Category Archives: Printing

Go Big or Go Home – Epson 11880

Printer in its shipping box outside the studio - it is bigger than my car!

Printer in its shipping box outside the studio – it is bigger than my car!

Printer inside the studio
Printer inside the studio

Nothing makes an impact like a large print. There has  been a pent up demand to print big, I mean really BIG, and now the capability is back again. In the past we used Epson 9500 that could print up to 44″ wide with great success. As time passed circumstances made it so that I had to part with my beloved 9500, and there was an empty void for a while. Well, not anymore! We are home to an Epson 11880, biggest and baddest Epson aqueous printer.

Inside the studio, printer looks equally big and impressive, and is built for high use. Lots of metal and it feels like a  precision instrument. I already have several orders for large prints, with more to come soon. And this bad boy delivers!

I can handle prints up to 64″ wide, so now you know where to go for those large prints!


BYOP – Bring Your Own Paper printing services!

We had many customers request prints made on their paper, and we are more than glad to try! However, there are extra steps (and costs) involved, but if you want to use that special paper you have, read on!

To print successfully on a new type of paper we need to make a custom profile for it. That does take time and manpower and normally costs at least $40, but if you are making 3 or more prints, we will waive the fee. For example, 3 prints on “Oh So Wonderful Fine Art Rag Paper” at 8×10″ would cost you $100, but by waiving $40 profiling fee they are only $20 each. So by supplying your own paper you are saving money on a custom profile and getting to use the paper you want. Also, having your own paper reduces the wait for the papers not in stock. So if you are in a hurry, it is a good way to go!

Printing Epson Exhibition Fiber sheets on Epson Stylus 4900

I had a job where customer chose Epson Exhibition Fiber paper. I used both 17×22″ and 8.5×11″ sheets.

I do like the look of this paper. I have printed both B&W and color images, and the biggest issue I ran in were head strikes on paper. Sometimes the heads would catch the edge of paper and turn the print a little to skew the image. Not acceptable!

Head strikes with auto setting

Head strikes on paper with “auto” setting

Solution was to manually change the platen gap settings in advance media controls to “wide”. That completely eliminated the problem.

Hope that helps to you too!

How many patches do you need to get a good profile?


Depends on the printer – I had better luck with Epson Photo Stylus printers with 900-1300 patches while with Canon Pixma Pro-1 would need twice as many more patches to get even close to Epson.

Also depends on profiling software. My gold standard is Gretag Profile Maker. To get a good profile with an Epson I would use custom 1302 patch target. I have tried Gretag supplied TC9.18 target, but it is not the optimal solution – sometimes it would get a good profile, sometimes it won’t. Custom 1302 patch target would get a job done. I also create profiles with 2604 patch target, and I see it is pretty much identical to 1302, so why bother? Well, on Canon printers you have to as 1302 is just not enough.

Using Argyll, I was able to make some good profiles too (around 1600 patches), but I still like Gretag PM profiles more. So for now I am sticking with PM and 1302 patch target.

I have i1Publish coming and I’ll evaluate it against ProfileMaker in quality of profiles it produces. Will it dethrone PM? We’ll see…

Profiling Metallic Papers

I have purchased a pack of Arista II Metallic Glossy paper. Metallic paper has a beautiful, high tech feel to it, and it is quite suitable for high key prints.

Folks behind Arista brand (Freestyle army led by Eric Joseph) suggest you use your printers “glossy” setting for it, but I know that “canned” profile is usually less than ideal.

There seems some rumors that you can not profile metallic paper. That is not true. I was able to build beautiful profiles with Gretag Spectrolino and Profilemaker4 software. I experimented with “no filtration”, “polarizing” and “d56” filters, and no filtration produced the best results.

So I don’t see any reason why i1 or color munki could not profile metallic papers either.

Jack of all trades, master of none

Many people are good at many things, but are not great at anything. That concept carries over to businesses where there is a lot of “good enough”. Usually those businesses fail as there is nothing that sets them apart from the rest. After someone comes out with superior service we wonder why we even bothered with previous one.
My focus is on inkjet printing. Of course “printing” is a wide discipline encompassing understanding of media, inks and color management. At the end we have a beautiful print as the result.
Photographers job is to capture the moment and achieve the look they are after. The rest is up to me – the printer.
By doing something exceptionally good I want to rise above mediocracy.

Soft Opening

Just ran a 12 print job for a client, and everything worked like it should. Most important, the client was very happy with quality of the prints. Yay!

Small steps…

There are so many things I still need to take care for the Beach Pro Lab, but the most important thing is quality of the prints which I got nailed. Profiles are coming out terrific too, I am so pleased. Now I have to focus on other things like marketing. Details, details…