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I'm so new...

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Bindii, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Bindii

    Bindii New Member

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    I come with cling wrap! :Cool 2:

    Hi everyone, my name is Sue and I am a photographer (in Australia) and I am currently researching the idea of printing photographic backdrops.

    At the risk of coming across as rude by asking questions in my first post I could really do with some advice from the printing gurus on this forum. Obviously I have no idea what I am talking about so please excuse my ignorance if I say something that is totally unrealistic or naive - thats why I am here.

    As I said I want to print photographic backdrops... Why? You ask. Well printed backdrops are becoming quite popular in America and Europe and seem to be reasonably easy to purchase there - I've purchased a few myself, but the postage alone costs more than the backdrops which makes them out of the reach for most photographers from my side of the pond to buy.. and well I've searched and searched and cannot find anyone here in Australia making anything like them at all.

    The way I see it I have two options.. I could a) Purchase a suitable printer and the necessary materials, get some training on operating it and add backdrop making to my business or b) Hire a printer to print the backdrops so I could concentrate on the marketing and sales side of them.

    I guess both have good and bad points.. I assume that operating a printer like the one I would need would not be something I could master overnight(but I'm a fast learner and keen) and if I hired someone obviously my profit margin is going to be a lot lower (but then so are expenses) but whats to stop the printer from marketing the backdrops him or herself cutting me out..?

    I'm also unsure as to what sort of printer I would need.. I've received conflicting advice from retailers about this. I need a printer that can print on a vinyl coated canvas, miniumum width 52 inches up to 8 foot long. The finished product needs to be basically water proof (for cleaning up scuffs and spills with a damp sponge), fade proof (no point in printing it if its going to fade in a year or two) and sturdy enough to trod on etc I've been told by some that ink jet printers are not suitable for this kind of thing but others have said that they are fine?? Can anyone suggest a printer that would be handle this kind of work?

    Actually can anyone suggest anything that I need to know?..

    Sorry again for throwing questions in my first post.. but I've hit the brick wall with lots of conflicting advice from retailers and I'm unsure if they are only telling me what I want to hear in order to get an order for a printer.. :banghead:

    Cheers

    Sue :thankyou:
     
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  2. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

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    Welcome from Sydney.

    I've a 64" (1600mm wide) roland and it wouldn't be too bad for the job.

    Questions you need answered are: what resolution are you expecting? (dpi, tonal range etc) and ... that's probably a good start for now.

    Another question, installation. How do you want your clients to put these up on a wall? Are they going to be glued like wallpaper? Will they be self installed? Or are they just hanging from the ceiling using sthing like a cable system?

    Cheers,
    John
     
  3. showcase 66

    showcase 66 Very Active Member

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    Welcome from Arizona.
     
  4. Bindii

    Bindii New Member

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Thanks for replying.. as a photographer I always use a very high dpi (res)for my prints but I don't think that is necessary for backdrops as they generally are more muted in the background.. in fact more often than as they are not the focus of the shot they are positively blurred.

    Self installed... the ones I have ordered are attached to a roller (tied or taped on) either on an automatic background system but generally photographers like to use portable backdrop holders which you can either use clamps or tape to hold your backdrop temporarily in place which makes for fast and easy background changes.


    Thanks!
     
  5. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

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    Sounds like a roland or any eco solvent wide format should be enough for your work in that case.

    Usually anything above 100-150dpi is plenty enough. I recently did something 2.5m x 2.2m and that was in 35dpi. Close up, obviously there's pixelation, but at around 1.5m distance, no difference to the normal eye. Just to give you an idea... 150dpi would be more than enough.

    I now see what you mean - photographic backdrops, as in the ones like roll up holland blinds? I was in a studio in Japan recently and they had one of those installed into the ceiling with about 4 or 5 colours. Looks like it cost a fortune!

    You could probably just get the print done on an eco solvent ink compatible canvas media. If you're after a top notch job, send the print off to a "finisher" who can stitch up the edges, and then either source the self rolling "blind" mechanism yourself, or even take it to a blind manufacturer and tell them to use your print. You might even get away with buying a holland blind from bunnings or something, ripping out their material, and figuring out a way to put your print in? then attach it to your ceiling or wall.
     
