How to Make Canvas Printing Work for You, Part 1: Materials, Finishes and Textures

Mountain Dreamworks Fine Art Canvas Banners
The most typical canvas application is a gallery or museum wrap over a frame. However, some print shops use canvas for framed art or banner-type applications like this one by Mountain Dreamworks, Ketchum, Idaho, printed on Sunset Select Matte Canvas.

Is canvas printing a fad? It’s certainly a growing and profitable segment of the print market, and if it’s a fad, it’s one that should continue for years to come, which means it’s probably not just a fad.

According to InfoTrends, a printing industry research firm, printed canvas is expected to grow from about 500 million square feet in 2013 to 860 million square feet in 2018 for a five-year CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 11.6%.

InfoTrends also reports that canvas represents about 12 percent of the total online photo printing market in the U.S., and that social media sites, like Instagram, have actually helped fuel growth in this market. After all, while it’s nice to share photos with your friends on a computer screen, many consumers still desire something distinctive outside of cyberspace they can hang up on the wall.

That’s healthy growth and represents a lot of opportunity in various market segments, including: limited-edition art reproductions, consumer photography, home and corporate décor, hospitality, hospitals, restaurants and bars, and just about anyone or any organization looking to spice up their spaces with the unique canvas look.

Canvas by Chromaco
Perfect reproduction of Colleen Wilcox’s art by Honolulu-based Chromaco on Sunset Reserve Matte Canvas.

For print shops, sign companies, commercial printers, photo labs, photographers and fine art reproduction companies the big questions are about utilizing the best production methods, choosing the right materials and finding the best ways to finish canvas based on their market, both as it stands now and where they want to be in a year, two years and beyond.

Materials and Textures
There are quite a few characteristics to take into consideration regarding inkjet canvas currently available on the market: base material, weave, weight finish and optical brighteners (OBAs). All of these characteristics, both by themselves and combined, factor into which canvas is chosen for a given project.

Choosing the “right” canvas is mostly subjective since different people like different looks. Some may like a more textured surface, while others will prefer a smoother surface, for instance. It may also depend on the lighting situation where the canvas is being displayed.

When you’re discussing a canvas print project with a client, make sure you understand their expectations and be cognizant of the environment in which the canvas will be displayed. All of these factors, including budget, will help determine the right canvas for the project. First, let’s look at the base materials, starting with the most common, polyester/cotton blends.

Poly/Cotton Blends: Traditionally, artist canvases were made of linen or cotton. Poly/cotton blends seek to split the difference between the aesthetic qualities of cotton with the consistency polyester provides. Most of these blends are 60/40 in favor of polyester since the polyester helps ensure that the canvas is consistent in the manufacturing process, and thus prints consistently from roll to roll and lot to lot. No one likes surprises, and a poly/cotton blend ensures that first print will look the same as the 50th print.

Polyester: Typically used for higher-volume projects because it’s less expensive, polyester canvas is smoother than poly/cotton blends or 100% cotton canvas. It’s often used for décor applications, decorative signage and even banners and wallcoverings. Some like the smoother surface for photography reproductions where texture may detract from the image, while artists prefer the texture of a more traditional-looking canvas. While the tactile and aesthetic qualities of canvas – base material, texture and finish – are mostly based on what a given client likes, the economics of production may dictate its use.

Cotton: 100% cotton canvases tend to have the most texture and personality, which is what most people think of when they envision art canvas. But because they are made up of 100% natural fibers, there are more likely to be variations in whiteness, weave and texture from lot to lot. To some printmakers, this variability in the color and look of their prints is an advantage because it gives each print a very original look. That’s great for a custom, one-of-a-kind print, but may not be so great for projects that require consistency from print to print, even shorter-run limited edition prints.

Richard Herschberger Sunset Production Matte Canvas
Sunset Production Matte Canvas is 100% polyester, and as the name implies is geared toward higher-volume production work that still requires quality reproduction.

In addition to the base material, the texture of canvas is determined by the diameter of the threads used to create the canvas and how tightly the threads are woven. The tighter the weave, the less texture you’ll see in the finished canvas.

The ratio of threads on the loom running in the X and Y directions also affects the texture. A canvas with a 2-over-1 weave has more texture than a 1-over-1 weave since there are more loops per square centimeter.

A highly textured base canvas may lose some of its textured look if coatings are applied to change the finish or make it more water- and UV-resistant. Just be aware of this as you apply coatings; the more you apply will fill in the peaks and valleys of the material, altering the texture to a smoother finish.

