Image Capture: Keith and Annette use a combination of cameras
to create their images,
- Toyo 4" X 5" with 65mm, 90mm, 210mm Schneider and a 360mm Nikon
lenses, a standard sheet film back as well as a Calumet 6cm x 9cm roll film
Pentax 67 equipped with 45mm, 90mm, 135mm and 300mm lenses.
Nikon FE and F3 35mm film cameras with 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75-150mm, 70-210mm,
- Canon 35mm digital SLR camers (xTi, T2i, 5D Mark II) and 10-20mm, 17-40mm,
28-135mm, 50mm, 100mm, 70-300mm lenses
- Polaroid 680SE camera with Time Zero film for "manipulated Polaroid" images.
Digital Prints from Transparencies:
To create digital enlargements, the original transparency
is scanned and
imported as a digital file into an Apple MacIntosh computer with a calibrated
Adobe Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS6 are used to digitally apply traditional photographic
such as spotting out dust and flaws, dodging, burning and making adjustments
to the contrast and tonality of the image to faithfully recreate the scene.
Proof prints are created in studio for evaluatation prior to output
either a Lightjet 5000 on photographic paper or an EPSON 9800 with Ultrachrome™ K3
inks. Depending on the format used to capture the image, the raw scan
size of each image is between 100 megabytes and 1.5 gigabytes.
Through the years, Annette and Keith have used a variety of methods to produce
their prints, from developing relationships with traditional photographic labs,
to printing their own work. The following summarizes some of the methods employed
over the years. Current image printing is done with an Epson 9800.
Digital Prints from Manipulated
The process of manipulating Polaroid Time Zero film as it developed has been
popular since very soon after the SX-70 camera was introduced in the late 1970s.
This is the
film that, once exposed, is summarily ejected from the front of the camera
automatically and then develops in full view.(Polaroid stopped manufacturing
the film in 2006, but Keith stockpiled a supply that he is slowly working his
way through). As it is developing, it is possible to poke, prod,
mix the emulsion, with delightful results. Images that start out as literal
representations can be “manipulated” to the point where they resemble
impressionistic paintings. What is relatively new is the ability to easily
englarge the original 3" x
3" print with scanners and large format printers.
Once the photo has been created, Keith works on the emulsion as it develops.
When he has finished his manipulations, then, like the “traditional” image,
the print is scanned at high resolution on a flatbed scanner, imported into
Photoshop where Keith digitally applies traditional photographic techniques
such as dodging and burning, and made adjustments in color and tone before
output with the Epson 9800. The enlargements are often printed on Textured
Fine Art photo paper which has the pebbled surface of water color paper, to
accentuate the illustrative quality of the image and blur the lines between
photography and painting.
Annette and Keith were taught to scan with a Linocolor TANGO drum scanner
through the generosity of digital pioneer and nature photographer Bill
Atkinson. Annette and Keith now use the talents of West
Coast Imaging in Oakhurst for TANGO scans, and any in-house scans are
done wet-mounted with a NIKON 8000 dedicated film scanner or an EPSON V750 flatbed
OUTPUT: Ultrachrome™ Prints:
One of the most exciting developments in digital imaging is the maturation
of inkjet technology originally pioneered by IRIS. Output from these printers
are also known as "Giclees". The term "Giclee" was coined
by a digital color printing service provider and is supposedly a derivative
of French verb "gicler" which means "to squirt," as in
the spraying of ink.
The current generation of printers have
all of the advantages of the IRIS inkjet technology-subtle hues--a
wide color gamut and
print on a variety of substrates--without
the problems. In particular, modern inkjets have stable pigment
ink sets that have a projected lifespan of nearly double the most popular
color photographic processes. *
Annette and Keith's earliest inkjets were output on Arches Coldpress watercolor
paper with a Colorspan printer at The Lightroom in
Emeryville. The images selected for that media already had a painterly appearance
to begin with, and the use of textured media only enhances this appearance,
blurring the lines between a photograph and a painting.
In late 2002, Annette and Keith acquired their own EPSON 9600 printer, which,
inks was considered to have one of the broadest color gamuts of any printer.
The ink and paper combination also has a life expectancy of 75 years, as rated
by Wilhelm Imaging Research and represents one of the most stable mediums available.That
printer was replaced with two, an Epson 4800 and an Epson 9800, both which
feature the K3 inkset for deeper blacks. The technology permits Annette and
Keith to explore a variety of printing surfaces such as
Lightjet 5000 Prints:
One of the most popular of the digital photographic output devices among
fine art photographers, the LightJet 5000 uses red,
blue lasers to
expose the image onto long-life photographic paper (FujiColor Crystal Archive).
The paper, which comes on a 48" wide roll, moves in microscopic increments
as the lasers expose the emulsion. Once exposed, the paper is then processed
with traditional chemistry. Color saturation, image sharpness and tonal quality
are exceptional. QuietWorks had their Lightjet prints produced at Calypso
Imaging in Santa
Clara, and later Santa Cruz, California, where the printer was profiled by
digital guru Bill
Prior to the advent of digital imaging, Annette and Keith had their conventional
photographic prints created by Rob Reiter at The
Lightroom with an
The Ilfochrome Classic (formerly known as Cibachrome) printing process for making
color prints from positive transparencies is known for its brilliant color saturation
and high image sharpness, properties inherent in the AZO dyes used in the dye
Ilfochromes prepared by Rob for Annette and Keith were prepared in a conventional
darkroom with conventional dodging (darkening of a local area),
an area) and contrast masks to
out details, all techniques that software aims to replicate
in the digital environment. Ilfochromes are one the most archival of the analog
printing processes (such as Type R and Type C) under normal viewing conditions
All of the prints offered by Annette and Keith are best displayed in indirect
light, the optimum being natural light or under warm tungsten spotlighting
(up to 75 watts.) Protecting the prints from humidity and direct light
Expected Display Life:
Accelerated light fading tests conducted by Wilhelm
Imaging Research predict
a display life for the various printing processes as follows:
EPSON Ultrachrome™: 75 years
Lightjet 5000 Prints (FujiColor Crystal Archive
Paper): 71 years
Ilfochrome: 29 years
Ektacolor (not offered by Annette or Keith): 16 years for current.
These tests are based on standard indoor display conditions of 450 lux of glass-filtered
fluorescent light for 12 hours per day.