Part Two, Fine Art Paper From Parrot Digigraphic

I’ve had the opportunity lately to work with a number of inkjet printing papers offered by Parrot Digigraphic. There’s quite a range of media to choose from, so for this post I decided to focus on a fine art paper that I particularly like, and that seems to fill an relatively unoccupied niche – Angelica Natural White Textured, 315gsm.

I say it is in a niche not because its application is narrow, but because it combines a very nice hand with subdued but effective texture. Its natural white color is very pleasing, lending a slight warm tone to unlinked areas of the print. As a point of comparison, I feel it falls in between Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, and Hahnemuhle textured fine art style paper – and quality is more than comparable.

The Old House © David Saffir

This is a finely-made watercolor-style inkjet paper intended for use with pigment and dye-based inks. I have found that when using pigment inks its rendered color gamut is very good, and black and white images show smooth gradations, strong blacks, and detailed highlights. Dimensionality and “presence” are excellent. It is available in both roll and sheet packaging.

I profiled this paper on my HP Designjet Z3200 using the built-in spectrophotomer and HP color management software. I’ve found the paper interacts well with the color management tools and the printers – and these paper profiles are stable and accurate.

As with many other papers, there may be room for improvement in this in-printer profile, through using the HP Advanced Profiling System, which generates test targets with a greater number of test patches. However, prints made using current profile are quite good, and I don’t see any issues across the color gamut, or in highlight/shadow detail.

Parrot also offers excellent in-house paper profiles for use with a number of inkjet printing systems.

The paper takes ink quite well, with no sign of cockling or other distortions. It handles well off the roll, which is always a bit of a challenge for fine art/watercolor style papers.

As with all non-photo-style papers, I recommend that users turn off the auto-cutter, as this may generate dust inside the printer. Instead, it is best to cut the paper outside the machine.

Overall, I like this paper for photographic use. I have not yet tried it for fine art reproduction. Parrot’s price point is very competitive – the combination of price and the paper’s performance makes this an option well worth consideration for your media lineup.

Parrot Digigraphic

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Parrot Digigraphic Inkjet Paper Testing, Part One

From time to time, I get samples of paper to try in my studio. John and Mark Lorusso of Parrot Digigraphics were kind enough to send me samples of a number of media types, all branded as in-house Parrot products. I’m going to report on my experiences with these papers.

I’ll write this up in two blog posts, one tonight, and another within 48 hours (things are really busy right now – we have print competition tonight, among other things.)

Moving along: in some cases, one finds that these papers cost less, but don’t deliver the quality. In the case of Parrot, that’s just dead wrong: the Parrot papers are very high quality, render images well in color and black and white, have a nice “hand”, and last but not least, in many instances cost less than the average for high quality goods in this category.

I’ve been working with these papers over the last week or so:

Parrot Ultra Lustre Photo, 10 mil
Ultrawhite Matte Canvas, 21 mil
Angelica Bright White Smooth, 315 gsm
Angelica Natural White Textured, 315 gsm

I may have left one name out, but I’ll get it straight soon enough.

I’ve been printing these papers using the HP Designjet Z3200. I like the Z because it has a built-in spectrophotometer, and with just a few mouse clicks, I can profile a paper, print an image, and voila! Great color!

So far, my favorites are the Angelica Bright White Smooth, and Natural White Textured. They seem to fill a gap in products offered by other companies. In particular, the Natural White Textured seems to step in between other papers – for example, Hahnemuhle Photo Rag – the paper has a pleasing base color and texture, but not so much texture that it overwhelms the image, or starts to look like a canvas print.

That’s all for today, more to follow. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here’s a link to the Parrot Digigraphic web site.

Jim Hull’s Watercolor Work Helps Illuminate Photography

One of my customers is a watercolor painter named Jim Hull. He recently asked me to photograph two of his paintings, which I’ve posted here. Fact is, I’ve photographed quite a bit of Jim’s work, and enjoyed it all.

Jim is one of those people who have an amazing range of interests – these go beyond painting to astronomy, space travel, the history of ancient cultures, and golf. He’s also reading modern studies regarding how the brain processes information and feelings, and how we think.

Jim recently decided to work with his media in new ways – in these paintings, his treatment of light inspires me as a photographer. To my eye, his paintings show dimensionality and depth not often seen in the work of other watercolorists. The technique is subtle but effective. (I find that the computer screen gives a reasonable view, but you still can't beat real-life impact).

Take a look at Jim Hull’s web site to see more of his work.

Jim Hull Watercolorist Golf Scene

Jim Hull © Golf Scene #1

Jim Hull Watercolor Painting Golf Scene #2

Jim Hull © Golf Scene #2

Boston, Galleries, and Partnerships

In Boston yesterday and today for discussions about partnerships in a number of areas. More exciting, starting to move forward toward representation from one or more galleries here in the Northeast, and the the Southern US for my work in scenics and images from the natural world. We’ll see how it goes!

Offshore Breeze, San Simeon Sunset

Offshore Breeze, San Simeon Sunset

Blog Link: Why Finish Your Prints?

Today there are many new sprays and liquids that can applied to protect the entire print surface, as well as gels that can be applied either to the whole print or selected areas of the print for artistic effects. Plus, independent testing groups such as Wilhelm Imaging Research have shown that products such as Premier Eco Print Shield can extend the display life of a print….

