Do you have a Fuji (Frontier) DX100 Printer

We are currently researching the market for supplies, being a supplier of paper (Olmec/Innova) and Ink (G&G-Ninestar) to the wide format and professional user.

We are currently testing some Olmec paper and if successful we will look at doing an archival Innova Fibaprint paper (gloss and semi-matte).

If you would like to try a short roll DX100 paper DX100 please let me know.

Photokina 2010

I’m back from Cologne – What I thought of Photokina 2010

OPUSalbums visit to PhotokinaAs you will be aware Photokina is the biggest photographic show in Europe – held every two years in Cologne.  Like many German shows it was big – ten halls – and finding ones way round was a nightmare.  Direction and location signs were poor.  I was there for three days last week.  I guess I have been going there regularly for ten years.


What was at Photokina?

Things have changed.  The message ten years ago was “Everything is going digital”.  Now one would wonder whether film had ever existed.  As one pointed out there are many young photographers who have never used film.  One big exhibit outside of a main hall was for Lumography – Analogue for the post digital age.  But I never figured what this was all about.

The players have changed.  The first Photokina I went to Kodak had a complete hall:  now they had a modest stand one third the size of Samsung’s next door.  Canon and Panasonic shared a hall; Sony, Nikon, Olympus, Fuji, HP, Epson all had a big presence.  Apple was a notable absentee.

Nobody was saying ‘you must see this!’  Of course I am not turned on by the latest and best DSLR or even compact.  What is clear is that the smaller things are getting better – larger lenses with a good zoom range.  Who needs ever to change a lens (We don’t – the wide angle and telephoto zooms lie unused!).  On cameras the talk was mirror-less – which will compact things more.

Two halls – 4.1 and 6 were for my area – photo editing and other software, paper, binding, photo books, frames, minilabs, mounts down to ceramics.  In 3 days I didn’t  see everything!

I always like the Fuji stand:  I don’t use one of their products but they show what the in trends are in a vivid way.  The clear messages were 3D and Photobooks.


3D was Everywhere – 3D Photography, 3D Displays and 3D Printing

The sceptics would say “3D has been around since we were kids and earlier – all the time you need glasses it will never catch on.  Remember the old 3D green/red glasses – and Viewmaster.”   Time will show; you still really need glasses.  3D monitors were very much on show.  Fuji were pushing a 3D compact camera, Sony a 3D video camera.

What about 3D printing  There were some good ideas at the do it yourself level here.  Watch this space.


Photo Books – A Booming Business

I think the message has sunk in.  Unless a picture is printed and accessible in an easy way it is lost.  That is why, whilst the number of 6×4 type prints is decreasing, the photo book business is exploding!  Of course, I admit any are produced at service centres and minilabs.  But there is scope for you to do your own. started this way and will continue to offer covers, paper software and binding systems for casual users, professional and even production users.

Our partners were there too.  PXLSoft was pushing its Enterprise software suite (Dg Foto Art Organizer, Krafter, Express) heavily – ideal for anybody wanting to offer a photobook service.  We are now equipped to handle this product as well as Dg Foto Art Essentia and Gold.  Unibind was sowing new higher end binding systems with crimping devices.  For the consumer end there was the ‘talking photobook’ (not yet on the market along with themed versions of the 6×4 My book (Pics Book Jr).  We also found some more cover sets for the Pics Book Jr range.


An endorsement from a World Leading Market Research Organisation!

Incidentally this featured in a presentation given by the leading market research company GfK.  The left hand page shows an exponential growth in the production of photobooks.  Look carefully at the graphic.  It’s been lifted directly from our website (You can even see OPUS).  I’m not sure whether you call that a breech of copyright from one of the world’s most prestigious market research companies.  At least it is an endorsement – thank you GfK


Saying ‘Thank-you’ – a way that reflects YOU

As a good photographer, why not send a photo – or a selection or album of photos is a very good way of saying, ‘thank you’.

Here are a few tips on composing delightful pictures of an event


Incartek Logo For a full range of quality paper and ink supplies at excellent prices for professional and serious amateur photographers and the users of wide format printers. 


Follow the rule of thirdsCentered photos are boring. Divide the frame into thirds both vertically and horizontally, and place the center of interest (usually your subject’s eyes) on one of those ‘third lines.’ Indeed most modern cameras will optionally show hairlines in the viewfinder/monitor.

Frame your pictures.

If you’re taking pictures of a distant lake, mountain or building, look for an interesting frame.. Your frampicture5e can be tree branches, rocks, or some other interesting foreground object.

