The photokina World of Imaging is being held at the Cologne Exhibition Center in Cologne, Germany from September 26 to October 1, 2006. From the exhibition organizers’ facts and figures sheet, “photokina is the only event in the world which offers a comprehensive presentation of all the imaging media, imaging technologies and imaging markets â€” for consumers and professionals alike.”
They’re not kidding! Almost every imaging-related industry is represented, from companies headquartered in cities across the globe. I’ll be highlighting a few of the photo and digital print-related products over the next few days. To start things off, HP introduced four new “Z-series” wide-format inkjet printers. I had an opportunity to see the printers in person and print my work on these printers a few months ago. The HP Designjet Z3100 is an 12-ink pigment-based inkjet printer, with 24 and 44-inch wide versions and HP Designjet Z2100 is an 8-ink pigment-based inkjet printer, also with 24 and 44-inch wide versions.
The HP Designjet Z3100 runs on 11 HP Vivera pigment color inks (four of them black or gray), plus a twelfth Gloss Enhancer â€œinkâ€ that provides better gloss uniformity and helps reduce bronzing on gloss and semi-gloss papers. In the prints I saw before the printer’s final release, image quality was sharp and detailed, with vibrant color, a nice grain structure and little gloss differential or bronzing, especially when the Gloss Optimizer was used. The printer also comes with four black/grey inks, that help to make monochrome prints look more smooth and neutral.
The HP Designjet Z3100 (left-24″ model, right-44″ model)
The HP Designjet Z2100 uses 8 HP Vivera pigment color inks (the same combination of inks that are used in the HP Photosmart Pro B9180, a 13-inch printer that I’ve been testing with impressive results on both matte and gloss papers. No gloss optimizer is used with the Z2100, but color and black and white output on gloss and semi-gloss papers has very little bronzing or gloss differential. The Z2100 has one less gray ink compared with the Designjet Z3100 (three vs. four black and gray inks). A monochrome output option on both Z-series printers allow for just black and grey inks to be used, which allows users to produce prints with very even tones and longer expected longevity. For information on expected longevity on a variety of papers for the Pro B9180 (same inks as the Designjet Z2100), visit www.wilhelm-research.com.
One of the features that sets the Z-series printers apart is their embedded spectrophotometers, which use Eye-One technology from GretagMacbeth to allow for the creation of custom profiles right on the printer. I was very impressed by this technology and HP has created a step-by-step process to make it the process easy to complete. Both printers ship standard with a stand, and built-in connectivity options are Ethernet and USB 2.0.MSRP for the printers is as follows:HP Designjet Z2100: $3,395 (24″) and $5,595 (44″). HP Designjet Z3100: $4,095 (24″) and $6,295 (44″). For a good overview, with a link to the full press release on the new Z-series printers on HP’s website, visit this link.
On HP’s site, you can also order free sample prints from many different printers, including the Z-series.
For more than five years I’ve been a member of the Advertising Photographers of America’s NY chapter (APA/NY). As you might expect, the group is made up primarily of photographers who specialize in advertising and editorial work. The APA has regional chapters across the USA and there are many benefits of membership. For example, the APA/NY chapter regularly organizes workshops and photographer lectures at places such as the Apple Store in Soho, NYC, and they are running a very special portfolio review event during advertising week this year in New York City (9/26-27, 2006). I’ve also had the opportunity to speak on the topic of inkjet printing for the New York and Atlanta chapters, both of which were great experiences.
The 2006 APA National Photo Competition with the theme: Show Off! You Know You Want To is accepting entries until 9/22/2006. A very impressive list of judges will choose the winners, in categories ranging from Advertising to Student and Personal/Fine Art.
Winners will receive prizes including: a digital darkroom with a Mac Pro and Cinema display: liveBooks Folio 5.0 packages; Canon EOS 30D Digital SLR 8.2 Megapixel Camera; Fuji FinePix F30 Cameras; Adobe Photoshop CS2; Blinkbid estimating and invoicing software; a one year membership to Digital Railroad; and AsukaBooks of winning images. Winners will also be showcased in the APA online Winners Gallery and at the APAâ€™s booth at Photo Plus Expo in November. For more information, visit APA National’s website.
The School of Visual Arts in New York City will offer a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Digital Photography beginning in the fall of 2007. The new one-year degree program will become the fourth program in photography at SVA and looks to be an excellent option for those who want a program focused on the core subjects of photography and imaging, from capture to print.
The program will be chaired by Katrin Eismann, who I’ve known personally for about 10 years, and who I greatly respect for her knowledge and straighforward teaching style (whether in print, on video, or live). The program will consist of nine 3-credit courses and a 6-credit summer thesis project, including: Digital Materials and Processes; Digital Asset Management and Workflow; Personal Vision, Storytelling and the Art of Editorial Photography; Color Management and Output; Advanced Image Processing; Photo Illustration; Large Format Printing; Studio Management and Practices; and Scripting and Automation.
Katrin’s books (authored and co-authored in some cases) on digital photography and digital imaging techniques are some of the best available in my opinion. They include Real World Digital Photography (Peachpit Press, 2003), Photoshop Masking & Compositing (New Riders Press, 2004) and Adobe Photoshop Restoration & Retouching, Third Edition (New Riders Press, 2005). All of the books metioned, as well as some of Katrin’s DVD’s can be found here. Katrin is also a featured columnist in American Photo and Photoshop User magazines. I have been reading both magazines for years and highly recommend them.
I look forward to seeing the full list of classes, which will be available approximately Oct 1, 2006 on this page.