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Thread: Aluminum Prints

  1. #1
    Member RomanJohnston's Avatar
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    Aluminum Prints

    Well, been working with the City Of Portland's Water Bureau to provide them with some art that they can use. They stuck their neck out and ordered some prints on my reccomendation from Bay Photo with their new process of printing directly on aluminum. We ran a small (16" x 24") trial proof and liked it.

    Well, they just hung the resulting large prints and allowed me to take some pictures of the end peices in place.

    This work I do for them is donated as the City has been amazing to me. This was a "pay it forward" kind of project.

    Hope you enjoy and maybe even try printing on aluminum...I was truly impressed and will offer it for my own customers now that I see how nice they have ended up being.

    The following are all exclusive pictures shot in the City of Portland's closed access watershed.






    Roman

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Where did you get the prints done?
    thanks
    -bob

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Interesting. What does a print like that look like if you watch it very close? Like is the white in a photograph white on aluminium or does is it look metallic? Also, what's the aproximate price level of prints like that?

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Fantastic Roman, the shots and the gesture of donating the images.

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Is it printed on Aluminum or mounted on a thin piece of aluminum. I'm about to get some prints mounted on it.

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    terry:

    let me know what they use to adhere the print.

    jm

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    Senior Member ecsh's Avatar
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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Bob
    He mentioned Bay Photo, do not know where that is.
    I have seen these advertised in several spots, but have never heard from a "real" person who actually tried them out.

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Not aluminum but I've been considering trying this Red River metallic paper for some prints though it won't work with pigmented inks so I'd be limited in size with my non-pigmented printer.

    http://www.redrivercatalog.com/brows...jet-paper.html

    There is also aluminum substrate available from Booksmart Studio
    http://www.booksmartstudio.com/
    As well as Inkaid and coatings from Inkaid--which allow for pigmented printing but add their own complexity to the printing process
    http://www.inkaid1.com/products/fine-art-metals/
    Last edited by Diane B; 14th November 2010 at 05:40.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Bay Photo's Main "Pro-Lab" is located in the Santa Cruz, CA area. Excellent customer service.

    The Metal prints are actually printed on metal itself with a thermal/heat process. It is not Kodak's Endura Metallic paper. It is a very unique product.

    One caveat: be aware that in the thermal process to bond the inks, there is a slight loss in detail (and no, you can't bring it back by sharpening). Those that are familiar with medium format detail may be disappointed slightly (I was), although removing your nose away from the print makes everything beautiful again.

    The metal prints look great "floating" off the wall with Bay Photo's hanger...several finishes to choose from as well. Frankly, I'd like to see how a Kodak metallic print (details!) would hold up mounted instead on a aluminum sheet.... Haven't gotten there yet (too busy) but working on a image gallery wrap using fine art papers and metallic paper on stretchers...

    Congratulations, Roman---display looks great!

    ken

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Here's a link to their single aluminum offering -- note they also frame and double mount aluminum, see main product page for details: http://www.bayphoto.com/metalprints/...nts_single.htm
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    I have heard many positive reviews about the process. It can be striking when lit properly (examples above look beautiful). I have stayed away due to the lack of "archival" information. This is a sublimation process and noone knows how long they will last. Hopefully it will be positive.

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    terry:

    let me know what they use to adhere the print.

    jm
    John I was going to use General Graphics in San Francisco. They mount it on aluminum and then apply a coating over the shot. It is generally done on Epson Luster but they may be able to use other papers (we were also discussing face mount acrylic - which definitely uses luster paper). Duggal in NY does this work but they insisted on using C prints for the acrylics.

    I just looked at the website for the aluminum printing would be sort of cool to give one of these a try.

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    Member RomanJohnston's Avatar
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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Bob – Thanks, They were done at Bay Photo, just Google the name.

    Emr – The whites look white, but the interesting part is the inks seem to have a translucence to them. When you bounce light into them they seem to glow like their sorta back lit.

    Daniel – Thanks!!!!

    Terry – Printed directly on the aluminum.

    Diane B – VERY different than the metallic paper. These are ready to hang. The colors are very forgiving as well. They do have profiles to soft proof to.

