XPOSURE PRINTING & FRAMING
We are passionate about photography and, we are dedicated to supporting the visual language in all its splendid genres. Photography is not about our tools or capabilities, it’s about our eye, and this is life. Evolution, variety, effort, joy, memories, pain, and hope all subjects of the single international language and behind every picture there is a story. We are keen to recognise and promote regional and international emerging photographers and film-makers, and we offer free to enter competitions; providing a platform for photographers and film-makers to show their work and open the door to new opportunities.
We produce exhibitions for our guest photographers applying the highest standards in production, from the selection of papers, moulding, glazing through to hanging. By working closely with our photographers, we are able to showcase their work at a world-class level.
Our Proofing & Printing
Our highly experienced curators take a hands-on role in the production of all printing for our guest photographers, We have been working with the same lab for three years and have produced over 1,500 large format prints for our guest photographers, and always keep abreast of the latest technological advances in digital printmaking.
At Xposure, we assist each photographer in preparing the files correctly using a colour-calibrated computing environment.
We can match each photographer’s samples and creative vision accurately using technology such as X-Rite’s spectrophotometer, i1iSis 2 XL and 44″ SpectroProofer UVS for SureColor P9000 which is a high-performance in-line spectrophotometer by Epson, developed jointly with X-Rite that provides automated colour measurement directly with selectable illuminance between M0, M1 and M2. From 2018 we can also create custom profiles if required.
By using equipment such as the 44″ Epson Stylus Pro P9500 (widest colour gamut), P10000 and 64″ P20000 we prepare, proof and print fine art photographic prints on a selection of the highest quality papers. We carefully examine each print and provide digital fine art prints to satisfy any criteria.
Paper choice for fine art prints is a matter of personal taste. With numerous types of archival papers for digital printing on the market, we can offer recommendations based on the files and type of photography. We provide our exhibiting photographers with a variety of highest quality paper choices on the market.
Most photographers choose to print on matte, or semi-lustre baryta papers, which tend to cover most applications. Many of the high-quality papers are only available in sizes up to 44” so for large prints, 60” and above we work with the photographer to find the closest match of paper and print with the 64” Epson Epson SureColor P20000 with PrecisionCore™ Micro TFP printhead.
Another factor we take into consideration and offer guidance on is the presence of optical brightening agents (OBA’s), an element added to many papers that combine additional brightness at the possible risk of decreased archival ratings.
Brightness, Whiteness & Shade
Paper brightness, paper whiteness and shade are very often misunderstood variables of paper choice in print projects. However, they all play an important role in determining the look of your final product. It should be noted that though paper brightness and whiteness are somewhat similar, they are not interchangeable.
As with both paper size and weight, there is a difference in standard usage between North America and the rest of the world.
Internationally Whiteness is the most commonly used measure as defined by the CIE (Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage – International Commission on Illumination) whereas in the US the most commonly seen measure is Brightness as defined by the TAPPI (Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry). Shade is universal and represents the colour of the paper measured on the CIE LAB model.
Dmax is a measure of the deepest black tone a display or printer/ink/paper combination can reproduce. It is an important quality factor but also subjective. Images with a low Dmax will look pale and weak. Dmax = 1.6+ is a good value for matte prints; and 2.0+ is a good value for glossy, semigloss, and lustre. Dmax is a technical measurement, but it is also an aesthetic quality. And it is relative. Prints with Dmax of 1.5 will have very convincing black. The higher the Dmax the richer the blacks will appear.
We do not include the Dmax values in Specs as these vary according to ink sets, printer model and paper finish that create the printer’s tonal response curve and there are too many permutations for listing. However, all our preferred papers fall within a guide range of 1.6 to 2.5. Dmax is measured using -Log (base 10) of reflectance. Thus Dmax=1.0 is a reflectance of 10%, Dmax=2 is a reflectance of 1%, Dmax of 3.0 is a reflectance of .1%.
Our Preferred Papers
Over the past three years, we have printed on a wide variety of papers. Our experience has highlighted several important factors when selecting papers. In several so-called premium papers, the problem lies in the technology used in the manufacturer such as inconsistent coating and failure to disclose all the technical information. Papers with optical brighteners are generally used by the hobbyist or high street print shops and should be avoided. Another important consideration is environmental. We choose suppliers which deliver raw materials produced under the most virtuous conditions, notably from sustainably managed forests.
