The Epson Stylus® Pro 7900 is perfect for Bambi Cantrell's wedding and portrait photography. "With the UltraChrome HDR inks in the Stylus Pro 7900, skin tones are absolutely pristine," she says. "They are creamy and rich, along with other colors that seemingly jump right off the paper. This printer and ink technology combined with the new Cold Press Bright Paper is spoiling me because my prints are so much more lifelike, colorful and three-dimensional."
Many of Cantrell's clients are women who appreciate the tactile quality of a fine art paper, "like images hanging in an art gallery. They aren't just pictures. These prints have an elegant texture, giving the appearance of something being worth a great deal of money."
Creating that value is Cantrell's ultimate goal. "I want people to see that the product I deliver is very special. And in addition to the remarkable print quality, the 7900's speed increases my productivity and allows me to sell larger and more profitable size prints up to 24 inches wide."
John Paul Caponigro can still recall the first time he saw a print made with the Epson Stylus® Pro 9900. "I just stopped in my tracks," he says. "The black was so black. It was incredible. The combination of the new TFP print head and the improved screening rendered incredibly fine details with smooth gradations. Continuous tone had truly become continuous."
Those benefits are important to Caponigro, whose works are collected around the world. "The UltraChrome HDR ink set is able to reproduce extremely saturated colors the likes of which I've never seen before. A corollary to that is that they also produce the blackest blacks through Epson's Advanced Black and White Photo mode. They've advanced my craft tremendously. I can make the very finest prints I've ever made."
Caponigro describes his prints from the 9900 as being more impactful. "Some of the images I make are very subtle, but when I need that extra intensity, I can get there."
And the 900 series printers are fast, which increases his productivity. "The versatility is wonderful. It can satisfy just about any vision."
Even before he made his first print on the Epson Stylus® Pro 9900, Douglas Dubler was certain his results would be first-rate. "As soon as I heard about the additional orange and green inks, I knew I was going to get better skin tone reproduction. In my world of fashion and beauty photography, it all starts with skin tones, and if the skin tone isn't right, then the picture's not right."
Dubler says that the amazing print quality he is getting on the Epson Stylus Pro 9900 is due to the expanded color gamut of the UltraChrome HDR inks combined with the AccuPhoto™ HDR Screening. "I'm getting smoother tonal transitions, more accurate color and the best skin tones ever. I'm also getting detail in deep shadows and highlight areas that I never got with any other printer. Those are the ends of the ruler. Those are always the most difficult to print. Any printer can get the middle tones, but the 900 Series printers can print those mission-critical ends of the ruler."
The 9900 has become an essential part of his creative process. "Printing in the analog world was, at best, a matter of making compromises. And in the beginning of ink jet printing, there was a very steep and sometimes frustrating learning curve, but now I am no longer fighting the technology. Technical limitations are no longer in my way and I'm making the finest color prints ever."
For Greg Gorman, it's all about a great B&W print. "I've always been a B&W shooter," he says. "I see in black and white. It strips everything bare, but also leaves something for the imagination."
Gorman says, "One of Epson's greatest strengths is their devotion to photographers and photography. They really listen, and that it's not always about the perfect histogram, but for me, producing B&W prints with the look and feel of silver gelatin. This leads to the Advanced Black and White Photo Mode, which in combination with Exhibiton Fiber Paper, is giving me those rich gutsy blacks with better quality than silver gelatin prints and unprecedented control".
"With the 7900, I keep at my second home and the 9900 at my studio, I'm getting incredible accuracy and can print my B&W exhibitions on either printer with identical results plus increased speed. I'm also now seeing detail in my prints that I knew was always there in the file".
"The print is most important thing that defines a career. The print quality I am getting with the 7900 and 9900 truly defines my legacy".
Some photographers have been frustrated by the limitations of translating their vision into a matte surface print. No more. "With the Epson Stylus® Pro 9900 the gamut of colors is expanded," says Jay Maisel. "In combination with Epson's Hot Press Bright Paper it's a totally different ballgame in terms of acuity, range of color and intensity. At the end of the day, I'm looking at my prints and telling myself, 'I'm really getting it now.' We don't have to compromise anymore. It's on the money."
The 10-color UltraChrome HDR ink set incorporates green and orange, rendering saturated colors on paper that weren't possible before, particularly on the matte paper that Maisel prefers. "I can look into the color without seeing the reflection of the room in back of me," he adds. "I like the experiential process of printing with it. I like how it feels."
"Prints are a very personal thing and not entirely logical. There's the vision of what you see, and if you're realistic, you never quite get the color you saw originally in most prints. It was a matter of making compromises. The nice thing with the 9900 is I'm no longer making those compromises."
Steve McCurry, whose 1984 "Afghan girl" has been called "one the most recognized photographs" in the history of photography, has seen this image printed with just about every photographic and reprographic process through the years. Today he says that only the Epson Stylus® Pro 9900 has reproduced the iconic image as he remembers it.
"The hope or the goal when I make a print is that it be as close as possible to what I saw when I made the picture," he says. "With the 9900, we've actually achieved that with the printer's remarkable clarity. The 9900 produces wonderful color. The brilliance and sharpness of the image simply exceeds my expectations."
"Making a print that one is proud to sign is the goal of a photographer's career," he says. "If you're working with the best cameras and lenses, you need to be working with the best printers. Prints are so important because they're the ultimate expression in photography. Without question, the 9900 is allowing me to produce my ultimate expressions."
"For me, it's always been about the print," says Jeff Schewe, a technological luminary in the world of digital photography. "But for a long time it was about how much information a high resolution digital back could capture, vs. how much of that data the printer could output. The fact that the Epson 900 series printers can render all the image detail in the original capture means that photographers no longer have to compromise technically and can now focus on the esthetics of the print."
An early advocate of shooting RAW, working in 16 bit and using the Pro Photo RGB color space, he says, "The technology in the Epson 900 series printers is a major leap forward. With the orange and green inks in the UltraChrome HDR ink set, I'm able to print colors that are in my original captures that I was not able to print before."
Widely regarded as an expert in digital image sharpening, he notes, "The advanced math used with the AccuPhoto™ HDR screening in conjunction with the precision of the TFP print head allows for more detail and remarkable control in the proper sharpening of a print."