About — Our Process

Journeying from Light through Pixels to Print: Our Pledge to Artistry and Sustainability

Welcome to the heart of our creative journey, where artistry meets precision. We've dedicated ourselves to producing photographic prints of exceptional quality that not only evoke emotions but also stand the test of time. With a blend of age-old craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology, we ensure that each print is a piece of art in its own right.

Every image begins with a vision, a fleeting moment of inspiration captured by the discerning eye of a photographer. Once captured, this moment undergoes a meticulous process of transformation. Starting from the first beam of light that touches our camera sensor, our commitment is to ensure that the essence of that moment remains intact. As we transition from digital to tangible, from pixel to paper, we rely on an array of carefully calibrated equipment and handpicked materials. Our adoption of an eco-conscious approach isn't an afterthought; it's ingrained into every step. From our choice of sustainable papers to the energy that powers our studios, we aim to strike the right balance between creating exquisite art and preserving our planet.

A tunnel of tiled mosaic pillars at Palau de la Música Catalana, Barcelona.

A Peek into Our Distinctive Artistic Approach

In the vast sea of photographic prints, one might wonder: what sets our creations apart? It's a valid question, and the answer lies in our unwavering commitment to the craft.

While many studios outsource parts of their process, we've chosen a different route.

At the very heart of our distinctiveness is our attention to detail. While many studios outsource parts of their process, we've chosen a different route.

From the instant the camera's shutter captures a fleeting moment, to the painstaking post-processing, and finally, when the last inch of the print emerges, we are deeply involved. Every step is overseen by our dedicated team, ensuring that no detail, however minute, is overlooked. This intimate involvement with our process not only guarantees the consistency and quality of each print but also infuses every piece with a character and soul that's unmistakably ours.

In a world where mass production often overshadows individual craftsmanship, we take pride in offering something personal, authentic, and truly unique. When you hold one of our prints, you're not just holding a photograph; you're embracing a story, a journey, and the passion of artists who believe in the magic of details.

From Scene to Screen to Print: Perfecting Colour Accuracy

In the realm of photography and prints, colour isn't just a visual element; it's the soul of the image. It carries the emotion, the mood, and the essence of a captured moment. But translating that vibrancy from a digital display to a physical print can be a tricky business...

A grid of colour swatches printed on paper, graduating from turquoise at the top, down through purple and onto violet at the bottom. A foldable magnifying loupe sits on top.
Westminster Abbey entrance illuminated by projected light during the night. Part of the Lumiere London 2018.

Here’s why: Monitors, with their backlit displays, emit light making colours pop in ways that are hard to replicate on paper, which relies on external light sources to reflect the hues.

But this challenge is not insurmountable. With expertise and dedication, we've embraced the D50 5000K 100cd/m2 processing workflow, which is based on the international standard ISO 3664:2000 — below is a PDF link for the curious. If you're wondering what this means in simpler terms, it's our golden standard to ensure the colours in our prints come alive with authenticity and clarity. This meticulous process involves both soft proofing (digital simulations) and hard proofing (actual print tests) within this designated colour space. Our goal? To ensure that the photos we've captured or the mixed-media art we've created on screen are faithfully reflected in our prints.

ISO 3664:2000 — Viewing Conditions for Graphic Technology and Photography [pdf]

Ambient Lights, Printers, and Monitors

Light, in the world of photography, can sometimes be an unpredictable partner. Its variations can alter how an image is viewed, leading to discrepancies between the screen and the final print. However, we've mastered the art of consistency.

By diligently calibrating our monitors, printers, and creating a controlled ambient light environment, we ensure a harmonious translation of colours and tones. The result? A seamless transition from digital brilliance to printed excellence, ensuring that when you look at one of our prints, it resonates with the same emotion and depth as it did on screen.

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FineArt Papers: Elevating Every Art Piece to Museum Quality

In the esteemed world of art and photography, the canvas on which the masterpiece is presented is as pivotal as the creation itself. Hahnemühle, with its lineage dating back to 1584, has been that revered canvas for many creators, encapsulating their vision with unparalleled elegance.