    Ken – You are right, about the detail, but it seems to be pronounced on the smaller prints (I am calling smaller 12” x 18” and 16” x 24”) but in the really big prints, sharpening seems to have a good effect (better than I thought) and as we all know a well shot, well exposed, solid compelling composition often draws the viewer’s vision in to the point of overlooking the minute “nose to the print” problems.

    Thanks everyone!
    Roman

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Terry:
    funny you mention Duggal; they have their main studios here in the Navy Yard and are sometimes a customer of mine. I went to them first, but they were unsure and suggested a 3M 77 spray mount. I did, got what looked like good bonding, some large prints, 30 x 40, on 1/8" aluminum, sprayed both surfaces and squeegeed down paper was Ilford fine art pearl

    after about a month or two, almost all started to show major bubbling the size of a NY waterbug

    prints do look good that way, i floated mine about 3/4" off the wall using simple bevel blocks, one bonded to the back of the aluminum, one screwed to the wall with a spacer at the bottom

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    Terry:
    funny you mention Duggal; they have their main studios here in the Navy Yard and are sometimes a customer of mine. I went to them first, but they were unsure and suggested a 3M 77 spray mount. I did, got what looked like good bonding, some large prints, 30 x 40, on 1/8" aluminum, sprayed both surfaces and squeegeed down paper was Ilford fine art pearl

    after about a month or two, almost all started to show major bubbling the size of a NY waterbug

    prints do look good that way, i floated mine about 3/4" off the wall using simple bevel blocks, one bonded to the back of the aluminum, one screwed to the wall with a spacer at the bottom
    Here is the GGE info - give them a buzz or next time you are out here they have samples of each at their shop so you can see the different substrates or facemounts.

    http://gge.com/03_Srvc/2_Graphics/01.html

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    They do look terrific Roman. Beautiful shots also.

    Diane

    Quote Originally Posted by RomanJohnston View Post
    Bob – Thanks, They were done at Bay Photo, just Google the name.

    Emr – The whites look white, but the interesting part is the inks seem to have a translucence to them. When you bounce light into them they seem to glow like their sorta back lit.

    Daniel – Thanks!!!!

    Terry – Printed directly on the aluminum.

    Diane B – VERY different than the metallic paper. These are ready to hang. The colors are very forgiving as well. They do have profiles to soft proof to.

    Ken – You are right, about the detail, but it seems to be pronounced on the smaller prints (I am calling smaller 12” x 18” and 16” x 24”) but in the really big prints, sharpening seems to have a good effect (better than I thought) and as we all know a well shot, well exposed, solid compelling composition often draws the viewer’s vision in to the point of overlooking the minute “nose to the print” problems.

    Thanks everyone!
    Roman

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane B View Post
    Not aluminum but I've been considering trying this Red River metallic paper for some prints though it won't work with pigmented inks so I'd be limited in size with my non-pigmented printer.

    http://www.redrivercatalog.com/brows...jet-paper.html

    There is also aluminum substrate available from Booksmart Studio
    http://www.booksmartstudio.com/
    As well as Inkaid and coatings from Inkaid--which allow for pigmented printing but add their own complexity to the printing process
    http://www.inkaid1.com/products/fine-art-metals/
    Hi Diane,

    Try Proofline Photochrome metallic paper from SOP. It is identical to the Red River paper (and several others) and also cheaper. Beautiful results with Epson Claria inks in an Epson 1400 (do wish there were a Claria LF printer). Also, I have a QTR profile for B&W that will produce outstanding B&W prints on this paper. Uses only the Claria K and and a small amount of LM for tonal adjustment.
    Last edited by scho; 14th November 2010 at 11:29.
    Carl
    Gallery

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    I have used (AluminArteTM) (http://www.imagewizards.net/about-us/) Imagewizards (North Carolina) to print aluminum prints of my work in a framed 16"x20" sample size. They print up to 4'x8' feet. I think they invented this aluminum process. I liked the gloss white version best for my specific nature photo samples. I think the brushed aluminum version would look great with night city views where there is dimensional light sources. I would like to use this product for a large installation of several 4'x8' panels in a contemporary architectural space. I find gallery wrap canvas to be more economical for every day large scale printing but this aluminum has a unique look and appeal..Tom.

