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Fine Art Reproduction Photography project – mapping ancient Trees of England

photos of prints from fine art reproduction photography

Fine art Reproduction Photography project – mapping ancient Trees of England

We recently worked on a fine art reproduction photography project, involving English Heritage. They wish to map the ancient trees of England and are using old maps to facilitate this. Some of the antique maps are still in the possession of landed estates, detailing the planting of trees and the layout of their lands.

So in this instance we were contacted by Lord Hamilton of Apley Estate in Shropshire. He required two large antique maps, dating from 1614 and 1821, to be photographed.

photo of framed apley map 1614

Apley Map 1614 in Studio

Photographing Framed Artworks and Maps

Both maps were very fragile so we decided to keep them in their frames. When art, maps or photos are photographed in their frames, you can have issues with glare and reflections within the glass. At The Artists Print Room we are used to handling these issues and so have procedures in place to avoid this.

There is a big difference between photographing an item, landscape or person compared to photographing art and framed artworks. The photo we create has to be far more precise and capture every tiny detail and colour of the original. Therefore we specialise in what is known as fine art reproduction photography.

At The Artists Print Room we photograph to a high resolution to capture all marks and textures of the original artwork and in this case all the details of the old maps.

We also photograph at two times the resolution, which means we produce a file twice the size of the original artwork or map. There is a technical process that we have created ourselves, for photographing art, sculpture, old detailed documents and fine textiles. It has taken years to perfect.

Please Get in touch if you require our fine art reproduction photography services

photo of framed Apley Map 1821

Apley Map 1821 in Studio

Colour Matching the Apley Maps

Once the old maps of Apley have been photographed, the newly created digital files need to be colour matched as close as possible to the original maps. All our fine art printing equipment, including monitors have to be calibrated regularly. Basically this means that they are all colour managed to the same specifications. So what we see on the monitor, is the same as the final giclée print.

One of the most important terms, when it comes to colour matching is ‘colour gamut’. Every printer, substrate (paper, canvas) and monitor has a different colour gamut (range of colours). This means a monitor could see colours a printer’s inks can’t print. So they will choose a colour closest to it. Also substrates have different colour gamuts, such as cream tone paper may produce more muted colours, but the yellow may appear stronger. Also canvas tends to have a lower colour gamut, which can make similar dark tones of colour merge into one dark tone of colour.

So each part of the process has a part to play in turning an old map into a digital image, to finally reproduce as a fine art print.

Print Proofs – Test Prints

print proofs for giclee printingBefore we started any printing, we had to choose the fine art paper that would best suit the old maps style and colours. We chose Canson Infinity Rag Photographique 310gsm. It’s an exceptionally smooth, heavy-weight museum grade 100% cotton paper. It also has one of the highest achievable Dmax, making it ideal to print the fine details of the Apley maps.

To assess the colours before any adjustments were made, we printed print proofs of the maps. We could then assess these against the original old maps. We then made a few adjustments to digital files and then re-printed print proofs. The print proofs were of a section of the maps. They are large maps and to print the whole map at actual size for proofing, isn’t necessary. So we generally print just a section at full size.

You can learn more about Print Proofs here



From Fine Art Reproduction Photography to the final fine art Museum Quality print
giclee print of Apley Map 1821

Apley Map 1821 giclée print

Fine art reproduction photography is not a quick process. All the fine details as well as colours have to be checked, before a final fine art print can be produced. We check each print proof against the original map, under controlled lighting. Upon assessment we made adjustments to the colours on the monitor. Then we printed print proofs again. Then again we asses these against the original Apley maps. Finally once we were happy with the print proof colours, we created larger giclée prints of the Apley maps.

Learn more about our giclée printing process here







Finally Apley Estate Maps are digital
giclee print of Apley map 1614

Apley Map 1614 giclée print

From the start we applied fine art reproduction photography. This began the process of creating digital images of the Apley Estate maps. Any faults or errors in the original digital image file we create, will be magnified in the final print. So the digital file we create, has to be as accurate as possible. Don’t forget the file we create is also twice the size of the original maps. Therefore larger prints will always be possible. Apley Estate required an image license. So that English Heritage can use a large high resolution image file, for assessing the tree details on the maps.

Finally the digital image file can be used at any time, for creating further fine art giclée prints, of the Apley Estate maps of 1614 and 1821.

Please feel free to Get in touch to discuss your artwork photography and fine art printing needs. We’re happy to help



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