Use Long Zoom when taking Portraits

When shooting portraits, use the longest zoom setting your camera will allow (without using the “digital zoom”). In addition you should use the widest aperture (or the lowest f-stop number). This will put the background in a nice soft focus, drawing your viewer’s eyes right to your smiling subject.

 Avoid Distractions

Look for distractions in the picture. Unfortuntely, your brain naturally filters out litter bins and telegraph poles – but the camera doesn’t. Look out for objects which will draw your viewer’s attention away from your desired center of interest.

Simple things which we all forget.




Why let your Cherished Memories Rot?

By Daniel Roberts,

Our lives are full of memories.  In photography we have found a technique for recording them so that we can go back over them ten, twenty, forty years later. In retirement, when one may have more time to reminisce and less strength to go on adventure, what better pastime can there be than going back over our photos and thinking,  “That was when …” – “I’d forgotten about him – I wonder what’s he doing now..”, or “Wasn’t she an amazing lady”.


Incartek Logo For a full range of quality paper and ink supplies at excellent prices for professional and serious amateur photographers and the users of wide format printers. 


That presupposes one thing. – That those photos are readily available and capable of being read.

Old Picture chaosGo back 40years. Chances are that you have some regular photo albums, a few shoe boxes full of photos, canisters of transparencies (for that projector which you cannot get a lamp for) and a few hundred little plastic boxes full of the transparencies that they came back from Kodak in. More? what about those unreadable super-8 films and a pile of VHS video tapes (still OK but for how long?). May I suggest that there is only one of the above media that you are going to look at regularly – the photo album. Why? – because it is visible and accessible.  The shoeboxes of prints probably come next – a poor second.

Is history repeating itself?  The number of photos taken has risen exponentially. Indeed we spend some of our most cherished moments viewing that unforgettable moment through a viewfinder or LCD.  Then what?  View the thumbnails – select the good ones, edit them – and what next?

  • Leave them on the computer.  Sort of visible for a time – but awaiting a hard disk failure.
  • Transfer them to CD/DVD – invisible (therefore as inaccessible as the old trannies) – and who knows when your computer will no longer be able to read a CD. (In my loft I have a box full of 5¼” floppy disks full of valuable information).
  • Put them on your iPad – fine till you get that message ‘storage full’.
  • Two album weddingUpload them to Flikr or another on-line service.  These services come and go with monotonous regularity. Do you really think they will be round in 40 years time? Those memories – not only inaccessible – but LOST!*

So – what’s the answer?  Back to the old photo album. And using your computer it’s so much easier.

  • Take your photos, select the best and assemble into a story.
  • Edit the photos if necessary – and lay them out into pages – and add text.
  • Print them at home on your own inkjet printer (quicker and more flexible than an outside photo book service).

You have a neat, accessible permanent book, which you can label and file to look at whenever you like. Quick – easy and effective.

URL: Why lose your Most Valued Memories?/a>

* Even Microsoft told us that they could not guarantee that .jpg files and CD’s could be read in 2020 – 12 year’s time!





Incartek Logo For a full range of quality paper and ink supplies at excellent prices for professional and serious amateur photographers and the users of wide format printers. 

Christmas Cards – Seven Tips from INCARTEK

NOW is the time to Produce your Special Christmas Cards

If you haven’t produced your own Christmas cards yet, now is the time to do it.


To produce a poor card is easy. Write your Christmas message in Word. Cut and paste a picture, add some word art text for ‘Happy Christmas’ and print your cards on your inkjet or colour laser printer on 160gsm plain paper from Staples or whoever.  The quality of the output – especially the photo – will be acceptable; it will be clear that it is your own production, and the recipient will know that you spent some time thinking of them. And it will be cheap and look cheap. So is it giving a good impression of you – the serious photographer?


Incartek Logo For a full range of quality paper and ink supplies at excellent prices for professional and serious amateur photographers and the users of wide format printers. 


Do it better using Innova Greeting Cards

1.  Think about the Recipients

Usually our lives revolve round groups with shared interests – family, church, clubs, local interests, business contacts – and then the rest – friends, tradespeople, neighbours etc. Decide – are we going to have several versions – no problem if you produce your own.

2.  Choose the Right Photo

Your card reflects you. For many recipients – but not all – your family is a good starting point – perhaps a winter highlight (last year!) or a family event.   The only contact many old friends, even some relatives, have with you is the annual Christmas card.   The recipient will see that 6-year-old child they remember now graduating from university or getting married. However, with old colleagues or business associates the relationship is more individual. They are not interested in your grandchildren, but you doing a parachute jump – that would be something!

3. Get the Messages Right

Have several versions. Be interesting and not too long. Don’t bore people with too much family stuff. Anecdotes and even controversial views, preselected without offence, will show your values – and ‘you’. As most will know I am an evangelical Christian and am not hesitant to talk about Jesus – sensitively.

