Printing Digital Photos on Canvas

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Using the Epson 7900 and the Breathing Color (BC) Lyve Canvas (their best), David & I generated a volume of prints ranging around 24″ x 36″.  I built a plastic-lined spray booth in the breezeway of the home, mounting a 4’x8′ panel at 60 degrees.  The Rhoplex spray mix was kept warm with 50% water, 40% matte, 10% glaze.

The “bedroom” print above is the first stretched canvas for a forthcoming exhibition of California Freeways. Roughly 18″x50″.

General notes: When stretching canvas, the print surface should be treated like solid gold. Under not circumstance should the image be put face down. Work the canvas from the built stretcher, standing up or face up.

Observations:

  1. The Rhoplex spray darkens the image by about 1 stop and tints the image to yellow. As a refractive polymer it puts more light into the darker areas, giving them more visual latitude in detail.
  2. Pictures look smaller in canvas. You sacrifice 5″ in each direction to wrap the canvas around a stretcher bar. Kind of  a drag on a 24″ printer to only end up with 19″ viewable.
  3. Where the image rounds the frame, the transition is noticeable. It must be stretched precisely and the visual transition from photo to canvas edge takes thought in your print process.

Lessons from observations

  1. Rhoplex amber color shift is intolerable in the current run. Need to check various Rohm and Haas suppliers.
  2. I am working on a plan for a 1×2″ stretcher where I can reduce this to about 3″, but still there is a loss.
  3. Allow 1/16″ of the image to wrap. A hard line where the photo ends and the canvas matte resumes is one approach, but better is applying a Gaussian blur in the print process. Carefully extend the light and dark patterns of the image or you defeat the rounding purpose.

More later – Mark