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Custom Exhibition Printmaking

  • About
  • File Set Up
  • Prints
  • Proofs
  • Turnaround
  • Mounting & Matting
  • Color Print Options
  • B&W Print Options
  • Panorama Stitching
  • Strategic Parternships for Professional Photographers
  • Technical Support
  • ORDER
  • FAQ

What is Custom Exhibition Printmaking?

For decades, photographers have chosen to work with professional printmakers to make prints that match their vision. The highest level of this collaboration is a custom print - one where the print is made to the photographer's specifications.

Why is there a need for custom prints?
It's very rare for your digital camera or film scanner to produce the best possible image. Using the basic tools of photography to optimize density, contrast and color, Custom Exhibition Printmaking can take a photograph from average, to expressive. These creative decisions provide the photographer with a set of tools, allowing them to make an image that expresses what they felt when they clicked the shutter.

Tap Into Our Professional Experience and Gain More Time For Your Photography
While some photographers make these edits themselves, many choose to work with a professional printmaker to do the work for them. Working with a professional printmaker provides instant access to the vast knowledge and experience of the printmaker. It also frees the photographer from what can be a long and laborious process, allowing more time for making new photographs and for all of the other commitments of life.

A Personal, Collaborative Relationship
While the tools and techniques we use to make our custom prints are important, what really matters most is building a relationship between printmaker and photographer. We use proofs and phone calls to learn your style, and to see through your eyes. This delivers the print you want, time after time. If you can tell us what you are looking for, we can achieve it.

A relationship with one of our expert printmakers gives you the equivalent of a whole team of digital experts who are available on-call for your needs, with the benefit of paying as-you-go, instead of adding another salary to your expenses.

Use Your Files For Many Projects
Our printmakers can make one print, or hundreds of prints for a retrospective. They can also make files for a magazine cover, fine art books, posters and calendars, or any other CMYK offset need. Once your photographs have been scanned and interpreted, there is no limit to what you can do with them.

How The Custom Exhibition Printmaking Process Works:
The process starts with your digital camera file, or we drum scan your original film. One of our expert printmakers makes creative decisions in Photoshop to achieve a print that meets your expectations by making global and local corrections to color, contrast, density, and saturation as part of the “set-up” process. When that's done, we can make proofs and talk...or make your final prints without the proofing step.

Once the set-up is complete, you can order Custom Exhibition Prints at any time. To make reprinting your photograph easy, we can keep all necessary files on our servers so reprints are just a click away. We also give you a copy of the layered files so you can archive them yourself.

We work with you every step of the way so the process ends with "oohs" and "ahhs".

Our customers continually tell us that we’ve made their prints look better then they thought possible. Take a look at these "before and after" examples that show how your photographs can benefit from our Printmakers' experience.

 

beforeBefore
(Camera RAW File with no correction)

afterAfter
(File after Custom Exhibition Printing)

raw scanBefore
(Raw scan from 4x5 film)
correctedAfter
(File after Custom Exhibition Printing)

beforeBefore
(Raw scan from 4x5 B&W film)

afterAfter
(File after Custom Exhibition Printing)

beforeBefore
(Raw scan from 4x5 film)

afterAfter
(File after Custom Exhibition Printing and converted to B&W)

 

 

Set up

The set up fee covers the initial set up of your file. You will work with one of our Master Printmakers, who will make adjustments to your file.

Once files are set up, they can be used for a variety of purposes, including exhibition-quality prints, books, and other publishing needs.

Digital Camera Files: $55

35mm: $55 (does not include scan)

Medium Format, Large Format, and larger: $70 (does not include scan)

Volume Discounts:

Quantity Discount
5-9 5% off
10-24 15% off
25+ CALL!


Files are made at the bit depth of your original (16-bit for RAW files).

Once your files have been finalized, we provide a copy of your files for your safekeeping. We also store a copy of your files onsite for ease of ordering, but we are not responsible for archiving your files. Digital camera files are supplied as a layered Master. Film files are supplied as a 8x10 Layered Guide file and a copy of the raw scan to which the layered changes are easily applied.

