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Making your best photo prints!

Making your best photo prints!

Making your best photo prints!

Most photographers have had the experience of sending their images to a print lab and getting back prints that look awful (…or, at least, not what we expected!).

Unfortunately, many print labs follow poor colour management practices… if any at all! What’s worse, when you send your images to most printing services, unless you specifically ask for it and pay a hefty extra fee, nobody will even look at your images to check they are OK before printing.

That is never a concern when you have your printing done at Photiq.

This is because we preflight every file to check colour, sizing, resolution, sharpness and other technical criteria before making each print.

Our gallery director and master printer, Nat Coalson, has over 35+ years professional experience working in print, including 30+ years specifically making digital fine art giclée prints. (Nat is also an Ambassador for Epson UK, where he has provided training and consulting on Epson printers and the complete printing workflow.)

Nat will work with you personally to be sure that your images can be printed with top quality at your desired size. When he is checking your image files, if any concerns are discovered, Nat will discuss the issues with you and provide solutions before making any prints. All at no additional cost!

One of the key factors in creating the best and most accurate print is colour management. This is a combination of hardware, software and processes that together ensure each print is true to the original image in brightness and colour. (The image for this article is a snapshot of a calibration target used for creating a custom printer/paper profile.)

At Photiq we always follow state-of-the-art, industry-standard, professional-grade colour management practices.

The above starts to explain why you will, unfortunately, often get back inferior results when working with many print providers.

Instead, count on Photiq for your digital fine art inkjet printing and you can be assured that the prints you receive are the absolute best possible quality!

Get more info about our printing services here

2021 Year in Review

2021 was an unusual year, to say the least! Despite the extreme difficulties we all faced from the Covid pandemic, our gallery business remained very active and growing.

We were closed due to the nationwide lockdown from January through early April, so during this time—as most people did—we focused our efforts on online and virtual activities. We hosted virtual events, gave online presentations and created a virtual tour of the gallery using funds provided through a grant from the Warwick District Council.

Once we were able to open the shop again, Photiq remained a hive of activity through the remainder of 2021. Below is a summary of highlights:

Art of Photography Conference

On 17th April we held a 12-hour online event featuring 16 professional photographers, each giving special presentations covering their unique approach to photography. Each session also had a live Q&A at the end so attendees could chat directly with the presenters. The Conference was attended by over 250 people, and for a month afterward, all attendees were able to watch recordings of the sessions.

We are working on plans for the next Art of Photography Conference.
Learn more and register for updates on the Event website

Summer Photowalks

Throughout the summer we hosted a series of free photowalks around Leamington Spa.

Led by our gallery Director Nat Coalson, small groups explored the city centre making photographs and learning a range of techniques.

(Stay tuned for the upcoming announcement of our photowalk dates for 2022!)

Leamington PhotoFest

Also in the summer, we opened entries for our community-focused competition and exhibition. Participants made photographs of Leamington and the surrounding Warwick District. Entries closed in early October, when the images were scored by a panel of respected judges from the local area. Fifty images were selected for a free, public photo exhibition at the gallery, which we printed in-house. The exhibition ran all through November, during which we held a public vote for the People’s Choice Award. The prints received over 225 votes! Along with the winner of the People’s Choice Award, we also gave awards for 1st and 2nd Place and Highly Commended for adults and under-16 categories.

Learn more and see the winning images here

Photo London

In September Gallery Photiq exhibited in a stand at this year’s Photo London event, held at Somerset House.

We represented the photographic work of three of our resident photographers: Nat Coalson, Ron Cooper and Andrew Kerr. The event was well attended with brisk sales, and the response to our stand was fantastic!

(Photo shows photographer Andrew Kerr and Photiq co-owner/manager Ruth Coalson.)

Fine art photography book

Photiq is now officially a publisher of fine art photo books! This year we published Celebrating Humanity: Faces from Five Continents featuring the exceptional portrait photography of USA-based photographer Ron Cooper.

Our gallery Director Nat Coalson travelled to Germany to oversee the printing (photo at right).

Click here to learn more about the book

You can purchase copies at the gallery for £75 each.

New metal print production

In 2021 we installed a new system to upgrade our printing capabilities. We can now produce high quality photo prints mounted directly to aluminium di-bond!

Photiq is one of the first providers in the country to offer the new PermaLux metal print solution from Warwickshire-based PermaJet.

Early in 2022 we will be publishing our price list along with more details on the system.

In the meantime you can learn more about PermaLux here

Matthew Sugars Exhibition

We are pleased and proud to exhibit a new collection of beautiful landscape photography by Kenilworth-based photographer Matthew Sugars.

The collection features large format prints in black-and-white and colour, all nicely framed and ready to hang in your home!

The exhibition opened 2nd December and will continue throughout the week after we re-open 4th January … be sure to come into the gallery before it finishes!

Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year!

The Joy of Seeing

The Joy of Seeing

Like most people, I am blessed in many ways. The birth lottery has been good to me and I’m thankful every day for all the health, safety, comfort and opportunities that my life provides.

