FujiFlex and Fuji Crystal

Is FujiFlex an Ultimate Photo Paper?

I this article I will discuss the latest technologies used for fine art printing and go over the advantages and disadvantages of each medium. The FujiFlex and Fuji Crystal are the very frequently mentioned brand names of fine art paper that are used by many prominent photographers. One of the promoters of the technique was Peter Lik that popularised luxury photography. His works have raised many questions about the light performance of the finished prints. Why do the prints appear backlit? What makes them behave that way?

Tree-of-Zen

FujiFlex and Fuji Crystal Silver Halide papers

The silver halide photo technology is several decades old. Therefore probably everyone has a relationship with it for many years when we order color prints from a local print-shop. The technique involved the projection of the color negative onto the unexposed photographic paper. Once exposed the print has to go through series of chemicals to develop and fix the image. Many of you, if you were interested in photography saw the photo enlarger equipment.

photo enlarger

I had my share of time spent in the darkroom. And you must agree that there is a practical limitation of the print size that can be produced that way. With the invention of LightJet printers, it became possible to expose large format prints using the RGB laser beam. The machines like Lambda could produce 50″ x 120″ prints. After the exposure, the print still has to be treated using a wet chemical process where the print is being plunged into various chemical solutions.

FujiFlex photo paper process

These machines are also called “continuous tone” or C-Type printers in comparison to pixel dot inkJet printers. Most continuous tone printers deliver a final product printed on Fujifilm Crystal Archive or Kodak Endura paper in sizes up to at least 4×10 feet.

What about Ink-Jet technology?

For many years the Ink-Jet was a swear word among professional photographers. The first ink-Jet printers were lacking in resolution, color accuracy, and longevity. All that started to change with the introduction of pigment ink. Printing resolution and color accuracy have come close and many producers claim that it has surpassed that of a chemical process. These days it becomes really hard to find a pro printing shop that still uses a wide-format chemical process. Just because of the costs associated with maintaining heavy machines like the LightJet printer. And the need to maintain consistency of chemicals in day-to-day operation. Modern inkjet machines can produce prints up to 60″ wide on a very wide selection of fine-art papers. Modern inkjet metallic papers rival the performance of silver halide traditional photopapers.

fine-art-print

While C-Type printers can offer you a traditional gloss or matt finish. Inkjet fine art media include Gloss, Satin, Matte, Perl, Metallic, Fibre, Velvet, Photorag, Etched, Fiber-based, Resin-coated, various canvases, and many other varieties.

How about the look? Are C-Type prints superior to pigment prints? Let’s do some visual comparison.

FujiFlex vs InkJet Prints

In terms of surface properties, you can easily identify C-Type prints for their slick glossy surface. This difference disappears when prints are mounted on acrylic. When you look at color accuracy and vibrance, there is really no difference as you can see from the side-by-side comparison above. On the image above you can see FujiFlex C-Type print on top and pigment ink on metallic paper on the bottom.

How Long Will My Print Last?

Some of the recent longevity numbers indicate that chemically processed C-Type doesn’t last as long as modern pigment ink prints. Professional high-quality pigment prints also have one advantage. If you know what printer, ink, and paper are used you are virtually guaranteed that you are getting an archival product. A digital C Print depends on how well the equipment to process the print is maintained and the freshness and type of chemistry.

print permanence fuji vs ink

Of course, print permanence greatly depends on the display conditions. Perception of color by the observer. Amount of light the print will see. And many other things from environmental conditions to the freshness of chemicals used in the development process.

I will amend this article with more comparative photos. Showing you both types of prints side by side. Lightfastness tests, and in the meantime, I hope you have learned something new.

Sources

Wilhelm Research, The Permanence, and care of analog and digital photographs – FotoCoservacion 2011, June 20-23, 2011

Deterioration risk as determined by the University of Illinois, https://psap.library.illinois.edu/collection-id-guide/photoprint

Wilhelm Research – HP Indigo Digital Presses – Print and Photobook Page Permanence

A Survey of Print Permanence in 4×6-Inch Consumer Digital Print Market 2004-2007,

Kodak Endura Photopaper datasheet.

