The Fine Art
Fuldner prefers to shoot and scan transparencies—as opposed to scanning developed prints—because he believes they provide the most accurate results, including a stronger color. They also require more discipline, he believes, as there is less room for error than scanning prints. He uses two scanners, an Epson 1680, which was his first scanner for transparencies. His second scanner is a Nikon 4000LS for 35mm transparencies. Once the images are scanned, Fuldner moves them to Photoshop for editing.
For example, he may make adjustments to the saturation, tone, and sharpness of an image, or utilize masks, layers and curves. When he is happy with his corrections, he brings the image into the monitor profile for viewing a soft proof. The monitor and printer have been profiled and are in synch, so Fuldner is confident that he will achieve accurate color matching between the two devices.
"I knew the (Epson) 2000P would have to be the printer because I wanted to print photos that would last longer than a few years," he says. The Epson prints well to archival media, where as the printer he originally started with, the Epson 1200, was made more for short-lived photos. Fuldner spares no expenses when constructing the final product. In addition to using archival ink, he mounts his images on 100 percent cotton rag mounting board. He does his own framing and uses resistant material instead of glass.
When Fuldner started using color management, he "wondered if he'd bitten off more than he could chew." And, in fact, his success with the technology wasn't great—he had better success without it, he admitted. But as the software improved and he learned more about the workflow process, he came to the realization that he couldn't afford to not use color management.
Color management saves him both money and time because without the technology it's "hit or miss" when reproducing photographs. He is quick to talk about times when he has to bring his work to a service bureau, times when the image requires a print larger than 19 x 13 inches. With color management software, he has the option to take his output profile to a service bureau, provide them with the exact color gamut, and be certain that what he saw on his monitor is what the service bureau will print. "If I'm going to spend thirty to one hundred dollars on a photo, I need to know that what I'm seeing on my monitor is what the service bureau is going to print for me," he reasons.