The output disconnect and the future of image viewing

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Kuala Lumpur skyline after rain. An example image for which there is no perfect output medium at present: web sizes we don’t need to talk about. Full resolution screens lack the tonal resolution to render the clouds in a transparent manner; print comes closest, but ultimately is a reflective medium and so lacks the dynamic range to represent the difference between the foreground trees in deep shadow and the light in the buildings.

Let’s take stock of where we are at the moment in terms of viewing options for images: there’s basically still only digital and print. On the digital side, displays have been steadily increasing in resolution and information density – and to some extent also size; we have 4K monitors in some laptops at 14″ and under, 8K in some televisions with an enormous jump to 50″+, and the majority of devices sit in the 2-4MP range somewhere between 12″ and 30″. There are also mobile devices with HD, QHD or even 4K (the recently announced Sony Z5) resolutions in sub-6″ screens; that’s an absurdly huge range of pixel densities. Everything from about 100PPI to 800+PPI. Clearly, preparing content for this is not going to be easy; viewing distances don’t necessarily have anything to do with perceived information density (say pixels per degree of observed FOV), either. You can hold your mobile at such a distance that it subtends the same angle as your 27″ 5K iMac, but the problem is the iMac will actually have double or more of the information density – just look at the number of pixels along the long axis. Or the converse might be true. As image makers, how do we manage this?

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New Ultraprint offer: Motion at Rest, Venetian Cinematics 2

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Motion at rest – 15×12″, edition of 20

The next two images on offer are from Venice; after a decent amount of sitting time, the proofs are definitely something that I’d like to have on my own wall. Motion at rest is a study in contrasts between hard and soft light and forms; it is identifiably Venice without being a cliche. Venetian Cinematics 2 is all about the red umbrella: that transient instant of passing a stranger in a rainy alleyway where you perhaps register their presence but not at a particularly conscious level; later on you may stop and wonder what might have been. It is in essence the intrigue of the city at the human level.

Read on for more information and to order. I’ve also got a Hanoi Cinematic Masterclass (21-26 July inclusive) which is open for registration – click here to book and for more information.

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New Ultraprint offer: Marina III

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Marina III

After a surprising number of enquiries about this image, I’ve decided to offer it as a print in a limited run of 20 12×12″ Ultraprints, and 10 20×20″ versions. As with all previous prints, they will be printed by printmaster Wesley Wong, personally checked and QC’d by me and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Both prints are on a matte fine art fiber paper – Permajet Portrait White 285 – which we have found after much experimentation to have the best blend of density, gamut, detail differentiation and transparent tonality. You can read more about the rationale behind Ultraprinting here and a view a comparison to a regular print here.

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Survey: photographic print buying

_G007395 copy has been running for a little while now, with what I think of as moderate traffic and moderate response. I’d like to find out today how to make it better, by understanding my audience a little better. As such, I’d really appreciate your help with a little survey. The aim is of course to create more work that balances what my audience would like to see with the content I would like to create. And hopefully, we all benefit in the process. Thank you in advance! MT

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Limited edition Ultraprint offer: Forest IV (update – 3 left)

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(Click here for a larger version, Apple 27″ native)

Forest IV, Selangor, Malaysia. 57×22″ (145x56cm) printed area – Ultraprint on Permajet Portrait White matte cotton paper; $1,600 including DHL shipping anywhere in the world. Limited edition of 10 prints, never to be printed again at this size. Click on to order… [Read more…]

MT x LC: On Ultraprinting

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Welcome to the second instalment of the Conversations between myself and Lloyd Chambers of the excellent site Diglloyd: today, we’re talking about printing. Background: in September, we managed to shoot together for a day at the Purisima Creek redwoods – the image above is the print we’re referring to and one I made that afternoon, and the location is one that’s familiar to Lloyd. It was my first time there. Following feedback from the first instalment, we’ve edited the conversation to make it a little more readable; again it will be posted on both our sites.

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Output objectives and creative development

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I was discussing printmaking with one of the regulars readers of this site recently when a thought struck me: one of the biggest turning points for me personally was when I started shooting with an eventual printability objective for all of my images. This happened around early 2012, before which I’d felt I was stagnating creatively somewhat – perhaps partially due to day job commitments (this was before I turned to photography full time) and partially because well, I didn’t have an output objective.

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Limited edition Ultraprint offer: Nob Hill

Nob Hill, San Francisco. 20×30″ printed area – Ultraprint on Permajet Portrait White matte cotton paper; $1,500 including DHL shipping anywhere in the world. Limited edition of 10 prints, never to be printed again. Click on to order… [Read more…]

Ultraprints vs normal prints: visualising the difference

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The comparison. This is your field of view at about a foot and a half viewing distance of the crops, which are 10″ high each. Larger version here.

Today’s post is an attempt to do try to convey just how much of a difference there is between an Ultraprint and what would be considered a normal, very good print. Since this is really impossible without seeing the prints in person, a direct comparison is perhaps the closest I can get when working via the internet. What you see here will come as no surprise to people who’ve bought the most recent one or two Ultraprints from Forest III onwards; however, things have moved on a bit since then.

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_8B03521 copy - Tree and River

Today I’m pleased to announce both the next evolution for this site and my work personally:!

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