Award-Winning Self-Portrait Shows What It Means to Have a Photographic Eye

Photography is a form of creative visual expression.  So when photographer Taylor Horne wanted to visually express how he views himself, he created this strikingly original self-portrait of the artist as a young man. In fact, his self-portrait is so eye-catching, that it won first place in the student print competition conducted by Antonelli Institute of Art and Photography near Philadelphia. One of the prizes Horne received was a $500 gift certificate from LexJet.
“The story behind my self-portrait is simple,” says Taylor. “It is a more physical representation of my logo, which is an eye with the aperture replacing the iris.”

“This is what I will be doing for the rest of my life and it is what truly brings me the most joy,” Taylor continues. “So the photo is to capture that story, literally as if I took a lens and shoved it into my eye. It is about how this is not a dream anymore, it is a reality and how there is no going back now.”

One goal was to give viewers a better idea of his passion for photography and my dedication: “I wanted it to be realistic but not over-the-top bloody. The blood is more beautiful, it’s more about the sacrifices you make to be strong in your craft.”

He chose the suspenders and styling of the photo to represent the ‘30s and ‘40s because he regards that era as a pivotal turning point for photographic technology: “Cameras started becoming more portable and handheld, and I think that the modern portrait was reborn.”

Sam Gray’s Portraits Endure the Test of Time

At LexJet, we enjoy learning about the many creative ways experienced portrait photographers are continuing to distinguish themselves from others. 

For example, families who want heirloom-quality fine-art portraits and paintings that will withstand the test of time should check out the artistry of Sam Gray. Working from his home/studio on a six-acre heavily wooded site in Raleigh, NC, he specializes in producing wall-size portraits that will blend with any décor. Although he does incorporate fun and trendy images in his shoots, his primary goal is to produce timeless, classic portraits that families can proudly display for generations.

Clients can buy either a hand-painted or photographic portrait, a digitally painted photograph, or a mixed-media portrait in which the surface of the print is embellished with brush strokes, chalks, or pastels. As a painter and photographer, Gray sells his work at a range of price points. As he points out: “You never know what each client will want. Everyone has different tastes and budgets.”

Portrait ©Sam Gray

Because his work is so distinctive, Gray has built a loyal base of customers that includes upscale clients from all over the Carolinas and beyond. Sam Gray Portraits have appeared in numerous magazines ranging from Veranda, Victoria, Southern Accents, Southern Living and North Carolina Design to the North Carolina Medical Journal. Exhibitions of his work have been displayed in several malls and the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. His website gets hits from 101 countries.

He has devoted four decades of his life to photography, successfully transitioning from film to digital photography in the late ‘90s. As more and more of his upscale clients started buying the same type of digital cameras that he uses, he realized he needed to take the aesthetic qualities of his work to new heights.   

The creative and artistic side of the profession had always appealed to him, so he decided to pursue his passion for art: “I visited art galleries and museums, collected art books, and attended art seminars and workshops.” Some seminars were taught by digital artists such as Helen Yancey, Janet Conner-Ziser, and Jeremy Sutton; others were taught by traditional painters.

He was inspired by studying the works of Monet, Manet, Renoir, Sargent, Pissaro, Seurat, Sisley, van Gogh, Degas, Cassatt, Pino, and Royo. He examined the brushwork, style, and mood of their masterpieces to find elements he could apply to his own artistic endeavors. Now, when he’s not capturing portraits, he’s creating a collection of original paintings that he sells through galleries in addition to the one in his studio.

Timeless Reflections. Painting ©Sam Gray

Like many of LexJet’s customers, Sam Gray understands the quality-control advantages of being able to print his images himself. To produce prints that will last for generations, his uses a 17-in. Epson Stylus Pro 4800 printer and 44-in. Epson 9800 printer with UltraChrome K3 inks.

Gray prints most of his wall portraits on LexJet Sunset Select Canvas. But for some projects, he uses Sunset Cold Press Textured fine-art paper, as well as papers from Epson, Innova, and Hahnemuhle.

Self Portrait. Painting ©Sam Gray

“I’ve learned so much more by printing my portraits myself. Working with colors has also made me a better artist,” Gray says.

