Peter Lik - 'Illuminated' Prints

Started May 13, 2007 | Discussions
ravin Regular Member • Posts: 436
Peter Lik - 'Illuminated' Prints

Hello,

I saw some prints by Peter Lik and they had an extremely 'shiny' 'illuminated' characteristic about them. When the lights were dimmed the colors shifted in their appearance. I thought that they were lit from behind, but apparently not.

I was told that they are printed on Fuji Crystal Archive paper, but I don't think thats the only trick, becuase it didn't work for me. Does anyone have any ideas? Could there be special inks involved?

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'I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry. And that's extra scary to me, because there's a large, out of focus monster roaming the countryside. Run.'
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OP ravin Regular Member • Posts: 436
Re: Peter Lik - 'Illuminated' Prints

anyone?
--

'I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry. And that's extra scary to me, because there's a large, out of focus monster roaming the countryside. Run.'
-Mitch Hedberg

http://www.thoughtpotential.com/gallery

nosaya Regular Member • Posts: 268
Re: Peter Lik - 'Illuminated' Prints

I too just was at the PL gallery in Las Vegas.

I was also told they are on Fuji Crystal archive. But Fuji makes more than one of these papers, including one called 'Supergloss'. It is most probably Supergloss.

The prints are mounted on an aluminum substrate. I don't know is this helps the effect or not. Also, I felt the edge of one of the prints and I am pretty sure that it had a laminate on it. This not only seals the prints from harmful pollutants, it also will slightly boot the apparent saturation and contrast.

Lastly, the prints are displayed in a darkened 'museum' environment with several pretty strong spot lights on each one. Without this lighting, I don’t think you will see the effect. As a matter of fact, I suspect that buyers of his prints will be slightly disappointed when they get the item home and put it up on the wall. Most people don't have the dull ambient lighting plus spot light effect in their homes (unless they are dedicated art collectors
Joe
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You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

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OP ravin Regular Member • Posts: 436
Re: Peter Lik - 'Illuminated' Prints

I think you're right about the superglossy paper. I talked to some people more familiar with printing than me, and they agreed that superglossy would get that effect, similar to cibacrhome. I was told that mounting on steel or aluminum would not change the metallic quality of the print.

Also, his using velvia slide must make an impact on the saturation of the prints.

Thanks!
--

'I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry. And that's extra scary to me, because there's a large, out of focus monster roaming the countryside. Run.'
-Mitch Hedberg

http://www.thoughtpotential.com/gallery

technoid Senior Member • Posts: 2,126
Re: Peter Lik - 'Illuminated' Prints

nosaya wrote:

I too just was at the PL gallery in Las Vegas.

I was also told they are on Fuji Crystal archive. But Fuji makes
more than one of these papers, including one called 'Supergloss'.
It is most probably Supergloss.

The prints are mounted on an aluminum substrate. I don't know is
this helps the effect or not. Also, I felt the edge of one of the
prints and I am pretty sure that it had a laminate on it. This not
only seals the prints from harmful pollutants, it also will
slightly boot the apparent saturation and contrast.

Lastly, the prints are displayed in a darkened 'museum' environment
with several pretty strong spot lights on each one. Without this
lighting, I don’t think you will see the effect. As a matter of
fact, I suspect that buyers of his prints will be slightly
disappointed when they get the item home and put it up on the wall.
Most people don't have the dull ambient lighting plus spot light
effect in their homes (unless they are dedicated art collectors
Joe

One can create the effect of "illuminated" prints with some care. These types of images appear to have light sources within them. Normally, this is not possible because paper can, at the most, reflect all of the light that hits it so one is limited to creating color by attenuating light of the undesired part of the "white" spectra leaving even less. What one does to create the effect is:

1. Assuming the image has a light source in it, capture the image such that the light source isn't blown, This means other parts of the image are darker.

2. Print the darker image with a gray border. Use a neutral, slightly dark border to simulate the "white" of a normal picture. Anywhere from L=50 to L=80 can be effective depending on the photo. L=50 requires 5x more light on the paper, L=80 is about 2x.

3. Illuminate the image with increased lighting in proportion to the degree the image was darkened however do not use the lights in such a way that it is obvious they are putting out more light. Do not let anything brighter than the "gray" border appear anywhere near the picture or the illusion is destroyed.

Remember, the brain is what sees gray as gray and not white. It gets clues from all sorts of places and is largely unconcious so it takes some work to pull off.

To make this work it is best to use absolute colorimetry and linear from RAW processing and you need to be able to print with a good dmax. Using side illumination at 45 degrees or so is essential.

And yeah, these aren't "take home" prints. It's a great effect for an artist with lighting/display control though.
marty

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You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

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nosaya Regular Member • Posts: 268
Thanks Marty

Thank you for your insight and expertise on the subject.

Is there a particular, paper or paper/printer/ink set combination that you feel yields the best results for this technique?

Joe
--
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

  • Jack London

JulesJ
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 45,438
Re: Peter Lik - 'Illuminated' Prints

I saw these type of prints too at Paris Photo last October. I agree that the laminate seems to increase the saturation. They were pretty amazing and as you say mounted on thin aluminium. I think we asked about them and were told that those were done by a company in Switzerland. But I've forgtten now of course.
jules

nosaya wrote:
.

The prints are mounted on an aluminum substrate. I don't know is
this helps the effect or not. Also, I felt the edge of one of the
prints and I am pretty sure that it had a laminate on it. This not
only seals the prints from harmful pollutants, it also will
slightly boot the apparent saturation and contrast.
Joe
--
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

  • Jack London

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Black moles do not destroy information.

technoid Senior Member • Posts: 2,126
Glossy or Lustre works good

Oddly, the key is the best possible (largest) DMax. The "effective Dmax" is decreased by .3 for each doubling of the illumination. A larger number of "black" inks is good too. K3 inks work well. Glossy and Lustre are similar when viewed in a subdued room with spot lighting at 45 degrees and you won't normally see any surface reflection from the print. Because of poor DMax, matte is particularly bad for creating this effect. Otherwise, it really doesn't matter what paper you use though it should be profiled.
marty

nosaya wrote:

Thank you for your insight and expertise on the subject.

Is there a particular, paper or paper/printer/ink set combination
that you feel yields the best results for this technique?

Joe
--
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

  • Jack London

dizeman New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Peter Lik - 'Illuminated' Prints

Peter's prints are not illuminated from behind, nor are they illuminated by frame-edged lighting, they are front-lit just like most gallery prints.

The near glow in the dark LUMINOUS effect of Peter's prints is due to the paper and the dislpay light angle and coverage. The ambient to display light ratio has a measured effect, but not to any large degree, Lik's display areas are not dark, the ambient light at the front of the gallery is only slightly darker than the ambient light of the adjoining retail outlets and mall, it's a measured difference, but not dramatically darker.

The EV value of the print and the paper quality is 80% of the LUMINOSITY we see in Peter's displays.

Ethan Hansen Senior Member • Posts: 1,186
Re: Peter Lik - 'Illuminated' Prints

Many prints of Mr. Lik's I have seen appear to be printed on Fuji Digital Pearl. This is Fuji's take on metallic paper. Digital Pearl does not have quite the same shimmering effect one gets with, for example, Kodak Metallic, but it offers higher D-Max and color saturation. It also requires an absolute flat mounting - why you see aluminum used. A laminate can also be used to tame glare.

Done properly, prints on Pearl have pop. Peter's love of over-the-top saturation and vivid contrast pairs well with this paper.

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