Guestblogger Hans Duijghuisen: a Dutch photographer in Love

In Januari 2014 I became a member of the Belgian Association for Professional Photographers. After a visit tFeatured imageo Universal Woods EMEA and Chromaluxe in Schelle, Belgium where we got to see the Chromaluxe® panels for the first time I immediately fell in love with this great way of showing and selling my photographs.

I contacted Carolyn from Universal Woods to get to know more about this lovely product and as we decided to print several portrait photographs of pregnancy and newborn photography in High gloss Chromaluxe® panels. We immediately went large: all images are 100×100 cm or 100×150 cm. These photographs are currently in an exposition on the maternity ward of a hospital in the center of the Netherlands. We also ordered some panels to show in our store and studio. This all together created a lot of interest from our customers towards this new and exciting product. They specially love the nearly 3D effect the photographs get when sublimated on Chromaluxe® panels. We also are very fond of Featured imagethe durability of the product.

They specially love the nearly 3D effect the photographs get when sublimated on Chromaluxe® panels.

I started selling these great Chromaluxe® panels at the end of 2014. My customers just love the quality of this product and several panels have been sold already. It’s really a high end product that upgrades my possibilities to stand out in quality in the very competitive Dutch market.

People seem to think that now photography is digital, it has to be cheap.

People seem to think that now photography is digital, it has to be cheap. Using the Chromaluxe® panels to finish my portraits I can show them that there is more to photography than just pushing the shutter release. It’s all a process of creativity and using the best possible materials to finish these portraitsFeatured image.

Because it is truly a high end product it can be sold for a fair price so we can make a normal margin on it. Not like canvas that you can buy at any place for low prices and NO margin at all. We have to run a business….

We sell the panels including an aluminium frame so we ad value to it. You can make the panels look great in any environment by finishing these panels with a perfect frame!

I thank Universal Woods EMEA for all their support in making our exposition possible and showing us how to work with Chromaluxe®

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Hans DuijghuFeatured imageisen is a professional photographer since 1991, with a specialty in portrait and wedding-photography.

Hans won the 1st prize in portrait photography while he did his exam for all-round professional photographer in 1994. In 1997 he won the 1st prize as being the best FotoPlus store in the Netherlands. In 1998 he became a licentiate of Dutch Institute of Professional Photography and in 1999 he became Associate of Dutch Institute of Professional Photography. Since 1993 he is an official gild photographer.

In May 2008 we received the warm shower of the Dutch television consumer program TROS RADAR. This is one of the highest consumer awards in the Netherlands. Two weeks later we even got the warmest shower for the television season 2007/2008. He gives seminars to professional photographers in the Netherlands and abroad: May 2010 in Estonia, Januari 2014 in Belgium as a panel member.

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Resolution, DPI, Pixel Density, Megapixels, PPI, … What’s in a name.

There is much confusion about the correct resolution of a high quality photo that is expressed in dpi. Searching with Google for the keyword ‘dpi’ results in a long string of questions. DPI is however very important when preparing an image for sublimation on ChromaLuxe: the more DPI, the sharper the result.

DPI is a confusing concept: when we talk about printing, it means the resolution in Dots Per Inch. When we talk about cameras or monitors, we talk about the resolution in Pixels Per Inch. To make it even more confusing, here in Europe we talk about Pixel Per Centimeter.

So what is Dots Per Inch? DPI is the total amount of dots that can be placed in a line within the span of 1 inch (25,4 mm).

You can find the properties of your digital photos in a photo editing application like Photoshop, but also in Windows Explorer. These properties are called the EXIF (data). To find those properties in Windows, do a right click on your file and after that Properties > Summary > Advanced. In Apple Finder, just click on the photo icon, the press Command-I to bring up the info dialog. When it appears, click on the right-facing triangle beside the word More Info.

If you are a professional photographer or printer, you need to open your images in Photoshop to know the exact size that your image can be printed on. There is only one rule: your image must have 300 Pixel/Inch to have perfect sharpness and detail. To find out, go in Photoshop to the Image menu and choose Image Size. Change Width & height to Centimeters and be sure that Resolution is set to Pixel/Inch. Check if the Resolution is 300 Pixel/Inch to know the dimensions in Centimers (right image in the example below is faulty).

