The Surreal World of Eric Drooker

For more information, here is the link to the Jewish Community Center San Francisco.

Ming Louie


Eric Drooker

A Crying Shame

Tribeca Film Festival 2010

Click here >  A BORDER STORY for credits and information  Click here > BOX OFFICE for show times and venue.

It’s A Wonderful Life, Clarence.

It's A Wonderful Life

Mixing it up


2880 dpi vs 1440 dpi

Da-Roller revealed

Artist of the Week: Per Kirkeby

For all you photogs and print technicians out there, which I am a member, I am putting on my lab coat.  After all, this IS about the “Printing of Art and the Art of printing”.  In the post titled Preview, I asked if anyone observed a difference in quality between a 2880 print from a 1440 print of the same file.  I can only say with confidence that there will be no end to this discussion because there are just too many variables, paper type, printer, inks, print size, color, B&W, image contrast, sharpness, myopia to name a few.  I made a print recently on an Epson 9800 of a 474.6 mb file, sized at 40″ x 40″ with a resolution of 360 dpi on a roll of Harmon Gloss Fiber Base AI Warmtone paper.   The print driver was set at 2880 dpi with the High Speed box unchecked, in other words, the works, with everything on it.   The reproduction was, as expected from the hard proof, beautiful.  But if I had known it would take an hour and 40 minutes to print, I would have powered up the DVD player,grabbed the Whirley Pop, and settled in to watch Dr. Stranglove, and I would still have 5 minutes to spare.  Never sacrifice quality in order to save time or cost, is my motto.  And although I trust the empiricism of science, peace of mind always takes precedence, it’s like buying life insurance, pay now and die later.   So I decided to conduct my own test.  After reading my post, Clark Omholt, founder and president of Spectraflow, emailed this message,  “I think you will be happy with the results of 1440 high speed, 330ppi.  For a test, I suggest you take an 8 inch square section of an image and print at these settings and compare to the 2880, 360 ppi print.  I would be surprised if you were able to detect a difference without a loupe.  BTW, it’s good to do a print head alignment (see the maintenance section of your manual) prior to using high speed mode.”

I took Clark’s advice and on a misty morning, I did just that.  Here are my findings.  The 2880 print took 22 minutes and 15 seconds to print, and used up 1.9 ml of ink.  But hold on, the 1440 print took 2 minutes and 8 seconds, using only .9 ml.  That’s 111.11 % more ink.  I placed the prints on a light table with an adjustable lamp overhead.  First, I checked with my eyes wide opened for sharpness, dot gain and overall contrast.  Then I set a Peak Anastigmat Lupe 4x on each print.  What can I say?  I couldn’t tell the difference.  I was expecting at least more density in the shadows, deeper blacks, higher contrast overall, but that wasn’t’ the case.  Is this test conclusive?  Not by a long shot.  But am I satisfied?  Somewhat.  If I decide to do it all over again, I would need a vacuum sealed room, a reflection densitometer, a spectrophotometer, white cotton gloves and a surgical mask.  Ahhh….don’t hold your breath.

Below is Marv Miller’s recipe for the “Da-Roller”.  I paid Marv a visit on a Tuesday and he treated me to a glass of lemonade and a demo.   He rolled matte, glossy, baryta coated prints, and although some took more time than others (walk’n roll’n walk), all the prints came out flatter, not as flat as a pancake, but at least flatter than a flounder, which was a big improvement.  The following day I shot out to Tap Plastics, followed Marv’s instructions to a tee, assembled two rollers, one 18″ and the other 36″ wide.  Took me no time at all and to top it off the price was right, under $40.  Bienfang’s de-roller, $239.95 – $294.95, online.


Material:  PVC (white) pipe 2″ in dia., length = as long as the longest side your prints, plus 3″

Calendared UV vinyl sheeting 0.03, comes in 54″ widths,  about $15 per yard at Tap Plastics.  Purchase 5′,  split down the middle to make two 27″x 5 feet rollers, good for 24″ prints.

Heavy duty packing tape, 2″ to attach vinyl sheet to PVC.

Are you planning on spending part of this summer in London?  From June 16 – September 2009, there will be a Per Kirkeby exhibition at the Tate Modern. Per Kirkeby is a household name in his native Denmark, and remains one of their best known contemporary artists. His lush, huge paintings, full of color and movement, draw you into his mystical surroundings and abstract world.

Per Kirkeby

Tate Modern.  Situated on the South Bank of the Thames, joined to the North bank by a special pedestrian bridge… this former power station has been superbly converted into the world’s biggest collection of Modern Art. And it’s free. weekends. Open daily 10.00 AM – 6:00 PM, Friday & Saturday til 10 PM. There’s a fun pointillist catamaran that take you downriver to the Tate Britain, which is also very worth visiting – passing many London riverside sights on the way.

As always, thanks for dropping by.  Jia Jen