Inkjet canvases typically range in weight from 16 oz. to 22 oz., though there are lighter and heavier canvases on the market. A heavier canvas will obviously be more durable during stretching and finishing and when it’s handled, but a thinner canvas will usually be more economical. Again, the client may prefer the aesthetics of a heavier-weight canvas or may not care either way.

Finishes: Matte, Satin and Gloss
The finish of a canvas – whether it’s matte, satin (luster) or gloss – is once again almost wholly dependent on what the client prefers, though the lighting environment will be a factor. However, there are certain qualities of each finish to keep in mind…

Matte: This finish is usually preferred for fine art and lighting situations where glare could be an issue. The “problem” with a matte finish is that it has a smaller color gamut. If there are a lot of bright colors that require greater accuracy, a satin or gloss finish may be best. However, adding a gloss coating to a matte canvas can help mitigate this restrained color gamut, and make the images pop more than if they weren’t coated. Still, many matte canvases have a good color gamut that will work well in most applications.

Satin: As the name implies, you’ll get a nice satiny sheen with this finish that is not as susceptible to glare, but expands the color gamut. You’ll typically choose this finish simply because the client likes the look of it.

Gloss: This is a great option for canvases designed for solvent or latex printers because you can print and skip the coating step, saving time and money in the process. For aqueous printers you have to be extra careful when you stretch as a gloss inkjet coating is more likely to crack. For artists who prefer a matte finish but are especially picky about hitting their colors as closely as possible, you can print to a gloss canvas and apply a matte coating.

Sunset by Fredrix Matte Canvas
Sunset by Fredrix Matte Canvas is OBA-free, but with a brighter white point than most OBA-free canvases on the market.

OBAs and Archivability
Optical brighteners, or OBAs, have been used in traditional photo papers since the 1950s and photographers have had a love-hate relationship with this additive ever since. While increasing the whiteness and thus the color pop of printed images, many are concerned that this decreases the archival qualities of the print.

Archival specifications are defined by various international institutions such as ISO, DIN, and the Library of Congress. Within the specifications, there are allowances for chemical additives to brighten and stabilize papers.

Many of the most popular fine art papers and canvas on the market today utilize optical brighteners to create consistent color base materials. These papers have been tested by various organizations, such as Rochester Institute of Technology, Wilhelm Imaging Research, and others, obtaining 100+ year ratings.

For a more thorough discussion of this topic, click here to read an article by Dr. Ray Work, To Brighten or Not to Brighten.

For the rest of this series, click on the following links:

Part 2: Printer Technologies for Canvas

Part 3: Latex, Solvent and UV-Curable Printing

Part 4: Coating Canvas

Part 5: Canvas Wrap Options


LexJet Hosting On-Site Demos for Super-Fast Canvas Wrap Production Machine

Canvas wrap production machineAs noted last week, along with a demo video at the LexJet Blog, LexJet has been selected to demonstrate and distribute the fastFrame 1000 from Swiss manufacturer Imaging Solutions AG. The automated canvas wrap machine, which produces up to 80 finished canvas wraps per hour, was one of the most talked-about products at drupa 2012, held in Dusseldorf, Germany, June 4-15.

LexJet will hold demonstrations of the fastFrame at its demo facility in Sarasota in July. To schedule an appointment to see the fastFrame in action, in person, at LexJet’s demo facility, contact a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538.

“When we saw the fastFrame at drupa we were simply amazed at its production capacity. My first thought when I saw it was how much time and money it would save our customers who do high production runs of canvas gallery and museum wraps,” says Dean Lambert, LexJet vice president.

The fastFrame is a fully automated canvas stretching machine that can mount canvas onto 12″ x 8″ to 41″ x 41″ stretcher bars, finishing up to 80 canvas wraps per hour. Priced at around $153,000, it is designed for high production environments that require accuracy and quality in the finished product with the push of a button.

Automated canvas wrap machineImaging Solutions also manufactures the easyFrame, a semi-automated version priced at around $82,000 that can produce up to 45 finished canvas wraps per hour. The easyFrame is expected to arrive at LexJet’s demo center later this summer.

“LexJet was the perfect fit for the U.S. demonstration and distribution of the fastFrame. It just made sense to work with a company that has been an innovator in the inkjet printing industry, including fine art and canvas, since the industry’s inception,” says Armando Casanova of Imaging Solutions. “Plus, LexJet’s customer service is second to none, which was one of the most important elements we were looking for in a U.S. partner.”

