What do you see when you look at Art?

When you look at an artwork – what are you seeing? You’re seeing the artist’s mind – what you’re imagining – your thoughts and ideas, and how you choose to represent this.

When you listen to music – you experience the symphony of sound – in the same way, when you look at a painting you experience this Symphony of Light and Colour exploding before you – from the canvas as you look at it.

This multidimensional, sensory experience is what we see as the essence of the Artwork – what we want to recreate and share this with the wider audience. This isn’t something you get in a representation or a print – you’re creating something that is a work of Art in itself.

The perils of scanning

The majority of competing scanning houses offer bulk scanning at low prices, especially by outsourcing abroad. Often, flatbed scans are used to maintain their rapid turnover rates, sometimes diluting the truth that they have been drum scanned!!

However there are several problems and restrictions with this approach. Flatbed scans limit the level of image quality achieved in comparison to drum scanners. As a result there are very few scanning services that can meet the level of quality required for the medium to high-end markets.

In addition, transporting valuable images outside the country also pose risks of them getting damaged or lost. However Iconoclast Images will be offering door to door service within the UK, as well as insurance (in transit as well as at base) to protect against loss or damage.

How to experience Art

You can create 100 different versions of an image – representations. If you take an image that we all know, the Mona Lisa – there are countless representations of it – in books, photographs, posters, even coffee cups!

But this isn’t something you will covet – they’re just disposable items. They might look nice, but they won’t give you the feel and experience the true Art – they won’t show you what da Vinci was thinking and trying to portray when he painted her.

So this is what we do – we don’t just create a representation – we can if we want to – but to recreate that observer’s view we talked about at the beginning – to give this Symphony of Light and Colour – to covet and making this a work of Art in itself, whether it is a fine art postcard or a lifesize canvas.

Art is truly subjective

Today I ask for your opinion on what you think Art is.

It’s interesting for us to learn the artist’s perspective – how you the artist see your work and what you perceive and what you expect to others to perceive.

- What do you see as the aim of your work when you create something?

-What are you trying to portray, and what do you want your audience to

- Who do you see as the observer of your artwork?

Our Calibration services

Calibration services are essential for exact characterization of scanners and monitors.

To be fully confident in the accuracy of the image that you see and print, it is vital to ensure that the monitor is colour-correct and gives an accurate representation of the image. Our calibration services offer an exact ‘PhotoProof’™’ for your monitor or printer, which will give you confidently correct display colours, taking into account your individual surroundings and requirements.

Your monitor is evaluated using our patented MonitorMaestro™ software, and a high specification monitor profile is built. This is rigorously tested until you are happy with the calibration.
Printer calibration is carried out on-site.

Our trained staff will evaluate and assess your printer, ink and paper combination, your colour workflow and requirements to create a series of ‘Master Profiles’ from Web use to ‘Photoproof™’ prints. Each profile is tested to your satisfaction. Our colour consultant will also train your staff on how to get the best out of the printer and answer any queries.

Describing a Drum Scanner

In promotional literature they called it “Vertical Reality”. ICG started making drum scanners more than 30 years ago and twice won the coveted Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement. ICG’s scanners were always acknowledged as the best that money can buy. The rest were trying to catch up.

A scanner’s performance is characterised by the amount of data it can capture from an image in its sights. In that respect, a flatbed scanner, though much improved in recent years, still lacks the ability to capture the finest details of an image. A drum scanner succeeds where the flatbed fails. The images can be positive colour transparencies, colour negatives or reflective colour copy. They are mounted in an optically transparent drum that rotates at high speed with a light source beamed at or through the images. Centrifugal force created by the spinning drum holds the images firmly in place.

Light reflected off the image or passing through it is collected as digital data and passed straight to the computer. Resolutions up to 12,000 dpi (dots per inch) can be achieved, enabling huge enlargements to be made at the printing stage. Thus a small negative or transparency can be blown up to poster, even advertisement hoarding size.

Where final print quality matters, a drum scanner has been used in the process. All the top imaging bureaux, both here and overseas, use ICG scanners. If they don’t, they’ve compromised on quality.

Our Capture Process

I’m sure many of you have photographed, or had others photograph your artwork. You could take a camera phone and take a shot – and that will show you something. Or you could go a step further and get a good digital camera, and print it on a printer – this will give you a representation.

You might get a professional photographer to shoot it for you, and then take the image to a professional printer – again, this will give you another result – and it will be different each time you do it you can do this a 1000 times you will get 1000 different results. You wont know where it falls in relation to what you see as the artist when you look at your masterpiece.

What we do at Iconoclast Images, is look at it from start to finish – to capture this definitive observer’s view and try to capture the essence of your mind set.

We explain Colour Spaces

The key to understanding the Maestro suite is a process known as ICC Profiling, a relatively young feature of digital colour management. ICC stands for International Color Consortium. ICC Profiles map the behaviour of devices (scanners, digital cameras, computer monitors, printers) used in the pre-press and publishing world. A computer’s colour management system then uses the profiles to moderate the transmission of digital data between devices and to produce consistency and predictability across the board.

ICC Profiling is slowly gaining acceptance among professionals, but is hampered by complexity. ICC-compliant applications currently on the market take a theoretical approach to colour that is alien to the wit and understanding of traditional practitioners of the industry for which is was designed.

In a typical colour workflow system, input devices range from digital cameras to scanners, output devices from four-colour process proofers and printing presses to the worldwide web and the Internet. In between sits a computer with its monitor display, operating system and software applications. Once all these displays and devices have been profiled, digital colour management is transparent and automatic to all users, wherever they may be in the colour publishing process.

In the background, the processes are complicated by other standards. For example, the output of scanners and the display of a colour monitor conform to the RGB Colour Space model (Red, Green, Blue). Printers and proofers utilise a four-colour process, which uses another Colour Space called CMYK corresponding to the ink colours – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. These standards can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.