Monday, August 03, 2009

Visit us at our new blog

Since our merger with Artisan Colour, Inc. we have started a new blog. Please follow us at - Colour Your World.

Thank you for your continued support!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Art Stimulus Silent Auction

One of many beautiful photography images by award-winning photographer Christine Taft will be auctioned on Saturday, July 11, 2009. The auction will be held in Earth Gallery, 1014 N. Main Street, (928) 451-4495 during the "Artwalk" in the Historical Art District of Old Town Cottonwood, AZ from 1:00 - 8:00 pm. The "Artwalk" will also have entertainment and refreshments.

Christine Taft will be personally available to showcase her work and answer any questions that day. If you are not the lucky winner of the auction, special incentives will be available- i.e.: first purchase will receive reduced pricing.

If you are not able to attend this special event, you can view and purchase a selection of her photography work on her website:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Artisan Colour website launched

After several months of fine tuning, we are proud to announce the launch of the newest version of the Artisan Colour website.

Artisan has gone through many changes since the last version of their website. Maybe one of the biggest is the recent addition of the Display Graphics Division with the merger with Mighty Imaging and the purchase of two new pieces of equipment; The Oce Arizona 350 GT U/V curable roll to roll and rigid hybrid printer and Zund router cutter. These machines can do amazing things! The U/V inks on the 350 GT are environmentally friendly (no VOC emissions) that can print a truly Green and sustainable product. The Zund cutter can create custom shapes and packaging to complete a corporate identity or make displays with distinction.

We're not done yet. We do have plans to further expand the site and add more features. Check back soon for the latest additions.

Our thanks to Don Giannatti of SteelID, who designed the site.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Free photography talk at SMoCA

Everyone is looking for a deal now a days. How about a little education and artistic enrichment too? Arizona State University professor, Betsy Schneider, will be giving a free talk on June 18th 6:30 pm at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Stage 2 located in the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts adjacent to the museum. She will be discussing her own work as well as those of photographer Harry Callahan. Much of Betsy's recent work explores themes of childhood, culture, and relationships. Harry also focused on loved ones as his subjects for his photography. Callahan's image scene here "Eleanor and Barbara Lake Michigan, 1953" is taken of his wife and daughter. His wife, Eleanor, was the subject of many of his images. SMoCA currently is running an exhibit of Callahan's work along with the work of Aaron Siskind and Fredrick Sommer (who lived in Prescott, Arizona) entitled At the Crossroads of American Photography: Callahan, Siskind, Sommer. The exhibit of 151 photographs has been extended to August 9, 2009.

SMoCA is also holding a series of free events every Thursday night during the summer. For more information about Betsy Schneider's talk or SMoCA's other events check out their website.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Point of Purchase displays that POP

The successful promotion of a company’s product line depends on effective marketing and presentation. It is vital for a product to be advertised in such a way that grabs the audience’s attention and also creates brand recall among customers. Most companies are looking for an approach that will give them the best return on their investment.

While there are many methods of advertising, Point of Purchase (or POP) displays are an effective and low cost method that can be used as one component of an overall marketing strategy. POP displays can be found at many different retail applications. They have been in utilized in a basic way ever since man started selling their wears. Used in the simplest form, merchants would hang samples of their product in shop windows to inform potential buyers of what they sold. Nowadays, with technological advancements, samples have been replaced with picturesque depictions of the products.

Point of purchase displays come in variety of forms. They may be backlit signboards, an entire showcase, or a counter top display right at the cash register. An effective piece will have the brand name predominately mentioned. POP fixtures and displays should be colorful and attractive to consumers. The goal is to draw the customer’s attention to the display to entice them to buy your product. They need to be targeted to the demographic you are trying to reach. They should also make a statement about your company and be consistent with your brand image, as it may be the only impression the customer gets of your company.

The machine we recently purchased to create the Artisan Colour Display Graphics Division is ideal to produce this type of marketing. It was recently recognized for its superior print quality at the Euro-Reklama Outdoor Expo. The Océ Arizona® 350 GT won the 2009 Poznan International Fair (PIF) Gold Medal. The first generation of this machine (the 250 GT) was awarded the PIF Gold Medal in 2008.

Océ Wins Double Gold at Euro-Reklama Outdoor Expo 2009

The PIF Gold Medal is awarded to a product that meets a number of criteria, including quality and innovation, and that has been produced using the best technology available. A panel of specialists in each industry judges the entries. The PIF Gold Medal competition jury has a 30-year tradition of recognizing outstanding products in various fields.

The Océ Arizona 350 GT UV curable flatbed printer uses Océ VariaDot™ imaging technology to deliver near-photographic image quality for nearly any application. Designed as a true flatbed system, it can print on a wide variety of rigid substrates and features a Roll Media Option for printing onto flexible media. A White Ink Option is available to enable under-printing on colored media or objects, over-printing for backlit applications on transparent media, and printing white as a spot color. The Océ Arizona 350 GT printer is ideal for producing a wide variety of applications such as event graphics, point-of-purchase displays, limited-term signage, banners, backlit and reflective rigid displays, transit advertising, and directional signage.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Mighty Imaging featured in Digital Output online article series

We were honored and flattered when Gretchen Peck from Digital Output contacted us to give our perspective in the technological advances that have helped shape our industry and business practices for her four part exclusive online series. Gretchen contacted us as we were in the middle of our merger with Artisan Colour to become their Display Graphics Division. The equipment and technology mentioned in the article are what have become the cornerstone of our new space in the Artisan Colour complex. Here is a portion of her article.