With both the fastFrame and easyFrame you can use pre-assembled canvas stretcher frames, or you can make them yourselves. Imaging Solutions also offers a semi-automatic frame assembling machine called the fastMount.

For more information, and to schedule a demonstration in July, contact a LexJet account specialist at 800-453-9538.

Pump up the Canvas Wrap Volume with the fastFrame and the easyFrame

Canvas gallery and museum wrapsThere’s only one machine on the market that can produce up to 80 canvas wraps per hour: it’s called the fastFrame 1000 from Swiss manufacturer Imaging Solutions, and it’s a fully automated canvas stretching machine that can mount canvas onto 12″ x 8″ to 41″ x 41″ stretcher bars.

Available in the U.S. through LexJet, you can schedule an appointment to test the machine and see it in action, in person, at LexJet’s demo facility in Sarasota, Fla., in July. If you’re interested in scheduling a demo and finding out more about the fastFrame 1000, contact a LexJet account specialist at 800-453-9538.

Later this summer, the easyFrame is expected to arrive at LexJet’s demo center. At about half the price of the fastFrame, it’s a semi-automated system that can produce up to 40 canvas wraps per hour. The fastFrame is listed at around $153,000 USD and the easyFrame at around $82,000 USD.

With both machines you can use pre-assembled canvas stretcher frames, or you can make them yourselves. Imaging Solutions also offers a semi-automatic frame assembling machine called the fastMount.

In the video embedded below you can get a preview of the fastFrame to see how it works and how easy it is to automate canvas stretching, producing consistent, high-quality results…

How-to Video: Professional Inkjet Canvas Stretching with Sunset Stretcher Bars

Canvas inkjet print stretch gallery wrap museum wrapCanvas wraps have become very popular over the past few years. Typically, there are three ways that a canvas print can be stretched – by hand, with a canvas stretching machine like the Tensador II or by using a stretcher bar system like LexJet’s Sunset Stretcher Bars.

Stretching canvas by hand can be very involved and time-consuming. While efficient, using equipment like the Tensador II requires an initial investment starting around $3,500. If your volume supports the equipment purchase, definitely investigate the Tensador II. If it doesn’t, Sunset Stretcher Bars are the happy medium between time and cost, helping to simply produce truly professional canvas wraps in less than 15 minutes.

In the videos below you will learn how to set up a file for a wrapped canvas by adding a solid color border or a mirrored edge. You will also learn how to stretch a canvas using Sunset Stretcher Bars from beginning to end.

How to Make Inkjet Canvas Gallery Wraps

A few years ago Ralph Cooksey-Talbott of Cooksey-Talbott Studio in Fremont, Calif., put together a detailed step by step article for LexJet’s In Focus eNewsletter about how to create inkjet canvas gallery wraps, a.k.a., museum wraps. The information is still very helpful today.

By Ralph Cooksey-Talbott

I have been doing quite well with prints made on canvas materials. People seem to like them much better than framed photographs. The glassless canvas prints have a vastly superior viewing experience to traditionally framed and glazed prints.

However, as a photographer used to paper, stretched canvas was all a great mystery when I started with it. I have gone through a distinct learning curve to be able to produce canvas prints in-house. Once all is said and done it is a very realizable goal and well worth the small investment in tools, time and practice.

gallery wrap
This 30x40 gallery wrap hangs in my front office.

Setting up the Master and Making the Print

I have been using the LexJet Instant Dry Satin Canvas using the free profile provided by LexJet on my Epson 9600 using UltraChrome Photo Black inks, and I’ve been getting excellent results.

Canvas images for stretching must have a certain amount of overwork. I make prints for 3/4 in. shallow or 1 3/4 in. deep strainers. The shallow strainers are for framing and the deep strainers are for frameless presentation.

Gallery wrapped prints are stapled on the back so that the staples are not visible. The print has overwork that covers the edges of the strainer bars, plus a little extra. The image is extended, if necessary, using the clone brush to provide the desired amount of overwork. This is a simple process in most cases.

For 1 3/4 in.-deep strainers allow for 2 in. of image overwork and 1/2 in. of clear canvas on each edge. With shallow strainers the image is set up to be 1/2 in. oversize with 1 in. of clear canvas on all sides. This allows 1/4 in. of image and 1 in. of clear canvas to overlap the strainer, or stretcher bars, on each side.