 

  • Matte & Gloss Photo Premium Luster
  • SuperGloss & Fuji Pearl
  • Fine Art Papers & Canvas

Custom Exhibition Print Pricing - Matte & Gloss Photo - Premium Luster

The pricing below is for prints made by our Expert Printmakers. It does not include the cost of scanning or the imaging work necessary to make a Custom Exhibition Print.

Square Foot Price $18/ft2 $12.50/ft2 $11.25/ft2
Paper Size
1st Print Prints 2-9 Prints 10+
8x10 $10 $6.94 $6.25
11x14 $19.25 $13.37 $12.03
16x20 $40 $27.78 $25
16x24 $48 $33.33 $30
20x24 $60 $41.67 $37.50
20x30 $75 $52.08 $46.88
24x30 $90 $62.50 $56.25
24x36 $108 $75 $67.50
30x40 $150 $104.17 $93.75
30x50 $187.50 $130.21 $117.19


Other sizes are available! If you don't see the size you need, use the square-foot pricing listed above to find the price of your print. Prints smaller than 8x10 will be billed at the 8x10 price

 

Custom Exhibition Print Pricing - SuperGloss and Fuji Pearl

The pricing below is for prints made by our Expert Printmakers. It does not include the cost of scanning or the imaging work necessary to make a Custom Exhibition Print.

Square Foot Price $22/ft2 $15/ft2 $11.25/ft2
Paper Size
1st Print Prints 2-9 Prints 10+
8x10 $12.22 $8.33 $6.25
11x14 $23.53 $16.04 $12.03
16x20 $48.89 $33.33 $25
16x24 $58.67 $40 $30
20x24 $73.33 $50 $37.50
20x30 $91.67 $62.50 $46.88
24x30 $110

$75

$56.25

24x36 $132

$90

$67.50

30x40 $183.33

$125

$93.75

30x50 $229.17

$156.25

$117.19


Mural Prints (30 to 50" wide by any length)
  1st Print Prints 2-9 Prints 10+
Square Foot Price $25/ft2 $18/ft2 $15/ft2


Other sizes are available! If you don't see the size you need, use the square-foot pricing listed above to find the price of your print. Prints smaller than 8x10 will be billed at the 8x10 price.

 

Reprint Pricing - Fine Art Papers & Canvas
Watercolor Smooth - Silver Rag - Canvas Matte - Canvas Glossy

The pricing below is for prints made by our Expert Printmakers. It does not include the cost of scanning or the imaging work necessary to make a Custom Print.

Square Foot Price $22/ft2 $18/ft2 $15/ft2
Paper Size
1st Print Prints 2-9 Prints 10+
8x10 $12.22 $10 $8.33
11x14 $23.53 $19.25 $16.04
16x20 $48.89 $40 $33.33
16x24 $58.67 $48 $40
20x24 $73.34 $60 $50
20x30 $91.67 $75 $62.50
24x30 $110 $90 $75
24x36 $132 $108 $90
30x40 $183.34 $150 $125
30x50 $229.17 $187.50 $156.25


Other sizes are available! If you don't see the size you need, use the square-foot pricing listed above to find the price of your print. Prints smaller than 8x10 will be billed at the 8x10 price.

 

 

 

Proofs

Monitors and output devices can vary widely. To know what your file really looks like, you need to proof your image on our carefully controlled output devices.

Our proofs serve as a standard reference for what your file should look like on a well profiled device. If you are trying to precisely match your artistic vision, proofs are a must, since they provide visual feedback and a common reference point between you and our Printmakers. Our proofs provide a fast and economical way to see what your files really look like on the paper of your choice.

What paper should you use for proofing?
For general proofing, we recommend Matte Photo proofs made on Fuji Crystal Archive paper. If your end goal is a fine art print, you should proof on the paper you intend to use for your final prints. If you want additional changes to your images after viewing proofs, you will also need to order a round of File Changes, and a new proof, if desired. Proofs do not include imaging time or file changes.

