After many years of wanting to become an APUG Sponsor, we have finally signed up.

LODIMA stands for excellence.

LODIMA (Amidol spelled backwards) started with LODIMA PRESS, when Michael A. Smith self-published his first book, Landscapes 1975–1979. It was awarded “Le Grand Prix du Livre” (Best photography Book of the Year) at the International Festival of Photography in Arles, France in 1981. At the time, the Swiss publication, “Print Letter” in a review of the Festival commented that, “For the first time in the eleven years of the Festival a deserving book has won the award.” After publishing other books by Michael and by his wife, Paula Chamlee, Lodima Press expanded and books are now mostly printed in unprecedented 600-line screen quadtone. LODIMA PRESS has since published books by Edward Weston, Nicholas Nixon, Robert Adams, and Paul Caponigro, as well as books by many other well-known, and some not so well-known photographers. We are currently in the midst of publishing a nineteen-volume series of the “Portfolios of Brett Weston.” These books are available individually or by subscription. We also have another ongoing series, Lodima Press Portfolio Books”— a series of small books of previously unpublished photographs by many leading photographers. The books in this series are also available individually or by subscription to the series. Our most recent books are “Mongolia: Land of the Deer Stone” by the Canadian photographer Elaine Ling, “On My Mother’s Side” by Emily Grimes, “Chicago Loop/Chicago: Lake” by Michael A. Smith and Paula Chamlee, and “Fifteen Photographs Of Japan”, the seventh book in the series by Brett Weston. “Europe” by Brett Weston, the eighth book is the series will be published in two months.

LODIMA ARCHIVAL MATERIALS: In 2000, Michael A. Smith wrote an article for View Camera Magazine titled, “Advances in Archival Mounting and Storage.“ The article consisted mostly of an interview with Bill Hollinger, the inventor of a MicroChamber technology that enabled mat board to actively trap pre-acidic gases. Michael had his black and white photographs and color photographs by David Graham mounted on ArtCare (the proprietary name of the board that has MicroChamber technology) mat board tested in a lab, and the results when compared to the same prints mounted on conventional 100% acid-free all-rag mat board were astonishing. (See article here: The protection to photographs when mounted on ArtCare board and stored in ArtCare boxes is several orders of magnitude greater than the protection afforded by other “archival” products. Michael convinced a friend who has a custom book binding company to sell ArtCare board to photographers. The bookbinding company already owned a guillotine—an essential piece of equipment. The friend also purchased a 40x60-inch computerized mat cutter for cutting overmats. He chose the name Superior Archival Materials. Soon after, the bookbinding business expanded and Superior Archival Materials was neglected. Emails were not answered, phone calls were not returned. Michael and Paula’s assistant, Richard Boutwell, needing to make extra money, began traveling to Philadelphia, where the book bindery is located, and started to revive Superior Archival Materials. But the travel became too time consuming and recently we were given the computerized mat cutter, purchased other equipment, and moved Superior Archival Materials to Bucks County, Pennsylvania. We renamed the company LODIMA ARCHIVAL MATERIALS. The web site is currently undergoing changes as new products are being added. The URL is still “Superior,” but that will be changed soon.

LODIMA FINE ART: The last silver chloride photographic printing paper, Azo, was discontinued by Kodak in 2005. Kodak had wanted to discontinue the manufacture of Azo a number of years before and told Michael and Paula, who printed exclusively on Azo, that if they wanted Azo to continue to be manufactured that they would need to become dealers of Azo and to guarantee a huge minimum purchase each year. They did so. When Azo was discontinued when Kodak stopped manufacturing all of their black and white photographic papers, Michael and Paula, who a year before had looked into the possibility of having another silver chloride paper manufactured, accelerated their efforts to have one manufactured. After five, sometimes harrowing years of trial and error, working with a number of different manufacturers of photographic paper, they have succeeded in having a replacement paper made for Azo. It is due to be shipped from Europe the week of January 25, 2010.

LODIMA EDITIONS: Some photographers have never seen a photograph made on Silver Chloride paper, and many who have printed on this type of paper would like to have a fine print to compare, in terms of print quality, to their own prints. Michael and Paula have been requested many times to provide “student prints” for those photographers. At last, they will soon be making a selection of their photographs (printed on the new LODIMA FINE ART paper) available at extremely low prices. In the past, a number of photographers have made “student prints.” Michael and Paula will produce “Example Prints.” Close to thirty different pictures will be available, but each will be limited to an edition of only ten at the very low price. These photographs will be archivally processed and will be mounted and overmatted and, except for the extremely low price, will be indistinguishable from their other photographers.

LODIMA WORKSHOPS: Michael and Paula teach occasional weekend Vision and Technique Workshops and even more rarely conduct travel workshops. In 2010 they will conduct Vision and Technique Workshops at their home/studio in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and in London, Paris, Germany, and Florence, Italy. They will also conduct a travel workshop in Iceland in the summer. See the 2010 schedule here:

Thank you for your interest in LODIMA.

Michael A. Smith