My print masters have marks that define the cropped image area. Crop marks are invaluable for getting the print on the strainers with exact cropping. I also include a studio chop mark and show my copyright and edition type on the border of the image.

I set my masters up for 180 DPI at the output print size and find this resolution to be quite acceptable. Canvas, because of the texture, supports much less detail than smooth papers. I have tried masters with higher resolution and don’t really see that much difference in the print. This is especially true when the comparison is made at the normal viewing distance for larger prints.

See Spot Inspect and Coat

After a print is completed, let it dry for a short time and then inspect the print closely for flecking. This is quite rare but will occur more frequently if you do not inspect the print. It’s Murphy’s Law.

Mirror Lake

If there is a fleck, retouch it using Marshall’s Color Retouching Dyes and a 00000 (5 ought) brush where half of the bristles have been removed. Use distilled water to re-constitute the dyes, which are dried from their liquid bottled form onto a plastic palette. Mix several colors into a dot of water until it is the right color. Test the color and brush on a piece of the same material as the print.

When the print has passed inspection, roll it up with a piece of white butcher paper completely covering the surface. Prints stored this way prior to spraying and stretching will be cleaner and more dust free. Write the print name on the paper so that it can be identified without unrolling.

I spray all of my canvas prints prior to stretching with 3-5 coats of Glamour II Giclee varnish. I prepare a 1:1 solution of the varnish and distilled water and apply it with a Wagner Control Spray HVLP sprayer. This spray gun is an excellent, easy-to-clean, low cost way to apply the varnish.  I tried using rollers and the result was poor compared to the spray method, which greatly enhances the print’s appearance.

My spray booth is in an isolated area. I have masked off the end of a storage room with plastic drapes. The spray surface is illuminated by a couple of four-foot fluorescent fixtures. I generally spray a number of prints at once to get a decent production rate. The spraying process takes hours even though only minutes are spent actually spraying.

Wear goggles and a respirator at all times when spraying. I strongly advise proper safety gear. It is often all too easy to overlook these measures in your own workplace.

The prints are hung vertically on the wall of the spray area with art tape on the corners. Use a draftsman’s brush on the surface of the print and inspect it closely to be sure that it is clean. The butcher paper interleave pays off here because the print is more dust free than a print not stored with one. If there is surface dust it will be glued on by the spray in the next step.

Spray is applied using a back and forth motion about 18 inches away from the print. The object is to always maintain the same distance from the print with the gun and move at a constant rate.

The spray strokes begin and end out of the print area. This is important because the point where direction is reversed will get a heavier spray buildup and drip. Look for a light orange peel-like texture of wet spray on the print; this will dry perfectly smooth. Do not overspray as this will cause dripping and ruin the print.

Allow 30-45 minutes for drying and return for successive coats. It is not necessary to clean the gun between sprayings. Leave it there with the varnish in the reservoir for the duration of the spray session.

The more coats of spray you apply the better the print looks when finished, so it is well worth the effort to spray the print a number of times. The spray prevents flaking and cracking of the emulsion when the print is folded during stretching.

Prints that are already stretched can also be sprayed with good results. However, spraying the print prior to stressing it with the stretching process is best. Also, make sure you know the rules and regulations pertaining to spraying and spray booths in your location since they vary considerably from place to place, from very restrictive and exacting to relatively lax.

Assembled stretcher
Assembled stretcher/strainer showing the inset and the bead. A strainer, as pictured here, has an inset and bead with a blunt 45-degree cut on the end.

Strainers or Stretchers?

A stretcher bar has a milled inset and bead with a mortise-and-tenon on the ends. Some of the premium stretchers have a wedge in the corner to allow re-tightening of the canvas. A strainer has an inset and bead with a blunt 45-degree cut on the end.

A well-formed strainer has a raised bead around the outer edge that supports the canvas. If you simply stretched a print on raw 1×2 you would see the inner edge of the 1×2, making a faint line where it touches the print on the back. This is why the bead is necessary.

A wide variety of pre-made stretcher bars are available from the major online art suppliers. Pre-milled strainer is available for about $2 per foot from the local framing supply in 8 ft. lengths.

Store-bought stretchers can be assembled as indicated for their individual construction. This is a very easy process that is good for the occasional canvas piece. Plus, you can automate the stretching process with a machine like the Tensador II, which is available at LexJet. Below, I’ve included instructions on how to stretch the canvas manually.

