Sunday, January 15, 2012

A final good-bye to Epson Canvas

It wasn't easy leaving however after seeing the difference in the finished print and the easy of stretching leaves me without a choice in the matter. 

I've been fighting with the Exhibition canvas now for a month as I print the images for Jackson Hole.  The images would print just as I felt they should, however the major problem was the stretching.  The Epson website advertizes the Exhibition as being 23 mil thick however when you go to an on-line store you'll see differences of 22, 23, and 24 mil.  I've been stretching images as small as 20x16, and 40x30 with little to no problems; going to 50x30 and 60x30 showed huge inconsistencies in how the images would lay on the stretcher bars and how easy it would lend itself to be stretched.  I had noticed that even with the smaller pieces my stretching time increased.

As an artist I simply can not accept the inconstancies at the final moment of stretching.  I also can't accept that it would take me close to 3-hours to stretch a 60x30 and even then still not be pleased.  And don't think I'm bashing Epson canvas.  Very simply put, I don't like the newer Exhibition canvas.  It doesn't work for me.

If Exhibition doesn't work for me, what will?  That was the question I was facing.  It's good to have a relationship with another artist; one that can be as anal as I am in presenting the best possible work.  Ken Doo and I have been friends for many years; while we don't shoot the same subjects we are equally concerned with our end product.  It also helps that we both use medium format as our primary capture method and print on the same printer, an Epson 9800.  It helped that Ken also prints on canvas.  Ken has been using Breathing Color products for as long as I've known him and he speaks very highly of them; he's the one who got me hooked on using Glamour II to protect the canvas.  Bottom line is when he recommends something I usually listen; that's how I came to Breathing Colors Lyve canvas.

As reported earlier, I had ordered a test roll to try out and was immediately sold on Lyve canvas.  When my actual order arrived late Friday afternoon I immediately printed the 60x30 Oxbow Bend Panorama.  Again, I was immediately pleased with the image quality.  I let the image thoroughly dry overnight before putting a coat of Glamour II on it yesterday morning.  While I could have stretched the image later yesterday I decided to wait until this morning.

The stretching was easy.  I felt I was back to using Epson Premium it was so easy.  I encountered no cracking, the corners are close and tight and overall the image looks great; one that I'll gladly display for sale.  I'm back to stretching an image once; not stapling looking at puckers and removing staples in order to re-stretch.  I'm sad to say that I had one image that I had to completely remove all the staples and redo before I got it to my liking; not so this morning. 

I'll admit I was uneasy this morning as I began the stretching however I soon fell into the groove I'm accustomed to finishing the image in less than an hour. Don't get me wrong. I don't care how long it takes to stretch an image. I want to do it right the first time and not fight it.

There wasn't a fight this morning.


Finished stretched image - "Oxbow Bend Panorama"

Note: This is an edited version of the bog from this morning. I've found that I shouldn't print, talk on the phone and edit a blog all at the same time.

Thanks for following the saga of the canvas.

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