Below is a listing and description ( in no particular order) of our preferred papers that we generally utilise in our exhibition printing.
Hahnemühle Photo Rag® Baryta 315gsm is a pure cotton paper with an inkjet coating that has been perfectly optimised for the needs of FineArt applications. The natural white paper comes in a pleasant, warm shade of white and contains no optical brighteners. The exquisite surface texture gives the paper a lovely, delicate feel while at the same time lending it an artistic note. In combination with the high-gloss premium inkjet coating, it produces stunning print results with outstanding reproduction of colour and detail, deep blacks and perfect contrasts. The barium sulphate in the coating makes Photo Rag® Baryta a popular alternative to analogue baryta paper. The combination of the cotton artist paper and the high-gloss inkjet coating lends FineArt prints a striking character with a beautiful, elegant sheen, without glare. Photo Rag® Baryta is acid- and lignin-free and meets the most exacting requirements in terms of age resistance.
Hahnemühle Photo Rag® Satin is an exceptional highlight to the Photo Rag® range and lends FineArt prints a highly individual character. The white cotton paper features the classic Photo Rag® surface with a delicate felt structure and a beautifully soft feel. In combination with the satin-gloss premium inkjet coating, it produces outstanding prints with a beautiful sense of depth and three-dimensional quality. Colours and details are perfectly reproduced, the depth of the black truly stands out and contrasts are reproduced with stunning effect. Photo Rag® Satin is characterised by its very unique coating. The printed areas have a soft sheen, while the unprinted areas remain matt to beautifully accentuate brilliance. Photo Rag® Satin is acid- and lignin-free which meet the most exacting requirements in terms of age resistance.
Hahnemühle Photo Rag® 308gsm is one of the world’s most popular papers and the valued all-rounder for high-quality FineArt inkjet printing. The white cotton artist’s paper, with its characteristic, wonderfully soft feel, boasts a lightly defined felt structure, lending each artwork a three-dimensional appearance and impressive pictorial depth. Combined with the matt premium inkjet coating, this paper produces outstanding prints that feature brilliant colours, deep blacks, striking contrasts and perfect reproduction of detail. This acid- and lignin-free classic meets the most exacting requirements for age resistance and is specially designed for FineArt applications. Whether it is used for FineArt photography or art reproductions, the ideal combination of structure, print quality and weight makes Photo Rag® one of the most versatile FineArt inkjet papers.
Hahnemühle Photo Rag® Ultra Smooth 305gsm, another addition to the Photo Rag® family, is an especially smooth and silky soft paper for high-quality FineArt inkjet printing. The white cotton art paper has a discreet, very finely textured surface with a strikingly silky feel. The matt premium inkjet coating guarantees extraordinary print results with impressive reproduction of colour, detail and very deep black. Photo Rag® Ultra Smooth is versatile and produces impressive results for FineArt photography as well as art reproductions. The acid- and lignin-free all-rounder meets the most exacting requirements in terms of age resistance and is perfect for high-quality black and white FineArt prints.
Hahnemühle William Turner® 310gsm With its matt watercolour texture this paper is a genuine mould-made paper in both look and feel. William Turner is ideal for reproductions of traditional artworks and also for striking and expressive photo reproductions. The paper itself feels great, it is thick and the textured matte surface helps to make the paper feel substantial. Print quality is very good. Black and white prints are neutral and the blacks are very black. Colour prints are very vibrant with no bleeding whatsoever. Not only are the colours and tones excellent, but detail is great too. In addition to printing fine details well, the William Turner paper’s texture also adds an additional appearance of detail and depth. When you’re looking for a heavily-textured matte paper, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find a better option.