As we breathe life into our photographic and mixed-media artworks, two papers from Hahnemühle's FineArt range have become our go-to choices, adding depth, texture, and an immortal essence to our creations:

Hahnemühle Photo Rag® Baryta

This is a robust 315gsm paper known for its textured depth. Its subtle sheen enhances contrast and brings out intricate details in artworks. Made from 100% pure cotton, it boasts longevity without the interference of optical brightening agents. Its signature 'Baryta' (barium sulfate) coating lends a luminosity reminiscent of traditional photographic papers, and it proudly meets the ISO 9706 museum quality standards, ensuring enduring brilliance.

Photo Rag® Baryta — Hahnemüehle Datasheet [pdf]
Hahnemühle Photo Rag®

Elegant in its simplicity, this 308gsm matte paper offers a sleek, smooth canvas for artistic expressions. Crafted entirely from cotton, it promises both durability and a timeless aura, with minimal use of optical brightening agents. Upholding the revered ISO 9706 museum quality criteria, every print on this paper isn't just a piece of art but a slice of history.

Together, these papers underscore Hahnemühle's commitment to merging age-old craftsmanship with modern innovation, making them the go-to choice for discerning artists around the globe.

Photo Rag® 308 — Hahnemüehle Datasheet [pdf]

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HFA Photo Rag® Baryta

  • 315gsm with a beautiful textural depth
  • A soft sheen which accentuates contrast and detail, without being too overwhelming
  • Made from 100% cotton and devoid of optical brightening agents (OBA)
  • 'Baryta' is a special coating reminiscent of traditional photographic papers
  • Meets ISO 9706 museum quality standards
Example of a print, printed on Hahnemühle FineArt Photo Rag® Baryta 315gsm paper.

HFA Photo Rag®

  • 308gsm matte paper
  • A beautiful and subtley textured paper
  • A silky finish with depth that allows appropriate images to be rendered like paintings
  • Made from 100% cotton and with minimal OBA interference
  • Conforms to ISO 9706 museum standards
Example of a print, printed on Hahnemühle FineArt Photo Rag® 308gsm paper.

Precision in Print: The Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4100 and LUCIA PRO Inks

The Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4100 printer stands as a testament to our dedication to quality printing. Powered by the LUCIA PRO ink set, it offers a precise and refined printing experience. This set includes eleven distinct pigment inks complemented by a Chroma Optimizer, specifically designed to cater to the high standards of photographers and graphic artists.

Jake checking the quality of one of our prints as it emerges from the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4100 printer.

Jake proof checking one of our prints as it emerges from the Canon PRO-4100 printer.

The LUCIA PRO inks have been formulated to provide a greater pigment density, resulting in a richer colour expression. This attention to detail ensures that the colours are true to the original artwork or photograph. The addition of the Chroma Optimizer serves a practical purpose: it acts much like a clear coat does in art, particularly when printing on photo papers. Its role is to enhance the overall quality of the print by ensuring consistent light reflection, giving prints a smooth and uniform finish.

In using the LUCIA PRO ink system with the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4100, we've observed not just an extended colour gamut but also enhanced details in darker print areas and a consistent gloss finish. Furthermore, common printing challenges such as bronzing and graininess are notably reduced. It's this combination of hardware and ink that allows us to produce prints that are both detailed and faithful to the original piece.

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Wind turbine and metal port structures create striking silhouette against a beautiful orange gradient sunset sky — Port area, Antwerp, Belgium

Our Sustainable Approach: A Commitment to a Greener Tomorrow

Central to our artistic pursuit is an unwavering dedication to the environment. As creators, we understand the profound effects our choices can exert on the world around us, which is why sustainability remains integral to our mission.

Choosing a "print on demand" model for our art production isn't just about efficiency—it's about conscious responsibility. Many traditional business models often stockpile vast quantities of products, inadvertently paving the way for overproduction. This practice poses considerable challenges, one of them being the environmental implications tied to seasonal sales. Such sales models encourage rapid consumption, leading to increased waste and resource strain. By steering clear of this approach and embracing print on demand, we ensure each artwork is not only freshly crafted for its destined space but is also free from the trappings of excessive production.