Mighty Imaging; AZ-based Shop Makes the Move to Automation -Gretchen A. Peck for Digital Output online

Mighty Imaging invested in a blend of print technologies in order to manage an array of large format graphics.

"Right now, the equipment line-up is the Océ LightJet for fine art and photographic applications, an Epson Stylus Pro 9800 for giclée output, and a Océ Arizona 350 GT UV flatbed for direct to substrate application," explains Fradin. "While the LightJet is our workhorse, the 350 GT is going to eclipse that rather quickly."

Corporate wall art is a strong market segment for Mighty Imaging. "We produce a fair amount of wallpaper for restaurants and bars, in addition to large prints and fabric graphics for lobbies, conference rooms, board rooms, and call centers. Our attention to detail and ability to manage color allows us to fill the fine art reproduction niche as well," he explains.

With growing volumes and a demanding customer base, it wasn’t enough to simply provide exceptional print. In addition, Mighty Imaging needed to offer sophisticated and stealthy finishing services. Thus, the company recently ordered its first digital cutting solution, a Zünd G3 digital cutter.

"Prior to the G3 I lived in the last century in regards to a cutting solution—panel saw, table saw, and hand cutting. The cost savings in labor and turnaround time should be significant, and of course, having every step in the workflow process under one roof is every print service provider’s goal," admits Fradin.

Fradin expects the G3 to eliminate bottlenecks in finishing by automating cutting and trimming. "Cutting by hand, with its inherent labor costs, potential for human error, and lack of efficiency, should be reduced to nearly zero," he says. "More importantly, unique applications will allow us to set our customers’ display graphics apart from others."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

David Spindel, a 50 year overnight success story

David Spindel is a photographer who has had some amazing opportunities in his career. He has worked with many celebrities, probably the one that has given him the most notoriety is John Lennon. He was given remarkable access to John at his recording studio in New York not long before his untimely death. David's work has been used for multiple album and book covers. We had the opportunity to print some of his images for shows he has had around the world.

David and his wife moved to Arizona 2004 to "retire", although I don't think he has slowed down much. He currently has a showing of his work at The Broadway Palm Dinner Theater in Mesa, Arizona until the end of May. He was also recently interviewed by the Arizona Republic and the Phoenix Magazine. This morning he was interviewed by Scott Pasmore of Channel 3 for their Good Morning Arizona show. If you missed it, here is a link for the interview.

In David's words "My favorite expression is that it has only taken me 50 years to be an overnight success."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Framing that is environmentally friendly

We have had the privilege to use Larson-Juhl frame molding as part of an order fulfillment program for one of our national clients. It is good to know that not only does Larson-Juhl provide superior looking frames, but also that they care about their environmental impact in harvesting the wood to make their product.

Larson-Juhl Receives Two Environmental Certifications

Larson-Juhl has been awarded chain-of-custody environmental certifications for moulding and matboard products from two worldwide organizations, Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The Biltmore™ Frame Collection by Larson-Juhl® is PEFC certified and The Artique Biltmore™ Collection of Solid Color Core matboards is FSC certified.

Third party independent auditors oversee harvesting through manufacturing, distribution, and sales to ensure that a product is certified as claimed and validate a chain-of-custody certification. Products that achieve certification can feature the logo and unique certification number designated to the company to prove validation.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Use wallpaper to make your room look bigger

Much like fashion, interior design trends tend to go in cycles. Many designers are re-discovering the possibilities with wallpaper. It can be used as an accent wall or, as described in this article, use a vertical pattern to help lift and visually make a small room look larger. With the UV Curable printing process on our Arizona 350 GT, not only is the printing process environmentally friendly, but designers also have an opportunity to create and implement a one of a kind custom design.

Wallpaper gives small space character: by Christine Brun

Sometimes a room needs more than just a coat of paint, especially if it is a room that serves a distinct purpose.

It is exactly in smaller spaces such as an entryway or a powder room that we feel most comfortable experimenting with new things. If the result isn't quite what we imagined, it is easier and less expensive to correct.

Other times, however, the emphasis you seek is for an area of greater impact, such as a living-room wall just begging to be treated as a focal point. Maybe you want to do more than just paint it a different color. Fortunately for the wallpaper industry, after what seems like a long drought, many people are turning to wall coverings to achieve that pizzazz.

...The photo shows wallpaper designed by Candice Olsen, host of "Devine Design" on HGTV. The soothing color and subtle vertical-print pattern help "lift" the ceiling height in the room, a good strategy for smaller rooms in general.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Getting color right - all the time

Today's display graphics are no longer considered just a sign. Very often the graphics we print for our customers in the Retail Market are thought of as art by their shoppers.

Here at Artisan Colour, color management is religion! The two pillars that we live by are accuracy and consistency. Our ability to replicate colors to the highest standard is a daily task. So often Retail Graphics Buyers demand that product colors in the graphics match the merchandise. Easier said than done, eh? A number of our readers have expressed frustration when trying to produce a certain color to match a brand or product where the slightest shift spells disaster. In the print graphics field we spell disaster W-A-S-T-E!

