Printing Photos and Art for Outdoor Display

This photo-banner project started with a NASA public domain file that normally would have been suitable for printing at around 16 x16 inches. Using onOne’s Genuine Fractals software, Joe Menth of Fine Balance Imaging Studios enlarged the image to 9 x 9 ft. and output it in three 3-ft. wide sections on LexJet’s TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant polypropylene film.

To most people, the term outdoor photography means photographs taken outdoors. But with pro-model pigment-ink wide-format inkjet printers and banner materials from LexJet, the term outdoor photography can also mean photographs displayed outdoors.

For example, check out this triptych photo banner that Joe Menth of Fine Balance Imaging Studios in Langely, WA, created using LexJet’s TOUGHcoat Water-Resistant polypropylene film on an Epson Stylus Pro 9800 with UltraChrome pigment inks and ImagePrint RIP software.

Polypropylene film is a bright white, tear-resistant alternative to photo paper that produces outstanding image quality. Yet it’s durable enough to hang outside for several weeks or months without lamination.  

Menth originally created this banner to celebrate Earth Day. But it looked so nice, and called attention to their studio’s second-floor location that they kept it hanging for a couple of months afterwards. Plus, the entire building is constructed from reclaimed and recycled materials, so the Earth banner went nicely with the sustainability theme of the building.  

 “One reason the banner is in three pieces is that we wanted a way to hang it out our windows, and be able to remove it or change it out easily,” explains Menth. “And because we don’t have any way to weld the panels together, we decided to just put it up as a triptych.” The banner could be seen from many blocks away.

For photographs and art that will be displayed outdoors for longer periods of time, you would probably need to find a service bureau equipped with a printer that uses low-solvent, solvent, or UV-curable inks instead of the aqueous  inks used in popular, wide-gramut photographic printers.  

LexJet works with thousands of services bureaus nationwide that use solvent and UV-curable printers and can recommend a printing firm in your area that can help you.

To learn more about different materials and options available for producing and displaying photographs outdoors, call a LexJet account specialist at 800-453-9538.

You can read more about Fine Balance Imaging Studios in the July issue (Vol. 4, No. 7) of LexJet’s In Focus Newsletter or in the Studio LexJet posts:  Deskfront Displays for Photo,Art, and Promotional Prints. Or visit their website:

Photographer’s Banner Helps Honor War Veterans

At LexJet, we like when customers send us images of all the different types of projects they’ve created using different types of LexJet materials on their wide-format inkjet printers. It is especially gratifying to see the many different ways that photographers are using LexJet materials and wide-format inkjet printers to support community events and charities.

Professional photographer John Eblen, of PhotoSolutions Co. in Akron, OH, recently sent us this photo, showing a banner he had created at the request of organizers of the “Welcome Home Cleveland” celebration that was held in August to welcome home all active-duty military personnel, Reservists and National Guard members who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

EblenVABanner500pAs a veteran himself, Eblen had offered to help with the event any way that he could.  He says that, “When they called and said they needed a last-minute banner to thank sponsors and donors, I knew it was right up my alley.

He printed the banner on LexJet TOUGHcoat Thrifty Banner media on his HP Designjet Z2100 printer. TOUGHcoat Thrifty Banner material is a 16-mil, bright-white, scrim-reinforced vinyl with a super-smooth surface and superior ink-saturation properties to help produce great-looking photos or graphics with hard-to-hit spot colors.

Eblen said he was very impressed with the quality of the material and picked up several new banner projects from others who were equally impressed.

Eblen thanked LexJet for advising him to try it out and said “It really did exceed my expectations. It not only took the detail of my printing very well, but also proved to maintain the water-resistance of my inks.”

John Eblen is relatively new to the photography business, noting that “For the past 20 years I have been preparing myself to move from my design engineering job to what I wanted to do for the next 20 years of my career—which is photography. The more active I became in photography, the more I saw a need to do my own printing. As people have noticed my print quality improving, other photographers and artists have been asking for my help with their projects.”

EblenChurchPhoto500pWhile he’s still exploring various shooting styles and techniques, Eblen has discovered that staying active in the community is a great way to spread the word about his availability to shoot and print images.  He recently shot a group portrait of the congregation of the biggest church in the area, which was celebrating its Bicentennial anniversary. Eblen says, “I have offered the prints in two different sizes, and they have been selling like hotcakes.”

If you’d like to learn more about how you can use a wide-format inkjet printer to help expand and diversify your photography business, call one of the account specialists at LexJet at 800-453-9538.  We would be happy to help you!