What The Pros Say
John Pinderhughes counts on his Canon equipment to overcome obstacles from shoot to print. Photographing girls dressed for Carnival in Trinidad,
Pinderhughes first used his Speedlite to compensate for a gray day without overpowering the natural lighting of the scene. Then he turned to his Canon PIXMA Pro9500 Mark II with its 10-ink cartridges to make a vivid print without oversaturating the costumes.
“When printing this image,” Pinderhughes says, “the problem was to make the background look far less muddy and gray than it actually was. At the same time, the blues of the costumes had to hold saturation without being garish. Using pigment inks was extremely important because it allowed me to get the exact colors I wanted. The gradations in the colors are smooth. The tonal shift is very smooth.
“If you can’t print black,” he continues, “then you’re really not going to be able to print any other color. The black sort of underlies it and gives it its vibrancy.”
Pinderhughes relied on the printer’s extra black and gray cartridges for another difficult shot—a closeup of a woman’s hands in which dark tones prevail, but detail remains key.
“You always want to have some detail in your shadows,” Pinderhughes explains. “This machine is obviously doing that now. If you look closely, the colors are very subtle, almost flowing into each other. To maintain that was not easy. The PIXMA did a superb job of holding the colors without an edge.”
Gil Smith says he’s not particularly high-tech, but he’s glad his Canon PIXMA printers are. With a portfolio full of automotive beauty shots, it’s important that his
prints convey colors both accurately and luxuriously.
“I’m very critical,” he says, “and my clients are very critical about car color. It will make or break the things that I do. Certainly, the additional inks have improved the flexibility of the printers. They faithfully render intense blacks with smooth transitions due to the very fine printing pattern of the PIXMA Pro print head. Images have more luminance and sparkle even without adding saturation to the file.”
Smith makes prints for display and for proofing. PIXMA Pro printers allow him to do both in-house.
“It’s a great advantage for me to have a printer that can really hit the marks,” says Smith. “The reproduction of the files is more predictably straight across the spectrum of the wider color palette; that can be attributed to the additional inks. I especially see that the reds are sexier and the blues have been more attractive with these new printers.”
The PIXMA’s gray ink comes through with truly neutral grayscale prints and no fear of metamerism.
“I used to tone a lot of the black-and-white pictures in a secondary process,” Smith says, “and I can now do that in one shot. The Canon capture-to-output solution affords me the ability to conceive images, capture the art and have the ability to print it in the highest quality imaginable without a single outsource.”
It’s not often that photographers transition from colorful outdoor scenics to black-and-white images of dancers in motion, but that’s just the sort of versatility John Huba is proud to possess. But it means he needs a versatile printer as well.
For his image of dancer Daniel Ulbricht made for Portfolio Magazine, Huba used his Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II to capture the dancer in midair. The drama began with the shot, but it’s delivered with the print.
“I talked to the art director about making the photograph black-and-white,” Huba says, “which he agreed would be more dramatic. Making a great black-and-white print has always been a challenge for inkjet printers, but with the combination of the Canon PIXMA Pro9500 Mark II and Canon Photo Paper Pro Platinum, I was able to make a print that was better than the silver-gelatin prints I used to make—incredible, deep blacks that hold the shadow detail and a fantastic range of tones with no banding.”
Huba also prints in color, and he’s equally demanding. With the tone-on-tone image of an Argentine glacial crevasse, maintaining the subtle variations in hue are just as crucial as delivering the bright blue saturation.
“The versatility of this printer is extraordinary,” Huba continues. “I was attracted to the subtle shades of blue. Shooting with the EOS-1Ds Mark III, I knew I would have the bit depth to faithfully render the beautiful gradation of color. Making things look good on the web is fairly easy; printing, however,
is a different animal. I was able to get a rich and vibrant image while maintaining the integrity of the original palette.”
As a nature and travel photographer, Darrell Gulin makes images with color front and center. A regular traveler along the coast in Northern California, Gulin had
frequently tried to make a signature image of the area, to no avail. Hoping to balance an interesting foreground subject with the majestic coastline, he finally saw his opportunity.
“I was driving north along Big Sur,” recalls Gulin. “When I saw these agave in full bloom, I knew there was a potential for a great image and print. I love really colorful landscape images, and with the Canon PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II and PIXMA Pro9500 Mark II printers, I can reproduce these images as I created them in the field—with great color rendition, especially in the bright orange and red flowers. I just love the tonal control and information in much of the shadows.”
Even when he turns his camera to smaller subjects like the butterflies he breeds and photographs in his kitchen, Gulin is still making images rich with color. It’s important that his printer produces the saturation without obliterating the subtle details. Ten inks and 7,680 nozzles deliver saturation, accuracy and, above all, no banding or blocking. Best of all, his prints will last more than 200 years. “I wanted the tone-on-tone look,” Gulin says of the butterfly image. “With the even tones and just a hint of red in the wings, it allowed me to print this image with Pro Platinum high-gloss paper and the Photo Rag to give me the fine-art feel.”