The other pillar of color management is consistency. Have you ever had a job come in where the client is requesting different applications for the same campaign? Using multiple printers on different substrates can seem like an insurmountable task when the goal is to be consistent through out the entire campaign.

In this month's edition of Wide-Format Imaging Marc Welch describes how science has aided color management in image editing and producing uniform and precise color output no matter what devise is used.

How it's Done

The workflow is quite simple:

The first step shuts off color management on all RIPs. The RIPs will receive color-managed files, so they do not need to perform this function. However, the RIP still performs basic printer to media calibration for each media type. This involves printing a tone scale for each color, and making adjustments to optimize the match between requested and printed values. Once calibration is complete, the device is linearized.

The final step is creating a reference or “fingerprint” of the printer or press. A reference chart is printed and ‘read’ with a spectrophotometer. This allows the software to understand both what colors your printer can reproduce as well as how it produces them. Good color management software takes the printer color output, compares it to a preferred standard (GRACoL, for example) and creates a link to correlate the printer’s color capabilities to the color standard. Printers with a broader range of colors (gamut) support a better match to the color standard or original color being matched.

With the right software and training, you can deal with special circumstances. For example, some customers print the backside of polycarbonate then laminated over the print with a white film. The resulting color gamut is considerably smaller than GRACoL. In this type of case it is possible to compress the input color range to fit the available gamut.

....What once required a time-consuming, difficult to teach, and often inconsistent skill has become an efficient, productive process. Both you and your customers will take notice.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Need inspiration? Get Ignited!

Well the temperature has broken 100 degrees for three straight days and that can only mean that summer has arrived in the Valley of the Sun. So, between the economy and the weather, it's not easy for creative folks like us to get inspired.

Since we're spending gobs of time trying social media as a way to drum up some business we here at Artisan Colour / Display Graphics have found a cool site where creative minds can present ideas. You know that many times it just takes a thought or an idea from someone to ignite the passion within. The site we found is appropriately named

Ignite Phoenix is an information exchange aimed at fostering and inspiring Phoenix's creative community. On Tuesday, June 16th. Ignite Phoenix will be having it's fourth event at the Tempe Center for the Arts. While that event is more than a month away these folks are opening up submissions for the event right now. so get fired up and ignite the creative passions from within.

We are excited to announce that Ignite Phoenix will be returning to the gorgeous Tempe Center for the Arts for our fourth event on Tuesday, June 16th. The overwhelming turnout for Ignite #3 in February forced us to alter our plans, as we needed a venue that could hold 400+ people. Thanks to support from the City of Tempe and some generous sponsors, we will be in the TCA’s gorgeous 600 seat theater!

Ignite Phoenix has come a long way since the the first “I Wonder If Anyone Will Show Up” event last August, and from now on our goal is have the next Ignite scheduled and posted as soon as a previous event wraps up. We will also open up submissions immediately, so you can submit an idea any time it strikes you. The only time submissions will be closed will be during the judging period right before an event.

If you have an idea you would like to submit for Ignite Phoenix #4, just visit our Submission Page.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Help Rick D'Elia, and in turn help the children of Uganda

Rick D'Elia is donating his time to a very worthy cause by documenting the day to day struggle of survival in Uganda. Rick is trying to head up a trip that will benefit 4 charitable organizations by allowing them to use his images as part of their education and fund raising efforts. What Rick needs is help to raise the funds to make his trip to Uganda possible. I will let Rick tell the story.
STREEETCH and help some kids.

Help three small organizations that focus on education and other necessities mostly for kids in Uganda keep their programs running.

Let me explain.

As it is, small orgs must use whatever resources they have available not only in keeping the lights on but in trying to draw donations from a diminishing pool of donors in a increasingly competitive arena.

They draw donor attention through their communications tools, websites and mailers. Powerful photographs help make those tools successful. If the photographs are compelling, they convey the importance and strength of an organization. They motivate donors.

Small organizations, however, often can’t afford to bring an experienced, skilled photographer to their site. Their photographs are taken by staff-members whose expertise lies in education and social work. Those staffers are not trained in finding telling and emotional moments that make powerful photographs from which a viewer cannot look away.

Many of these organizations wish they could have work done by a pro.

With a little help, a little funding, a pro could be put into place without cost to an organization.

Wouldn’t it be even better if there were three or four organizations in the same area in Uganda with a similar need, the photographer is already in place to help out not just one, but several organizations accomplish the same goal?

Three for the price of one?

Just by pure coincidence (!?) atleast four organizations have expressed excitement at the prospect of getting great photographs of and for their programs:

Teach a Child to Fish

Bega Kwa Bega (Shoulder to Shoulder)

Uganda Community School Project, Nawantale


My plan is to spend about two weeks photographing these projects as a volunteer, as well as another five or six days of post production time. Travel expenses for two weeks, which would include, transportation, food and lodging, etc., will range between $3,000 and $3,600 depending upon the cost of the airfare. Departure depends upon how quickly these expenses are raised.

Teach a Child to Fish, will collect the funds, so, just fill out a check, and send with one of those “forever stamps” (remember the price is going up very soon) to:

Teach A Child to Fish
P.O. Box 491
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Enter in the notations, "NGO photo project."

