Another digital convert is fine art photographer Albert Watson, who also relies on HP Designjet Z series photo printers and HP printing materials. “A print needs to feel like what’s on the screen. HP printers are brilliant at doing that interpretation for you,” Watson added. “I get the same quality, charisma, and depth as a platinum print—that’s pretty impressive.”
The HP Designjet Z6200 Photo Printer prints up to 60 inches wide at speeds up to 1,500 square feet per hour. It uses an embedded spectrophotometer to print with color accuracy and consistency. Photographers are never more than a few clicks away from professional ICC profiles customized for the printer, paper, and environmental conditions, says HP.
“I think photographers should always print their own work—it gives you the ability to explore another dimension of the original image,” Watson explained. “When you send work out to be printed, it’s a compromise. Where I might want a print to be dark for the effect, a technician might say it’s too dark. The advantage of my HP printers is that it’s my choice whether it’s dark or light—not somebody else’s.”
One of Watson’s exhibits, “UFO: Unified Fashion Objectives,” supported in part by HP, is a retrospective of four decades of work, much of which first appeared in the pages of Vogue and Rolling Stone magazines. The images were printed almost entirely with Watson’s HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer on HP Matte Litho-realistic paper and HP Super Heavyweight Plus Matte paper. With his HP Designjet Z series, Watson can achieve the gallery-quality colors and sharp blacks that meet his standards. “There’s a depth of color and black-and-white. It feels three-dimensional,” he said.
Of course, even the most brilliant prints are impressive only if they last. By relying on HP printing materials and HP Vivera pigment inks, Watson knows he’s getting exceptionally fade-resistant prints. And thanks in part to ARTtrust, a self-certification system developed by Prooftag in collaboration with HP that Watson uses with some of his prints, he can give buyers even more confidence that the prints are authentic. “I think it’s a necessary innovation in this day and age,” said Watson. He sees ARTtrust as a promising solution in the digital era to help combat counterfeiting—and make it easier to certify authenticity.
More drupa Showings
To cater to increasing demands from display producers, photo labs, and sign makers wanting higher image quality capabilities at production level speeds, EFI announced the VUTEk QS2 Pro UV hybrid printer at drupa. This two-meter printer, driven by the Orion OS platform, combines grayscale print quality with production-level speeds for customers looking to take on more color critical and higher-premium jobs.
“Customers visiting the EFI stand at drupa … commented that the image quality, speed, and overall performance of the new QS2 Pro are impressive,” stated Ken Hanulec, VP of marketing for EFI inkjet solutions.
Flexible EFI UV inks offer a wide color gamut for greater PMS color matching and consistency, and ensure the maximum reliability and performance of the printer. The ruggedly constructed VUTEk QS2 Pro is designed for extended operation and has an optional roll-to-roll feature for even more throughput.
The QS2 Pro is supplied with the Fiery XF proServer to increase productivity, performance, and efficiency. It comes with an expanded set of Fiery RIP options, a high-performance hardware platform, JDF integration to EFI Web-to-print and MIS/ERP solutions, and a complimentary13-month support and maintenance plan.
Epson Attacks the Fine Art Market
Featuring high resolutions and advanced ink and color technology, Epson’s new large-format Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900 printers are especially conceived for art prints and proofs. Eleven new UltraChrome HDR pigment inks, including orange and green, provide a large palette of colors as well as soft color gradation. The smaller of the two printers, the 7900 model, has a printing width of 24 inches, while the larger 9900 offers 44 inches. Both use the new TFP technology, which gives a resolution of 2,880 by 1,440 dpi and produces droplet sizes starting from 3.5 picoliters. The system uses Epson variable ink droplet technology and operates at speeds of up to 131 square feet per hour. Prints produced are supposed to have a durability of up to 200 years.