300vs072

What to do when your original image is only 72 Pixels/Inch ? Well, than you need to Resample it. To do this, go in Photoshop again to the Image menu and choose Image Size. Untick the Resample-checkbox and type next to it 300 (check example below). Width & Height will show you now the exact size that your image is printable. Save it this way and start to print.

resample3

What happens when my image has a low resolution but has the correct dimensions ? The image will look great on your screen, but… once it’s printed you will see the pixels very strongly. If a high resolution image is not available, you can try to lower the resolution. You can go as low as 150 PPI for printing with the sublimation technology. Don’t go lower, because you will start to see pixelation (check example below). Another trick is to blow up your image. You can do this with Photoshop, but you have also 3rd party applications (e.g. blow-up3 from AlienSkin). The trick is not to blow up your image in one time, but to do it in several steps (4-5 times).

bad

Not sure if your dpi is sufficient? You photolab will be able to give professional advice. When you are sublimating yourself, always follow this rule: more dpi is better. Play with it and experiment, you’ll soon understand the value of dpi!


stevieSteven Roesbeke has a huge experience in the graphical industry with a lot of expertise in color management and output solutions. Since 2013 he is the Technical Support Field Engineer at Universal Woods EMEA. Read his technical blog posts to discover helpful tips & tricks and learn more about the do’s and dont’s of (large format) sublimation. You can always contact him at stevenr@chromaluxe.com

Photography or Art?

Is photography art? This is a hot discussion in many online forums and has been a subject of debate since photography was invented. There are many iconic photographs and beautiful studies of the human form, landscapes, cityscapes and abstract images that are without doubt of high artistic value. There is also the question of when does a photograph become a ‘painting’? My personal view is when it is manipulated so far in Photoshop or similar software that it ceasesFeatured image to look like a photo and looks more like a painting. However, would you agree? Fine Art images can come from several sources:

  • An original photograph without manipulation
  • A photograph that has been manipulated into an artistic image
  • Digital art created/drawn entirely in the computer
  • Original paintings or drawings

To make a print, the image needs to be digital. No problem for the first three. For original art works there are companies that provide some really top class digitization of paintings and drawings by highly specialist photography or by high end scanning. Cruse scanners can scan originals up to 2 m x 3 m. The results are brilliant – the lighting can either be adjusted to give a flat image and colours, or to show every brushstroke, so much so that, when they are printed, people touch the print to feel the brush stroke!  Digitising and printing original artwork opens up whole new markets and new revenue streams for artists. Limited edition prints allow them to sell to clients who may not be able to afford an original. Sometimes artists will embellish a printed image, for exaFeatured imagemple by addition of pearlescent or metallic paint, and add further to its value as a semi-original! The UK based Fine Art Trade Guild offers guidance on giclee printing, print life, framing and also guidelines on publishing limited editions. We are pleased to see more and more photographers and artists choosing ChromaLuxe HD Metal aluminium panels for exhibiting their work in high end galleries and fine art shows. We also saw print prices ranging from €1000 – €6000 at the recent Affordable Art Fair and Accessible Art Fair. Photograph or Art? – In the end the choice is yours; we all see images in different ways and we decide what we like or do not like, whatever the critics might say.

Some of the artists and photographers using ChromaLuxe can be found in the Gallery section of our web site at http://www.chromaluxe-square.com/gallery.htm

This selection is being added to on a regular basis.

For example:

Charline Lancel – whose op-art style images are created entirely in Photoshop.

Alain Trellu – who takes amazing photos of his native Brussels and then adds a new dimension.

Colin Prior – Scottish photographer who specializes in amazing panoramas and has long been a respected figure in the fine art market.

Benoit Pay – human studies reflected in marble.

Nic Gaunt – English photographer based in Hong Kong – famous for his unusual style.


Featured imageCharles Henniker-Heaton has over 30 years experience in the imaging industry, first at Durst and then at Fujifilm as a senior manager involved in retail photo, chemicals and since 2006 as European Marketing Manager for large format printing. He joined ChromaLuxe EMEA in 2014 in charge of European Business Development for large format.