Kodak uses different permanence testing standards than Wilhelm Research

ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/printers/HP_Exstream/Shutterfly_4AA0-1195ENWrr.pdf, https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/08/16/1086575/0/en/HP-wins-five-year-Shutterfly-deal-accelerates-digital-print-momentum.html

 

Peter Lik for Sale

How Does Peter Lik’s Art Valued on Secondary Market?

In this short article, I will attempt to answer a question I get asked a lot. Does the limited edition fine art photography appreciate with time?
I have found nothing better than to turn to the best-selling photographer of all times – Peter Lik. I have searched all Peter Lik for Sale ads, and below, I will show you what I have found.
Here I will also attempt to cover the options to become an owner of Peter Lik’s photograph other than buying it in one of his official galleries.

Spirit of the EarthLimited Edition print by Alex Gubski

As the number of Peter Lik collectors or just enchanted buyers grows, so does the secondary market supply.

I suppose the main question many people ask is – does it make sense to buy it on the secondary market? Are those sellers making an extra profit compared to the original purchase price? In other words – do Peter Lik’s prints appreciate with time or become available for less?

I have done a random sampling trying to compare identical prints available on the secondary market and through Peter Lik’s official website, and this is what I have found. Those finding are by no means scientifically representative as they reflect only a snapshot of today’s state of the market.

“Enchanted Jetty”

Peter Lik “Enchanted Jetty” 1.5M Limited Edition Acrylic Mount
Available on eBay for $5,250 or best offer.

Peter Lik currently offers this piece for sale on his official site for $12,150.

Peter Lik Enchanted Jetty

“Summer Dreams”

Peter Lik “Summer Dreams” 1.5M Limited Edition Acrylic Mount
Available on eBay for the same $5,250 or best offer.
Peter Lik currently offers this piece on his official site for $10,950.

peter-lik-summer-dreams

“Dark Side of the Moon”

Peter Lik “Dark Side of the Moon” 1.5M Limited Edition Acrylic Mount
Available on eBay for $5,000 or best offer.
Peter Lik currently offers this piece on his official site for $7,350.

peter-lik-dark-side-of-the-moon

“Autumn Mist”

Peter Lik “Autumn Mist” 1.5M Framed Limited Edition Acrylic Mount
Available on eBay for $6,500 or best offer.
Peter Lik currently offers this piece on his official site for $11,250.

peter-lik-autumn-mist

How about the titles that are marked as sold out?

Peter Lik “Ghost”

Here is the famous Peter Lik’s “Ghost” 1.5M Framed currently available for sale on eBay for a whopping $39,950.

Peter Lik Ghost

 

The seller is an original buyer and not a gallery, so that we can dismiss the markup. This piece most likely was purchased for less at the gallery since it is a regular Limited Edition print and not an Artist Proof.
Peter Lik is currently not offering this title for sale and marks it as sold out.
I have added this listing to the watchlist to follow it through and see if it sells eventually and will update this post when it does. Which I estimate this piece has the perfect chance to do.

In conclusion, I would summarize my findings in these words. The art of Peter Lik can appreciate in certain conditions. Despite Peter Lik’s own words quoted by The New York Times – “It’s like a Mercedes-Benz. You drive it off the lot. It loses half its value.” The publicity behind some of the most spoken about titles is capable of steering collector’s interest and fetch potential sellers excellent profits. But you shouldn’t probably expect every print to follow this path and buy fine art photography as an investment only if you have a good artistic sense.

Best Selling Fine Art Photography

Top Ten Photos of 2020 – The Most Wanted Nature Photography Fine Art Prints

In this post, I would like to thank all my customers and share the top ten of my best-selling prints of 2020. I feel very privileged with your trust. Many of us found it to be a difficult year, being stranded at home. I’m to the contrary felt this year was one of the best for me. Having my son near most of the time was a blessing. And not only to flip heavy frames in my shop 🙂 It is the companionship that I was taking for granted until now. I have spent endless hours working into the night in my shop to prepare the prints for my respected patrons. So, here is the best selling art 2020, or humbly put – the most wanted nature photography fine art prints!