Another way Gray distinguishes himself is by winning high marks in print competitions. After he took an 11-year hiatus and focused on acquired new art skills, he was awarded the PPA Photographer of the Year, Diamond level in 2008 and 2009. This year, three of the four prints he entered into competition were accepted into the PPA’s prestigious Loan Collection, which earned him the Photographer of the Year, Platinum level. In 2009, Sam Gray became a Fellow in the American Society of Photographers (ASP).

In his application thesis, he recounted the many challenges he has overcome during his 40 years in the business. Because of the wonderful places he visits and people he meets, Gray says he is as excited about photography today as he was 40 years ago: “I cannot imagine a more rewarding pursuit.”

To see more of his exceptionally beautiful work go to   

Sam Gray was also featured in the Artist Spotlight section of LexJet’s In Focus newsletter.

Vincent Goetz Brings a Painterly Feel to Abstract Photography

Now more than ever, photography careers are shaped by how quickly and clearly you can recognize emerging markets for images. Just ask Vincent Goetz, who recently resumed his photography career after taking a 30-year hiatus from the craft.

This photograph, entitled Steel Navel, actually depicts a bullet hole in rusted sheet metal. (Photo: Vincent Goetz)

Like many of his peers, Goetz developed an interest in photography in high school, bought a lot of equipment, experimented in the darkroom, and considered becoming a commercial photographer. But after doing two shoots, he realized he didn’t want to deal with people telling him what or how to shoot. Nor did he relish the more mundane parts of the business such as a collecting bills, or dealing with talent.

So, he found other ways to support his lifestyle. He worked as a fisherman, grocery clerk, janitor, burger flipper, climber, Yosemite park ranger, bartender, waiter, banker, and consultant. Although he took some photographs as part of the Light Brigade outdoor-education group in Yosemite, he eventually quit photography because he felt that that glass of the lens was getting in the way of real life. As Goetz puts it, “I found myself taking pictures of life rather than living. I was fairly active—surfing, climbing, kayaking, riding motorcycles, skiing, etc. I was always looking for the picture, rather than stopping to enjoy what I was doing.” 

By the time he decided to get back into photography 30 years later, everything had changed. It was all about experimenting with the limits of digital instead of Kodachrome. And although he quickly discovered “the learning curve in digital is immense,” he also immediately recognized that digital opened up endless new possibilities for how the images could be processed and used.

Bringing Creativity to Digital Décor. Currently, Goetz is eager to explore what can be done with images in large office and commercial spaces and on materials such as plaster, aluminum, leather, and non-conventional substrates. He is excited by the fact that digital printing is radically changing our perceptions of what photography can be.

“You can cover a fair amount of wall space and create a certain feeling in a room with an image,” says Goetz. “A painting can only get you so far.” He believes it’s only a matter of time before someone figures out a way to transfer images to wet plaster as a building is being constructed. He can envision how images might look applied both to the interior and exterior walls of buildings.

A Hybrid Style: Goetz characterizes his own style of photography as a hybrid between photography and painting.  Although he does shoot some scenics, he believes that it’s his more abstract images that distinguish him as an artist.  This year, he exhibited his work at the Yuanfen New Media Art Space in Beijing, China and the Gordon Huether’s Hay Barn Gallery in Napa, CA.
Would you ever guess this was a photograph of the surface of an old gas pump? (Photo by Vincent Goetz)

Some of Goetz’s favorite work includes a series of close-up images of the surfaces of old gas pumps that had been exposed to the elements for 70 years or so. The peeling, oxidizing paint reveals a surprisingly rich depth of color and textures. Unless you’ve been told that you’re looking at the weathered metal surface of a gas pump, you’d never guess.

“I like making images that make you think and question what you are seeing,” explains Goetz. “I look for color and texture, and the purity of the image. I also like to see how our eyes are attracted to images and absorb them.” 

Printing on Canvas
: When Goetz first started using Nikon D200 and D300 cameras, he had a friend print his work while he concentrated on learning Photoshop and the basic workflow.  But having worked in the darkroom in high school, Goetz knew he eventually wanted to learn to print his work himself.  With guidance from his printmaker friend and account specialist Darren Vena at LexJet, Goetz has reached the point where he prints nearly all of his own work on the Epson Stylus Pro 7900.

