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Photography printing

Recreate stunning, professional quality photographic prints across a range of specialist products. Want to learn a little more about the majestic art of capturing life in a photograph? Scroll down to find out how the science of photography was developed and how we created our own collection.

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Canvas Printing

Exhibit portfolio pieces or create lasting memories with a traditional, frame-wrapped canvas.

Photographic Prints

Photographic prints are ideal for filling your portfolio or mounting and displaying.

Framed Prints

The fastest way to order stylish, custom framed photography prints.

Giclée Fine Art Prints

Choose from our largest range of specialist papers to get that high-end giclée feel.

The history of photographic printing

Long before you could order your shots through the photography Collection and have them framed, mounted and delivered right to your door, recreating images was a little trickier. Brush up on your photographic history, from ancient times to the Photography Collection.

Camera obscura? Definitely.

Once upon a time—ancient times to be precise—you needed a whole room to create a photograph, and that’s using the term loosely. You could create an upside down image on the wall by sealing a room in darkness and making a pinprick on the opposite wall. The image was faint, but it was enough for Dutch master Johannes Vermeer, who supposedly used the technique to create his incredible paintings. Before him, there are records of the camera obscura being used as far back as the 10th century. Wowsa.

So we we’ve got people using entire darkened rooms to recreate images, painstakingly sketching over faint, upside down reflections on walls. Not very fast and definitely not very accessible. The mid-16th century brought along an invention that was set to change the face of photography for the better: the pinhole camera. Seemingly invented by several different revolutionary minds all at the same time, the pinhole camera is most often credited to a chap named Joseph Nicéphore Niépce.

Heliography comes to town

Up until Niépce came on the scene, the pinhole camera was really just a portable version of the camera obscura. It was used to safely view astronomical phenomena like eclipses, without burning one’s retinas off. Niépce added a bitumen coated metal plate to the back of his pinhole camera and, after an eight hour exposure, was able to recreate a faint image. He called his images heliographs and, until fellow Frenchman Louis Daguerre arrived, these were the most popular form of photography.

Daguerreotypes vs. calotypes

Having partnered with Niépce for years Louis Daguerre was a huge photography fan, and couldn’t help but think that the method could be improved somehow. It was at this point he opened his chemistry set and started mixing up concoctions to decrease the exposure time, give a clearer image and make the image stay on the plate for much longer. He topped a copper plate with polished silver and coated it with a special concoction to achieve thigh-slappingly good results. He called his images ‘daguerreotypes’.

Right around the same time that Daguerre was mixing up potions, William Henry Fox Talbot was also working on a similar idea. Instead of using copper plates coated with silver, he was working on paper treated with silver chloride. Talbot’s method advanced the idea of photography; his subjects only needed to pose for an hour! He could take away his treated paper and develop it into a full image in a dark room.

The camera as you know it

George Eastman started toying with the idea of camera film in 1885 and developed the very first Kodak camera in 1888. It was low cost and even came loaded with 100 exposures, ready to go. Once you’d finished taking portraits and cheeky snaps of the family dog, you could send your camera back to the factory and they’d develop your film for you.

If you feel like you’re ready to begin your own photographic adventure, explore the Photography Collection and get perfect results without having to sit for eight hours or mess with chemicals.

Explore the collection

The making of the Photography Collection

Creating a product range as specialised and as large as the Photography Collection is no easy feat, but arming ourselves with tons of great ideas from the Ideas Board, tips and advice from our own customers and a heck of a lotta tea, we managed! Here’s how we did it…

Ask the experts

Lots of you were using the Ideas Board to tell us that you wanted specialist products like canvas prints and CD accessories, a larger range of photographic papers and fine art resources. We’d already used the Ideas board to create the Wedding Collection, so we knew that the best people to ask for help were the very same ones leaving the ideas!

Paul (our product manager) got in touch with some of our own photographer customers and asked them which products they already liked, what they wished they could order and what kind of papers they’d like to order on.

The votes were in and it was pretty clear what you folks wanted; products for self-promotion and products for impressive client orders. You’d need photographic prints and giclée fine art prints for your portfolios and showrooms, and canvas and framed prints for your customers. We put those on the list along with some new promotional print products like CD and DVD labels and covers. Armed with a truck load of great feedback, we started our research.

Research, research, research

Our photography customers gave us a massive list of substrates that they loved to use and we combined this with a list from some of our favourite photography stock specialists to create a master list of 23 options.

When recreating photographic prints, the vote for the best press was unanimous: the Epson Stylus Pro. We managed to get our hands on one and started to test all 23 of the recommended substrates, whittling them down. Our London head office was filled with SRA3 sheets covered in a variety of images so we could check the quality of the papers and canvases to make sure they matched the high standard we were after.

Dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s

So the press was sitting ready and our selection of stocks had been whittled down to just seven. The next port of call was to test out all the finishes and make sure they were up to scratch. We frame-wrapped, mounted, framed and edge to edge mounted our way through all the products, ensuring that they were perfect and would really stand the test of time. Finally, we were ready to launch!

Discover the collection

Setting your shots up for print: our how-to guide

If you want to make sure your shots come out looking their very best (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) take a look at our quick tips and make sure your prints pack a punch.

Printing tips for: framed prints, photographic prints, giclée fine art prints and canvas prints

  • We print these products on our Epson Stylus Pro press. Because it’s an inkjet press with extremely sophisticated colours, it is better to send artwork through as a JPEG saved in an RGB colour profile. Our fancy press will do the rest!
  • These four specialist products can be incredibly large, so you’ll need to make sure that your image is good enough quality to print at the size you want. The higher the PPI (the more pixels your image has per inch), the better quality your image will be. You can use our resolution checker to see whether your resolution is good enough. When you upload your image, our automatic checker will also tell you the optimum size to print at.

Printing tips for: postcards, thank you cards, stickers, banner stands, greeting cards, brochures CD and DVD labels, CD and DVD covers.

  • Our promotional photography print products are printed on our favourite HP Indigo presses, so to get the best results when you send your shots to print, we recommend uploading them as PDF’s in a CMYK colour profile, just like you would when ordering anything else from us.
  • We’ve made it really easy to get your artwork set up for print, just download one of our free templates, choosing the program you’re designing in and the size you want to print at, and design over the top of it! Voilà!
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