Category Archives: Tips and Ideas

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.

Christmas-card-2011
Christmas Card

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?

Do it better using Innova Greeting Cards

First 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.

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!

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.

What 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.

How produced?

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.

So what 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:

72dpi_fine-art-product_Art-Cards
Innova Greeting Cards

But Remember ..

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.

Printing Fine Art for Pleasure or Profit

Fine art printing is a good source of income – and pleasure.

Innova_photo_Art_Paper_5Professional photographers need more income,  amateurs can make a little too!

There are professional photographic printers and printing bureaux using wide format inkjet printers.  Some are Incartek’s customers as we supply some of the finest digital art papers available (from Innova Art).

However you may feel you cannot justify the investment in wide format printing.  But there is a lot you can do yourself.  This is especially true if you wish to give fast turnaround service and your customers want pictures of size up to A3 (or A3 Plus).

  1. Get yourself a good printer.  The Epson R2400 has been around for years,  But it is still listed by Epson, selling for $1299 – much more than it was in the UK.  This must be a  testimonial to its popularity.  You can buy one for £100 or less on eBay.
  1. Use first class ink. Of course we recommend Ninestar G&G.  Check out the website http://www.incartek.com/incartek-your-ink-toner/cartridges-for-wide-format-epson-printers.html
  1. Use the right paper– and paper is probably the most important element in the whole question.  – The Photo Art and Fine Art ranges from Innova are best.
  1. Use the ICC profiles appropriate to your printer, ink and paper.  Profiles for paper sold by OPUSalbums are available – see http://www.innovaart.com/icc-profiles-1/

 

 

 

Printing on Canvas

Given thInnova_Canavas_Papaer_1e progress in inkjet and media technology, demand for printing photographs and art on canvas is growing exponentially. Whether you have a good inkjet printer or you prefer to have your work done by a professional outfit, it is worth to explore this option for any type of image.

Artists regularly order limited edition prints on canvas and watercolour papers to sell to collectors. These reproductions usually are signed and are accompanied by a COA (Certificate of authenticity). Buyers are very receptive to purchasing canvas prints they can hang up without a protective glass, without worrying about scratches and water damage.

The texture of a fine art canvas is unparalleled in beauty; a protective coating is applied on top to give the substrate a matte, lustre or glossy look. If you prefer to experiment with this material to see the results, canvas sheets are available at many stores that carry inkjet products.

Polycotton canvas is available in ultra gloss and matte finishes for photographic art reproduction and in fine art matte optimised for inkjet art reproduction. In addition there is canvas effect paper – really paper but with the texture of canvas. This is easier to feed in sheet form, particularly for smaller sheets such as A3 and A4.

The differences between a home desktop printer and a professional one are many but I will focus on the most important. First, commercial machines can be outfitted with pigmented inks; these inks differ from dye inks commonly found in the cheap home printers because they are archival and will not fade for decades. Dyes on the other hand will start losing brilliance in a matter of months. There are some home use printers now that offer a form of hybrid dye/pigment system. The second difference is the nozzle quality; pro level systems have extremely sophisticated nozzles that can render a very fine dot and exceptional tonal rendition.

The process of printing on fine art materials such as canvas and watercolor papers is referred to as “giclée”. Giclée is a french term that loosely translated means “sprayed on”. It refers to the nozzles which spray ink onto the paper. Giclée printing involves some of the characteristics described above and it is usually performed by professional shops, but it is possible to do this in your own place with little more than a high end inkjet printer. It mostly depends on the print format.

With the latest papers and a good inkjet printer you are able to do this at home – or in a studio. An A2/3 printer such as the Epson 2400 or 3800 is fine. The two most well-known suppliers of paper are Innova (with whom we have a close relationship) and Hahnemühle, though there are more restricted ranges from other manufacturers and the printer manufacturers.

© Daniel Roberts – this may be reproduced in whole or part – so long as the source is acknowledged and a link to Incartek is provided. http://www.incartek.com

72dpi_fine-art-roll-and-sheet-product_IFA35-300x300Innova Products

The Innova digital canvas range provides a selection of exciting and unique products which will transform the output of your images onto canvas and cut down on finishing time. The smooth woven surface of this polycotton canvas has been coated with a microporous gloss coating which is similar to the gloss coating we use on the Innova FibaPrint range of papers. Therefore Innova achieves an extremely high good gloss and matte coatings which enhance colour gamut, and d-max in the dark areas of a print, whilst the smooth weave keeps detail needed in photographic images. The Microporous coating results in a very flexible canvas which is excellent for stretching and framing. It is easy to stretch and there is no cracking on the corners.

Innova digital canvas products are offered in roll format only. Paper feeding of cut sheet canvas products is not reliable enough. The use of cut sheet paper is therefore not recommended. Wider formats (36″-914mm and 44″-1136mm) are available on request.

Here are some products you might like to try:

Upselling – You’ve done most of the photographic Work – get much more for very little

framed-wedding-pictureIf you are a professional photographer you will know the importance of up-selling. For years for example a wedding album was followed by a number of framed prints of the happy couple. Now there are more opportunities.

Remember you are to some extent in competition with the amateurs who take photos at the wedding. We love these people too. But you, the wedding pohotgrapher,  do not give your clients something different – that these people could not produce – and so different that they are prepared to pay for it, then you have little to offer – except for some better pictures.

Albums are normal – and some can be very expensive.  Then you can have specialist albums for

  • parents
  • best-men and bridesmaids
  • aunts, uncles and cousins
  • business friends
  • neighbours
  • other friends

Mini albums are great for the latter groups – and for everybody there is the photo-accordion.  (From Labelprint in France)

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.

A collage of the photos in a wide format print – I use Collage-it

All the best – there is more money for you!

 

Which paper fits best for photos on a wall?

A user of the Сanon MG7120 printer wanted to print photos and hang them on a wall in a photo frame to make it look like a professional photographer’s output.

He also asked what was the best paper, in a photo frame without glass.

Our answer

With a small format printer like the Сanon MG7120, your output is limited to 8½x11in or A4 in size. There are ways in which you can make bigger pictures even with an office format printer.

First you asked about paper. Your choice depends on the way you want to mount it. Take a look at Jetmaster. You can produce a number of panels and set them together to make a larger picture. Furthermore, you do not have to use canvas (which is difficult to feed into smaller printers), several papers being suitable. Probably the best is Innova Art’s canvas-like paper. For more about Jetmaster* click here.

There are other ways – laminating a glossy print for example. Alternatively you can do a panel, also available from Jetmaster. But that does not lend itself to larger displays using multiple panels. You can, though, be more flexible on paper.

[​IMG]

However, make sure that you use a pigmented ink and archival paper if you want a durable picture.

* We are based in the UK. If you are in the USA or Canada please find a source using Google. In Continental Europe Jetmaster and Innova papers are available from Arca in Holland.

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.

 

 

 

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.

Christmas-card-2011

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:

72dpi_fine-art-product_Art-Cards

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.