I’ve been photographing people as a professional photographer and writer for over 25 years, but I’ve always focused more on catalog, advertising, product reviews and beauty salon-related work than runway shows and similar events that often occur during Fashion Week in Manhattan in February every year. However, last year I could not pass up an opportunity to attend an invitation only special event sponsored by Epson called the Digital Couture Project. On February 6, 2018, the 4th Annual Epson Digital Couture Project is happening once again, and I expect it to be just as impressive as the 2017 event.
Since this is not a topic I cover a lot here on imagingbuffet.com, I think I should mention who I think will get the most from this article:
• Anyone who wants to see cutting-edge fashion from designers around the world. To me, it’s like a global art exhibition, but with the designers expressing their art through their textile designs, and with male and female models serving as moving canvases. Two words kept coming to mind as I was looking at the wide range of textiles, color palettes and unique approaches to fabric printing: “Truly Incredible!”
• Anyone who has an interest in any type of garment printing, from direct-to-fabric printing (using printers like Epson’s SureColor F2000 and F2100), to dye-sublimation transfer printing (using printers like Epson’s SureColor F9370, F6200 and F7200). Once you see how these machines work, it’s easier to understand the technology and capabilities. I’ve included a YouTube video from Epson below that shows how an image can go from artwork on a screen to a design on fabric by first printing on a dye-sublimation transfer paper (in this case using an Epson SureColor F6200 printer), and then using a heat press to transfer the art to a fabric.
The video below offers a sneak peek into the 2017 event, and I especially like how they interview the designers who created the clothing:
Epson created an excellent overview of the 2018 event, its designers and the printers used for the project HERE.
Also, below is a GIF (courtesy of Epson) showing many of the featured collections from the 2018 event, as well as a list of the designers who participated:
For More About the Tech Behind the Fashion
The Epson SureColor printers listed earlier can also be used to print on transfer paper that can then be used with a heat press to create dye-sublimation metal prints (extremely popular these days), jewelry, snowboards, skateboards and much more. This page has much more on that, including information on how to request a free printed sample. Below is one of the Epson SureColor printers that was set up at the Digital Couture Project. It shows a few designs printed on dye-sublimation media prior to transferring the images to one or more fabrics using a heat press.’
Fashion designers and professionals (such as those who run print service bureaus), who are interested in Epson’s digital printing technologies can visit www.proimaging.epson.com for more information.
There are a few things that I should note about these photos. First, I used a Canon EOS 6D full frame 35mm DSLR for all of them. The 6D is outstanding in low light, allowing for the use of about ISO 1200-3200 with little to no visible noise in the shadow areas. If there is noise, it tends to be very “grain-like” without a lot of different colors, so it’s easy to reduce in Lightroom or other software. To increase my odds of getting sharp images, I used a combination of Shutter Priority Mode (set at between 1/1oo and 1/200 sec) with Auto ISO because I was relying on available light that was constantly changing, and not on or off-camera flash or LED lighting. I like the natural look that results from that approach, but it did mean that many of my photos had to be taken at ISO 3200 because the lens’ maximum (most open) aperture is f/4.5-6.3, depending on where in the zoom range the photos are being taken.
I also used just one lens for the entire shoot. It’s a beast of a lens due to its size and weight (approximately 4.1″ x 8.6″ (10.41 x 21.84 cm) and 4.33 lb (about 2 kg)), but I love it: the Sigma 50-500 f/4.5-6.3 APO DG HSM OS Lens For Canon EOS (it’s available in other mounts as well). It’s incredibly versatile due to its range, and I found the results to be very sharp at all focal lengths. As you can probably see from the images below, I enjoy taking photos from different angles, including from the back, as well as close-ups of items like shoes, which may or may not have been digitally printed like all of the other clothing. Some of the footwear by some of the designers was definitely printed digitally, which you can see in the video overview posted above. I believe that taking photos from behind a model, or when just one out of three of the models is facing forward, works very well because clothing is usually designed with attention to all of the “camera angles.”
And in case you are wondering here is the photo info for the image that opens this article and that shows designs by Daniela Hoehmann: 1/200 sec, f/4.5, ISO 3200.
The 2017 PhotoPlus Expo is upon us and once again it’s a fantastic show. As I had mentioned in my last post, this year is a bit different for me because I decided to exhibit this year (I’m in Booth #673), which has been a lot of fun. That means, of course, that I had much less time to spend on the show floor. However, I’d like to highlight a few booths that I highly recommend visiting a few things I recommend doing at the show.
I should probably start with a link to my 2016 PhotoPlus Expo Show Report, which you can find HERE, because most of the companies I highlight are at the show again this year.
Have Your Camera Checked and Cleaned for Free
Many of the camera companies at the show are offering to check your camera and clean the sensor for free. I’d recommend visiting your camera maker’s booth as soon as you get to the show to see if they are offering the service, and how long it will take. Remember that you won’t have a camera for that time period, so you might want to bring another camera if you want to use it for the many photo opportunities around the Expo.
