Anyone having metal prints made?
Old 12-01-2018   #1
Steve M.
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Anyone having metal prints made?

I was in an Old Town gallery in Albuquerque this morning looking at large photo prints on metal and wow, good stuff! They display them unframed like a painting, and those things just pop off the walls. The colours are deep and clean, and even the one B&W print they had on display looked great.

I've been looking at these prints for about a year and a half, and the more I look at them the more I like them. They look like a viable alternative to my B&W darkroom prints and colour phone pics. The guys at the gallery were very helpful explaining that I need to watch the values, as they don't come out looking like a conventional print. You might need to dial the saturation down. They also placed an emphasis on having small prints made first to get a feel of things before making large prints.

Is anyone here sending their files out to be printed on metal? Do you recommend any particular place to make these?
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Old 12-01-2018   #2
Larry H-L
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I had some made for a client at in California, they looked good.

A close friend uses Adorama, those also look good.

I've been to that photo co-op gallery in ABQ, their work is excellent.
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Old 12-01-2018   #3
Steve M.
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Thanks Larry. I agree, the work in there does look very good. Of course, having this beautiful light out here and the landscape around us, it would be pretty hard to screw up the shots too bad. I'm going to send some files over to one of the places you mentioned and see what comes of it.
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Old 12-01-2018   #4
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I have a 30x45 metal print on the back wall at my office captured in the Canadian Rockies last Fall. Ordered through Smugmug and created by Bay Photo. Outstanding product. I'm looking to do some more.
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Old 12-01-2018   #5
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I have made several at The scheme I like is the metal print, "wall-float" mounting, and you have several choices of surface. I find that "Glossy White" makes a very punchy print.

I have made these 12x18 and as large as 20x30. With a good image file at 200 pixel/inch it is a terrific print for display. I think it has more impact than a paper print, but YMMV.

Saw some large prints on metal by fine art photographer Winston Boyer displayed at a major fine arts show. Excellent prints, and very nice photographic work.
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Old 12-01-2018   #6
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The prints I looked at were floating prints on the walls. They also recommended going w/ the glossy white vs the metal finish. They had a big print in satin finish, and it was not the same at all. I just love the looks of the things. Nice to know that all it needs is 200 PPI at the printer. I can get a decent size print from my phone. 20x30 is a good size for this type of print because the medium just begs to go big. The sharpness and clarity are amazing.

I think this will be the next big thing in photo prints. They look as if they're back lit, and they don't have that over sharpened, photoshopped look that a lot of digital prints have. Sure beats futzing around with expensive and finicky inkjet printers. It's not something anyone could do at home though. Apparently you need a lot of machinery and technology, but you never know, things change quickly w/ technology. The gallery mentioned they had set a test print out in the New Mexico sun for years before it began to fade, but I take that w/ a grain of salt. Galleries are sales orientated, and even though this is a co-op gallery, there's still sales types in there every time I go.
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Old 12-01-2018   #7
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I've had to date 70 or so metal prints done at Bay Photo and highly recommend them. I would take advantage of their offer that delivers 5x7 versions of one of your candidate prints on each metal finish type so you can get a feel for what they look like before placing your main order.

Their new offering is apparently UV safe!

I should add that out of that number, I've had 5 or 6 mistakes, all of which were promptly and cheerfully replaced at no additional cost. One mount was attached upside down (if you saw the abstract-like print you'd hardly blame them), one had a very slight finish problem that's invisible in some lighting conditions, one was damaged in shipping, the rest were dupes or printed at the wrong size.
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Old 07-10-2019   #8
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I haven’t, and am on the fence about them. Most I’ve seen in person are generally overcooked HDR images of exceptionally mundane subjects so that’s what I tend to associate metal prints with. I did see two at an art fair I participated in last month that suited the subject matter, but not the formal gallery setting.

But I can see them looking particularly striking in non-gallery locations, and have always wanted to try them. A bit hesitant on choosing an appropriate image, with how much they can cost.

