Jan R Smit Fine Art Printing Specialist | EIZO
My passion is to bring the images made by others to life in unique Fine Art Prints, hence my slogan "Brings your artwork to life".
From 2007 I did digital photography until 2013. If I needed prints I used a printing company, but every time I was disappointed with the results. Besides technical issues like impression of color, I did not get the experience I was searching for, which I did experience while looking at the image on my monitor.
When I started working digitally with Lightroom 2, I bought a 19-inch EIZO monitor, similar to those used at the photo academies.
Soon I began printing myself. In early 2008 I bought my first real photo printer, the HP 9180, an A3Plus format printer with pigment inks. I remember the reaction from my wife when the printer was on the table: "What a monster; is that necessary?"
Yes, I really needed this. I remember how it went with my next customer, I had indicated that I can deliver high quality prints on baryta paper in addition to regular prints. The customer was not familiar with the paper so he decided to go for the cheapest paper. Upon delivery I showed the customer the print on his paper but also on baryta paper.
The response was "I want the beautiful baryta print," and the higher price was no longer an issue. Since then I often showed both prints and always the customer decides for the better print.
The difference also was significant: on baryta paper the image was really more dimensional. It looked as if it came alive on paper. I finally brought life into my prints; I found the experience I was looking for.
I started to study the phenomenon of printing, so the quality improved more and more. Gradually I received more requests from other photographers to do their printing.
In late 2012 I bought my next printer, an Epson 4900. Profiling became necessary, so I bought a professional profiling device. Now I could arrange the print quality and consistency that I was looking for. Calibrating and profiling my printers is just as important as doing this for my monitor. From that moment on I could be confident with the output. What you see is what you get!
Printing became more important for me and I spent not that much time on photography anymore. In 2013 after much deliberation I decided to quit photographing and start an online print studio. My strength – bringing images to life – is the central theme. I’m glad I made this decision because bringing images to life in unique Fine Arts Prints proved to be my passion.
Bringing Images to Life in Unique Fine Arts Prints
Photographers and image producers are good at creating images digitally on their screen. Their customers have an increasing demand for tangible results, to be used for exhibition purposes. To bring the images of my customers to life with Fine Art Prints, I have to do several things properly.
First is taking the time to connect with the image-maker. I have to understand what the image-maker has in mind. Next is choosing the right type of paper together with the image-maker. The correct character match with the image is crucial. In addition, I have to make sure that I deliver the highest possible paper quality matched with the kind of print.
The Correct Monitor
A good monitor for graphical appliances is crucial for me. It´s the only device that makes digital images visible. I have to see the images, with large amounts of colored pixels, in their fullest quality. Also soft proofing is essential for the best printing result.
In short, this requires the highest possible quality of the display.
I started in 2008 with a 19-inch EIZO and for some time now I have been working with the EIZO CG248-4K. After extensive testing I choose this monitor, due to the high image quality, the warranty and support that EIZO offers. The choice of 4K is primarily due to the fact that I no longer see the screen grid between the pixels, so I see a completely seamless image. This fits much better with the print, because on the print I also see no individual ink droplets, but a continuous tone.
This is very valuable for me and it better suits the print experience. There is even less interference between me and the image.
My screen has a central place in my print process. The EIZO CG248-4K perfectly meets the very high standards that I need.