What about soft proofing?
On a high-end, color-accurate display that is properly profiled, soft-proofing (without using output profiles to “constrain” the colors of the display), can be very good, especially for standard offset reproduction and commercial photographic uses. However, displays can vary greatly, so a hard proof is still the best reference for how your file should reproduce. Even with current state-of-the-art technology, there are still small (and sometime large!) differences between the screen and the print. That is why the most discriminating photographers use hard proofs that allow them to see the full detail and nuance of the file.

Proofs are shipped via USPS Priority Mail for a flat fee of $6 per package. Other shipping methods are available upon request.

Proof Prices:
(Proof prices are the same as our 8x10 reprint prices)

$10
$12.22
Matte Photo
Gloss Photo
SuperGloss

Fuji Pearl
Luster Photo
Silver Rag
Watercolor Smooth
Canvas Glossy
Canvas Matte





Turnaround

We work on a first-come, first-served basis with all orders at West Coast Imaging. Exhibition Reprints and Print Lab prints are given first priority by our imaging staff, and we work to complete each order as quickly as possible, without sacrificing quality. When we have prints with surface damage and other defects, we reprint them until we have a perfect print to send you. This adds time to each order. If you need it yesterday, we have RUSH services that come along with RUSH charges. Most Custom Exhibition Print and Print Lab orders generally take 5 to 7 business days in-house to complete. Prints on any of our Epson printers will take ten business days in-house, prints on Supergloss or Fuji Pearl will take 10-14 business days in-house. All estimated turnaround times can be longer or shorter depending on our current workload. If you are working on a deadline, even if it’s far in the future, please be sure to let us know so we can work with you to meet your objectives. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and each order is different...so talk to us about your needs so we can meet your objectives!

Presentation

Presentation is everything when it comes time to display your work. We offer a variety of presentation services including mounting, laminating, and overmatting. Every job we do is custom, and is meant to fit your project's unique needs. Visit our presentation page to learn more.

Color Print Options

Making a beautiful color print is about paying attention to the subtle nuances of each photograph, and making sure those qualities are evoked in the final print. The first step is to make global adjustments to density, contrast, color balance and saturation. Once the global changes are made, the print can be fine tuned by applying the same tools to local areas. By working with our expert printmakers and communicating your desires, we can explore the possibilities inherent within each photograph, and make a stunning final print.

In addition to the traditional printing decisions made in Photoshop, digital printing allows us to print on a wide variety of papers. This can significantly change what your photograph communicates, giving you new options and possibilities to explore.

Light-Sensitive Photo Papers
Most of our clients choose to use traditional light-sensitive photo papers, which we expose in our Chromira using an LED light source, and then process in RA-4 chemistry. Because it is real photo paper, prints have the tactile look and feel of a traditional photograph--but with all the benefits of digital control.

We offer standard Matte and Gloss surfaces using Fuji Crystal Archive Paper. Another option is Fuji SuperGloss, which has incredibly deep and rich colors thanks to its SuperGloss surface. If you like the look of Ilfochrome/Cibachrome, you’ll love SuperGloss. We also offer Fuji Pearl paper, which gives prints a unique, metallic look.

Inkjet Photo Papers
Another option is to use our inkjet printers to print on papers that have surfaces similar to light-sensitive photo papers. When viewed up-close, inkjet prints will look sharper than light sensitive papers, and many papers have extremely long life spans. Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper is the most popular choice, and it looks and feels very similar to Fuji Crystal Archive Matte.

Inkjet Fine-Art Papers
Fine-art papers give color photographers exciting new options. Fine-art papers offer the same look and feel as the paper used for watercolor paintings. You can choose from papers ranging from a light texture, to a heavy texture. Prints on fine-art papers typically have a softer and quieter feel that works well for many photographs. Blacks are generally muted slightly, but rich, saturated colors are still possible. Much of the muted effect comes from the non-reflective qualities of the paper itself. Fine-art papers look wonderful when displayed in homes with no direct lighting on the artwork. Our most popular fine-art paper combination is Watercolor Smooth.