Hahnemühle Museum Etching® 350gsm is a warm white cotton art paper with an inkjet coating specially optimised for FineArt printing. This heavyweight textured paper does not contain optical brighteners and is characterised by its high stability. The finely textured surface with fine felt structure lends FineArt prints added depth and a three-dimensional effect. Combined with the pure cotton base, this creates a wonderfully soft tactile feel and artistic impression. The premium matt inkjet coating produces excellent print results. Colours are wonderfully vivid, the depth of the black truly stands out and details are reproduced perfectly. The acid- and lignin-free Museum Etching meets the most exacting requirements for age resistance and is ideal for reproducing photographs and works of art.
Canson® Infinity Rag Photographique 310 gsm is 100% cotton museum grade white Fine Art and photo paper. The exceptional smooth white tone is achieved during manufacturing by introducing natural minerals to the process. It has been developed to address the need for continued longevity requirements in the Digital Fine Art market. This paper offers a unique extra smooth surface with a sensual feel. It also provides one of the highest achievable Dmax currently available on the market, making it ideal for fine art photography as well as fine art printmaking. Canson Rag Photographique is bright without using optical OBA’s. A lovely, versatile paper that is fast becoming a favourite among many of the worlds leading photographers.
Canson® Infinity Platine Fibre Rag 310 gsm is the combination of the premium 100% cotton Platinum paper that Canson has supplied for many years to the original Platinum and Platine photographic market, with the latest microporous coating, making the traditional darkroom paper now available for your digital printing. Setting the benchmark for Digital Darkroom papers, Canson® Infinity Platine Fibre Rag provides the aesthetic and feel of the original F-Type Baryta Fibre paper, having a true pure white tone without using optical brighteners that are known to affect the longevity of digitally produced images.Canson® Infinity Platine Fibre Rag’s extremely high Dmax and exceptional grey tones make it the product of choice for the more discerning black and white photographic prints.
Canson® Infinity Baryta Prestige 340 gsm is comprised of an acid-free alpha-cellulose and cotton white paper base with a true barium sulphate coating. It is a smooth Baryta Gloss paper which evokes the look and aesthetic feel of traditional darkroom papers. The paper characteristics are truly unique: providing excellent durability, outstanding black optical density (D-max), and superb image sharpness. The paper offers a good level of flatness, excellent surface homogeneity, very good cuttability, and it’s printed and non-printed surfaces differ only very slightly in glossiness. It offers an extraordinary wide gamut which improves colour reproduction and increases visual impact.
Hahnemühle uses pulp from 20 different deciduous and conifer tree species worldwide and insists that its suppliers be certified for sustainable forestry practices that meet or exceed the equivalent of Forest Stewardship Council directives. In addition, Hahnemühle also uses six different types of cotton linter and rags made from the super-soft, fibres of totally renewable cotton plant seed vessels.
Canson paper is certified for the traceability of the wood fibres stemming from non-threatened forests. “The absence of toxic products in Canson papers is essential for two reasons: the permanence of the artworks across the centuries and the reduction of our environmental impact.Canson® has committed to eco-design in order to reduce its consumption of non-renewable energy.
Our Mounting & Framing
In keeping with our concerns to the environment, we carefully considered the type of wood for our mouldings. Over 90% of our exhibition frame mouldings produced from the hardwood Triplochiton Scleroxylon commonly known as African Maple or Ayous.
This wood species from the Sterculiaceae family is manufactured into moulding in Italy and is our choice since it stable, and most importantly is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.
Arqadia holds PEFCTM (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) and FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) Chain of Custody certifications from BM TRADA Certification Ltd. Chain of Custody certification is the unbroken path which products take from the forest to the consumer, including all stages of manufacturing, transportation & distribution.
Anti Reflective Glass with Conservation Grade UV Protection, this is the best glazing option available for art, photographs and other important personal keepsakes. Along with its nearly invisible finish, it effectively blocks up to 99% of harmful indoor and outdoor UV light rays so framed pieces remain clearer and brighter for longer.
When building frames up to 1170mm x 870mm we use AR 70% Clarity by Larson Juhl, invisible, anti-reflective glass. This reduces reflections to less than 1% and allows viewing of artwork as intended – showing true colours without distortions. With frame sizes greater than 1170mm x 870mm our applied glazing is with the use of high-grade acrylic.
Float Glass – This type of picture frame glazing is the most common in ready-made frames and fitted to our short-term customer rental frames to offer basic protection.