TECHNIQUE . HDR . ALUMINUM
A number of my photos are High Dynamic Range (HDR) images; a technique applied to photos that begins in-camera. The typical setup requires a tripod, remote trigger or cable release, and a camera with aperture priority & bracketing capability. After capturing 3 to 5 (or more) differently exposed photos of a static subject, the images are subsequently layered together through use of software to produce a single image. There are many software programs on the market for processing HDR. I use Photomatix Pro by HDR Soft.
The single HDR image now displays a broader range of luminance between light and dark. Further post processing is accomplished in a variety of software programs including Photoshop, where adjustments are made to color, contrast, saturation levels, and other elements of the photo. 'Recipes' are rarely used. I just go with it and make changes as they come to me.
WHY I RECOMMEND ALUMINUM PRINTS
The colors are extraordinarily vibrant. The depth of the coating gives photos a luminous quality that no paper print can achieve. The best reason to purchase an aluminum print is for the incredible look.
Because the image is infused into the special coating, the prints have an archival value and durability without the need for protective glass. Aluminum prints are not only scratch-resistant, they are also waterproof. This makes them ideal for hanging in bathrooms, kitchens and other areas where paper prints would be susceptible to water damage. Displaying without glass has other advantages: viewing images is more intimate, glare is reduced, and there is no glass to worry about breaking.
The rigidity of the metal plates allows for several unique and contemporary hanging methods that would be impossible with a paper print. An aluminum print has an ultra-modern look.
ALUMINUM PRINT QUALITY & DURABILITY
Aluminum prints have an additional benefit over other processes in that they are waterproof and have an ultra-hard scratch resistant coating. They are ideal for hanging outdoors, away from direct sunlight. The archival value of a print should be judged not only by its resistance to degradation by U.V. light and ozone exposure, but also to moisture and surface damage. When these factors are brought into the equation, aluminum prints would be, without a doubt, the best way to preserve an image.
Aluminum prints have an archival value that is better than the best giclee’s and photographic papers. Accelerated aging tests on metal prints show an archival value that approaches 150 years, so they will last for generations.
Unlike paper or canvas prints, an aluminum print can be cleaned with a paper town or soft cloth and some glass cleaner or rubbing alcohol.
I exclusively use MagnaChrome for all my aluminum printing.
HOW IS THE IMAGE APPLIED TO ALUMINUM?
Special dyes are printed onto a transfer paper and then infused into a polymer coating using pressure and heat.
The press is heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and a ton of pressure is applied.
Sublimation occurs when extreme heat causes the solid phase inks in the paper to vaporize to a gaseous phase.
These inks (now vaporized gas) infuse themselves into a special coating on the aluminum.
After the metal image cools it is sheered to size. The edges are sanded to eliminate chipping, and to provide a clean, finished appearance.