Inkjet Canvas
With inkjet printing, we can also print on specially coated canvases. Since the texture of the canvas shows through, it gives the viewer a sense of a painting, and opens up new avenues of expression for photographers.

A complete list of the papers we offer can be found in the paper choices tab.

B&W Print Options

It’s hard to deny the beauty of a well made B&W print. By removing color, and instead using only black, white, and shades of grey, B&W allows ordinary subjects to be transformed into a print that reveals more than the thing itself. A pepper becomes more than a pepper--a nautilus shell more than an empty shell.

Making a beautiful B&W print is about choosing a proper overall density (exposure) and contrast for a particular photograph, then combining that with local changes (dodging and burning) to both density and contrast, bringing out the purest essence of the subject.

The tools of digital imaging are capable of immense control into the process. When working with a custom printmaker, digital imaging allows great repeatability and ease of proofing. Most adjustments can be made more quickly than in the darkroom, which helps control costs and provides more opportunities to explore the potential of each photograph.

A digital B&W print can have many starting points: Color digital camera files, color slide films, color negative film, B&W negative films, and more. Color photographs are converted to greyscale in the computer with very precise control.

The look and feel of a B&W print has always come from the process that makes the prints. In the analog darkroom, these processes are based on light-sensitive papers that use different metals to achieve their particular look. Most darkroom B&W prints are made with paper that uses silver, but platinum and palladium are also very popular alternative processes.

We have several options for black and white printing:

Light-Sensitive Photo Papers
It is possible to use our Chromira to print onto light-sensitive photo papers and make B&W prints, but we prefer the results of inkjet printing for B&W over light-sensitive papers. However, unique results can be obtained with Fuji SuperGloss and Kodak Metallic paper.

Inkjet Photo Papers
Inkjet photo papers are the best choice when you want to replicate the surface of silver based darkroom papers. Silver Rag is a very popular choice for clients who like the look of gloss-surface fiber based papers used in the darkroom.

Inkjet Fine-Art Papers
A fine-art paper is generally one that looks and feels like the paper used for watercolor paintings, and for many alternative darkroom processes like platinum and palladium printing. You can choose from papers ranging from a light texture, to a heavy texture. Prints on fine-art papers typically have a softer and quieter feel that works well for many photographs and allows a feel similar to platinum and palladium. Blacks are generally muted slightly, but mid and high values are very crisp and defined. Much of the muted effect comes from the non-reflective qualities of the paper itself. Fine-art papers look wonderful when displayed in homes with no direct lighting on the artwork. Our most popular fine art paper combination is Watercolor Smooth.

Inkjet Canvas
With inkjet printing, we can also print on specially coated canvases. Since the texture of the canvas shows through, it gives the viewer a sense of a painting, and opens up new avenues of expression for photographers.

A complete list of the papers we offer can be found in the paper choices tab.

 

Panorama Stitching

With a digital camera and Photoshop, it’s easy to stitch a series of photographs into a high-resolution panorama that exceeds the resolution and detail of dedicated 6x12 and 6x17 cameras. This puts the possibilities and fun of the panorama format into the hands of everyone.

Let our expert printmakers stitch your photos into a high-quality panorama. We can provide you with the stitched file to work on yourself, or use it as the starting point for a Custom File.

Panoramas can be made from film (requires scanning) and digital camera files, including RAW files.

Digital Camera Files
Up to 15 files stitched together

8-Bit
16-Bit
Price
50MB
100MB
$40
100MB
200MB
$50
150MB
300MB
$60
250MB
500MB
$75

Panoramas are created at the bit-depth of the original file. When working from RAW files, we will always create a 16-bit file.

Film
Add the price of a scan to the file stitching price listed above.

Pano Example

 

Strategic Partnerships for Professional Photographers

If you have a large image collection, and ongoing digital imaging needs, we can be your Strategic Partner, providing on-call imaging experts, and delivering files to clients around the world.