TCF is 501(c)3 so, donations are deductible.

Once the expenses are covered, the rest of the donated funds will help TCF with their program.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Big news! Mighty Imaging merges with Artisan Colour

We are very excited to announce the expansion of our services with the acquisition of a new Océ Arizona GT350 UV curable flatbed printer, and our merger with Artisan Colour to form their new Display Graphics Division.

Our website and current phone number (602.977.1234) will remain active during and after the transition. Please come by and visit our new facility. We will have the same great service and personnel you were used to at Mighty Imaging, as well as the addition of new equipment and highly trained staff to serve all of our printing needs!

Press Release

Experts in color management now offering high - end display graphics and museum quality photographic printing. Artisan Colour acquires Mighty Imaging to add Display Graphics division

Phoenix, April 21, 2009:

Artisan Colour announced today an expansion of their product offerings with the purchase of Mighty Imaging to create a new Display Graphics print division. With the acquisition, Artisan Colour will be adding superior print technology and precision custom finishing to its award winning color management, providing a seamless workflow to its customers nationwide.

The strategy at Artisan Colour is to focus on capture, creation, output and finishing by identifying the Gold Standard in imaging technology and bringing it all under one roof. Utilizing the “Best in Class” Océ Arizona GT350 UV curable flatbed printer, a state of the art Zund G3 digital router/cutter, as well as the finest photographic printing device, the Océ LightJet. Artisan’s line-up will provide their customers superior display graphics with an exceptional mix of equipment. This will enable Artisan’s clientele to take their message beyond the norm by providing exotic applications such as wood, metals, fabrics, wallpaper, glasswork, custom furniture and fine art to name a few.

According to Doug Bondon, President of Artisan Colour and one of its founding members, “The addition of the Mighty Imaging print division made sense for our customers. It is consistent with our mission of providing the very best in pre-press color separation. We can now offer the marketplace large format printed display and marketing material that will have the most accurate color output and highest degree of quality no matter what application from the project’s conception to installation.” Doug also adds, “We now have the freedom to work directly with our clients to create nearly anything that their imagination can conceive.”

Mighty Imaging for the past four years has had a store front location at 32nd St & Indian School Rd in Central Phoenix. In May 2009 they will move in to a newly remodeled 9,300 + square foot facility within the Artisan Colour complex located in North Scottsdale.

Artisan currently services a national clientele by consistently meeting the highest quality standards in their profession. Mighty Imaging has been the preferred choice of professional photographers and fine artists from around the world to produce their images. With the combination of the two companies, the new Artisan Colour Display Graphics division will deliver extraordinary value to their clientele through efficiently executed superior quality display solutions.
Artisan Colour is an industry leading pre-press color separation and digital imaging resource in Scottsdale, Arizona, providing large format printing, scanning, and design. For more information visit us at or call 480-948-0009.

Doug Bondon:
Peter Fradin:
Artisan Colour
8970 E. Bahia Drive.
Ste. 104
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

David Mehrer BFA Exhibition

David Mehrer is an artist completing the photography program at Minnesota State University Moorhead. You probably remember seeing Moorhead and Fargo on the news in the past couple of weeks with the Red River cresting and subsequently flooding the surrounding area. Because of that situation, the University's BFA Exhibition had to get rescheduled. The show will go on, and is opening on April 27th.

David uses light almost like sculptural aspects in his photography. His mixture of the media creates new elements to traditional themes. We were happy to help out an emerging artist across the country. We wish David the best of luck with the upcoming exhibition and his career in the arts.

If you will be in the Moorhead area in late April, you can visit the Roland Dille Center for the Arts to see the show.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Chris Adams at Winfield's Cafe

We recently printed some work for Chris Adams for his show Urban Landscapes at the Winfield's Cafe in Old Town Scottsdale. The Winfield's Cafe is a different kind of coffee house. It is run by the First Baptist Church of Scottsdale and located in their campus. Their mission at the cafe is not only to offer good coffee, but to also build community relations through their services.

There is a opening reception for Chris' work April 2nd from 6 pm to 8 pm. The show will be on display until April 13th. To learn more about the Winfield's Cafe or their events visit their website.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Creating a panoramic image using Photomerge

Large printed panoramic images are amazing. The days of spending hours manually blending and combing your photos are over. Photomerge is a powerful tool available in Photoshop CS4 that will do just as advertised, merge your photos together in a matter of seconds. This tutorial posted by Jay Kinhorn on Layers Magazine gives a great overview on how to use the action and get the best result. I really like his tip about zooming in and making sure your seams do not have any soft spots or aberrations, those are very apparent when printed large.

Photoshop CS4 Photomerge

In the new CS4, there are some minor improvements to the Photomerge function, including the new collage option. Jay Kinghorn goes over the different ways of bringing your images into photomerge, the layout options, and some quick tips for creating better quality panoramas.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tempe Festival of the Arts this weekend

If it is spring time in Arizona that can only mean one thing, festivals. The 32nd annual Spring Tempe Festival of the Arts will be held this weekend off of Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe. Starting at 6 pm tonight, they will shut down Mill Avenue and the artists will start setting up their booths for the event. Admission is free, and the event is even dog friendly. The weather promises to be beautiful this weekend. Bring the whole family down to view and buy some original art!