And I am most grateful for the gift of sight. Not a day goes by without experiencing moments of true amazement provided by this most vital of our human senses.

It’s a sad fact that most sighted people take their vision for granted. Maybe this is to be expected—but it shouldn’t be. Human vision can provide a gateway to the most awe-inspiring moments of a lifetime, and this should be fully appreciated and actively nurtured. Thus my guiding mission in life is to share the joy of seeing and help other people gain the benefits that this awareness can provide.

First awakenings

Though I’ve had fairly normal vision my entire life, it wasn’t until I reached my early 30s that I really began to see. Like most people, while growing up I was never taught about the different states of consciousness, or even that there are varying levels of awareness that all people experience every day. So, like most, I experienced life in a pretty much semi-conscious state—just another zombie among the hordes!

As a kid, I had always been passionately involved in both music and the visual arts, pursuing both with zeal until my mid-20s. I played several instruments and long aspired to be a professional musician, all while simultaneously developing a career in graphic design and media production.

Ultimately, I chose the path of the visual artist. I studied life and figure drawing; I practiced airbrush illustration, I worked a day job designing logos and printed marketing collateral. This all eventually led to my present business serving the fine arts.

Looking vs. seeing

One of the most important lessons I learned in my art studies is that it takes practice to see what is really there. What something really looks like versus what we think it looks like. With each encounter, we bring our past, our preconceptions and our personal bias to the experience.

After many years working as a designer and artist, it was photography (along with learning about mindfulness) that finally helped me learn to see.

When we pay attention to what we see—and to our perception—we are tapping into present moment awareness. While this can also be true of our other senses, vision is unique in the ways it gives us a sense of where we are in space.

Actively paying attention to what we are seeing can bring a sense of grounding and, at the same time, help us better understand our relationship to the physical world. In photography and the visual arts, sight can also be used to express the passage of time. Seeing effectively can provide answers, but it also raises an infinite number of questions. This hold great appeal for the inquisitive and intellectual mind.

An active practice

As with listening, through active seeing we can more fully immerse ourselves in each moment of our lives. Visual art is a unique catalyst for this practice.

Looking at art—and creating it—offers enormous benefits for people who allow the time and space in their lives for this. The experience of viewing a work of art can bring a sense of inspiration and wonder, sparking the imagination and quickening the pulse. In this state of mind we can feel both fully present and ‘somewhere else’ at the same time.

Making art continuously shifts our consciousness from our inner Self to the physical realm, back-and-forth, in a process that can be incredibly self-gratifying yet is also generous in nature. Artists give of themselves so that other people can share this joy.

Living a fulfilling life, visually

Though appreciating art can sometimes feel like a luxury, an indulgence or escape, this mindful approach to living and self-care actually is essential for finding joy and maintaining true happiness.

Seeing involves our eyes and optic system, yet even more so the brain itself. As such, active seeing can certainly lead to deep thinking. But we also need to remain aware of our tendency to let our cerebral mind dominate the true Self, our inner Being.

First, practice simply noticing ‘what is’ and accepting it ‘at face value’. No judgements.

Then, beyond seeing, observation is a more complex concept taking a more analytical position. As the Observer, we are conscious of our separation from the observed.

Finally, deciding what (if anything) is do be done about the things we see is another matter entirely. For photographers in particular, this active process of choosing gives rise to the decision of whether or not to make a photograph at all.

Developing positive habits

The ongoing practice of simply paying attention to what we see and observe—and, consequently, what we experience and feel—helps us leverage the Power of Now, as described so well by Eckhart Tolle. In the ever-present moment in which we always find ourselves, past and future do not exist. And as the present moment is all we have, the process of active seeing helps us to maintain active consciousness.

Life is more interesting and fulfilling when we practice seeing with eyes wide open, centred in the present moment, remaining mindful and grateful for this life and all it provides—in both the visible and invisible realms.

Conversely, when we don’t make time for our mental health and wellbeing, our lives can seem to become frantic and pointless. When we focus on the acquisition of material possessions or obsess about what other people are doing or thinking, we’re taken further and further away from the Source of our true Being.

Develop the habit of bringing yourself back to the present moment by simply paying careful attention to what you see and observe during each waking moment. Fully use your eyes and your conscious mind; be awake and aware.

If you are a sighted person, never take it for granted. Practice active seeing. Nurture it, develop it. Make seeing a fundamental part of your existence. And whether or not you consider yourself a creative person, let art play a central role of your life.

Ron Cooper Photography Featured in LensWork

Ron Cooper Photography Featured in LensWork

The fine photographic portraiture of Ron Cooper, one of our featured resident artists, has been featured in the latest issue of LensWork magazine.

Ron’s photograph of a woman and baby in Pisca, Peru graces the cover.

LensWork is one of the most prestigious publications in photography today. Congratulations to Ron on a major accomplishment!