In the world of black and white photography, it can still be done traditionally in the darkroom even though recent advances in technology have made more fine art printing done in color is now printed digitally. Practitioners in the darkroom had a great amount of control when dealing with black and white photography; though the dye transfer process was generally very time-consuming, expensive and difficult. Now with a digital advantage, color photographers can have the same amount of control. Most fine art nowadays is done with large format digital printing because of the clarity of the hues and contrast you are able to achieve that you would not be able to with traditional ways of printing. It is also cheaper to use large format digital printing because of the cost of dyes, and since they are primarily given to the experts, they are relying on a dwindling supply that are very much being discontinued.
Large Format Digital Printing
Large format digital printing is a split up market with approximately 12 distinct market segments that fit into one of two categories: “print-for-pay” and “print-for-use”. The “print-for-pay” segments include, photo labs, digital printers, commercial printers, sign shops, screen printers, pre-press shops and quick printers. “Print-for-use” segments include universities, ad agencies, and in-plant print operations at a variety of corporations. Whether “print-for-pay” or “print-for-use”, each type of end user has its own business issues, usage patterns and sources for printers and supplies. This fragmentation provides a continuous challenge for suppliers to the large format market.
Today, we can digitally print onto hundreds of substrates (textiles) and custom fabricate products into any shape with our computer controlled printers. As long as you can afford the initial cost of a large format digital printer, you can create a vast amount of products.
Large format digital printing is a relatively young industry, but it is growing by leaps and bounds. As a result, large format digital printing equipment and supplies have become more and more affordable and accessible. Whether you are printing point-of-sale graphics, outdoor banners, trade show displays, digital photo enlargements, fine art giclee, or cutting vinyl, you’ll find a valuable resource in large format digital printing.
So in a day and age where we the consumer are also the proprietor, combined with the relatively affordable costs of printers gives the advantage to the photographer to own his printer. Having in-house printing capabilities, besides improving efficiency, let you have instant and low cost feedback, and fine-tune prints in a way that would not be practical when you have to order prints from a lab. The cost of consumables is much less than the cost of ordering a print from a lab, which in the long run makes the printer pay for itself if you print enough.