Focal Points
Attendees of the most recent sold-out (The Fine Art of Digital Printing) workshop had the chance of a lifetime to learn from two masters, digital artist John Paul Caponigro and printmaker R. Mac Holbert, at the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls in western Massachusetts.

Digital artist John Paul Caponigro and printmaker R. Mac Holbert, at the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls During five days of one-on-one instruction, students discovered a variety of techniques and tools to create the highest quality sellable photographic and fine art prints. They also had the opportunity to experiment with the latest digital technology used by professional photographers, including the Epson Stylus Photo R2880 for 13-inch exhibition-quality prints.

"The most exciting part for me as a co-instructor was seeing so many light bulbs of insight popping up over the heads of students," said Holbert, a widely respected printmaker who founded the printmaking studio Nash Editions with musician Graham Nash. "I knew then that John Paul and I had been successful in helping our students take a big leap forward in the ability to realize their own vision on the final print."

Creative Possibilities

Sponsored by Epson America, (The Fine Art of Digital Printing) workshop was created to ignite growth and creativity among professionals and serious advanced amateurs. Premier photographic educational institutions such as the Hallmark Institute on the east coast and the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, Calif. provide ideal settings for photographers to expand their creative knowledge.

"From the moment they stepped on campus, it was clear that those attending (The Fine Art of Digital Printing) were passionate about creating fine art photography prints," said Vern McClish, director of marketing and career services, Hallmark Institute, which teaches photographic skills and techniques to prepare students for today's commercial world.

"The workshops are particularly good at increasing participants' printing knowledge base and skills, helping them get the very best quality from their printers and media," said co-instructor Caponigro, a renowned fine artist and teacher whose work is exhibited and collected internationally. "This is a truly unique opportunity to learn, hands-on, often one-on-one, in an intimate setting. Students go home, with a vastly expanded array of possibilities, to produce the finest caliber prints."

Creative Possibilities

"From the moment they stepped on campus, it was clear that those attending (The Fine Art of Digital Printing) were passionate about creating fine art photography prints"

Exhibition Quality Prints

For the first time, (The Fine Art of Digital Printing) attendees used the Epson Stylus Photo R2880, designed for photographers who want the highest quality, sellable photographic and fine art prints in a 13-inch width. Incorporating the same technology as the Epson's high-end Stylus Pro printer line, the R2880 incorporates Epson UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta ink technology. This ink has been used extensively by the industry's leading professional photographers, providing an extraordinary color gamut especially in hues of blue, purple and red. The printer also features Radiance™ Technology, an innovation that automatically optimizes highlight and shadow detail, along with producing smooth tonal transitions. As Mac Holbert noted, "It turns prints into photographs."

"Seeing the Stylus Photo R2880 in action at the workshop, we were so impressed with its print quality and the creative control it offers to students that we upgraded all of our printers at the Hallmark Institute," said McClish.

Hands-on Experience

Hands-on Experience Although the workshop's focus is photography, it is geared toward all types of artists who want to reproduce their work in digital media. Sessions cover topics like color management, workflow, raw conversion, re-sampling, noise reduction, sharpening, selective enhancement, print presentation and more. The instructors encourage participants to share information and thoughts with each other. "From day one, we set the stage for a very healthy exchange of ideas and creativity," said Caponigro.

The workshop highlights innovative techniques in print technology, allowing students to work with Epson's award-winning printers, inks and media. Students also spend time in the lab trying out their new skills while Caponigro and Holbert conduct one-on-one sessions personally reviewing each attendee's portfolio.

Inspirational and Reaffirming

"The Fine Art of Digital Printing Workshop was a life-changing event," said one attendee. "I significantly improved my visual skills and my printing craft. There were many 'ah-ha' moments, some head scratching, camaraderie and sharing, but deep down there was a significant change in my thinking, planning, and executing. I left with knowledge, understanding, and most important of all, confidence."

Another student commented, "In addition to the formal instruction, the interaction with other participants is inspirational and reaffirming. This class is a must for photographers who want to bring their images to life on paper, as well as understand who they are as an artist."