Thursday, February 10, 2011

Multigrade Art 300-Ilford launches new silver-based Fine Art paper

I love reading about developments in our industry, both digital and analog.  I have maintained a good relationship with my former employer, HARMAN technology, which is the parent company of Ilford Photo based in the UK.  I knew they were working on developing a new silver based fine art paper that would have the look and feel of Hahnemuhle fine art inkjet papers, but have a true silver gelatin coating.

I have been speaking with Mike Bain, Rod Parsons and others at HARMAN about the launch of the Multigrade Art 300.  Now that HARMAN has a relationship with Hahnemuhle, this has become a reality.  Initially, this paper will be available as an analog (that's "darkroom" for all you digital newbies!) product.  We will be part of a test phase shortly to evaluate this in rolls for digital exposure in our Durst Theta 51 photographic laser enlarger.

This will initially launch in the UK in early April in sheet sizes from 8x10 up to 20x24.  There is no official launch date for North America, but we're their largest market, so I'm sure we'll see it soon!  I know representatives from HARMAN will be at the SPE (Society for Photographic Education) conference in Atlanta and will have samples on display.

Stay tuned for more details.

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Fall River Camera Club

Owner Eric Luden made a trip to Fall River last night to present his black & white program to over 30 photographers at the Fall River Camera Club.  What I like most about speaking with photographers at these camera clubs is their passion about photography.  They are doing this for fun, pleasure and education, and are not jaded by the demands of trying to make a living with their hobby.

I give an overview of the changes that have impacted black & white photography as digital methods have evolved since the mid- 90's.  I explain how photographers used an LVT film recorder to produce b&w negatives and then made darkroom prints and then the evolution of inkjet printing.  We discussed the evolution of digital enlargers, like the Lightjet or Durst Lambda and how we utilize the Durst Theta 51 to produce real black & white continuous tone prints.

Photographers are aware that black & white photography is making a comeback.  So many digital tools are available to make this possible, including multiple plugins and other software.  More than a third of the members already own Nik Silver Efex Pro and are eagerly awaiting the launch of Silver Efex Pro 2, which is due out at the end of this month.  This plugin makes working in black & white so much easier and produces the cleanest files.  When you combine this with our silver gelatin printing service, you get the best of both worlds. 

Thanks to Lorraine for inviting me down to the club - you have an excellent organization and I look forward to coming back. Congratulations to Richard who won the raffle for a free 11x14 Fiber print!