1. Spirit of the Earth | Portland. Oregon

Spirit of the Earth - best selling fine artFine Art Limited Edition of 100

Spirit of the Earth Acrylic Print - best selling fine art

There is a certain possibility of me decommissioning this title in 2021 as there are about a dozen copies left before I take it out of circulation. I felt that may happen when I chose to limit my print runs to 100 copies only regardless of print size.

2. Sunburst | Arches National Park

SunburstFine Art Limited Edition of 100 | 50% sold out

Sunburst - Limited edition print

This image was an unexpected bonus of our family road trip to California. It was quite a detour on the back to Canada ways off from highway 15 to the town of Moab. But my wife selflessly insisted that we take a day detour and visit the park. It was totally worth it. Sunburst made it to the top 10 best-selling art of 2020 and I love you, darling!

3. Seaside Wonder | La Jolla – California

Seaside Wonder - best selling fine artFine Art Limited Edition of 100

Seaside Wonder limited edition print

4. Lavender Summer | Valensole, France

Lavender SummerFine Art Limited Edition of 100

Lavender Summer Framed

Shooting this scene was a true photographer’s nightmare. The dusk low light conditions called for a wide-open aperture and reasonable shutter speed to avoid motion blur of constantly moving lavender in the wind. As a result, I had to deal with the squeezed depth of field to just a few inches. To acquire a scene that could be printed in high resolution I had to focus-stack each segment while panning the camera for the wide image. After a couple of weeks of final assembly and cleanup, it was finally ready for the world. And just look at this level of detail!

Lavender Summer Image Closeup

5. Blue Dawn | Jasper National Park

Blue Dawn - best selling fine artFine Art Limited Edition of 50 | 50% sold out

Blue Dawn Framed Limited Edition Print

To get this image I had to cheat a little. I told my family of four that it is just thirty minutes of casual rowing down the lake on a canoe to reach the Spirit Island. When I knew perfectly well that it will be five hour round trip. Even with an electric assist motor on the back of the boat.

Trip to Spirit Island

6. Summer Dream | Toscana, Italy

Summer Dream - best selling fine artFine Art Limited Edition of 100

Summer Dream Framed Limited Edition Print - best selling fine art

On the first couple of days in Italy, I felt so miserable with the jetlag and hot weather. As a result, we had to pull over to the side of the highway just to take power naps to avoid passing out behind the steering wheel. To stay on my mission I had to remind myself that going pro in photography meant I had to make myself available whenever mother nature called. The result is the image from the top 10 best selling prints of 2020

7. In The Spotlight | Antelope Canyon, Arizona

In The Spotlight - best selling fine artFine Art Limited Edition of 50

In The Spotlight Limited Edition Print - best selling fine art

The Antelope Canyon is one of the most wanted destinations for nature enthusiasts and photographers. I know what you may ask – why so red? The original colors of otherwise orange sandstone were intentionally altered to create the Broadway flavor for this piece!

8. Aspen Glow | Canadian Rocky Foothills, Alberta

Aspen Glow Limited Edition Print - best selling fine artFine Art Limited Edition of 100 | Nearly sold out

Aspen Glow Limited Edition Acrylic Print - best selling fine art

With twenty-five copies, this is one of the lowest print editions that I offer. There is just one more image in my collection that has only 10 copies of the limited edition print run.

9. Sailor | Ontario, Canada

Sailor - Limited Edition Print - best selling fine artFine Art Limited Edition of 100 | top 10 best selling fine art

Sailor - Acrylic Print

10. Coastal Vision | San Diego, California | best selling fine art

Coastal Vision Limited Edition PrintFine Art Limited Edition of 100 | top 10 best selling fine art

Coastal Vision Limited Edition Acrylic Print

By back only forgave me two weeks after I have packed and shipped this piece. At some stage, I will have to invest in an overhead crane.

 

I hope you have enjoyed viewing this collection of beautiful photographs. If you would like to have one of these prints in your home, please feel free to visit my online gallery. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to learn more.