large scale printing for artistsWhen film ruled the photographic world, a 4×5 transparency was the best option for printing for artists or to reproduce their artwork. The 21st Century equivalent is a high end digital back that can produce a file with the same resolution previously only found in large format sheet film. With technology ever changing and improving, soon the capabilities of the newest digital backs will surpass what film could capture in one exposure. When stitching multiple frames together, like the project seen here, digital files have already reached that level.

Reproduction and Printing for Artists

Digital Output magazine chronicled the partnership of Kyoto Cultural Association (KCA) with Canon and their use of digital capture to reproduce a 17th Century piece Viewing Cherry Blossoms at Ueno Park by Hishikawa Moronbu. The each panel of the six panel piece was captured segmented into several units, with each part exposed three times in RAW. They estimated it took 15 to 20 minutes per panel to photograph. The final images were then stitched together using proprietary software.

Before they printed their final piece, several proofs were produced and held up to the original for matching. Much like our process here when reproducing original art, the color matching relied on the expertise of their staff – “Despite all of the technology available, this final stage still relied on the human eye.” The reproduction was printed on Washi paper specifically designed for the project and then finished with gold leaf to replicate the original as close as possible. The duplicate was produced to be displayed at the Freer Gallery in the Smithsonian Institution in an effort to expose a wider audience to Japanese art.

We use a similar process when reproducing or printing for artists. Many of our customers are looking to replicate a hand crafted painting in a giclee canvas print. We can also take the same digital capture of their artwork and apply it to new applications, like printing to fabric, metallic photo paper, or printing directly to tile.