Focal Points
After the stunning visual impact of the Images of the Year exhibition, attendees collectively caught their breath. Forty-five photographs were brought to life with Epson's Signature Worthy™ Exhibition Fiber Paper at Splashlight Studio in New York.

The exhibition comprised the best of work submitted to American PHOTO from individual photographers, photo agencies, magazines and art galleries throughout the world. The featured photographers included names like Annie Leibovitz, Thomas Mangelsen, and Martin Schoeller. On that memorable evening, viewers especially noted the brilliant colors, extraordinary rich blacks, and clean whites of the exhibition prints.

"I think this show represents a turning point in how we look at exhibition prints," said David Schonauer, editor-in-chief of American PHOTO. "It's no longer a question of whether or not the print is digital. Ink jet printing technology from Epson has advanced to such a degree that the focus is now back to the photograph itself."

All the prints were created with the Epson Stylus Pro 4880 printer, using Epson UltraChrome K3™ Ink Technology with Vivid Magenta Ink, on Epson's new Signature Worthy Exhibition Fiber Paper. For the first time, photographers can create exceptional prints in color or black and white on a true fiber-based paper. The Exhibition Fiber Paper achieves a D-Max never before attained either digitally or in a traditional black-and-white darkroom. The texture, weight and "feel" are reminiscent of revered silver gelatin papers of the past. Exhibition Fiber Paper takes the experience an important step further by giving photographers unprecedented control via a digital workflow and the ability to work in color as well as black and white.

The wide color gamut of Exhibition Fiber paper was put to the test with the dynamic colors of Italian photojournalist Francesco Zizola's spine-chilling image of machete-wielding men emerging from a cornfield. Colors ranged from the vibrant oranges, reds and blues of the men's shirts to the luminous greens of the corn leaves - "a green so intense it feels as if I could rub it off my hands," remarked one viewer at the exhibition.

To achieve the highest quality possible with Exhibition Fiber paper, Epson has partnered with the Pixel Genius™ group, industry-leading digital imaging experts, to produce custom color profiles for use with the paper.

Manuel Gils' emotive black-and-white image of Guatemalan migrants showed the richness of the paper's D-Max and its incredible smooth tonal rendition. Calling to mind a silver halide print by Dorothea Lange from the 30's, the photograph portrays a young boy in a wheelchair under the protective arm of an older relative.

Attendees that night commented on how amazing the "prints" rather than "digital prints" - looked. In combination with Epson's state-of-the-art printer and ink technology, Exhibition Fiber paper simply produces the finest photographic prints. The results are not digital prints but photographs created with technology that enables creative expression without restriction.

"I don't think the images from my 'Close Up' series ever looked better from an ink jet process," said Martin Schoeller. The exhibition displayed six of his intimate portraits, including Angelina Jolie, Jack Nicholson and Henry Kissinger. The Exhibition Fiber paper helped bring a 3-dimensional quality to each tight close up of the subject's face, with exceptionally smooth gradations and accurate skin tones.

To achieve the highest quality possible with Exhibition Fiber paper, Epson has partnered with the Pixel Genius™ group, industry-leading digital imaging experts, to produce custom color profiles for use with the paper. These profiles were used in the production of the exhibition and are available for free download at www.pixelgenius.com/epson.

Of his winning image of emperor penguins in the Nature Category, Thomas Mangelsen said, "I've made numerous prints of this image, but they have never looked as good as this print made on Exhibition Fiber Paper."