Powering our studio with 100% renewable energy further cements our commitment. Not only does this decision reduce our carbon footprint, but it also stands as a testament to our belief that businesses can and should be at the forefront of championing a sustainable future.

Our dedication doesn't stop at energy and production. Every aspect of our operation, right down to the packaging, is a reflection of our sustainable ethos. We proudly employ 100% sustainable and recyclable packaging, entirely devoid of plastics. In this manner, even after the artwork finds its home, the environmental footprint we leave is minimal.

Our choice of DHL as our delivery partner amplifies this commitment. DHL's resolute stance on offsetting carbon emissions and its expansive initiatives in sustainability, recycling, community engagement, and carbon reduction, align perfectly with our vision, ensuring that even our deliveries mirror our eco-friendly promise.

In essence, from the conception of an artwork in our studio to its eventual place in your space, every phase is underscored by our deep respect for the environment and our shared future.

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Through the lens of artistry, we visualize a harmonious bond with nature and commit to it in every print

Jake Hopking

Founder

Just the FAQs

  • It's a production model where we only print artwork when an order is placed, eliminating overproduction and reducing waste. Each piece is freshly crafted for its new home, ensuring quality and minimising environmental impact.

  • We've intentionally moved away from the traditional model of stocking up and then clearing out stock through sales, as it can lead to environmental harm from overproduction and wastage. Our approach ensures we produce only what's genuinely needed.

  • We use 100% sustainable and recyclable packaging materials that minimal amounts of plastic (the poster tube end caps are made from recylable plastic), aligning with our commitment to reduce our environmental footprint.

  • Our studio runs entirely on renewable energy sources, actively reducing our carbon footprint and promoting a greener future.

  • DHL shares our dedication to sustainability, offsetting carbon emissions and championing initiatives that focus on sustainability, recycling, community engagement, and carbon reduction.

  • Monitors and prints work differently; monitors emit light while prints reflect it. However, with our specialised printing process and high-quality papers, we ensure colours that are as true-to-life as possible.

    For more info on colour read our guide: The Science of Colour Accuracy.

  • Hahnemühle FineArt Papers are renowned for their quality, offering impeccable texture, longevity, and colour reproduction. They meet ISO 9706 museum quality standards, ensuring the prints maintain their grandeur over time.

    For more info on paper read our guide: Paper Essentials in Digital Printing.

  • While we don't offer an option at checkout to select your paper, it's for a good reason. Our team has meticulously chosen the paper that best complements each photograph and mixed-media piece, ensuring optimal presentation. This removes any guesswork on your part, guaranteeing that the artwork will be showcased at its finest. However, if you have unique specifications or preferences, we're more than willing to discuss them. Please reach out to us via email sales@elkliandhart.com, and we'd be delighted to assist you further.

  • The LUCIA PRO ink set, consisting of 11-colour pigment inks and a Chroma Optimizer, offers increased pigment density, richer colour expression, and ensures uniform light reflection. It helps achieve finer details, especially in dark areas, and reduces bronzing and graininess.

    For more info on pigment inks read our guide: Dye vs. Pigment Inks.

  • Absolutely. Our use of Hahnemühle papers which are either very low or completely free of optical brightening agents (OBAs) ensures no yellowing over time, allowing you to showcase them behind UV protected glass without compromising brilliance.

    For more info on OBAs read our guide: Optical Brightening Agents.

  • Our model minimises overproduction, waste, and the environmental costs tied to regular sales. Coupled with our renewable energy consumption, sustainable packaging, and responsible delivery practices, we aim to reduce our carbon footprint and promote a sustainable future.

  • To delve deeper into the intricacies of the print process, our 'Print Mastery' series is a comprehensive resource designed to expand your understanding. Here, you'll find a variety of guides that cover key aspects of printing. You can explore the following topics:

    1. Optical Brightening Agents
    2. The Art of Giclée Printing
    3. Dye vs. Pigment Inks
    4. The Art of Sharpening
    5. The Science of Colour Accuracy
    6. Paper Essentials in Digital Printing
    7. Dynamic Range in Print

    Each guide provides a thorough examination of its respective topic, ensuring you are well-equipped with the knowledge to appreciate the nuances of the print process.