SPRING FESTIVAL 2009 March 27-29/ 10am to Dusk

The Tempe Festival of the Arts consistently ranks among the Top 20 art festivals in the nation by Sunshine Artist and has received the Pinnacle Award from the International Festival and Events Association. The spring and fall events each attract nearly 250,000 visitors to the Mill Avenue District over the course of a 3-day weekend.

Quality artists are fundamental to the success of the event. Each year, the Festival receives more than 1,000 applications from artists across the country. From these applicants, a jury comprised of members of the local art community selects the top artisans in each category to participate in the Festival. During the Festival, a new jury then selects the best overall artist and the top artist in each category.

Participants are separated into 18 different artistic categories for judging, ranging from woodwork to photography to ceramics and even wearable art. More than 400 artist booths line Mill Avenue and the surrounding streets presenting unique, and hand-made artwork that offers visitors a distinctive shopping experience.

Friday, March 20, 2009

How to hang a picture frame

For many hanging picture frames can be a frustrating and daunting task. There are several methods to achieve the look you would like for your decor. This one posted on Instructables takes in to consideration the average eye level of most viewers, and then uses that magical number 66" from the floor to find the sweet spot on where to hang your nail. There is some other math involved too, but we will let them explain.
Hang a Picture Frame

Here is my method for measuring and hanging framed pictures. Your art will end up at the correct viewing height and will be even with other frames in the room, even if they are different sizes. This is my own preferred method; there are others, like some folks will hang pictures with the tops or bottoms at the same height; others so that the middles are all level. My method places the two-thirds point uniformly at eye level, which I think looks best....

step 6 Make a sketch

On a piece of paper make a diagram (this helps me). Make these calculations:
Take frame height ( H ), divide by three. This is ( E )
Measured down from the top of the frame, ( E ) is going to end up being eye level ( L, or 66" ), two thirds up the frame.
The difference between the 66 inch mark and where the hanger will go is ( D ).
Picture hanger is placed at ( X ).

So we have:
H divided by 3 = E ( Thirds )
E minus V = D ( Difference between wire and top third point )
66 plus D = X ( Eye level plus difference is where the hanger goes )
V corresponds to X ( The wire hangs on the hanger. Duh. )

It gets easier when you've done it once or twice.
(Tell me if I've made this stupidly complicated.)
Check out the link to see all of the steps. You will be hanging pictures like a pro in no time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

8 steps to a better computer workspace

Our friend Scott Condray of Visualville offers some sage advice on the best way to set up your system for optimum viewing and color correcting conditions, as well as some tips that can help increase your computer speed. Scott has spent years teaching Photoshop classes, calibrating workstations, and creating printer profiles for output. Suffice it to say, he knows his stuff.
8 Easy Things You Can Do To Improve Your Workplace & Workflow

Making improvements to your “workplace” also improves your "workflow".

The following will improve the quality of the product you produce and make your life a little easier at the same time.

1. Always have your monitor desktop set to a neutral color. Preferably a medium gray. Screen Savers don’t really “save” your monitor. If you are concerned about extending the usable life of your monitor simply turn it off when you are not using it.

2. Consistent subdued lighting in your workplace is a must. Avoid strong directional light whether artificial or natural.

3. Use neutral colors in the workplace. No bright yellow, (red, blue, green, etc.), colored walls. They may look cool but will definitely impact your ability to accurately color adjust images.

4. Wear neutral colored clothing when processing images. Your clothes reflect color onto your monitor screen.

5. Use monitor hoods. Monitor hoods block directional light and help improve the consistent subdued light environment mentioned in step two. In a perfect world, a monitor hood would come with every monitor.

6. Always view your print outputs in the same viewing area. This area should be as close as possible to your monitor. What is the correct light source for your viewing area? In a perfect world you would view your print outputs under the same light source they will be displayed under. Obviously that isn't practical.

A good all around color temperature for a viewing source is 5000 degrees Kelvin. There are several manufacturers who make lamps in this color temperature.

7. If you don’t do anything else on this list, CALIBRATE YOUR MONITOR! Adjusting Images using an uncalibrated monitor is like shooting a film camera without knowing what kind of film you’ve loaded.

As the old Chinese Proverb warns, “ If you don’t know where you're going any road will take you there.”

You can purchase a very accurate Calibration System (Hardware and Software) for about $250. It will pay for itself very quickly.

8. Work on the most powerful workstation you can afford. A powerful computer, properly configured, is the heart of any successful digital workflow.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Interview with Art Holeman Part 2

We last left off in our discussion with Art as he was beginning to tell us more about the Through Each Other's Eyes organization and his experiences on this most recent trip to Mexico.

MI: How important is it to have the right translator and guide? Or did you get by with common sense and lots of smiles?

"Before my trips I purchased some CD's for language which taught me key phrases. I learned enough to get me in hot water pretty quick." he jokes. "The native people are very understanding and courteous. If you show them that you are trying to communicate in their own language, that goes a long way. Communication in Japan was not difficult at all. Many people spoke fluent or basic English and we were able to come to an understanding. In Mexico we were fortunate to have excellent guides that spoke English and could translate for us."

MI: What made the experience unique?

