Swimming with the Razorfishes

Friday, June 09, 2006


Santa Croce
click for high-res

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Innova FibaPrint Gloss

I've been printing with a new paper; I thought I might chat about it for a bit.

The Paper

Innova's FibaPrint Gloss recently hit the market. So recent, in fact, that you might have trouble finding it. I was lucky enough to find 2 boxes in Adorama's warehouse and I've been doing some test prints with it. There are several versions of the FibaPrint papers; this "F-type" paper is labeled "FibaPrint Gloss 300gsm."

Innova describes the paper as "modelled on the traditional fibre-based gloss" papers and as having an "ultra-smooth glossy surface and brilliant white colour." Handling the paper, this appears to be largely true. The surface is glossy, but not like a typical inkjet paper gloss or luster surface, which usually appears more like a plastic-y resin-coated paper gloss. FibaPrint Gloss has a coated, slightly textured surface with a subtle sheen or gloss. In truth, it appears somewhere between fiber-based black and white paper and a high-quality varnished (printed) paper. The paper base is a bright white.

Because the paper has a cellulose base, and because it is a "third party" paper, there is no way to judge the longevity or colorfastness of prints made on FibaPrint gloss with Epson Ultrachrome inks. I'd be quite happy if Willhelm Research tests this paper.

The Print

Innova provides a very limited set of profiles for FibaPrint (boo!), none of which are close to my setup, and I'm too cheap to pay for a custom profile. Epson's Premium Glossy Photo RPM profile (included with most Epson ink jets), however, seems quite close to a working profile for FibaPrint Gloss. Using this profile, color reproduces mostly correctly, if somewhat light in the shadows.

FibaPrint Gloss takes ink well; I haven't managed to block up the shadows with any of the photos I have printed on this paper, nor have I printed the deepest possible black on this paper. Though the paper has a bright white finish, it doesn't have the ultra-white, almost arctic blue appearance of some brightened stock. Because of this, highlights in the printed image have a somewhat more natural feel.

FibaPrint seems to take both color and monochrome images very well. Blacks are rich and deep, resolution is good, and the paper doesn't seem to impart any color casts. I like black and white images on this paper, but I really like color photos.

Because this paper is so often described as like a "traditional fibre-based" stock, I did some test prints and viewed the FibaPrint images next to some prints made on Ilford and Berger papers printed in a wet darkroom.

The most obvious difference between the two sets of prints is that the ink jet prints lie flat; way too flat to have ever spent time in a darkroom print washer. While this is technically a good thing, it is a clear indication that the FibaPrint photos are something different. Looking more closely, the prints on Innova paper are close. Very close.

Tonality and highlight detail are very good in both sets off prints. The richness of blacks are comparable between the gelatin silver and ink jet prints. Only two things really set the silver and ink-based prints apart: the small differences in surface finish between the two types of paper, and the missing sense of "depth" in the ink jet prints. A good silver print has a depth or a 3D feel to the image that I don't see in most ink jet prints. Hard to describe, but it is about the only thing distinguishing the silver and ink jet images. Color prints are even nicer on FibaPrint Gloss. Beautiful deep blacks, saturated colors, great, wide gamut. I'm really impressed with how well this paper does color.


FibaPrint Gloss is most often compared to a few other papers: Hahnemuehle Fine Art Pearl, Crane Museo Silver Rag, and Premier Art Platinum Rag. Crane's Silver Rag seems closest in finish and quality; I have 100 sheets of it on order. I'm excited to compare the two.

Photographer Arnold Newman died Tuesday at 88. Newman was a talented portrait photographer who shot some of the most important politicians, artists, and scientists of the 20th century. Take a look at this gallery at PDN. His "artists" portfolio is particularly wonderful, with shots of W. Eugene Smith and Paul Strand that make my hair stand on end.


IraqBBC: Zarqawi killed in Iraq air raid

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


click for high-res

Monday, June 05, 2006


Oooh. Slashdot changed their CSS. Also, these guys are unwell.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


I've been to a fair number of protests, demonstrations, and parades.

Salute to Israel
click for high-res

But I can't remember one with quite the amount of vitriol as today's Salute to Israel parade. A parade. Yelling and screaming, calling people nazis and terrorists.

Salute to Israel
click for high-res

When the Jews for Jesus showed up, I thought a riot would break out. No joke.

This guy in the orange started pointing and screaming "get the fuck out of here!" Insanity. Yes -- he is flipping the bird at a bunch of children marching in the parade.