Show Floor Presentations
There are many, many presentations happening throughout all three days of the show on the Expo floor. I would recommend checking online first to see what’s scheduled for the companies in which you are interested. If you can’t find the schedules posted, I would just take a photo of the schedules for any specific company when you first come into the show, then decide which ones you want to attend.
Two companies that I have schedule info for, and that I’d like to highlight are Canon (Booth #121) and Epson (Booth #707). I especially want to highlight Epson because of the outstanding speakers that both companies have at the show during their “Epson Print Academy.” For example, on Friday from noon-1pm Mac Holbert, a fantastic teacher and pioneer in the world of archival inkjet printing will be speaking at the Epson booth, followed by John Paul Caponigro, also a pioneer in the world of digital imaging and fine-art printing. Even years after it was published, I still highly recommend to my students and clients the video training series by Mac Holbert and John Paul Caponigro titled: Fine Art Digital Workflow, which you can find HERE.
Robert Farber Exhibition and Blazing Editions
Last night there was a special event in the exhibition area in the Icon Gallery (Booth #1101, shown above during the event) highlighting the incredible work of Robert Farber. Farber was named the featured photographer in the Blazing Editions/ChromaLuxe Collaborator Series: 2017 Master on Metal, and the show should not be missed. I also highly recommend visiting Blazing Editions’ Booth (#665) at the show to see some massive, stunning images from John Paul Caponigro, Jay Maisel, and other outstanding photographers. You can read more about the exhibition HERE. There you will also find the other cities where the show will be traveling.
Now I need to jump in my car and get back to the show!
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Hello! I’m excited to announce that I will be exhibiting under my new consulting company name, Andrew Darlow’s WorkflowSchool.com, at the PhotoPlus Expo 2017 in New York City next week from Thursday, 10/26 to Saturday, 10/28. If you haven’t visited the show before, it’s the largest photography trade show in North America, and it’s filled with photo- and video-related gear, free expo floor talks, model and still-life photo opportunities, and much more. I should also note that even if you can’t attend the show, you can sign up for updates on the show site (link is on the bottom right) to get news updates and special offers from PDN (Photo District News) and photo-related companies.
I’ve had the honor to speak at the show in the past on the topics of Lightroom and Inkjet Printing, and I thought this year would be a perfect opportunity for me to have a booth at the show so that I could answer any questions about the content in my new book, Focus and Filter (Ulysses Press), and let people know about how I might be able to help them with their workflow, from capture to print.
With that, I have two items to share with you below. The first is a link to a free three-day trade show pass and 15% off the cost of a 1,3, or 4 day Conference Pass. However, the Conference Pass is completely optional. I’ve found the paid conference seminars to be excellent, but there are many educational opportunities available right on the show floor:
and the second is a link to set up a five minute quick meeting with me at my booth (#673). I have been to many trade shows, and it’s easy to start speaking with one person and have others waiting to talk to the same person. Instead, I decided to set up a system with more than 50 available times so that I could meet with a lot of people at the show. Feel free to bring a copy of any of my books if you’d like me to sign them…if you don’t mind the value of them possibly going down , and I’ll have copies of Focus and Filter available at the show for purchase.
Click here to schedule a FREE 5 MINUTE MEETING with me at the show. Everyone who meets with me will receive a WorkflowSchool.com backpack and some other goodies that I think you will really like. If you schedule a meeting, there is one question on the signup form re: whether you would like to purchase a copy of Focus and Filter at the show, so that I know about how many copies to bring.
Even if you decide not to meet with me at the show, or if the times are not good for you, please stop by Booth #673, and I may be free to chat. An assistant or I will be giving away empty sandbags and info from Focus and Filter on how to easily fill them. I decided to give away hundreds of sandbags at the show because I wanted to shed some light on the subject of using sandbags (especially when using light stands outside or to support backdrops). I’ve seen what can happen if sandbags are not used, and it can be especially dangerous if there are pets or children around.
And this year, for the first time, the PhotoPlus Expo will be co-located with the NYVR Expo. Your Expo pass allows you to see what they have on their show floor (Friday and Saturday are their trade show days). Feel free to share this post and/or the link to register for a free pass with your friends or family. Here’s a link to the show’s policies, including minimum age requirements for attendees.
If you’d like to see my Show Report from last year’s Expo, visit this page.
The PhotoPlus Expo only comes around once a year, and I hope to see you there!
All the best,
P.S. If you’d like to download a PDF sample from Focus and Filter, which includes the Table of Contents and some tips from the book, visit this page.
P.P.S. I also welcome you to join any of our three Meetup Groups if you would like to be invited to attend other events like photo walks, workshops, etc. in the future.
P.P.P.S. If you don’t receive my ImagingBuffet.com newsletter updates and would like to receive them, as well as some Lightroom and workflow videos, you can sign up here.