Hi, I'm Jill.
Just before 9-11 I bought an aerial and pre-press (b&w only) photolab which had lost all of its pre-press business to digital and was using a 60year old damaged enlarger for its aerial printing, very ugly. But oh my gosh there were these two HUGE cameras (ACTi copy cameras) and I decided I could have some fun! So I bought the business having exactly zero experience in any sort of photography or lab work.
First I contacted ACTi and we designed numerous rigs to accomodate the 10" x 300' rolls of aerial film I have to use. Six months later all of the black and white looked great all the way to a 3500% enlargement. Great! Time to try color....
Well the light decks on my cameras are flourescent and the dichroic head I should have purchased was going to run upwards of $10,000 which I didn't have because I spent every penny I had buying the business. So I went in search of other solutions. Besides the cool temperature (here I do not refer to the color temps although the has been as issue) of flourescents do not harm the film, some of which is dating back to the 1950's and yet is still printed almost weekly. The flourescents gave me flawless light coverage for negatives up to 12"x18". After some effort and tweeking, keeping in mind that I did NOT want the color filters between the neg and the print (ie I didn't want to use the available filter slot in the lenses), I resolved the issue and actually print color with flourescent lights which I gather is somewhat unheard of. Also I was able to rempve any interference between the neg and print. Only the lens is between.
Anyway, my reputation in the area is growing amongst professional photographers who are in search of an analog shop, being unhappy with the digital output which is all they can get now from the fellow they used to use. Since I did all of this in a relative vacuum, I am potentially a bit too proud of myself and it may show from time to time. My shop's (and my) claim to fame revolve mainly around the concept of extreme enlargements and mosaicing (I put out a 4' x 8' aerial mosaic of 250+ images of our valley as well as many smaller one of other locales in the state.) Although the also tell me that my cameras are bringing up much more shadow detail than they have ever seen before.
It is nice to meet you all, I hope I don't drive you all as crazy as I am!
Cool! Sounds like you are having lots of fun. Welcome to our virtual darkroom.
welcome Jill... was reading some of your posts in other topics and was about to ask you just what your up to! This puts it all in perspective. You seem to have jumped into the deep end, and come up swimming like an Aussie freestyler! May your business thrive and enjoy APUG!
Where on earth is this pre press business?
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (lee @ May 4 2003, 04:04 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> Jill,
Where on earth is this pre press business?
lee\c </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
Lee, pre-press from my perspective is dead as it has all gone digital, but a while back the company which I ultimately purchased made line and halftone negatives for the local newspapers as well as lith printers and such. All of the plates printers use needed to be printed with negativesand then those negatives had to be burned to printing plastes. We did both. I gather is was a hopping business because they had 20 employees and a 20,000 ft warehouse downtown. By the time I bought, there were two owners, no employees, and 200 sq ft and an industrial park.
OOPs! I see you said where? Well I am in Boise, ID and the pre-press business it is, it's still here somewhere there are gigasetters and image setters, and file to plate burners.
Hey, just wanted to say hello again as I have been absent for quite a while. Just as my heated debate with DKT was coming to end, I purchased a roll of aerial film which was just awful and was sent to Kodak for evaluation. Kodak said it was "printable," which really set me back a bit. Then I had an R3 print for a premier photographer that didn't go well. I was ready to just go back to my hole, do b&w and lith only and quit trying color.
Then the Kodak "printable" examples arrived and guess what!! printable and acceptable are two different things. Their prints looked just like mine (which gave me great satisfaction) and they are only printable if you believe that high mountain desert is primarily navy blue and grey.
Anyway I have since had the valley re-flown by a different company and it is just gorgeous, bright greens and tawny browns and tans. I have also completely redesigned my light deck(still flourescent) to try to accomodate the issues the R3 print gave me and have spent the last month running hundreds of tests isolating each variable and recording again the effects. So I think I have my confidence back enough to continue participating here.
I haven't been able to contact that premier photographer to give me another chance yet, hopefully that level of confidence will return soon.