"The unique thing is that everyone tells you don't go down there (to Mexico) because it is dangerous. What you have to understand is that it is their country, with their own way of doing things. I found this myth to simply not be true. You can get in to trouble anywhere." Art adds, "The foods were unbelievable!"

MI: What cameras and lenses did you use for the trip?

"I brought two camera bodies; a Canon 5D and a Canon 20D, and two lenses; a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm for increased range. I also brought a Lensbaby," but admits "Every time I bring one on an exchange the local photographer would want to keep it. There is now one in Japan and one in Mexico, and I need to order a new one for myself."

MI: Was there a particular shot that you captured that you felt really connected to?

"I got one that I shot the very first day. I saw these horse trainers running back and forth exercising their horses. Everything was dusty and the trainer was riding a white horse. As soon as I took the shot, the guide told us no to take images of the horse trainers. I later found out that there is apparently a lot of competition between the horse trainers for their races, and they do not want their methods to be exposed. It still remains one of my favorite shots from the trip." Art goes on to say, "I try to go in to an exchange with an open mind and not have a preconceived concept of the end product. I try to let it flow and let the locations and people speak to me. Otherwise, I would end up ignoring a lot of what surrounds me."

We would like to thank Art for taking time to meet with us for this interview. Look for a show of Art and Colleen's Mexico images coming up in September of 2009. When the specifics of the show are announced we will post them here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Christine Taft at Earth Gallery

Earth Gallery is located in Old Town Cottonwood in Northern Arizona off of Historic Route 89A. The Old Town Association of Cottonwood is holding a Second Saturday Art & Antique Walk every 2nd Saturday of the month, starting this weekend. Christine Taft has been asked to display her work at the Earth Gallery for the on-going event. We printed some gorgeous Metallic prints of her award winning images available for purchase at the gallery.

The art walk starts this weekend March 14th from 1-8 pm. Come and play!

The Art District in Old Town features art in all mediums, from antiques and galleries to artisan breads and fine food fusions.

From 1-8pm, come stroll the sidewalks and enjoy our beautiful climate, incredible food choices, large array of shopping options and Old West atmosphere of Historic 89A, as you meander through the wonderful spectrum of galleries and shops. Chances are good that music will be playing and the sun will be shining.

Every second Saturday there will be events to stir your artistic soul, and a new show at each gallery, every month, whose work you can newly appreciate.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Go West exhibit at Tucson Airport

If you happen to find yourself with some time to spare at the Tucson Airport there is more for you to do than just read a magazine while you are waiting for your flight. James Cowlin along with photographer Tom Kiefer currently have an exhibit at the airport gallery entitled Go West: One Road, Two Visions. Both artists tell the a story of the West from very different viewpoints. While Jim focuses on vast sweeping iconic Western landscapes, Tom concentrates how man altered and changed these locations.

The show is on display through the end of March 2009. If you won't be flying out of Tucson during that time you can still 'visit' the exhibit on line. We were happy to lend a hand by printing Jim's Historic Route 89 images used for the exhibit.
As story tellers with cameras, Tom Kiefer and I may seem to be worlds apart. The paradoxical juxtaposition you see in this exhibition should not hide the passion we each bring to our work and the commitment to truth and beauty as we see it.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Through Each Other's Eyes show this weekend

Another event taking place this weekend is a show from the Through Each Other's Eyes organization. The latest show features four photographers from two countries. Dennis Scully and Maurice Sartirana traveled to Japan in a culture exchange with two Japanese photographers Haruhiko Shimauchi and Noriyoshi Kanda. Their resulting images will be on display this weekend at the Historic Southwest Cotton Company Building. The show will be part of the First Friday events as well as a reception with the artists on Saturday night. We were honored that they selected us to do some Metallic printing for the show.

The Historic Southwest Cotton Co. Bldg. is located at 605 E. Grant St. in downtown Phoenix. The March 6th First Friday event starts at 6 pm, and the artist reception on Saturday March 7th is from 5-8 pm. Hope to see you there!

The 16th exchange between photographers in Phoenix and Himeji, sister cities since 1976, began with the visit of Haruhiko Shimauchi and Noriyoshi Kanda to Arizona in February, 2008. Hosted by TEOE Photographers Dennis Scully and Maurice Sartirana, their shooting schedule included Super Bowl activities at West Gate, a Chocolate festival and fire cadet training in Glendale.

Sartirana and Scully will complete the exchange by traveling to Japan.
The participants stay at each other's homes while traveling abroad, making the experience a rich cultural exchange that was about far more than making pictures. Each photographer will feature 20 prints in the resulting exhibit, presenting images of how two cultures perceive one another.
The pictures of Dennis and Maurice seen here were taken during their trip to Japan in 2008.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

"3" Artshow at Jordre Studio

This Friday is shaping up to be a big night for art in Phoenix. As usual, the first Friday of every month is part of the First Friday art walks in the downtown galleries. March is also the 20th anniversary of Art Detour, a two day event with thousands of attendees experiencing hundreds of artists’ work in more than 100 galleries and studios. Both events are brought to you by the non-profit volunteer organization Artlink.