“I am also starting to print for others, which is really fun,” says Goetz. “It’s also a good way to see and understand what other people are shooting.”

He prints some images on LexJet Archival Matte paper because he likes the way that it holds the blacks. But he prints most of his images at 24 x 36 in. on LexJet Sunset Select Matte Canvas.

“I really like printing on canvas,” says Goetz. In addition to shooting and printing images that looks like paintings, Goetz has started studying painting and likes experimenting with different techniques. Similarly, he would love to experiment with printing on non-traditional surfaces, especially now that it has become much easier to make wall-size prints than wall-size paintings. 

For 20 years, Goetz worked as a banker, which might seem to be odd career choice for someone born with the spirit and vision of an artist.  But as a banker, he delighted in helping other people find ways to make their dreams come true. That experience has motivated him to focus on pursuing his own visions as a photographic artist.

“A lot of life has distilled the way I see, and I am constantly intrigued by the abstractness of nature and the environment around us. Having been a banker, I also see the business side of photography and am trying a different model.” says Goetz. 

In October, Vincent Goetz's images were exhibited at the Yuanfen New Media Art Space in Beijing, China.

He would like to create photography that gets people to see differently—to open their eyes and realize that some of the most common things around us are startingly beautiful.  Someday, Goetz would also like to see his work printed very large or on unique substrates, and has started seeking partnerships in the US and abroad that might make that happen.

“I would like to think that some of my images are interesting enough that people look twice at the world around them,” says Goetz. “Sight is such a gift, and to share what we see is even more magical.”

To see more of Goetz’s photography, including images shot during his recent trip to China, visit his website:

How Photography Careers Evolve: Panorama Expert Dave Orbock

Each year Full Circle Photo captures panoramic group portraits of the Senate and House of Delegates of the Maryland State Legislature. To make sure he gets images of everyone in the room, Dave Orbock uses his Holcherama panorama film camera with shift lenses. Photo: Full Circle Photo Imaging,
Each year Dave Orbock captures panoramic group portraits of the Senate and House of Delegates of the Maryland State Legislature. For this job, he uses his Holcherama panorama film camera with shift lenses. Full Circle Photo Imaging,

Photography enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds often wonder if they have what it takes to “go pro.” The more you learn about the careers of successful photographers, the more you realize that people with a  passion for excellence in photography always find a way to do more of what they love. They have a vision and they pursue it.  For example, let’s look at the career path of Dave Orbock.

Fine-art photographer Dave Orbock specializes in medium and large-format panoramas of cityscapes and landscapes.  He has hiked and photographed National Parks throughout the US and Canada and photographed many US cities and the surrounding countryside. His archives also include images from most of Europe, parts of Latin and South America, Asia, and Africa. Orbock has climbed Mt. Kilamanjaro, hiked the Inca Trail from Cuzco to Machu Picchu, served as a guest lecturer in a cultural exchange program in China, and won first prize at the Paris Conference of the International Association of Panoramic Photographers. 

Because of the quality of his work, Orbock is represented by museums, galleries, and art consultants throughout the U.S. and his images have been purchased by individual collectors, museums, and major corporations.  He sells many photographs to stock agencies and corporate publishers and his prints are displayed in dozens of corporate office buildings, universities, hospitals, hotels, and professional offices.

Judging from this long list of travels and accomplishments, you might assume Dave has spent his entire career as a professional photographer. Not so.

Dave was a dedicated hobbyist who built a thriving photography business on the side while working in an entirely different occupation. Until retiring nine years ago, Dave Orbock was a physicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.  Now he is engaged in the photography business full-time.

In addition to producing and selling his own photography, he runs Full Circle Photo Imaging, a lab he founded in 1987 in Baltimore, MD. Full Circle not only lets him oversee how his own photography is printed and framed, but it also enables him to help other photographers and artists produce exhibition-quality work.  

Full Circle provides expert assistance in a wide range of services, including scanning, fine-art reproduction, photo restoration, and printing, mounting, laminating and custom-framing of large-format and panorama photographs. 