For production of many larger pieces, either buying the pre-milled strainer or milling it in-house makes sense. I mill my own for about .20 a foot from round edged 1×2. I’ve detailed the process at the end of this article.

Stretching the Canvas


  • Electric T50 staple gun
  • 6mm T50 staples
  • X-ACTO knife with #11 blade
  • Cork-backed metal ruler
  • Cutting surface
  • Soft blanket
  • Picture wire
Prints are trimmed with an X-ACTO knife, using a metal ruler and a solid cutting surface.

An electric staple gun with 6mm T50 staples and a pair of stretcher pliers are used to stretch and affix the print onto the strainer bars. Trim the print to have 1/2 in. to 3/4 in. white borders prior to stretching. Trimming is done with an X-ACTO knife with #11 blade, a long cork-backed metal ruler, and a cutting surface.

If the print is to be signed on the front or back I do it at this point. The work area is then covered with a soft cloth. I have a fleece blanket on which I stretch prints. This is important as the canvas can be easily damaged during stretching.

The print is gently marked on the back with a soft lead pencil to indicate the crop marks. Hold the print up to the light to transfer the crop mark to the back. Light lines are drawn from the crop marks with the print face down on the fleece blanket. Be gentle!

Orient the assembled strainers, inset down, on the back of the print. Align them with the marks. Make sure the top of the strainer is at the top of the print. The screw eyes are closer to the top. Gently fold the canvas up on each side to check positioning.

With the print in position fold up one side of the long dimension and place a single staple in the middle on the back of the bar. Go to the other side of the long dimension and pull the canvas in the middle with the pliers until it forms a distinct ridge down the middle. Place a staple to hold it taut. Don’t go overboard with the tightness, but there should be a noticeable ridge in the center of the canvas running from staple to staple.

Pull until a ripple forms in the middle of the canvas.

On the short dimension, gently pull in the middle until the ridge flattens out some, and place the first staple. Go to the opposite side and pull with the pliers until there is a cross-shaped ripple in the middle of the print and place the opposing staple.

Working on the long dimension, pull gently on one side and put a few staples on either side of the center staple about one inch apart. Then go to the other side and pull with the pliers opposite the staples you put in the other side until the canvas is tight and smooth. Place staples opposite the staples you added to the other side. Repeat this process on the short dimension of the canvas.

Pull with your fingers if there is no opposing staple. If there is an opposing staple then use the pliers to tension the canvas. Repeat this tightening process, going back and forth until you come to within a few inches of the corners on all sides. Do not staple any closer than two inches from the corners yet…

If you have a nice amount of tension you will hear a tympanic musical sound when you tap the middle of the print. In other words it will make a drum-likebungggggg when struck gently. If it goes thud with no musical ring then it is too loose.

Folding the Corners

There are several different corner folds. I have been using the diagonal fold and, while it can catch dust or snag, the corner appears smooth and perfect looking from the side.

Diagonal Fold

Corners are done so that the excess folded canvas is on the top and the bottom of the picture, as the sides are what are generally visible. First, gently fold the corner excess going straight out from the corner. Smooth the fold to create a gentle crease.

Fold diagonally
The canvas is folded diagonally out from the corner. Then, pull across the corner and gently firm up the creases.

Fold the resulting triangle toward the top or bottom of the picture and press it against the stretcher to gently bend it in that direction. Fold the end of the triangle over on the inside. While pulling on the corner fold it across the back of the stretcher. Use a staple to hold it in place.

Fold the tip
Fold the tip under, pull taut, and staple.

Fold the edge so that it has a 45-degree crease and press it against the back of the bar. Use a staple diagonally across the fold to hold it in place. One more staple completes the corner. Pull the canvas with the pliers and staple it in the two inch area between the corner and the part that is already stapled. This process is repeated for all four corners, with the folds going onto the top and the bottom of the piece.

Finished diagonal fold corner.
Finished diagonal fold corner.

Straight Edge Fold

This fold is not a dust catcher but it does not make a perfectly smooth corner. It’s a trade off… First, pull the canvas taut across the corner and then carefully find the fold points without making the folds. Hold it tight across the corner.

Pull across the corner and fold under the bottom or top edge, then test-align the fold.
Pull across the corner and fold under the bottom or top edge, then test-align the fold.