A couple local drugstores advertise the service, and I just did a couple batches from both Adoramapix and Duggar, who both offer the option. Where have people had this type of print done?
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Old 07-10-2019   #9
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I'm in New Mexico, so there's plenty of cultural stuff to shoot, along with stunning skies, vistas, and sunsets. Having said that, the prints I'm looking at are big, and pop off the wall very nicely. You really need the right light and subject matter to make these prints work, at least that's what I see here.

I'm not sure where the co-op people sends their files out to. There's plenty on the web, but only one or two here in town that make metal prints. If you're scanning film, probably best to shoot slide film and avoid the way that scanners often magnify grain. The photographers that do this tell me that the only way to figure out the metal prints is by trial and error. Send a couple of files to the printers, and have small prints made. That will tell you what the larger prints should look like. That's the part I dislike, having to send a file out to someone else to print.
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Old 07-10-2019   #10
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I do not recommend Aluminyze. They messed up a bunch of prints, including a 60 x 40 that had some serious printing flaws, and some of the others started to delaminate on the edges.
They reprinted them for me, but that must have cost them quite a bit, including the freight shipping.

Costco printed a really nice 20x30 one for me, for not much money.
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Old 07-11-2019   #11
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Steve I've done done a bunch from White base/ semi gloss. The quality is very good. I typically prefer conventional framing. It's expensive. I think that's why galleries display this way. No need for a frame.

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Old 07-11-2019   #12
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Metal prints scream "decoration" to me. In a way they are like the Velvet Elvis of the photo world.

Not to mention the colors are always over the top, like a cat went to Chernobyl and then puked his salmon dinner all over the picture. I suppose a metal print could be done right, but I haven't seen one yet.

You could try a print on Fuji Super Gloss. Still looks like a photo, but has a lot more oomph.

The best thing to do though is to pick an image and get it printed every which way you can. Then pick the one you like the best regardless of what others say to you about it.
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Old 07-11-2019   #13
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Originally Posted by PRJ View Post
... the colors are always over the top, like a cat went to Chernobyl and then puked his salmon dinner all over the picture. I suppose a metal print could be done right, but I haven't seen one yet. ...
We've made many hundreds of AL prints for our gallery ( here in Key West. Alan's taste in color is for modestly bright colors, but nothing "radioactive". We get results similar to our coated canvas, though with a bit more "depth" in the shadows. The results we get remind me (understand, I'm old) of the original glossy Cibachrome in terms of saturation, but with much better tonal range.

In the 7+ years that we've included AL as a media option, in addition to paper and canvas, we've used several suppliers. We've been using Blazing Editions in RI for the last ~5 years and find their work excellent.
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Old 07-11-2019   #14
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I've had metal prints made by a small custom house here in Louisville that has been a prisoner of all kinds of transfer printing for a long time, and they look great. I understand some folks' hesitation about metal prints and the association with HDR and other hyper-real over-the-top processed images, but you don't have to have them done like that. My lab worked carefully with me and made small section sample prints to make sure I got the look I wanted. They do them on white painted or clear aluminum. The ones on white really pop beautifully, and almost seem to glow as though they are lit from behind, but the color is exactly as punchy or muted as you want in your processing of the files you submit. The clear ones are really cool, in that the highlight areas or light tones show the bare polished metal beneath. You have to select your images carefully for that style, but they look great. They build a metal frame onto the back, so they hang off the wall as a completed piece of work as is. They're not for everyone, or every image, but like any other presentation method, if carefully considered and chosen for the piece and the application, they can look fantastic.
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Old 12-13-2019   #15
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I've had quite a few metal prints made from Adoramapix (now Printique)and am currently awaiting another order. I never liked them much at first as I was still more into classic b&W framed prints. I have a series of intentionally blurry photos from both a Sigma DP2 and Fuji XT-1 up to 24X36 and they look great. I think it depends on subject matter and setting. A lot of them look like overly processed stock images for waiting rooms and lobbies, but I am beginning to love them for my more recent stuff.

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Old 12-13-2019   #16
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Call me kinda dumb , but what is a metal print ? I've had a couple of larger prints done on metallic paper and mounted here in Burnaby , but even that set me back $300.00 ( 24"x 30") . They are however rather a treat to the eyes !
They were printed from a 4x5 Provia E-6 positive . Peter
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