Camera Equipment: Dave Orbock first became seriously interested in panorama photography in the 1970s when he traveled out west to National Parks such as Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and the Badlands.  He regarded panoramic photography as the only format that would enable him to truly capture the sweeping grandeur of the scenery.  He began showing and selling images in the 1980s. 

The first panorama images Orbock shot were captured with a Kodak Cirkut camera, a rotating camera designed to capture long, continuous exposures on rolls of film that were anywhere from 5 to 16 in. high.  Orbock used a Cirkut model that used film that was 10 in. high and around six feet long. Although the camera captured wonderful images, it was impractical to transport to remote shooting locations. Not only was the camera itself big, but it also required lugging along a heavy tripod and cumbersome canisters for rolls of film that were 10 in. high.

So in 1981, Orbock switched to a Hulcherama, a motorized film camera that could shoot a continuous exposure while rotating 360 degrees. This camera used medium-format 120 or 220 film to create negatives or transparencies 2.25 x 9 inches long. Today, along with the “Hulch,” Orbock uses the Seitz Roundshot panoramic camera which operates much like the Hulcherama.

From a Basement Darkroom to His Own Lab: Like many pro photographers who began as serious hobbyists, Orbock started developing film in a basement darkroom in his home. He bought a small color processor and enlarging equipment that could handle film sizes up to 12 x 15 in. He also rigged a set-up so that his enlarger projected images on an easel over his wife’s washer and dryer and was able to print pictures up to 8 ft. long.

But when he started selling more of his work, he moved his enlarging and processing equipment into two joined row houses in midtown Baltimore and hired a small staff of dedicated professionals to  ensure the utmost in quality when his work was printed and framed.  Operating as Full Circle Photo Imaging, this team offers a wide range of analog and digital printing services to other photographers.

Full Circle can produce black-and-white prints up to 20 inches wide and chromogenic prints up to 30 inches wide from film. Using an Epson Stylus Pro 9800 purchased from LexJet, they can also output photographic prints and art reproductions up to 44 inches wide. Full Circle can also design flyers, cards, and calendars on which photographers and artists can display their images.

Pam Brumbley, who received a BFA in photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design, oversees the studio’s digital services and provides personalized consultations on print, scanning, and retouching jobs.  Full Circle also handles many types of framing jobs, primarily on archival materials. In addition to mounting on archival foamboard , the staff, led by Ruth Nuhn, will mount images up to 48 in. wide on any mountable surface.  

Meanwhile, Orbock continues to travel frequently, shoot, and sell more of his own images. He is a charter member of the International Association of Panoramic Photographers (IAPP), which was formed in 1984. The IAPP promotes education and idea-sharing and expands public awareness and appreciation for panoramic photography and immersive imaging.  Full Circle has helped print, mount, and laminate images for some of the IAPP’s exhibitions.

When the International Association of Panoramic Photographers held an exhibition at Prince George’s Community College, Dave Orbock’s team at Full Circle Photo matted and mounted many of the works displayed at the show. They also printed some of the exhibited images. Photo: Full Circle Photo Imaging,
When the International Association of Panoramic Photographers held an exhibition at Prince George’s Community College, Dave Orbock’s team at Full Circle Photo matted and mounted many of the works displayed at the show. They also printed some of the exhibited images. Photo: Full Circle Photo Imaging,

Orbock is pleased that interest in panoramic photography is booming. He feels this is due mainly to innovative stitching software that enables photographers with standard DSLRs to combine multiple frames into one continuous image. However, he believes that motorized, rotating cameras are still faster and more efficient for professional jobs – especially when capturing group portraits or images in which the motion of people or objects might require additional editing time during the stitching process.

 You can see examples of Orbock’s images in the gallery on Full Circle Photo’s website:

If you are interested in learning more about panorama photography, visit the website of the IAPP:

More details about Full Circle Photo Imaging will be published in the next  issue of LexJet’s In Focus newsletter.

How Photography Careers Evolve: A Profile of Jim LaSala

By Kelly Price

HAPPY GO LUCKY: Jim LaSala created this award-winning, surrealistic photo composition from the two images below.
HAPPY GO LUCKY: Jim LaSala created this award-winning, surrealistic photo composition from the two images below.