Gently make the folds. Even though the print has been sprayed, be nice to it as this makes it fragile. Fold the excess in the corner over at a 45-degree angle, grab the fold with the pliers, pull it taut, and staple it with one staple across the corner. Use the pliers to finish the inch or so of unstapled canvas leading up to the corner on each side.

Make creases when it's all straight
Make creases when it's all straight, and fold the corner under.

When the canvas is fully stretched, the picture wire is affixed and any staples that stick up are pounded down with a little hammer. Be careful not to mar the front when tapping in the few errant staples.

Grab the folded corner, pull taut, and put a staple diagonally across the fold.
Grab the folded corner, pull taut, and put a staple diagonally across the fold.

Making Your Own Strainers

There are two common types of raw 1×2. One type has sharp corners and the other has mildly rounded corners. The rounded corner is critical; the sharp corner will cause the emulsion to become distressed when tension is applied.


  • Table saw with dado blade or tabletop router
  • Miter chop saw
  • Handheld orbital or tabletop belt sander
  • Hot glue gun
  • 4 pony clamps
  • Drill with 1/16 bit and 1/8 bit
  • Materials:
  • 1×2 Douglas Fir with rounded corners
  • 4d finish nails
  • Small screw eyes

I will tend to mill several hundred feet of stock at once so that I have a pile of 8 ft. lengths of pre-formed strainer on hand.

A table saw with a dado blade is used to rout out the inset. This can also be done with a tabletop router. After cutting the inset, I sand the raw routed stock to smooth and lower the inner edges of the raised bead. The milled stock is then cut with the miter chop saw to be the correct lengths for the given image with 45-degree mitered corners.

The pieces of milled and mitered 1×2 are held together with 4 Pony clamps and the corners are liberally hot glued. After the glue has cooled slightly pull the excess off, often as a single piece.

The bars are held together with four pony clamps. Open each corner to apply the hot glue.
The bars are held together with four pony clamps. Open each corner to apply the hot glue.

Corners are drilled with the 1/16 bit and nailed; two nails in the long dimension for smaller pieces or three nails crossed for larger works. Larger rectangular pieces need cross braces to prevent the strainers from bowing inwards from the pull of the canvas. Strainers 30 in. or larger need a cross brace. This is especially true with deep strainers as they are more susceptible to bending.

A generous dose of glue makes it easy to pull off the excess. The excess glue is pulled off, often as a single piece.
A generous dose of glue makes it easy to pull off the excess. The excess glue is pulled off, often as a single piece.

Use one brace for a 30-48 in. print and two for a 72 in. or larger print. Braces are cut from raw un-milled 1×2. A 30×40 requires a brace going in each direction as both strainers are 30 in. or over. If the braces cross they are notched using the table saw and dado. Braces are glued in place then drilled and nailed.

Pre-drill the ends with the 1/16 in. bit and nail with 4d finish nails. Pre-drill the holes for the screw eyes 30 percent down from the top.
Pre-drill the ends with the 1/16 in. bit and nail with 4d finish nails. Pre-drill the holes for the screw eyes 30 percent down from the top.

Screw eyes are set in 1/8 in. pre-drilled holes 30 percent down from the top in either side of the vertical bars.

Installing the screw eyes.
Installing the screw eyes.

There is a tool that allows screw eyes to be driven with a drill that is really worth getting. The screw eyes hold the picture wire that supports the image on the wall.

It is awkward to install the screw eyes once the canvas has been applied so this should be done when the strainers are assembled. Once the strainer is assembled go over the front carefully with the sander to ensure the bead and corners are smooth where they will touch the canvas. This is an important step.

Larger prints require cross bracing.
Larger prints require cross bracing.

Ralph Cooksey-Talbott Thomas

Article and photographs ©2007 Cooksey-Talbott Studio, all rights reserved

Ralph Cooksey-Talbott Thomas has been working as a photographer since 1972 when he moved to California from Michigan. He is the owner of Cooksey-Talbott Gallery in Fremont, Calif. During the 1970s he studied under Ansel Adams in Yosemite. Ansel published one of his photographs in the portfolio section of his book, Polaroid Technique Manual. Ansel and Orah Moore, another of Ansel’s students, suggested that he shorten his name to Cooksey-Talbott, and that is the name he has worked under since. Cooksey also studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and the San Francisco Academy of Art. He has lectured in photography at the U.C. Berkeley Extension, Studio One in Oakland and at Santa Barbara City College.