One of my recent clients had a lot of questions regarding the image stability of our prints and what he can do to protect them even more. One of the options that we had talked about was a protective coating which would make them moisture-resistant, dust and scratch resistant, UV protected, and non-yellowing.
I decided to do a test on Moab Colorado Satine Paper with three different protective coatings that we keep in the store: Krylon Triple-Thick Crystal Clear Glaze 0500, Clear Jet Fine Art Low Gloss, and Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating 1303.
The image below has no coating on it.
Krylon Triple-Thick Crystal Clear Glaze 0500: It’s definitely a super thick gloss coating. Regarding prints, I would never recommend this coating. The print now reminds me of a cheap Costco glossy bulk pack because you have to move the print in order to see the whole thing because of the light reflections. I might be able to use this one as a mirror if I put another coat.
Clear Jet Fine Art Low Gloss: This low gloss spray turned into a no gloss spray. It looks completely matte after using the spray which in this case I’m not sure I like because I originally chose a coated paper for a reason. It really took the texture out of the paper and makes the image look flat which is something I really didn’t expect. I think for certain images, the Clear Jet Fine Art Low Gloss could create some really nice results but for this image it wasn’t what I was looking for.
Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating 1303: The Crystal Clear has more shine than the naked paper but is still very similar. This coat made a texture on the surface of the print, which is less smooth than the original but isn’t noticeable by just looking at the image. I think this coating is the closest to the coating on the naked paper and would be the one that I use for this series.
All in all, I think that the Clear Jet Fine Art Low Gloss and the Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating 1303 are most suitable to our clients. I feel that the Clear Jet Fine Art Low Gloss would do very well on a matte paper because it does not have any reflection and it feels very natural as matte papers do.
Lumiere Photo charges $3.00 per square foot of protective coating. If you decide to do it yourself just remember to test the nozzle before trying it on your prints. If you have any question please feel free to stop by or give me a call: 585-461-4447.
Why should I calibrate? It looks great on the computer after it is edited but have you ever noticed how your piece looks different on other computers or the colors change when you print? That is because every device (camera, scanner, desktop, tablet, printer, etc.) has a different color space. In order to keep the colors true to your piece, you need to have a color management system in place.
Here at Lumiere Photo, we use the Colormunki Photo, and love it. It comes with a calibration device that will calibrate your monitor, and printer. It also comes with a ColorChecker classic. The device is a simple setup and guides you along the whole calibration process until your printer and monitor are accurate colors that would match any other calibrated device.
Sounds great right? The reason that many artists don’t use it is because it’s a bit expensive. So what to do? Buy an X-Rite ColorChecker. The ColorChecker is an inexpensive card with calibrated color squares on it. To use it, hold it in one of your shots so you have an image of it. Then when you edit later in Photoshop take your eyedropper tool and select the white, middle grey, and black from the card to make your image have a true white balance.
When I was a student at RIT, I heard “did you use your ColorChecker?” so often in group critiques. It really makes a difference to have truly, accurate colors. Having a color management system, even one as simple as a ColorChecker, takes out all of the guess work and will leave your image as beautiful as when you shot it.
Tate Shaw’s The Ground project addresses landscapes where the footprints of the energy industry are highly visible: sites such as the ones used in Iceland for the production of geothermal energy, abandoned sulfur mines and hydro-fracking sites in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, and finally the site of an ongoing, underground fire in abandoned coal mine tunnels below what was the town of Centralia, Pennsylvania.
An eponymous artist’s book accompanies the project. Its essay includes a broader discussion of “the ground” both literally and
metaphorically, the artist founding himself in a position where he too exploits the “ground” for his own purposes...
Find out more about the show currently on view at the Spectrum Gallery here.
Spectrum Galley has recently announced the forthcoming exhibition of the work of painter Carol Acquilano. Her work was recently in a review of “Art From The Valt” an exhibition at The Memorial Art Gallery. Carol was singled out as one of the unexpected surprises of the show. Her painting “North River, Marshfield, MA” reminded the reviewer of Charles Burchfield watercolors.
Marie Via, curator of the exhibition should also get high praise for putting together such a beautiful show of some rarely seen works by many major artists.
Read the full review here.