In a previous post on Studio LexJet, Dustin Flowers talked about how the career of fine-art photographer Theo Anderson has evolved.  To illustrate just how different each photographer’s career path and vision can be, let me tell you about Jim LaSala. He lives in New Jersey, but grew up in Brooklyn.

Jim LaSala didn’t become a professional photographer until he was 43. Before taking the plunge and turning pro, he had been active in his local camera club, taken computer courses at a community college, and joined Professional Photographers of America (PPA) at both the state and national levels.

He started out working for a wedding photographer and shooting some on-location portraits on the side. Now, he is channeling his talents in a more artistic direction—using Adobe Photoshop with the Vertus Fluid Mask plug-in to create unconventional photo compositions that will appeal to any photo buyer who likes stylized portraits and scenic imagery with a surrealistic twist.

Surrealistic art is fascinating to look at because it invites us to leave reason and logic behind and enter the realm of dreams, imagination, and madness.  Until Photoshop and other imaging software came along, surrealist photographers experimented with techniques such as double exposures, combination printing, montages, and solarization. These methods were often time-consuming, unpredictable and unrepeatable.

LaSala knows this because he dabbled with many of these photographic techniques himself, including painting with light. He would go into his studio with a 4 x 5 camera, close all the lights, and use a light machine to paint over his subjects while the camera’s shutter was kept open.  That process would take about an hour per image, and he says “You’d hope and pray it would turn out.” Sometimes, when the chromes would come back from the lab, he would shake his head and say, “Nah, that isn’t what I was looking for.”

So when LaSala first started using Photoshop (when it was version 3, not CS3), it was an eye-opening experience. He immediately recognized its creative possibilities and has since spent hours at the computer experimenting with it. He is awed by the creative tools included in each new version.

LaSala particularly likes using Photoshop with Vertus Fluid Mask, because Fluid Mask makes it so easy to precisely cut very detailed objects from one image so they can be inserted seamlessly into another. Some of LaSala’s photo compositions combine elements from three or more different photographs. 

Printing Provides Immediate Gratification: With the 24-in. wide Epson Stylus Pro 7800 inkjet printer that he bought from LexJet, LaSala can instantly see how his photo compositions will look. He prints his work through the ImagePrint RIP onto LexJet’s Sunset Photo eSatin paper, which he says provides “tremendous, accurate colors.” With the high-quality profiles provided with the ImagePrint RIP, he doesn’t have to fuss with all the intricacies of color management.  He says ImagePrint “has made printing a pleasure” and allow him to simply focus on being creative—whether he’s working in color or black and white.

Print Competitions: When you look at LaSala’s images, you’ll notice that there is something else going on besides masterful creative effects. That’s because LaSala learned the fundamentals of strong composition by having his work critiqued in print competitions.  Over the years, his prints have won far too many state and national awards to list here. Eight of his images are included in PPA’s prestigious Loan Collection.  

“Entering print competitions helped me tremendously,” says LaSala. “My understanding of color harmony, composition, and art came from getting involved with competitions.” Most of the elements he learned from PPA are applied to any type of photography he does.

He carries his camera everywhere, snapping shots of interesting-looking trees, flowers, skies, or objects that he then archives for future use.

In his photo compositions, LaSala combines different skies, backgrounds, and flowers with images of people he has photographed on the street. “I like to capture people just being themselves,” he says. “It tells more or a story.”

Back at the computer, he lets his imagination run free.  When he begins each composition, he usually has an idea in the back of his mind. But he can’t always predict what the finished image is going to look like.  To easily find the right images when he needs them, LaSala uses the powerful digital-asset-management capabilities of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

LaSalaCarrousel500LaSala won the award for the Best Electronic Image at the spring competition of the the Guild of Professional Photographers of the Delaware Valley for the image entitled Happy Go Lucky (shown above). LaSala used Vertus Fluid Mask Pro to cut out the image of the man so it could be blended with the carrousel scene that he had shot using the HDR (high-dynamic range) process. LaSala shot the carrousel with five different exposures, then used the Photomatix Pro plug-in to combine the five  images and achieve  high levels of detail from the brightest highlights to the deepest shadows.