Why create a full-time, in-house staff, when our experts are just a phone call away?

Technical Support

When we ship a copy of your files after set-up to you on DVD, we assume that you know how to use them. They are provided as-is. The files are optimized for viewing on properly calibrated monitors, and should be printed on profiled output devices.

If you are working from film, we supply a layered 8x10 Guide File and a raw scan. The layers from the Guide File can be transfered to the raw scan quickly and easily to create a full size “Master File.”

We're happy to answer basic questions about your files, but if you don’t know the difference between a TIFF, JPEG, or PSD; how to flatten and target a file; or how to send a file to your client, you’ll need our Technical Support services.

We offer training and support services via phone, webconference, and on-site for $120 per hour. We have extensive expertise in many areas of digital imaging, and provide training and consultation on most aspects of digital imaging and file preparation.

Are you looking at your layered file and are curious about why we used a certain tool, or how we did something? Do you want to learn how to work on your own files? Custom files are meant to deliver useable files, not a Photoshop workshop. If you are looking for the workshop, it falls under training and support.

If you prefer to have us do all of the work for you, preparing your files for whatever needs you have, we can do the work for you (whether it's ordering reprints, or digital submissions) on an a la carte basis.

Custom Exhibition Printmaking - Order Form

You can order Custom Exhibition Printmaking using our order form. Simply fill it out, and send it in with your film or digital files.

Online: Custom Exhibition Printmaking Order Form
Upload your images, then place your order online.

Sending us film or DVDs?
Print out the online order form, fill it out, and mail it to us with your film or DVD.

 

FAQ

Can I print a Custom File on my home printer, or with another lab?
Yes. Our files can be used for any need that requires a digital file.

This brings up another important question: Will it look the same as our proofs?

The Answer: Maybe.

We maintain a very carefully controlled ICC workflow, and all of our devices are carefully profiled to provide very accurate color. Therefore, our files will look great on any well profiled device. Since not all devices are well profiled, and every lab or printer profiles their devices differently (and we have no control over that), it’s always up to you to test and make sure that the device you are printing on reproduces your files with the accuracy you need. In practice, it works very well, but professionals don’t assume anything.

We’ve sent our files to presses in Hong Kong that matched the prints perfectly because they ran a tight workflow...and we’ve sent them to other places with horrible results. It had nothing to do with the files -- it had everything to do with the lab or press printing them. If you made your own files, you would run into the exact same problems.

To ensure results that are the closest match to the interpretation of the Custom Printmaker that created your file, take the following precautions:

1. View the files on a calibrated monitor.

2. Work only with printers that are fully color managed, and that have profiles for every paper and printer combination they use.

3. When posting your images to the web, make a copy of your file and convert it to sRGB. While sRGB is not the best profile for printed work printing, it is the standard profile for web display.

What is a "layered Photoshop file"?
To make non-destructive changes to files that can be easily and quickly edited, we use Photoshop’s Adjustment Layers to make all adjustments. We save the file in a format that preserves these layers, and this is the file we give you when you order a Custom File.

What is the purpose of a proof?
A WCI proof is the common reference point we use to judge what your file really looks like. Looking at a proof can also tell you if you need to make additional adjustments to the file to make it meet your expectations. If you are making fine art prints, proofs are essential since the printed proof is always a more accurate reflection of your final print.

I don't like computers. I don't want to deal with my files, I just want to have great looking images. What do I do?
West Coast Imaging is still your one-stop-shopping solution for your photography. While it is now your responsibility to keep useable copies of your Custom Files, you can sign up for WCI server storage for as little as $10 a year. We'll keep a copy of your files here, which lets us make prints and fulfill file requests on-demand.

What if I want to order reprints after my first print?
No problem. We can make as many prints as you need at any time. Just let us know the image, the size and the paper and we'll take care of the rest. You can fill out our secure online order form in a snap!

What if I don't like my file and want to make a change?
No problem! Our custom services are just that: Custom! Talk to a Custom Printmaker and we'll make the changes you want.

 

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