Focal Points
The volume was cranked up at the recent "Visions of Rock" photography exhibition in New York, but it had little to do with rock guitar riffs or expansive lyrics. The photographs, displayed at the 401 Projects Gallery in Greenwich Village, proved that music isn't the only high note achieved by some of the best-known rock musicians of our time.

The exhibition celebrated the work of rockers behind the camera lens, including Bryan Adams, Melissa Auf der Maur, Jakob Dylan, Perry Farrell, Mick Fleetwood, Lenny Kravitz, Lou Reed, John Mayer, Graham Nash, Lou Reed (who also art directed the show), Patti Smith, and Michael Stipe."

"I came up with the idea because a lot of the people that I worked with as artists and musicians wanted to know more about my equipment," said renowned photographer and 401 Projects Gallery owner, Mark Seliger, who collaborated with American PHOTO magazine, Nikon and Epson to produce the show. "I realized that they were very passionate about photography."

"Visions of Rock" images were printed on the large-format Epson Stylus Pro 11880 printer. Because the printer can create prints up to 64 inches wide, there were several large-sized renditions of "Visions of Rock" images that brought high drama to the gallery walls. The monumental proportions of Bryan Adams's photo of rock star Pink were especially effective in capturing the singer's iconic status. He also displayed a larger-than-life image of the statuesque model Tereza Maxova, who seemed ready to walk off the print into the gallery space.

"When I saw the Epson prints on the walls of the 401 Projects Gallery, I was amazed at the transformation that images make when they are superbly printed."

"In editing American PHOTO magazine, I look almost entirely at images on my computer screen,"said editor-in-chief David Schonauer. "When I saw the Epson prints on the walls of the 401 Projects Gallery, I was amazed at the transformation that images make when they are superbly printed."

Like many of his fellow musicians in the show, Bryan Adams took photographs as a hobby and to record life on the road, transforming it later into a second career. "It's always a thrill to see your pictures being taken seriously," said Adams, who also displayed his portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Other musicians exhibiting their work at "Visions of Rock" had similar earlier experiences with photography. Many came from the darkroom and were amazed not only at Epson print quality but also the sizes they could print on. "I was actually interested in photography before music, and I've taken pictures my whole life," said REM's Michael Stipe, who studied photography and painting in college before being sidetracked by a music career.

Likewise, Melissa Auf der Maur earned a college degree in photography before playing bass guitar for Hole and Smashing Pumpkins. "I was going to be a photographer, with a special love in taking pictures of music, and then music accidentally happened to me," she said. One of the most successful images at the exhibition was her massive print of "The Swedish Incident," which depicts rock mayhem, when Hole lead singer Courtney Love invited the audience onstage.

"After seeing these Epson prints of my photographs at the 'Visions of Rock' exhibit, I realize that even an old fashioned film processing girl like me, can be convinced to move forward into the future of digital printing," said Auf der Maur. "The Epson prints looked beautiful."

Many of the photographs in "Visions of Rock" had nothing to do with the world of rock and roll. "Like music, photography is a form of universal language that can communicate an array of messages and can be a very powerful tool," said Mick Fleetwood, best known as the drummer with Fleetwood Mac. He also took advantage of the large-sized printing of the Epson Stylus Pro 11880 in some of his dreamlike nature photographs. His big print of pink meadow flowers transported the viewer right into the heart of the image.

Other professional-level inks are judged by Epson's UltraChrome K3™ with Vivid Magenta ink technology industry standard. The Epson Stylus Pro 11880 printer features MicroPiezo® TFP™ advanced print head technology for ink droplet accuracy and dramatically fewer nozzle clogs. The large images "seem to pop off the page," as one viewer commented at the "Visions of Rock" exhibition opening, one of the hottest events in New York during fashion week.

When American PHOTO editor-in-chief David Schonauer first reviewed the "Visions of Rock" exhibition, he said, "It was as if I were seeing these pictures for the first time, in an artistic dimension I could never have imagined. This was especially true with the images printed larger than life." There can be no doubt that without the large-format printing of the 64-inch Epson Stylus Pro 11880 printer, the exhibition would not have had the same dramatic impact. After all, what is more "larger than life" than rock and roll?