  6. PHILJOHNSON

    PHILJOHNSON Sales Manager

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    Welcome

    Hello and a warm welcome from Seattle, WA!
     
  7. Bindii

    Bindii New Member

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    Feb 15, 2011

    Excellent advice, thank you so much... now as a printer yourself do you think that I could realistically do this myself (print the backdrops) or am I better off getting some quotes from printers and sub contracting the work that way? I have very little idea as to the running costs of printing this sort of thing.. I don't think that I would worry about heming the backdrops - well not unless the canvas is liking to fray?

    I would let the clients self install the backdrops themselves.. most will merely attach it to a portable backdrop stand (see attached pic) as these kinds of backdrops are more used for baby and child photography so often the photographer only sets the backdrop to waist height..
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

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    Oh in that case it sounds pretty easy - doesn't need any fancy mechanisms by the sound of it.

    Doing it yourself vs subbing out depends on a few things.
    * do you want to spend the money to get into it?
    * will you be printing enough of these to justify it?
    * do you have the time to get into printing these?

    I personally don't see a problem with sending it out to start off with, and see how you go. Committing to a machine/system without knowing how it all works is pretty risky. Unless you'll be making more than 5 of these a day, for at least a couple of years, I don't think it's worthwhile - but that's just my opinion. You might be more than happy to spend the money on equipment, and have this new product to play with - comes down to your money/time bank.

    Running cost wise, you're looking at maybe outlaying as much as 30-40k for setup.
     
  9. Bindii

    Bindii New Member

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Care to give me a quote??
     
  10. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

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    Sure, I'll send you a private message with my email - you can email me the size etc and I can quote you up.

    Cheers,
    John
     
  11. Dave Drane

    Dave Drane Very Active Member

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    Welcome from up the road Sue. Have you spoken to anyone at Sign Essentials in Brisbane. I am sure they will be able to help you with any questions you may have. Phone them on 3865 2294.
    Good luck with your venture.
     
  12. Bindii

    Bindii New Member

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Cheers.. message sent.. :thumb:

    Nope.. but am loving there website (just googled it) and will call them shortly... thanks for the contact! :notworthy:
     
  13. Dave Drane

    Dave Drane Very Active Member

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    You can also try AVS on toll free 1800 01 7446, to get a second opinion, and do a deal for the best price on what you decide on. Roland will be the better printer IMHO. Or phone direct to Brisbane 3399 4600 and ask for Nigel Hulm.
     
  14. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

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    There you go, you've got plenty of local guys around :) I support local business so recommend you to use them - will be easier to go in and see and feel products too.
     
  15. Sign Up Graphics

    Sign Up Graphics Very Active Member

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    Sign Up Graphics

    Welcome from Skokie, IL :thumb:
     
  16. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    Welcome to a outstanding forum and people.

    excuse has no idea about what to use or what printer.
     
  17. Fitch

    Fitch Member

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    Welcome... also from Sydney.

    Concentrate on what you know - Photography.

    Unless you intend to really churn these out - a printer should not really be an option - at this stage. Unle$$ you are loaded.

    My advice would be to find someone that can print on a quality non curling (edges) banner material at a level that YOU are comfortable with. For the distance - 150dpi may be a little low but 600dpi would be absolutely max needed. The slower or greater the passes the better intensity of the finished product.

    In terms of fading - don't worry, For what you are using it for, there will be more scuffs etc than a fear of fading. Laminating will help both but cost wise - may not be viable as many photographers tend to prefer a "range", so the greater the range the lower the risk to each unit due to individual useage.

    Sub out first, sell them, do whatever you wish for 12 months and then reassess.

    Getting burnt $5000 minimum on having to sell a new unit second hand, certainly gets you a LOT of these from an outside source, and you will have no worries with the learning curve, payments, maintenace, consumables, profiling, "Help Lines", relocating etc etc.

    Just my 2c.

    Cheers - G
     
  18. Bindii

    Bindii New Member

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Thank you so much everyone for your welcomes and advice.. I will be thinking carefully about whether to print my own or outsource over the next week or so although I have to admit that at the moment outsourcing - if I can get the made at a reasonable price - seems to be the sensible way to go.
    :U Rock:
     
  19. shirtsource

    shirtsource Member

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    Feb 25, 2007
    Welcome from kentucky
     
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