There are several shows scheduled on Friday and continuing in to Saturday. Some of which we were able to play a part in by helping the artists produce their work, one of them being 3 at the Jordre Studio. It is a collaborative show of three artists; Jennie Ignaszewski, Tyson Crosbie, and Kyle Jordre. We worked with both Tyson and Kyle for the show.

Tyson will be debuting the second edition of his annual series of fine art photographs, Phoenix 21. On Thursday March 5th from 6-8pm there is also a chance for you to preview the work before it is open to the public on Friday. It is a great opportunity to interact with the artists and see the work up close and personal.
Group Show highlights talents of three artists during Art Detour

Simply titled, "3," this year during Artlink's Art Detour Jordre Studio will be hosting a show of three diverse artists, Jennie Ignaszewski, Tyson Crosbie and Kyle Jordre (owner of Jordre Studio). The opening reception is being held on March 6, 2009 during First Friday, 6PM-10PM. The studio will also be open during regular Detour hours, Saturday, March 7, 10AM - 6PM; Sunday, March 8, noon - 6PM.

Documenting urban beauty - as each is committed to and loves the Valley/Phoenix urban environment. Jennie has lived here longest and has created many images of the community and the local population; Tyson is deeply embedded in the social networking arena and is the creator of #pfn (phoenix friday nights) a group that you can find on twitter/facebook; and Kyle's studio is in the heart of the Grand Avenue arts district and he is active in the Grand Ave. merchants association. Each of these valley artists is committed to our downtown community and through their work, they document urban beauty quite uniquely.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Interview with Art Holeman Part 1

We have worked with Art Holeman for years. We have always admired, not only his photography, but also his work with Through Each Other's Eyes. TEOE is a not-for-profit organization celebrating their 20th anniversary in Arizona. Their goal is to promote international understanding through photography. A very dedicated group of volunteer photographers will take trips in a cultural exchange with a pair of photographers from that native country. Art recently came back from a trip in Mexico and sat down with us to share some of his experiences as well as his inspiration and background in photography.

MI: How did you decide to become a photographer?

Art laughs. "I wanted to be a photographer after seeing the ads in Playboy. When I first subscribed it truly was because of the ads. The lighting and composition intrigued me. When I started photography, I didn't shot people for years. It was the commercial side of photography that inspired me."

MI: Did you have any formal training?

"Yes, I completed a two year program at the Hawkeye Institute of Technology. Prior to that I had life experience shooting what was around me living in Michigan. I wrote to Kodak to inquire if they had a photo school I could attend. They did not, but were kind enough to send me back a booklet of every photo program in the country at the time. I chose Hawkeye Inst. and focused on commercial photography."

MI: Tell us about Through Each Other's Eyes

"I feel fortunate to be a part of that group. There is a board of 20 photographers. I have been a member for 2 years. I, along with Colleen Miniuk-Sperry, just completed our cultural exchange to both Japan and Mexico." Art adds, " One of the most important things that is required is if you can live with your fellow photographer on the road for a week. Colleen is very easy to get along with. I would travel with Colleen any time." He then smiles as he divulges, "Colleen loves to get up for sunrise shots."

Check back for part two of the interview where Art talks more about his experience traveling to Mexico and Japan for TEOE.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wallpaper is back - and you may not recognize it

We have seen a resurgence in the usage in wallpaper lately. With the ability to print directly from a digital file, interior designers, photographers, or any creative soul can now see their vision realized in a big way. Many designers are using this technique with an accent wall of a custom motif created specifically for that space. Although this article highlights ready to sell wallpaper designed by specific artisans, anyone can achieve a similar look and get it printed for about half the price as a prefabricated product.

Wallpaper is back and design-forward: Distributed by McClatchy Newspapers

Wallpaper was a booming industry for years until the late 1990s, when it fell out of fashion as faux paint finishes came roaring onto the interior-decorating scene. Floral patterns and fruit borders were no longer innovative.

Wallpaper looked tired.

But fear not, people: Wallpaper is back. But it's different -- so different, you might not recognize it. (Full disclosure: My husband is a wallpaper hanger, so some of my evidence is firsthand.)

Accent Design Studio in Fort Worth, Texas, has seen a big increase in the use of wallpaper in its interior designs in the past two years. And it's because the new papers really complement the faux-paint walls. "It may cost 40 percent more to wallpaper a room than paint it, but the impact is worth it," Accent co-owner Cindy Peck says.

Popular TV designer Candice Olson, host of HGTV's "Divine Design," wallpapers an accent wall in many of her designs and is helping to make wallpaper hip again. She started her own line of wallpaper, available through York Wallcoverings, a year and a half ago. Olson's new collection comes out in December.

Consider these emerging trends:


When I saw this wallpaper, it took my breath away. It's absolutely a piece of art. Trove is a wallpaper studio based in New York. It uses photographic imagery to create depth in large-scale prints. This pattern, Indi, inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds," is simply stunning. Roll width is 35.5 inches, $16 per square foot. The image featured is 12 feet high by 6 feet wide.

Trove, under the direction of Jee Levin and Randall Buck, began with images inspired by the 100-year-old flower market in the middle of Manhattan. The studio uses natural elements as the basis of its designs. Serendipitous, too, that the paper itself is eco-friendly and recyclable. Learn more at

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lighting Essentials' photo contest

Don Giannatti at Lighting Essentials is starting up a monthly photo contest. This is the first month, and it looks like there are already some great submissions. This month's assignment is portraits in an environment; "Show the subject’s relationship to the environment". We are one of the sponsors by offering the second place winner with a free 16x20 glossy print. We are excited to see who wins!

