Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

July 10, 2007

Larger print sizes

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 6:31 pm

Cloud Burst

Cloud Burst (From the Landscape Series)

… when I framed my image Tired Bones for the Irvine Fine Arts Center, I realized that with my Epson 4800 printer and the panaoramic image (such as this image Cloud Burst) that I could make a much larger print using roll paper. Thus, when the Tired Bones print was requested for donation to the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) Art Auction for one of their fund rasing programs, I decided that the time has come to expore larger prints.

First, why the larger prints? Because this is going to eventually cause me to get involved in another printer investment. My earlier thinking is rooted back to my wet darkroom days, where a 16 x 20″ print required a lot of darkroom real-estate. Especially when you consider I used 20 x 24″ trays for my 16 x 20″ printing with trays for a two step print developer, quick stop, etc for archival prints, besides the Bessler 4×5 enlarger. Going to a 20 x 24″ wet print was going to be even a bigger deal. Heck, just the 16×20 paper easel cost $150 in 1979!

So now why the consernation about larger prints. I just read somewhere about the fine art photographers in China coming quickly up to speed on “Contemporary” fine art photography and the three requirements: Color – Really Big Prints – Limited Edtions (I’ll address the color and L.E. in another post shortly). Funny, not much said about content….

I had thought about larger prints in the 20 x 24″ and greater before, but now there is another limitation, which ink jet printer do you have (or have access to)? And how does my digital files hold up to enlargement? All in the eye of the beholder. There was one print at OCMA that was HUGE, but you could also see the individual pixels and it was hanging in a nice museum. hmmm…something about what I value in image quality.

AsI had mentioned in an earlier post, I did not anticipate using the roll paper feeder, thus the hunt was on to find the roller. After eventually finding it stuffed in the garage, then to purchase the roll papers, Epson Enhanced Matte (proof prints) and the Hahnemuhle Photo Rag (exhibition/collector prints). The Epson roll paper was realitivly easy to find compared to the Hahnemuhle, but now I have both. So I am working with some trial proofs of the Tired Bones and it appears that this image will be about a 15 x 33″ print.

I am also considering framing with a 6″ matte on each side, bottom weighting with 7″, which is going to put me in the overside matte board (40 x 60″) for the 8 ply museum (archival) white. As the print lies on the coffee table for evaluation, it is looking pretty good and seems to be holding up well (10.1 Mp RAW file from the Canon XTi). So this afternoon, I’ll be changing out the roll paper for the Hahnemuhle for the final print.

And I’ll be thinking about which printer next, either the Epson 7800 or the Epson 9800? A friend from the Photographers Exchange stated that he had purchased the 7800 but when he stated getting more commissions and other exhibiting opportunities, he had to purchase the 9800.  Now his 7800 is mostly idle. He stated that he rarely prints anything as small as 20 x 30″ now. My initial inclination is to go slow, so I would be thinking about the 7800.  But Jeannie is telling me that why get the 7800 if you would probably want the 9800 in another year anyhow. And the 9800 can make smaller prints as well. Anyone knows of a 9800 that someone wants to donate to a good cause???

Well, this is not going to be an immediate investment, so I will have to put this on my list with a new Dual-Core computer…and the Canon 1DsMkIII when it comes available…

Best regards, Doug

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