4. Choose the most appropriate Design

The design is personal. A scrapbook-like approach festooned with balloons would never reflect me, but it might be suitable for a 20 year old young lady. For me it is the photo with enhanced HDR. I use Perfect Photo/Perfect Effects as well as Photoshop.

5.  Print it efficiently

One would think that with a vested interest in print-your-own supplies I would never advocate having a lab-printed card. But if you have to produce 500 identical cards, it could be the most practical – and probably least expensive option. But it is clearly a factory product – on factory paper. Special people need something special.

And how many of us need 500 identical cards? Most of us have more than one printer now – a compact colour laser, and a high quality inkjet. We can vary the type of card according to the audience.

6.  Use the right Consumables

For laser it is easy – a heavy weight paper 160gsm, A4 (fold to A5) and standard C5 envelopes. Why pay for more?

For high quality inkjet you need something special. That is why Innova have produced a very nice high quality archival photo matte cards on 220gsm paper to produce something special. Expensive? No! A card-and-envelope set costs from under 31p (plus VAT), less with a larger ink/paper order. Allow another 5p for ink (from Incartek of course), and we have a high quality art card for just over 36p. Compare that with a purchased card for £2 or more.

Click here for 100 Innova Greeting Cards with envelopes, from INCARTEK:


7 Be Personal

There must be something personal with the card. Otherwise, to be frank, you might as well send an e-card. Are you a friend I remember – or somebody on the list we send to because they send to us. People are real. A little handwritten note on the card. “How’s Jim getting on at school?”, “How did the operation go?”. Maybe that will re-engage them – by letter, e-mail or even Facebook.

God bless – and I hope you have a good run up to Christmas in business or at home.

Making Great Weddings Albums – Ten Tips

Innova Paper
For the Best Paper for your Wedding Pictures, try Innova Fibaprint


Transform wedding photos into wonderful preserved memories.

There’s nothing like a wedding for creating photo opportunities.  Here is advice for the bride and groom, the parents, guests (especially camera-buffs), and even somebody who wants a novel wedding gift idea.  If you’re the official photographer click here.

They flow naturally.  Some are predictable and formal, some are informal – a chance to capture a fleeting moment that the bride, groom and all present will cherish for years to come.  Then there are the whacky – even bizarre things – seen by everyone – or maybe just seen by one guest from his or her viewport.  They all add up to a wonderful day – to be remembered – to be preserved and to be looked back on pictorially, by the couple family and even as-yet-unborn children.  What’s more wonderful pictures – which need to be made up into delightful books – can be captured by anybody – amateur, hobbyist or even a totally raw point-and-shoot photo taker.

A word of warning: You cannot rely on your hard disk, CD’s or on-line service to be accessible in 5, let alone 15, 25 or 50.  We asked Microsoft for a guarantee that Winows in 2020 would support JPG and CD files.  They said that with technological advances they could not guarantee it*.  So – produce not one – but a collection of albums on archival paper easily and inexpensively either in the family or by a professional.   


Incartek Logo For a full range of quality paper and ink supplies at excellent prices for professional and serious amateur photographers and the users of wide format printers. 


If it’s your wedding – God bless you – may your life together be long, prosperous, healthy and happy.  If OPUS can help you, we will!

*See our blog

 Ten wedding photo album tips



Have one or two back-up photographers.  Some of the relatives or guests are keen amateur photographers –  keen to record the event but know that the event does not depend on depend on them.  These photographers will be more informal and relaxed, will be more personally acquainted with the bride groom and at least part of the family and friends – and they are not charging for their services!  That’s why two are good – one who knows the brides family and friends, one the grooms.  Make sure they meet and can work together – but tell them not to interfere with the official photographer.  Also let the official photographer know – so that he (or he and his assistant) do not play the ‘mess-up-everybody-else’ game.


Encourage as many wedding guests as possible to participate in picture taking.  Everybody sees a different view.  And with good high-pixel compact cameras, the results can often be good too – even taken by an occasional user.

Also encourage all ‘serious’ photo-takers to make up albums.  Run a competition!  (of course OPUS Albums is biased on this one!).  See our gift suggestion


Remember photographing weddings is 90% people, and 10% camera technique. But don’t try it without the 5%.  The album is the same.

Please the bride, groom relatives and guests – don’t push yourself as a photographer – don’t get in the way.  Bring out the people – good photography yes – but keep it natural.  Let the ‘official photographer’ do the special shots (unless you think of something that person has missed, and it does not detract to do it).It’s a matter of wedding etiquette.

