotion into their work. These are for anyone who’s printing because it truly matters.”

To learn more about how to create high-end visual impact using these new Sunset papers, call a LexJet print specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

C’est Magnifique! Turning Antique French Postcards into Wall Art

Baton Rouge, La., photographer David Humphreys was approached by Mike Wampold, CEO of the Wampold Companies, to produce art for Bayonne at Southshore, a new apartment complex just off the Louisiana State University campus. “He had these French postcards that he wanted to turn into 5-foot by 8-foot murals,” Humphreys says.

It wasn’t just the antique postcards that would serve as the inspiration for the canvas prints. “Veni Harlan, a specialist in marsh species, helped me find the proper flora and fauna of the LSU lakes,” Humphreys says. “Also, Mr. Wampold knows that there are a large number of pelicans that fly in and stay in the LSU lakes, and that’s how the pelican became the symbol for the apartment complex.”

Once he started experimenting with the process, he knew it was going to be an intricate and detailed project. “I used a high-end Phase One camera, mounted a camera stand and shot them in six or eight sections,” he says. “Then I stitched them together in Photoshop to get an accurate 800 Mb file. I didn’t want to turn them into vector files because I wanted to maintain the integrity of the images.”

Humphreys needed to incorporate the pelicans and other species into the artwork, so he reached out to Gerald Burns, a friend, and former priest-turned-wildlife photographer. “I do a lot of fine art printing for Father Burns,” Humphreys says. “He had some old photos of birds and reptiles that he’d taken over the years, but some were lower pixel ratings. I printed them using LexJet Premium Archival Matte Paper, mounted the prints and, then used the same stitching process I used with the postcards.”

When it came time to print the final art pieces, Humphreys needed to find a printer that would provide a full 60-inch bleed. “After researching all the printers available, the Canon PRO-6000 stood out as being most advanced in technology,” he says. “The printer is incredible. It’s user-friendly and did a beautiful job. Now I’m doing a lot of larger images for other people because of the 60-inch capability.”

After the murals were printed, Humphreys reached out to some friends to help with finishing and installing. “Vivid Ink mounted the prints to custom boards, then they were delivered to Ann Connelly Fine Art for custom framing. Then Vivid Ink did the installation at the apartments,” he says.

With 42 years of photography experience, Humphreys says he was inspired to start printing by an unlikely source: Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, and Nash. “Graham’s father was a photographer and he got into fine art printing pre-inkjet. Now he owns Nash Editions in California, one of the pre-eminent fine art printing companies in the country,” he says. “He inspired me to print for myself. Ann [Connelly] loved what I was doing, so I branched out and started printing for her and other people.”

Whether printing his own work or helping others create museum-worthy pieces, David Humphreys knows the benefits of partnering with the right people and using the right equipment to turn an idea into reality.

To learn more about creative applications or to find out which printer is right for you, contact a LexJet specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

A Welcome Addition: HP Clear Gloss Cast Overlaminate

Late last year, LexJet introduced the HP Adhesive vinyl line to the industry at SGIA and the response from customers has been fantastic. Earlier this year, HP Prime Matte Air GR was added to the portfolio. It offers the same imaging quality as the Prime Matte Air GP, but with a gray removable adhesive.

Increasing variety to its overlaminate line, HP announced the addition of Clear Gloss Cast Overlaminate earlier this month. “The new cast laminate is a way for print service providers to see an increase in profitability on box trucks with rivets as well as fleet graphics,” says Tiffany Liashek, National Accounts specialist. “The new overlaminate provides significant cost savings to comparable products. As much as $200 per roll, in some cases.”

Partnering HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP with the new cast laminate, gives PSPs have a total graphics solution for around $0.92/sf. Liashek eases concerns of mixing the calendered Optimal with the cast laminate. “If the laminate is a higher quality vinyl than the printed vinyl, you can mix it. But you never want to use a calendered laminate on a cast vinyl. That’s when shrinkage and edge curl can occur,” she says.

In the past, when an installer heard “calendered vinyl,” he expected that product would be lower quality when compared with cast vinyl, but manufacturing and adhesive technology have improved. “The terms ’cast’ and ‘calendered’ should now be thought of as the way the film is made, not an indicator of quality,” Liashek says. “With calendered film now offering the same or better durability, finish and appearance as many cast films, the only remaining factor is the cost.”

Often, customers want to know which laminate is right for them. To help them choose, Liashek asks some important questions: “To make sure that I offer the right solution, I ask where the graphic will be displayed? What is the temperature like? Is there a lot of sunshine? Is it a vertical or horizontal surface application?” she says. “How they answer these questions will determine if they should consider a cast overlaminate.” The HP cast overlaminate offers protection against abrasions, heat and UV rays, and is extremely conformable. It also adds longevity to underlying graphics, with 10-year durability.

With the newest addition to the portfolio, PSPs can provide high-quality, durable results at a reasonable cost. “Any experienced installer can use calendered vinyl, and he knows when it will be more economical,” Liashek says. “That means an educated consumer can save a lot of money without sacrificing quality.”

Call a LexJet specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com to stay up to date with the latest information on additional products to the HP Adhesive Vinyl portfolio.

Four-Part Series: HP Latex Printer Accessories

Part Four – Caring for Your Latex Spindles

In the final edition of our latex tips and tricks series, HP Latex Specialist Timothy Mitchell offers some suggestions for spindle care as well as helpful hints for endcap placement that can resolve some common problems like paper recognition or “roll walking.”

Whether you have the 3-inch aluminum spindle for the Latex 365 or the smaller, adjustable core spindle for the Latex 115/315/335 family, Mitchell doesn’t recommend leaning the spindles against the printer when they are not in use. “It’s easy for the bottom to slip and it hits the ground and gets damaged,” he says. “Take care of them, I use beanbags on top of the printer to rest the spindles.”

Taking care of the endcaps and core adapters is also essential. There are locking mechanisms in place to keep the roll steady during printing that can loosen over time due to improper use. The tension is lost, rolls can slip or “walk.” If you have ever received a notification that the media was rejected or not recognized by the printer, it could be that the endcap is loose and the paper is not properly aligned in the printer.

“If you are doing long runs, using the take-up roll, the endcap needs to be secure and flush against the core,” Mitchell says. “If it gets loose, the media could slide with it. Making sure it’s stable is key.”

Mitchell also has some suggestions for the spindle with the adjustable core. “If you are completely committed to printing on 3-inch core product, you can permanently attach the core adapter with heavy-duty glue,” he says. You will want to ensure the glue doesn’t affect the latch if you choose to create a permanent 3-inch core.

Watch the video above to see Mitchell explain the best ways to keep your spindle and endcaps in working order, leading to a smooth latex workflow.

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We’re hosting our second LexJet Experience in our Sarasota, Fla., headquarters on Sept. 24-26. The event will feature tons of ways for print service providers to improve their operation’s workflow and their bottom line!

On Sept. 24-25, join Onyx for a two-day Onyx Color Management Certification Course. You’ll learn the basics of color theory and get hands-on practice creating profiles while mastering color management settings in your RIP. Registration is $350 per attendee, and includes breakfast and lunch.

On Sept 26, we’ll be hosting our LexJet Experience Open House, a free event with industry experts who will answer questions about equipment, software, print media and more. Enjoy special discounts, giveaways and lunch on us!

REGISTER TODAY for the Onyx course, the open house or both!

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