Using Baryta Papers to Achieve Black-and-White Excellence

For Wonderwall Studio in Austin, Texas, the presentation is as much of an art process as the creation of the artwork itself. The company prints and finishes a variety of images from photographers and artists around the world, and a key focus is choosing the right media to print to. The master printers at Wonderwall print to paper, canvas, wood, metals, mirrors and acrylic frames and boxes, to name a few.

Grand Central StationCompany co-founder and 20-year artwork printing pro Joseph Garcia says he mass-produced artwork in the past, but today his team focuses primarily on high-end art. To stay true to the artist’s or photographer’s work and deliver it in a variety of applications, working with quality substrates is paramount.

For black-and-white image printing, Garcia says he relies on Hahnemuhle FineArt Baryta 325g and Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308g, both currently available at reduced pricing from LexJet. This image of Grand Central Station, at left, was printed on the Baryta paper.

A Transitioning Neighborhood Captured in Portraits

Photographer Jack Alterman is a native of Charleston, S.C., and has certainly seen his city evolve over the years. Today, one particular neighborhood on the east side of Charleston is undergoing a dramatic shift in response to extensive development.

“It’s a 200-plus-year-old neighborhood, that’s predominately African American,” Alterman says. “In walking through the streets and talking to long-term residents … these are very wonderful people with a past worth talking about. The area is being looked at by developers who are interested in making money. It was very obvious to me that these people were not being seen, and history was going to get buried along with all the building.”

Prints That Win: Mirror Mirror

mirror mirrorPhotographer Ben Shirk isn’t afraid of a challenge. In fact, when considering what to shoot for this year’s print competitions, a friend dared him to created an award-winning photograph in-camera, rather than relying on his advanced Photoshop skills for creative editing.

The result: Mirror Mirror, pictured at left, which won the Sunset Print Award during the Professional Photographers of Iowa’s annual competition earlier this year.

“It took a great deal of planning and preciseness to get it correct,” Shirk says. “I had to get the wig, the eyelashes, the lighting, everything just perfect. It probably took me 15 hours to go out and get everything and get it all ready. If I’d have done it in Photoshop, I could have done it in an hour.”

Printing Available Reality for a Gallery Show

Printing images for a gallery show

Award-winning PPA photographer Gordon Kreplin, owner of Ascencion Photography, is well know on North Carolina’s Outer Banks for his portrait photography, but he also has a sterling collection of photographic art, a series of which is being displayed this month at the Ghost Fleet Gallery in Nags Head, N.C.

When I spoke with Kreplin this afternoon he was busily battening down the hatches for the impending arrival of Hurricane Sandy, or at least the battering outer bands of the storm, as it storms past his location.

That’s reality, but the series on display at Ghost Fleet Gallery is called Available Reality, which is a little different. Kreplin explains that the concept is to strip away any preconceptions one may have about the scene portrayed in the image in front of them.

“With any type of art – whether it’s a painting, a sculpture or a photograph – the capture is not something done by the artist or photographer, but it happens because I’m available to it. It’s about pulling the veil away and allowing a relationship to take place without preconceived notions,” explains Kreplin.

To better portray Available Reality, Kreplin used Nik Software’s Silver Efex filters, particularly the infrared filter, to provide more drama, depth and dimension to the images. Most of the images were printed in black and white with a smattering of color, providing splashes of contrast in the gallery presentation.

“Some of those images didn’t work as well in color. When I switched to black and white and used the filters they popped out and became more dramatic,” says Kreplin. “The idea for me is that if the composition doesn’t work in black-and-white it doesn’t work. I always try to use that approach. In terms of zones, if it doesn’t work in color it’s not going to translate to black and white if you don’t have good exposure levels across all your zones.”

To ensure the best possible presentation, Kreplin chose LexJet Sunset Fibre Elite 285g for the print medium. Sunset Fibre Elite is one of Kreplin’s staple inkjet photo materials because it provides a wide dynamic range for his images.

“Sunset Fibre Elite accepts such a high dynamic range that it creates a better sense of depth. I’m able to cover all the zones – my blacks are really black and my whites have detail –so it allows me to broaden my vision of an image and see it a little better,” says Kreplin. “When I go from my Hasselblad RGB to Adobe RGB I can print directly to my Epson 9900 at 16-bit and the Fibre Elite really gets the dynamic detail. I absolutely love the paper.”

To view the images from Available Reality on display at Ghost Fleet Gallery, click here, and here’s a slideshow of the display in the video embedded below…