For the rest of the story please follow this

Tour 09: Fine Art Printing and Fine Art Reproduction Update

We’ve been having a great time. We held our Tech Expo (day 1)  and Workshop Session (day 2) at the Denver Studio Complex and Denver Pro Photo. This was the first of seven events planned, ranging through Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.

The Tech Expo featured wide format printers from Canon, Epson, and HP, color management tools from X-Rite, displays from Eizo, cameras from Mamiya/Leaf, papers and print finishing products from Premier, lighting from Westcott, Eizo, and more!


The Tech Expo was very well attended, and we had reps from a number of companies present.

Dennis Halley (digital2you) was the primary host. During the course of the day, we fielded questions regarding inkjet printing, color management, print finishing, art reproduction, media selection, medium format cameras, and displays from Eizo.


We also had quite a bit of original artwork on hand, and print reproductions of many of these examples.

On day 2, we held our workshop on Fine Art Printmaking and Fine Art Reproduction. The session was very well attended; we had approximately 20 students in attendance.

We not only covered the “how to” aspects of fine art printmaking, we also got into the details of the business model for fine art printmaking, using your wide-format printer to make prints for other photographers, art reproduction, color management, print finishing, and more.


We had a complete fine art printmaking setup, and of course a studio setup for fine art repro:

I encourage you to attend one of the next sessions. We will be in Glenwood Springs, Santa Fe, Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tucson, and Albuquerque.

To register for the workshop session, please go to the Digital2You web site here or CALL FOR DETAILS 303-934-2777

Focus 2009 Tour and Seminar Series, Fine Art and Photographic Reproduction

Instructor: David Saffir

In October 2009, we begin a new tour and seminar series: Fine Art Printing and Photographic Reproduction. This series provides an in-depth review of the subject from several viewpoints: first, for photographers wishing to make fine art prints, and second, for curators, galleries, and other organiztions in dealing with artists and their work in the context of creating open- and limited reproduction editions of their artwork. Third, for artists who wish to expand their marketing efforts and created editions of their work for exhibition and sale.

Beginning October 2, 2009, and continuing through October 20th, the Tour covers seven cities in three states (Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico).

Designed for photographers, artists, galleries, printmakers, students, and organizations this series provides a number of learning experiences:

  • A full-day workshop which covers the complete scope of work involved in producing reproduction of fine-art watercolor, oils, and acrylic artwork. We begin with art selection, proceed to planning workflow, image capture, processing, color management, output devices media selection, printing, edition management, certificates of authenticity, print finishing, and more.
  • A Tech Expo which provides an opportunity for hands-on experience with a number of printer manufacturers’ equipment, color management, displays, and more.
  • A bonus summary session which provides real-world, practical building blocks for running your own business and achieving profitability in the Business of Fine Art Reproduction and Fine Art Printmaking.

We will have the summary business session the evening before the main seminar event. The main event, held the next day, runs from 9 am to 5 pm. In Denver, for example, we will have the Tech Expo on October 2, summary business session on the evening of Oct 2, and the full day seminar session on Oct 3rd.

The schedule:

Denver, Colorado

Friday, October 2nd Tech Expo and Summary Business Session

Saturday, October 3rd Fine Art Printmaking and Art Reproduction Seminar

Location: Denver Pro Photo Studio Complex,

235 S. Cherokee St. – Denver, Colorado


Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Monday, October 5th Tech Expo and Summary Business Session

Tuesday, October 6th Fine Art Printmaking and Art Reproduction Seminar

Location: Glenwood Recreation Center,

100 Wulfsohn Road – Glenwood Springs, Colorado


Santa Fe, New Mexico

Thursday, October 8th. Tech Expo and Summary Business Session

Friday, October 9th. Fine Art Printmaking and Art Reproduction Seminar

LOCATION : Holiday Inn-Santa Fe,

4048 Cerrillos Road – Sante Fe, New Mexico


Flagstaff, Arizona

Monday, October 12th,Tech Expo and Summary Business Session

Tuesday, October 13th, Fine Art Printmaking and Art Reproduction Seminar

LOCATION : Flagstaff Ranch Golf Club Community Center

3605 So. Flagstaff Ranch Road – Flagstaff, Arizona


Phoenix, Arizona

Wednesday, October 14th, Tech Expo and Summary Business Session

Thursday, October 15th, Fine Art Printmaking and Art Reproduction Seminar

LOCATION : Hampton Inn & Suites ,

16620 North Scottsdale Road – Phoenix, Arizona


Tucson, Arizona

Friday, October 16th, Tech Expo and Summary Business Session

Saturday, October 17th, Fine Art Printmaking and Art Reproduction Seminar

LOCATION : Sheraton Four Points University,

1900 East Speedway – Tucson, Arizona


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Monday, October 19th, Tech Expo and Summary Business Session

Tuesday, October 20th, Fine Art Printmaking and Art Reproduction Seminar

LOCATION : Holiday Inn & Suites Airport,

1501 Sunport Place S.E. – Albuquerque, New Mexico


This schedule may be subject to change. PLEASE BOOKMARK or subscribe to this page to keep up to date.

For registration links, go to the here  or CALL FOR DETAILS 303-934-2777.