Picture Element printed my image on an Epson Stylus Pro 9800, and then wrapped it onto a wooden frame—the same type of frame you’ll find when you buy an artist’s original painting; a wooden square with the canvas stretched over it. Picture Element also applies a special coating to the image, which both protects it from ultraviolet light, and increases the color saturation and the richness of the dark tones.
The end product is stunning, and best of all it is ready to hang on the wall (I like that part a lot). With the right image, viewers might well mistake it for a painting. There is simply no comparison in viewing quality to the banal (and distracting) white matte surrounding an image, with reflective glass making it a chore to view.
I’m a longtime fan of not framing images under glass, because even with the most expensive “museum glass”, reflections can still be an issue (and museum glass is very expensive, and size limits are also an issue). So I prefer to frame my prints without mattes or glass, using GatorFoam and a custom framing around the mounted print. Let the print speak for itself without unnecessary distractions!
Picture Element prefers not to go into the details of its proprietary approach, but I can vouch for the outstanding results—the finished image shows excellent gamut, deep blacks, well saturated colors, little or no reflective glare and moderate texture—all on a print that doesn’t crimp or tear or stain (at least not without deliberate effort). Great for houses with kids!
By comparison, the Epson canvas “paper” and a few other brands I’ve seen are relatively glossy, and create troublesome reflections for the viewer. For that reason, I hadn’t really considered canvas a viable option before.
Mike Chambers (no relation) is the proprietor of Picture Element, having years of prior experience, most recently at Calypso Imaging (formerly in Santa Clara, now in Santa Cruz). While Calpyso Imaging is an excellent company to do business with, Picture Element deserves your strong consideration, especially if you live in the San Jose area. It’s a small shop, offering a number of services such as print-making, fine-art reproduction, GatorFoam mounting and personal attention—give them a try!