LaSala shot the image of the man while attending the NJ PPA convention in Atlantic City: “I followed him for a few minutes until I captured this great expression that looked as if he didn’t have a care in the world.”  LaSalaManonBoardwalk500Back at the computer, LaSala looked for a combination of images that would make people wonder: “What’s the story?” He chose the carrousel image because it evokes the carnival-like atmosphere in Atlantic City, where many people experience mixed emotions.

LaSala admits that his more surrealistic pieces probably won’t appeal to everyone. He has shown his work at galleries in New Hope, PA and currently is preparing for a major art festival in Ft. Lauderdale this fall. Designers of print publications who seek extraordinary illustrations for their layouts may also be interested in LaSala’s work.

As he continues to research the best markets for his art, LaSala is getting more involved in associations and education. He enjoys teaching workshops on Vertus Fluid Mask and is seeking to becoming certified to judge national print competitions.

In his workshops, LaSala emphasizes some of the business benefits of knowing how to create photo compositions. For example, if a portrait he shoots on location doesn’t look as good as it might, he can easily change out the background. LaSala also teaches portrait photographers with limited studio space how to shoot their portraits against a flip-up white background and then use Fluid Mask with Photoshop to create whatever background they want. As LaSala puts it: “No studio. No backgrounds. No problem.”

“It’s just amazing what can be done on the computer.” says LaSala. “Anything is possible in the end results. You just have to let your mind run and have a good time.”

If you’d like to learn more about Vertus Fluid Mask, attend one of LaSala’s workshops or arrange for a private consultation.  The Fluid Mask software is available from LexJet.

If you have any questions about using the ImagePrint RIP to get perfect results on LexJet’s Sunset line of photo and art papers, you can call me or any one of the account specialists at LexJet at 888-873-7553.

Silent Memories: LaSala used 7 exposures at dusk and Photomatix software to create this somber HDR image of the Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, MD. To enhance the composition, he added the moon and bird images from his archives. The image is included in the Loan Collection of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA).
Silent Memories: LaSala used 7 exposures at dusk and Photomatix software to create this somber HDR image of the Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, MD. To enhance the composition, he added the moon and bird images from his archives. The image is included in the Loan Collection of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA).

How Photography Careers Evolve: A Profile of Theo Anderson

By Dustin Flowers

At LexJet, we talk to dozens of successful photography professionals every day. One thing we’ve learned is that photography careers often take some interesting twists. Few photographers are doing the same type of work they started out doing 20 years ago.

Each photographer has a unique story—about how they got their first break and how they are adapting to changes in how photographs are captured, processed, used, and sold. Ideally, some of the career-reinvention stories you’ll read on Studio LexJet will provide inspiration and insight—whether you’re new to the photography business or seeking new ideas for your own business reinvention.  

Today, we’re highlighting an experienced, respected editorial photographer who is also making a name for himself in contemporary fine-art photography.  He has also undertaken a pesronal project  to help support orphans in the Dominican Republic.

Theo Anderson is a self-taught photographer based in Allentown, PA.  After graduating from Temple University in 1974 with a B.A. in political science, he was pursuing a doctorate in government at Lehigh University when he bought his first camera and built a darkroom in the closet of his apartment. He left graduate school in 1978 to start a career as a photographer. One of his first jobs was shooting images for the publications office at Lehigh University. Since then, he has spent much of his career shooting photojournalistic essays for corporate annual reports. He has also served as creative director for an award-winning community-college magazine, sold stock images, and operated a studio in which he built sets for intricate photo compositions for companies in the tech industry. 

Now, Anderson is using his personal projects to make a name for himself in the upper echelons of contemporary fine-art photography.  One of his best-known projects, entitled Where’s Joe? The Ghost of Bethlehem Steel, depicts the de-industrialization of the US.  An image from the Where’s Joe? series is included in the inventory of HamburgKennedy Photographs, a New York-based private art-advisory service for novice and seasoned collectors.  