You have until February 28th to submit images if you are interested. Please check out Lighting Essentials for all of the contest rules and details.

We have a wonderful sponsor, and they will be awarding a grand prize of a weeks rental of any of their great photographic gear. Our wonderful sponsor, Mighty Imaging will be presenting a free 16×20 for second place and our third place will receive the Lighting Essentials 1 DVD.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mighty Imaging featured in The Big Picture Magazine

In the February 2009 issue of The Big Picture Magazine, their feature article focused on the 'art' of fine-art printing. Mighty Imaging was honored to be asked to share some of our ideas and techniques that have made fine-art printing a successful venture for us. Our many thanks to Clare Baker, who wrote the article, and to The Big Picture Magazine for asking us to participate.

The Big Picture does not post their magazine on line. Here are some excerpt from the article.

Fine Art from All Angles - Clare Baker

It's safe to say that fine-art printing is not for everyone, regardless of whether you've been in the business of wide-format printing for just months or you've spent dozens of years in the output arena. Besides the printer, media, and inks required for fine-art printmaking, the print provider must devise and accurate proofing process, be sensitive to the needs of fine-artists, and, of course, cultivate a viable client base, all of which can be a pricey and time-consuming undertaking. Fine-art printing, one might say, is an art within itself.

Mighty Imaging (, in Phoenix, also serves a more commercial demographic. Owner Peter Fradin says that his shop, which opened in 2005, serves those "who need the very best imaging on a large scale." He elaborates, "I felt that the large-format channel was being filled by sign shops and repro houses rather than true masters of color and printing, to detriment of fine art, high-end retail display, and interior design." His clients range from graphic designers "whose passion and vision get lost without high-quality output"; national Web-based companies with products that require printing and shipping; corporate wall-art programs that produce artwork and murals for lobbies, offices, conference rooms, and board rooms; architects and interior designers; and rounding out his client base, photographers and fine-artists. "I try to be solution-based when making a sale," says Fradin. "We are constantly bringing fresh ideas to market...At the end of the day [our shop is prepared] to produce all types of graphics and prints."

Looking Ahead

If you're still only in the deciding or planning stages of adding fine-art printing capabilities to your shop, it would not be surprising if you're hesitant to do so given the current economic climate. Even the most successful print providers are probably feeling their business soften as the economy continues to slow. While only you can judge what is best for your shop, the shops we spoke with are finding unique ways to keep as well as find business during these times.

Mighty Imaging's Fradin, for instance, has settled on an arguably bullish way to deal with the slowing markets: "We have decided not to participate in the recession," he jokes. Despite what he acknowledges as trying times, he's doubling the shop's marketing efforts in hopes of identifying those artists and businesses that are looking for a higher level of quality from their current large-format fine-art print provider. "We're in the process of acquiring the best technology and latest equipment to make those folks' vision a reality," he says. "I know I'm incurring a great risk right now in trying to grow my business in the current economic environment-but as I see it, if our efforts here don't make our customers money, then we really haven't done our job."

We were also flattered that they selected an image of work we have done for Stuart Anthony Black of the PANGEA Gallery to illustrate their point for the article.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Try and Find a Battery It Can’t Charge

Since there is no more football, you may decide to grab the digital camera and head up North to get some cool winter shots. Unless your digital camera is fully charged you could be left “out in the cold”.

What really is a drag is whether it’s your camcorder, cell phone or digital camera each of the batteries differ in shape and size and require their own dedicated charger. Well, the good folks at Lenmar have addressed this multiple charger dilemma with its PowerPort Clip universal charger.

The small charger uses adjustable contact points that can adapt itself to almost any battery. After the contacts have been set, users slide the battery under the clasp and plug the PowerPort Clip into any standard USB port using the built in, swiveling conector. And since it’s self contained there are no wires to untangle.

It is very simple to use and features technology that not only extends the stand time and durability of your batteries but since it uses less power than all other alternatives, you can be “Green” while doing so. To learn more about this outstanding product just check them out at

Sometimes I dig being out in nature alone, but this is one travel companion that’s coming along for the ride!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

2009 Arizona Fine Art Expo

Springtime in Arizona means there are lots of events to attend. We just finished the Barrett Jackson Car Auction, the FBR Open, and in a couple weeks Phoenix will be hosting the NBA All-Star Game. If cars and sports are not your thing, there is also the 5th annual Arizona Fine Art Expo being held in Scottsdale.

The 44,000 square foot tented event features 100 artists, from photographers, painters, jewelry makers, woodworkers, and sculptors. You can get up close and personal to the artists and their process. Many will be creating pieces at the event as well as offering classes that you can attend for an extra fee. They also have a 2 acre sculpture garden with a koi pond and a butterfly exhibit. Dogs are even welcome to come along! It sounds like a great time. The Expo will be open until March 29, 2009. For more information check out their site.
Meet 100 nationally acclaimed and award-winning artists passionately creating artwork inside or in the outdoor working cabanas. The Arizona Fine Art EXPO brings you seventy-four continuous days of spectacular art adventure!