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Capturing Fine-Art Success

(May 2014) posted on Wed Apr 30, 2014

Four companies prove the profits of fine-art printing.

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By Adrienne Palmer

Robison runs Sacred Earth by himself, occasionally contracting assistants when he needs extra help. “Since I photograph the artist’s work and print it, I have a high level of control over the finished print. I typically photograph the artwork in my studio, match the art to my calibrated monitor under color-balanced lighting, and then print a small color proof,” he says. “At that point I match the proof as closely as I possibly can to the original artwork, usually acquiring an almost exact match after two to three proof prints. Then I let the artist give me feedback for any final adjustments.”

The majority of the artists Robison prints for are local – from watercolor landscape artists to contemporary stylized portrait artists, in addition to printing his own fine-art images. One of his clients is the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. “Most of my printing for the museum comprises just proof prints, which they will use for color proofing when images get printed in a book, and so on.”

Robison says his biggest challenge in dealing with clients is when they don’t have an eye for detail or color. “Because art reproduction is not the bulk of my business, I can pick and choose my clients more. I try to work with artists who appreciate the level of detail and color matching I try to achieve for them, and who are willing to pay a bit more for that extra level of perfection.”

That perfection is achieved with an array of tools including: a Canon 6D camera with a Mirex tilt-shift Mamiya 645 to Canon EOS adapter combined with a Mamiya 645 80mm Flat Field lens is used for Robison’s image capture. “I capture three side-by-side images using the shift feature to capture an approximately 50- to 60-megapixel image,” he says. “Once the image is captured, I edit and proof in Photoshop on a NEC MultiSync P221W calibrated monitor. This monitor is an IPS display with a large color gamut to show me almost the entire range of colors in the Adobe RGB gamut.”