Therefore plan on bringing out the best of the day.  Ensure that you get yourself enough material to make up 2 or 3 pages of an album for each part of the day (8 to  18 usable pictures of each event  With digital photography you can’t take too many pictures!).

For example

  • Bride’s home before leaving
  • Leaving with father
  • The Church (or whatever)
  • Outside the church
  • The reception
  • Later parts of the day – and going-away
  • The lighter side (but don’t embarrass people – amuse but don’t offend – we don’t want to hear about Uncle Harry getting drunk for the next 20 years!)



Plan to produce a range of albums:

  • –                     for the bride and groom
  • –                     for the parents
  • –                     for close relatives and friends
  • –                     for yourself

As pages can be duplicated from one album to another (I suggest you standardise on one software package of course) the exercise need not be tedious.

Maybe these albums could be a wedding present – a present that has given pleasure not just to the couple, but to all there.


Choose the right albums
If you are producing an album for your own coffee table – or that of the close relatives then the OPUS PhotoArt range is unquestionably the best.  It uses the award winning Innova digital art archival acid-free fourdrinier paper.  With pigmented inks and kept in normal atmospheric conditions in  a cupboard, it should last indefinitely with minimal colour degradation. You have a choice of sizes and paper textures.

For size you can have A4 (the most popular), A3, 12x12in (30x30cm) and 8x8in (20x20cm).

For texture there is a choice of:

  • Soft texture natural white – for a soft ‘arty’ feel
  • Smooth cotton high white – for brilliance and clarity

There is no ‘best’ – it is a question of taste.  I prefer the textured paper; my wife prefers the high white.  They cost the same.
If you want to produce a number of albums – e.g. for all the guests – then the less expensive, but quite serviceable Print&Bind using high quality photo-glossy paper is recommended – or you can choose your own paper and have a permanent looking book with the Pics Book Jr. – based on the Unibind MyBook.  All you need is a heavy duty stapler.

If you want the top quality leather bound albums then an external service is our recommendation.  (If you use dg Foto Art many suppliers accept this format – we are forging relations with them)  There is one print-your-own album available with leather covers and protection sheets between each page.  This is the Hahemuehle Leather Luxury Photo Album – available in A4, A3 and 12×12″(30x30cm).  The paper is the 276gsm Photo Rag Duo – similar to Innova’s smooth cotton high white, but a bit heavier.

Finally if you need to print Photobooks regualrly especially if they lend themselves to permanent binding then you should invest in a thermal binding machine.  Unibind with its steel strip spine, and its unparallelled range of covers is clearly the winner and we are proud to be one of thier distribution parnters.  We call the range – binding machines, covers, paper and software, the Pics Book range.  Read more about it .

Some might say “Do I need an album at all?”  Well you can print on ordinary photo-glossy paper and put in a binder.  You can have ordinary

6×4”(15x10cm) prints and put them in a album with pockets.  We believe our solutions are the most satisfying.


  Select the most appropriate software 

There are several good software tools to help you lay out your albums.  We shall be producing an updated guide in the near future.

At the top end are the professional album design packages, now priced at a level that is suitable even for one specific wedding.  Examples

  • Dg Foto Art
  • Lumapix
  • Yervant

A professional I know  said “What took me a day to produce with Photoshop takes an hour with dg Foto Art” .

Finally if you want to produce a scrapbook – with that type of appearance then Art Explosion Scrapbook Factory is our recommendation.  Personally I don’t think it is right for a wedding – but if you want total informality, then it is worth considering.

There are numerous tools to help structured printing – many of these free of charge.  Just Google and try.


Map out each album to get the balance.  Keep a theme running.  Allocate the pages remembering that you have a double page view on Photo Art albums.

With single sided paper such as with Print & Bind you can create a double page spread if you so desire by reversing every other sheet.  Also if you want to add a lot of text the reverse side is quite suitable for this.

Allocate 2-3 pages per subject (see tip 3).


Select material for the point of pleasure.  You will gain no friends by embarrassing people.  You will by bringing out the amusing parts.

Focus on the principal people – no brownie points for you if an album (other than for yourself) is full of pictures of your children.

Add in non-photo material – scan in a copy of the marriage certificate, menu, order of service, newspaper announcement.  And have a verbal story ready – or at least some anecdotes.

Add in text items – anecdotes.  Aim to have some text on each page.  Not just a bland title.  The album is a photo-story.



Make up a suitable background theme usingFotoSlate 4 (or whatever software you chose) – a light gaussian-blurred picture of the couple – or something more abstract.

With dg Foto Art you will be spoiled for choice with templates.

What albums to use


Let the official photographer do the expensive professionally produced, fixed, leather-bound books.

And you make up a reasonable price presentation album.

We will give you some ideas later