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Review by Andrew Darlow: The Epson Print Academy

Track 1 at The Epson Print Academy (Dallas, TX)

Image Courtesy Epson America-mouseover images for details

All photos shown were taken during the Epson Print Academies held in Miami, Chicago and Boston in 2006.

The Epson Print Academy traveling program has expanded into two new full-day presentations and is now in its third “season”. The Track One program is designed for Advanced Amateur photographers seeking to make prints just like the Pros from digital SLRs and Track Two is designed by professional for professionals to take their businesses to the next level. I attended the New York Epson Print Academy in February 2006 spent most of the day in Track Two, but I also visited Track One where Vincent Versace presented material such as sharpening and color to b&w conversions for printing extremely well, both live and through the use of projected video.

Gallery of Prints at the Epson Print Academy

Image Courtesy Epson America

In Track 2, Jeff Schewe described how a RGB to CYMK poster project was done from beginning to end using an Epson Stylus Pro 4800 and the ColorBurst RIP. The match from proof to the press sheet was excellent. John Paul Caponigro did a great job of explaining some of the ways he produces fine art prints using Photoshop techniques, and he also gave a number of links to a lot of additional info. Mac Holbert, co-founder of Nash Editions would also probably have attended, but he was receiving a much deserved Visionary Award at the PMA convention in Florida

R. Mac Holbert of Nash Editions during a demonstration on an Epson Stylus Pro 4800.

Image Courtesy Epson America

Noted author and color management expert Bruce Fraser and celebrity/fine-art photographer Greg Gorman added to the roster of well-known professionals. Greg Gorman printed four different versions of an image of Sharon Stone, which he originally shot in color, on an Epson Stylus Pro 4800. Being able to see four different prints, converted to black and white in different ways, in a large gti graphic technology color-correct viewing system was excellent. I agree with Greg Gorman’s comments about Epson’s Advanced Black and White printing technology built into the new Epson driver being a great tool for black and white output in the Epson Stylus Photo R2400, Stylus Pro 4800, 7800 and 9800 printers. In addition, Adobe Systems Pro Photography Evangelist George Jardine demonstrated Adobe’s new Lightroom software. It’s currently a public Beta, and is available for Mac users only, but a Windows version is coming later this summer. I like the software a lot, and it’s particularly good for making quick contact sheets from Raw files. You can download the free Beta2 version for Mac OSX at www.adobe.com.
There was also a mini-trade show during breaks made up of sponsors who attended, including Adobe, Lexar, nik software, Professional Graphics Systems & Services Inc., Light Impressions and others. I think the sponsors were very well suited to the audience. One of the companies, Solux, makes fantastic bulbs for home and gallery environments, and all the artwork on display (about 30 pieces) was lit with Solux bulbs.

Vendor area at the Epson Print Academy (Dallas, TX)

Image Courtesy Epson America

At one point I decided to walk from Greg Gorman’s live lecture to the other room, and when I arrived in the room for Track 1, Greg Gorman was on video doing different demos for the Track One audience! The cost of the full day Track One program is $49 if one registers at least 3 days prior to the event and $99 for Track 2 when using the discount code on the Print Academy’s home page. As of early April, about eight cities in the US and Canada remain on the schedule. The main website for the Epson Print Academy is here.

On a separate topic, information about the Epson Online Experience, which I highly recommend as well (even though the newest group of Epson UltraChrome K3 printers is not covered) can be found here. It is just $29.95 for 60 segments and just the segment which features a tour by legendary photographer Jay Maisel around his home and studio is worth the price of admission in my opinion! I think that both the Epson Print Academy and the Online Experience will help inspire and educate any photographer, regardless of whether or not you own an inkjet printer.

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Chris Condetti - March 13, 2008

I am trying to find the schedule for the 2008 Epson Print Acadmey. Can you help me?

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