Snow White would like to connect to you on LinkedIn

Once upon a time when the animals could speak, lived in magic forests and ate little girls with red riding hoods, no one had heard about the internet, let alone LinkedIn. All foresters were still using their filofaxes for keeping the names, addresses and facts on all people they saved. Snow White was under the W and Little Red Riding Hood under the R. Tom Thumb had never been saved yet, but was under the P of ‘prospects’.

Many manuals and webinars exist that can teach a forester about LinkedIn and they will take him far. But maybe further than he needs to get. They’ll tell him about recruiting and making sales using the tool. It’s however very important to learn to walk before wanting to run.

The sublimation business is an interesting one with many markets and also many sidetracks. Being in this business brings you in contact with many people. Some of them are interesting for you now, but others can be later. Without being an expert, LinkedIn can help you keep in touch and ‘store’ the potential ones.

3 tips I would give to anyone new on LinkedIn – you’ll soon notice it becomes an addiction – but a healthy one!

  • Take care of your profile:

Turn it around: if someone who doesn’t have a (decent) image and who’s not showing any information wants to connect with you, are you tempted to accept? We want to know the people we’re dealing with and that goes both ways.

  1. choose a good professional picture, no holiday, kids or drinks ought to be in it, just you, looking friendly.
  2. Pick a title and company: you can be proud of the fact that you own your company, but ‘Snow White, owner’ just doesn’t satisfy anyone’s curiosity.
  3. The more complete your profile is, the better. As a beginner on LinkedIn you might not be worried about it, but you’ll start to be when you want others to look for you and find you. If our forester is looking for a new forest, one that happens to have a lot of fairy tale creatures going missing, it’s very interesting when he mentions he rescued both Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White.

  • Build your audience:

You don’t need to have thousands of contacts, but as a business man/woman you want more than 31. There’s some good news: after 500 LinkedIn stops counting and you get the 500+ status.

When looking for people to connect with, start with your colleagues or competitors (if you’re on a friendly base, because they might be reading this post and know what you’re up to). Also think about people you used to work with. Even family and friends are nice to get your number up. (be careful about aunts who call themselves head of their handicraft group – if you have too many of these, they might not be so good for your credibility)

  1. Once you’re connected to them – you might need to wait until they accept you – it gets more interesting. Now you can have a look at the people they are connected to. This can be interesting in two ways:
    1. These are people you know too and you wouldn’t have thought about looking for them, but now they are just within reach.
    2. These are people you might not know personally but want to get to know – this is why it’s interesting to be connected with people working for companies like your own. If there is a possibility they know your company, or if your profile is complete, you can ask them to connect. If they have a look at your profile and find the synergy, they will accept.
  2. Don’t only look for people in the same type of business as your own. Have you been in contact with a magazine? Look for the editor. Have you dealt with a freight forwarder for a trade show? Look for your contact person. Have you taken pictures for an architect? Look for the owner of the building. You might need to introduce yourself, but you will build a heterogeneous network this way.

  • Start to use your LinkedIn!

If you followed step one and two, there’s nothing more you need to start using your LinkedIn. Post about what your company is doing, which shows you’re attending and which projects you’re working on. Or, if you’re in need of info: ask for it! Your network has possibly the information you need, and – double the points! – as they are in your business, they even perfectly understand your needs!

Let me give you an example: I recently launched a post about special designs for the Universal Woods booth at FESPA. I got them, thanks to a UK contact that exactly knew what I was looking for.

The fact is, with LinkedIn, never let anyone tell you they’re better in it than you are. If you use it for your purposes and you get the results you expect, you’re doing a very good job. Only the top of the LinkedIn iceberg are users that can be posh about it because they are probably using the tool better than most of the others are.

Another fact is that, if you’re not a frequent user, there probably are features that could come in handy for you. That’s why I’d like to suggest you work on the first two tips above and force yourself to once in a while do the third.

Connect to me and have a stroll around my contacts. Let’s see how many people we have in common.


Featured imageCarolyn Krekels is jr Marketing Manager at Universal Woods EMEA, in Schelle, Belgium. She has been taking care of the EMEA marketing for the Universal Woods products for 9 years so far, first working for the EMEA distribution partner of Universal Woods. In 2012 she joined the Universal Woods EMEA team. In Carolyn’s posts, she will give you insight in the marketing actions organised by Universal Woods EMEA and can give you useful hands-on tips on how to bring your product to the market. Contact her via carolynk@chromaluxe.com