Photographic Media Matters
Fine art photographic media has been and continues to be one of the most important aspects of producing quality photographic art. The media consists of inks and the surface they are applied to. Any image produced as a fine art piece must be printed using archival inks designed for application to the specific media. When traditional photographs are produced on paper, that paper must be acid free. Prints produced with archival inks on acid free papers are commonly called museum prints. Museum prints should be matted using museum board which is also an acid free product. All adhesives, tape, backer boards must also be acid free. A properly produced, matted, and framed museum print should last 100 years or more without visible signs of fading if it is also protected from direct sunlight, excess humidity, and environmental pollutants such as smoke.
Today’s photographic images can be reproduced on numerous types of media ranging from the traditional cotton based “rag” papers to metallic papers, metals and transparent films. The new technologies allow photographers to present beautiful images in ways that were previously impossible. Just as computer and television screen are able to display an amazing range of color and contrast, these new printing technologies are increasing the amount of light that can be reflected to create brilliant hues and intense contrast. One of my favorite production formats involves printing the image on a film or metallic paper that is affixed to the back of a sheet of optical quality acrylic. I am able to inspect and sign prints made on metallic paper before they are mounted to the acrylic. Images produced with this technique can have the contrast and color saturation similar to a computer screen without the need for back lighting.
Chromogenic or Giclée Prints
There are two primary methods for producing fine art prints. The most common is ink jet or “giclée” the other method is a chromogenic or “C-print”. Both produce excellent results but the C-print is the truest form of photographic art. I use C-print for paper based fine art photographs and giclée for large fine art prints face mounted to acrylic. C-prints are digitally printed on a light sensitive paper and developed in a traditional wet photographic process. The result is an amazing wide gamut, realistic color print. Giclée prints are printed with an ink jet printer using archival inks on a variety of different papers ranging from textured canvas to high gloss metallic. Giclée prints, especially those printed on a metallic paper, can reproduce color with exceptional saturation and contrast which makes them perfect for face mounting on acrylic glass for a modern presentation. All media is available in smaller sizes (up to 16×20) whereas larger works of art (up to 60×90) are only able to be produced as a Giclée print. The largest works can be produced on aluminum using a process called aluminum infusion.
Acrylic Face Mounted Art
Images produced on acrylic are more expensive to produce and ship but they are well worth the extra cost for the wow factor. When the images are hanging on your wall, they will pop with color and contrast. Adjust the light in the room and the mood of the image changes like oil paintings by the old masters. All of my acrylic prints are limited editions. I produce them to order and sign them. Please verify that you are ordering a acrylic print as some of the prices on the website are for paper-based prints. If you are ordering paper prints verify that the print is either Pearl, Photo Rag, or Metallic.
I have recently added aluminum prints to the available options. Brilliant colors are possible as ink can be infused into a specialized coating on sheets of aluminum. The colors for aluminum prints are extremely vibrant. The aluminum material is highly resistant to weather which makes them suitable for yachts, covered patios, and similar environments. I have seen this technique used for permanent installations of public art. They also look fantastic in typical indoor settings. Currently, I am able to produce very large pieces on aluminum where the largest acrylic pieces are limited to 60″ x 90″. If you have a need for very large wall art, ask me what we can do for you!
Framing is a big topic so I’ll only cover the basics here. My artwork looks great framed and can stand on its own face mounted to acrylic glass in a modern setting. As works of art get bigger, the frame adds a sense of formality to the presentation and also adds structural stability. I recommend simple black float frames for all works larger than 24″ x 36″ that are produced on acrylic glass. A float frame makes it look like the work of art is floating inside the frame. The frame is a simple box shape with about a half inch of space all the way around the artwork between the frame. The depth of the frame adds a sense of dimension to the presentation. Ask me about custom framing for any work of art.