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Carl, thanks very much. I'd like to try the metallic paper but coming from a background of surface design in fiber i want to work with some different subetrates and Inkaid also. Lots of interesting options in printing

    Thanks zonevt. That's pretty close to me (an hour) so i'll look into them. I had a terrific graohics group here that used to do my large 3 x 2 prints for furniture/textile industry and mounted for frameless installation but as the industries have had problems my group disappeared.

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by jonpaul View Post
    I have heard many positive reviews about the process. It can be striking when lit properly (examples above look beautiful). I have stayed away due to the lack of "archival" information. This is a sublimation process and noone knows how long they will last. Hopefully it will be positive.
    I placed some strips of black vinyl tape on a test print and then left it horizontal in the Florida sun for 4 months this summer. It was completely exposed to the elements and got high noon UV practically every day. After removing the tape, I could see only a slight shift in the blues and greens of the test print. If you didn't know where the vinyl had been, it would have been difficult to notice the hue shift. My print did not contain the full spectrum, so I cannot be sure that other colors will respond the same way.

    As with many processes, YMMV. I would imagine variables such as the printer used, uniformity of heat transfer, etc. could all affect colorfastness. It's really a crapshoot, unless you can do your own testing and control the variables too.

    Finally, do shop around when getting dyesub prints. As this medium is novel to most photographers, I think companies are making a very pretty penny in markups. My printer is charging less than half of what Bayphoto and ImageWizards ask for a 2x3' print. I have not seen the work of either vendor in person to know if there is a quality gap which justifies their higher price.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by NotXorc View Post
    ....My printer is charging less than half of what Bayphoto and ImageWizards ask for a 2x3' print. I have not seen the work of either vendor in person to know if there is a quality gap which justifies their higher price.
    Would you mind sharing who your printer is that you use for printing on metal/aluminum similar to BayPhoto?

    ken

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    Would you mind sharing who your printer is that you use for printing on metal/aluminum similar to BayPhoto?

    ken
    http://www.digitalgrafx.biz

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Here you can also have aluminium and others:

    http://us.whitewall.com/products

  25. #25
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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by xpixel View Post
    Here you can also have aluminium and others:

    http://us.whitewall.com/products
    Thanks for the link, xpixel... I've never seen this lab and the products/references seem great.

    ETA... DOH!!! It's overseas from me... no wonder. Time for another cup of coffee.

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    Thanks for the link, xpixel... I've never seen this lab and the products/references seem great.

    ETA... DOH!!! It's overseas from me... no wonder. Time for another cup of coffee.
    I've ordered from them (I'm in CA), and even with shipping the prices are very competitive (2-3 day UPS). Quality and customer service is top notch. Highly recommended. I've had Durst Lamda prints mounted on Aluminum with the 2mm acrylic glass in front. Looks really good.

    Cheers, -Peter

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    very nice
    Greetings!

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    I print on a product by AlumaJet. I use their satin surface, the color is good, the dynamic range is less than a good paper, but a nice print can be made. I print on my Epson 3880 and it goes through quite nicely. It is stable in indoor situations, they assure me it is not stable outdoors under direct sunlight. That is where we are using it, knowing it isn't stable I will be able to tell you eventually what the life is outside in raw light. But it makes a reasonably inexpensive full color sign for our arboretum, and I can replace it whenever it fades. Joe

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    Member Dan Berg's Avatar
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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    Following Jacks link to Bay Photo tells you what the process is.
    It is not technically printed on metal but is still called a metal print. It is the dye sublimation process. Printed on transfer paper with a dye sublimation printer. The Chromaluxe metal blanks have a polymer coating from the factory. The metal blank is inserted into a heat press similar to the Geo. Knight press and the printed transfer paper is pressed for 1 minute at 400 degrees.
    In a nutshell that is the dye sub process. To see it in progress go to YouTube and watch some of the Conde Systems Chromaluxe Metal videos.

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    Re: Aluminum Prints

    thanks for this post!

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