Is Inkjet Printmaking Better than LightJet Printing for Artwork?
Pigment-based inkjet prints are clearly the future of photographic imaging
Including a great YouTube video featuring Canadian photographer, Robert Burley’s Photographic Proof.
Next to image quality, image permanence is the key ingredient to producing a beautiful piece of artwork. Only archival inkjet media and pigment-based inks deliver the quality and permanence (100+) expected by top artists and their collectors—making archival inkjet printmaking the better choice for your art.
Understanding the difference between available print technologies should be a critical part of your creative process. Fine art photographers are shifting their preference to archival inkjet for its print permanence and display qualities. Also noting that the artworks look brighter and offer better contrast than wet-lab prints.
“In my own experience, pigment prints maintain a vibrant appearance under special lighting conditions, due to the pigment’s placement on top of, rather than within the paper. In side-by-side comparison under museum lighting the C print looks relatively dull and void of colour.”
Artist, Roy Arden – Who is Roy Arden?
With the largest “fine art” inkjet printer maxing out at 60″ wide, some artists choose wet-lab prints, such as C-prints and LightJet prints (which are basically the same thing) out of necessity for its over-size capabilities.
Whether you feel archival inkjet is better or not, your choice of options for printmaking will be changing in the near future. . . .
The option to make wet-prints (C-Prints and/or LightJet prints) may not be available in the long term. My hunch is that wet labs will soon become extinct, as digital cameras become favoured and large photographic suppliers turn their focus to marketing inkjet—thus making traditional lab equipment, paper and chemistry expensive and hard to come by. When I left the lab business in 2001, we were already experiencing shortages in commercial film and paper, not to mention finding staff with the expertise to operate and service the lab equipment.
Archival inkjet printing is the future of photo-based artworks. Luckily, archival inkjet printmaking does provide a high quality, long lasting print. At Fidelis we use pigment-based inks, which according to the Image Permanence Institute at Rochester Institute of Technology, “observe the highest rating of image stability; outlasting even traditional C prints and digital LightJet prints”. Here is the full report on the difference between traditional and digital prints.
This post reminds me of a fantastic video (via YouTube, imbedded into the beginning of this post) about Canadian photographer, Robert Burley and his mural installation “Photographic Proof”. The artwork features an implosion of a Kodak plant in France. There is an interesting commentary about Burley’s personal “rappling” with the two photographic technologies—traditional and digital.
Do you agree with me about the future of wet-labs? How do you think this will effect your artwork? Should artists still have a choice? Let me know what you think by commenting!