Anderson’s other projects, entitled Amarillo, NYC, and Pennsylvania, aren’t so much about place as they are about transformation, and the transitions in the human experience. He shares works from these series with the curators and collectors who attend fine-art photography gatherings such as FotoFest in Houston and Review Santa Fe.

A Unique Vision and Simple Workflow: What has helped Anderson get noticed in the fine-art world is the way he structures his shots, his sense and use of color, and his confidence in his unique vision. Anderson has a very simple shooting style and workflow and is skilled at crafting his own large-format prints. His intention is to reflect the scene exactly the way it appeared when he took the shot. As Anderson explains, “I want the purity of the frame to come through in the authenticity of the image.” 

Anderson doesn’t take a whole lot of shots, because he prefers to wait until conditions are perfect before pressing the shutter. He envisions the finished print as he sets up each shot.

He shoots only in available light, nearly always using either a 35 or 50 mm lens. His images don’t get cropped and his photographs are never Photoshopped unless a chromatic aberration needs to be removed. Most images are printed directly from the digital negatives.

The print size Anderson likes best is 28 x 42 in. on a 36 x 50 in. paper, because he believes it has the greatest visual impact and resemblance to what he saw through the camera’s viewfinder.

Retaining Control of His Work: Anderson has been printing his own work for awhile. He says he was always a good black-and-white printer, but hasn’t been in a black-and-white darkroom since 1990. When he started shooting color for his editorial assignments, he became interested in learning how to make color prints. Anderson points out that color photography has so many subtleties in tone that it’s advantageous to retain control. When he sent prints to labs, he says “I could never get prints to look the way I wanted.”

The first in-studio printer he bought was an Epson Stylus Photo 2200. Then he bought an Epson Stylus Pro 5000, and later an Epson Stylus Pro 4000.

When HamburgKennedy Photographs expressed interest in his work a few years ago, one of the questions they asked was how large he could make his prints. First, he considered having large prints made at a firm that specialized in large-format printmaking. But he realized that no matter how skilled those printmakers might be, it would mean giving up final control over the quality of his work.

So Anderson bought a 44-in. Epson Stylus Pro 9800 from LexJet, created his own profiles for his papers, and started printing. After experimenting with several papers, he ultimately decided his images looked best on Moab Entrada Natural.  

When Anderson shipped 13 of his large prints to HamburgKennedy, one of the agency’s partners commented how impressed she was with the quality of the prints. He regards the acceptance of his work by HamburgKennedy as a turning point in his career. The quality of his printmaking has also been noticed by the art lovers at FotoFest and Review Santa Fe—particularly when he unrolled two 36 x 50 in. prints to show alongside his smaller prints. Anderson believes that displaying photographic art on a web gallery can’t come close to matching the visual impact of showing curators and collectors the actual print.

StudioLJTheoAndersonCedulaHelping Orphans in the Dominican Republic: Like other photographers, Anderson wants to use his talents to help others. He hopes his newest personal project will help raise funds to support a project being led by Dr. Lois Grau, who chairs the School of Public Health at the University of Medical and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). Anderson was shooting images for an annual report at UMDNJ when he learned that some drawings posted on office walls had been created by children in the Dominican Republic who have since died due to the substandard living conditions and lack of medical care.

Dr. Grau is currently spearheading a facilities-reconstruction project that will help support education and health care for 27 Haitian orphans in the Dominican Republic and the women who take care of them.

Human-rights organizations have documented the need to help the families of Haitian migrant workers who help with sugar cane harvesting in the Dominican Republic. The Haitians have no legal rights in the Dominican Republic, are discriminated against based on their darker skin color, and live in overcrowded “bateyes” without potable drinking water, electricity, sewerage, schools, or medical facilities.  The problem hasn’t received as much media attention as regions of the world in which there is active fighting.  Anderson hopes the 47 images in his Cédula series will be able to help raise awareness and funds through print sales, the creation of a traveling exhibition, or the publication of a photo essay. 

At LexJet, we applaud photographers who are using their talents to support worthy causes. And we agree there is value in knowing how to make your own large-format prints.

If you’re interested in learning more about the wide-format inkjet-printing process, equipment, and materials, please call a LexJet account specialist at 888-873-7553. We’d be happy to help you get started!