The wide format ENCAD NovaJet Pro color inkjet system is good enough that you can produce exhibit quality prints in your own office. Many photographers are now doing their exhibits entirely with ink-jet prints, no more darkroom! Four of our Encad prints are on exhibit in the Museo Popol Vuh.
Professional printing now available for your own in-house facilities, all you need to do is install a wide format printer with its associated RIP. The Raster Image Processor takes the image from your computer and prepares the image for the color printer. You can have a hardware PostScript RIP such as an EFI Fiery, or a software solution (reviews on www.wide-format-printers.org).
Now (May 2000) we have upgraded to a newer and better large format printer, the Hewlett-Packard DesignJet 2800 CP. After that we may installed another model HP DesignJet in our office in Guatemala as well.
These large images were initially currently stored on Pinnacle Micro Apex 4.6 GB disks. Due to lower costs of blank CD disks ($1 each when bought in bulk), we now recommend a CD-R burner. Yamaha gets good reviews; we ended up with a Panasonic but wish we had the newer, faster CD burner from Smart-and-Friendly, a real rocket. Another option is DVD-RAM technology. More information for all of this on www.cameras-scanners-flaar.org For computer storage we recommend MegaHaus, contact email@example.com for DVD-RAM and CD-R burners.
When your college or museum has a conference, meeting, or any function, it is sure great to be able to do your own banners, signs, and large color images.
College and university print shops, repro departments, and publication departments really ought to budget for a wide format printer. The ENCAD and EFI RIP can be networked so that anyone on campus can send their images to the printer from any building. This is far more economical in the long run. There is no more need to send jobs such as this to an outside service bureau. You can do all your wide-format printing in-house.
If you wish to advance into digital imaging gradually, and with cost-conscious budgeting, start off with a long-format black and white printer from GGG or the comparable Xante Accel-a-Writer 3G. You can print 35.5 inches wide in black-and-white laser, which is considerably more economical than color. Two years down the line, when you are more proficient, the prices on the wide-format color will have dropped a bit more and you can upgrade to color. Mutoh makes an exhibit quality color printer, for example, and of course ENCAD has models with twice the dpi quality as you see here (we are using the NovaJetPro 36" 300 dpi; 600 dpi is now available). The EFI Fiery RIP server (Electronics for Imaging, hardware RIP) provides the nice resolution and attractive color.
Both the rollouts pictured on this page are of Late Classic red-on-off-white Tiquisate-Escuintla ceramics, Museo Popol Vuh, Universidad Francisco Marroquin. Each of these pots has a modeled effigy standing out in three-dimensions from the otherwise flat sidewall. These particular pots are a good test of the depth of field that a rollout system can capture.
Here is a row of our Encad prints proudly on exhibit in the Museo Popol Vuh.
The guard makes sure that people who like these attractive pictures don't decide to "borrow" them.
People like these inkjet prints so much everyone wants one.
These vases were photographed with Videssence cool lights, using Bogen light stands, Ries tripods, Macbeth (GretagMacbeth) color charts and Macbeth gray card, Manfretto tripod heads with the computer system on a Kartmaster cart-table.
These photos are from six years ago. We have learned a lot during this time. We now offer three completely different sites on reviews of large format printing hardware and software. Links are at bottom of every page.
In the background, Encad print of the Copan Bat, Copan Sculpture Museum, IHAH, Honduras, Central America.
A nice feature about the ENCAD printer and EFI Fiery RIP is that they are easy to use. We learned how to use all this equipment in our own office. What made all this possible? Several years ago two substantial grants provided training and equipment. First, we applied for a grant of $10,000. As typical of grant requests, politics resulted in that grant not being awarded. Upon learning of this, a long time friend, who felt that our 20-years of dedicated archaeological photography deserved better treatment, immediately arranged a grant of $100,000. The purpose of this funding was to transform the F.L.A.A.R. Photo Archive into the Digital Imaging Technology Center. The success of this investment is documented by the results on these pages.
That same year Dr Hellmuth received a grant from Japan's Ministry of Culture to develop a program of digital imaging of 35mm color slides for Japan's National Museum of Ethnology. This museum does not collect Maya pottery so they decided that photographs would be useful for their curators and students as research references. They realized this material was best organized in digital format. This Japanese program included all together another $100,000 (fellowship, expenses, and facilities) so between the two seed grants F.L.A.A.R. had a well funded entry into the technology of the 21st century.
You can learn to do this class of digital imaging and printing too. The equipment and software today is user-friendly. It helps to have a patient and capable technician teach you the basics, but from then on trial-and-error will let you learn from your own mistakes until you can produce professional quality digital images.
To generate images of this quality you will want the dedicated 35mm slide scanner with the highest dpi on the market today, the Polaroid SprintScan 4000. If you have medium format or large format slides you will want an Imacon scanner. Another scanner to consider is the C-550 Lanovia from Fuji. All these scanners are further discussed on www.cameras-scanners-flaar.org and www.flatbed-scanner-review.org.