Category Archives: Fine Art Printing

Fine Art Folio… Teaser.

Photo Of Jon Witsell's Fine Art Folio For Botanica Obscura

~ Click To Enlarge ~

I’ve been working on a project related to my Botanica Obscura images. And I’m really excited about it… Something about crafting something with your hands in this digital age that is quite satisfying. No, I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag, but if you stay tuned here, there will be what I think is a very cool announcement soon…

Fine Art Folio.

Also posted in Fine Art Folios Tagged |

Canon 6300 et al. — The Great Inkjet Swindle!

Picture Of Canon 6300 Info Panel Stating Ink Is Low

What?? Feed This Beast More Ink… ALREADY?

Now don’t get me wrong… I’ve just replaced an Epson 3880 that was damaging Botanica Obscura prints in the deep shadows with its spur wheels (another blog post on that particular bit of suckiness soon) with the Canon 6300… and it is a world apart. After more than a decade, I’ve ditched Epson for good and moved to Canon. The level of engineering is much higher and Canon has excellent included software (like the Free Layout image nesting program and their exceptional Photoshop Print Plugin) that makes the Epson’s software look, well, quaint. 

On top of that, Epson has become hostile to third party software writers like Roy Harrington (who programs the brilliant Raster Image Processor Quadtone RIP). Canon, meanwhile, has included their own Media Configuration Tool to allow you to adjust their printer to use third party papers. And, Canon has been open to supporting third party software writers like Bowhaus and their fantastic RIP True Black And White (which is what I use for my fine art printing now–I used their InkjetControl and Open Printmaker RIP since the first version was put on the market; that was Epson-only software, and I became quite skeptical of Epson when Bowhaus dumped them for Canon).

But, that’s not what I want to rant about. What I want to rant about is a scam all the wide format printer manufacturers engage in.

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Also posted in Technical

Video of Botanica Obscura Gallery Opening

Here’s a short video of the Botanica Obscura gallery opening on 8-24-12. You will probably want to click on the gear icon in the lower right corner of the YouTube window and select one of the HD versions:



Here is a version on Vimeo.

Thanks to Charlotte at Anderson’s for the event and Robert at Same Room Records for the music!



Also posted in Black and White Photography, Gallery Shows, Print Mounting Tagged , , |

Free Botanica Obscura Fine Art Postcard and Print!

Dramatic headline, eh? So, here is the deal: First Like My Facebook Page and then come to my August 24th Botanica Obscura Gallery Opening. Each person that does this will receive a postcard printed with my Botanica Obscura #2 image–with postage already affixed! In addition to that, one out of that group of people will walk away with a signed 8×10 print of their choice from the Botanica Obscura series.

Here is a .pdf of the postcard.

Easy right?


Also posted in Black and White Photography, Gallery Shows Tagged , |

Mounting My Images on Plywerk Bamboo Panels

I have two solo shows coming up in the next few months (stay tuned!) and I was trying to find a non-standard way of mounting my images. I do like the typical matte board and black-museum-frame look, but for the Botanica Obscura work, I wanted to try something new–and, well, something more fitting. Right about that time I had been researching Dane Creek’s covers for the folios I am making (stay tuned some more!), I came across his post Plywerk Mounting Panel Review.

Long story short, I ordered a few test pieces and for the most part have been favorably impressed. Attaching your image is a straight forward process, if a little nerve wracking at first–you  have to get the print on the ph-neutral adhesive correctly the first time, or the whole assembly may be ruined. You also have to be quite careful when trimming the edge of the print to the edge of the mount. Clear mounting and trimming instructions are included with every order. Plywerk mounts are offered in a large number of sizes and thicknesses, and in Birch and Bamboo–architects and builders will recognize the Bamboo base material as Plyboo. Plywerk also offers Photoshop .PSD files on their site here, that are designed so you can add your own image on a layer, for marketing and sales and such. That’s a nice touch. Here are two different versions of one of my Botanica Obscura images:


Photograph Of Jon Witsell's Botanica Obscura Image Mounted On A Plywerk Bamboo Panel



I’m using 310gsm Canson Infinity Platine Fibre Rag which is the inkjet version of the paper platinum/palladium printers have used for years. It has a nice surface, is acid free, and contains no optical brightening agents (OBAs). One of the reasons why I picked this paper was that this type of mounting is designed to be shown–not squirreled away in a collector’s dark cabinet. No OBAs means that there won’t be a shift to yellow as the brighteners lose their ability to fluoresce over time. I gave the mounted image 24 hours to let the adhesive set, then sprayed the image with two coasts of Premier Print Spray to help prevent scratches and finger prints on the image surface.

To sum up, I really like the Bamboo mounts for these particular images–they make for a more intimate, organic presentation.

 Plywerk Bamboo.

Also posted in Black and White Photography, Print Mounting, Technical Tagged , |

Ian Ruhter: Silver & Light

This is an amazing video–the wet plate collodion process is difficult with small plates (the process uses hand made and mixed photosensitive chemicals poured directly onto a glass plate then immediately put in the camera and exposed), but at this size, it is almost unbelievable.

I really admire this guy and his efforts:

Direct link to Vimeo.

I think I’m going to break out all those antique Petzval lenses and start playing with them again…


Ian Ruhter.

Also posted in Alt Process Photography, Black and White Photographers Tagged , |

Letterpress As A Business at the San Fran Center for the Book

Here are the audio recordings from a great panel discussion at the San Francisco Center for the Book on running a letterpress business:


Also posted in Uncategorized Tagged |

Letterpress Adventures in Portland

I just got back from a trip to Portland, Oregon. While I was there, I did a small tour of some of the many letterpress shops in business there. Everyone was really friendly and I got to see some amazing work. Here is a list of the places I visited:

Egg Press

A special Thanks! to Egg Press–I got a full tour of their shop and saw some new projects they are working on.

Oblation Papers and Press

Lark Press

Here’s a shot of the presses at Lark Press. Jean Sammis was great, we chatted for some time.

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Printing on Japanese Papers

For a long time I’ve been fascinated with Japanese papers, and have done a couple of tests to see if I could get a satisfactory inkjet image printed on them. So far I haven’t had much luck, but I’ve just picked up a sample pack of ten coated papers from Hiromi Paper. I’ve run them through the Epson 2400 using Bowhaus’ Ink Jet Control software RIP. I particularly like the Niyodo Kozo and Niyodo Natural. I’ve also tested a sheet of Kozo Gampi Torinoko, which is very nice but expensive at $5.25 for a single 8.5×11 sheet. Excuse the photo of my bathroom… I dry prints in there as it is the most dust free area of my apartment!

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Letterpress Printing Class at THE ARM in Brooklyn

I’ve been wanting to take a letterpress class for a long time–something about the look and feel of a well-printed piece of work that really appeals to my sense of design. Then I discovered the masters…

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