Duggal Visual Solutions has always been an innovative company seeking to stay ahead of the technological curve, says fine art manager Linda Tutnauer. "In the fine art department here we were the first company to work on a Roland DaVinci printer," she says. "And we are one of the few companies that run a 72-inch Roland DaVinci."
Much of the fine art photographic work the company handles is of black-and-white photographic images; for this reason Duggal works with four different shades of selenium-tone blacks. The result is a much greater tonal range and the ability to gain far more detail from a scan, whether it's its own scan or that of the photographer. In addition, Tutnauer reports working with orange and green inks, as well as light and medium magenta and light and medium cayenne. This enhances tonal range, to give photographers the greatest depth and most accurate color match to prints submitted.
Tutnauer has several papers from which to choose, and has found the papers differ in their ability to hold the density of the blacks depending on how they've been coated by their manufacturers. Finding the right paper to use is a matter of both trial-and-error experimentation and personal experience. "I can generally look at an image and make a judgment," she says. "A softer paper will actually start to buckle if you lay too much ink down on it. If I see an image where I want to hold the depth of the blacks, I may choose a smoother paper that can hold the richness of the blacks."
Noting "products are changing every day" in this swiftly evolving field, Tutnauer says she has found some niche paper manufacturers whose products are distinguished by even, consistent coatings. Obtaining that kind of consistency is important to Duggal Visual Solutions, because of its focus on ensuring everything is as archival as possible.
Addressing the economic slowdown, she adds, "We have a fairly good reputation with certain houses, and when photographers need work done, they'll bring it to us. Some photographers with less money, especially art students, are ordering smaller images. And on our end, we try to waste as little as possible."