Prestige Graphics helps produce the Nature's Best Photography exhibit.
By Kacey King
A floating finish
Once McCall had about 30% of the output complete, he began sending prints over to the project’s designated mounting provider: CSI/Infinite Photo (www.infinitephoto.com), based in Falls Church, VA. Infinite Photo used its AGL 6400 laminator to apply MacTac PermaTrans 2100 Series optically clear adhesive to the face of the wide-format prints and then second-surface mounted them to 1/4-in. clear Acrylite acrylic by running them through the laminator again and peeling back the liner on the adhesive.
Next, CSI/Infinite Photo built and installed bevel or "floater" mounts that were mounted to the back of the prints, making them stand a few inches off the wall. "It’s a frame that is tucked away inside the back so you don’t see the edges," says McCall. "The print looks like it’s floating when you hang it on the wall."
Finishing time for the project took approximately a month, after which Steve Freligh and his team from Nature’s Best-along with an outside team of hired hands-installed the large-format displays in the 5000-sq ft Windland Smith Rice exhibition gallery at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian.
This final exhibit was put on display in November 2006 and is scheduled to remain up through the end of March 2007.
"Prestige Graphics did a great job at every level in prepress, quality control, and printing," says Freligh. "It’s obvious that they’re compelled to reach the same level of excellence in printing that these photographers are attempting to capture in the field."
For McCann and Prestige, the benefits to working on this project are twofold. "First and foremost, I enjoy producing this exhibit," he says. "It’s a joy to work with such talented people who are so keenly interested in nature."
In addition, the job brings with it another advantage: "Since the photography competition is exhibited at the Smithsonian, I have the opportunity to produce work for one of the country’s most prestigious museums. And I’m able to direct current as well as prospective clients to the exhibit. Having such a high-profile client such as Nature’s Best gives us immense credibility."
Next year, when the competition again comes around, there seems to be little doubt that Mark McCall and Prestige Graphics will once more be asked to answer the call of the wild, and bring us all a little bit closer to nature.
Kacey King is associate editor of The Big Picture magazine.