Noam Kortler, pictured, right
, an acclaimed underwater photographer who has photographed and exhibited around the world, knows the challenges better than most. As does HP. For the past four years, the two have collaborated on the unique Treasures of the Sea
art exhibit, which showcases photographs and artwork of sea life in its natural element – the sea. Together, Kortler and HP have proved that not only is it possible to meet extremely high, art-quality standards using digital printing, it is possible to do so using digital large format industrial printers.
In previous Treasures of the Sea
exhibits, the prints were all of photographs taken by Kortler, who has been the driving force behind the event since its inception. This year, the show also included works by additional artists who specialise in undersea subjects. Tony Malmqvist, a Swedish photographer and PhotoShop artist, showed 10 artworks that combine his Red Sea photography with additional graphical elements. Geir Borresen, from Norway, exhibited five prints of scenes he had painted in oil colours while diving under the sea. Kortler contributed 25 photographs he had taken in the Gulf of Eilat, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji.
All 40 art pieces were printed using the HP Scitex FB7500 Printer – the second year that this large format UV digital industrial printer has been used for the exhibit. HP printed the prints measuring 50 x 100 cm (19.7 x 29.4") and 70 x 100 cm (27.6 x 29.4") directly on rigid 5 mm-thick (0.2 in) PVC board. Taking advantage of the full-size bed of the HP Scitex FB7500 Printer, the full set of 40 final prints was printed in one day.
The prints were exhibited outside on dry land, during the opening reception of the exhibit. Then they were submerged in groups of 20 on each of the following three days, so that swimmers, snorkelers, and divers could view the art prints under water. Each print spent nine hours at a time in sea water – some of them for one day and some for two. They were removed at night in order to comply with Israeli Nature Authority regulations and to protect them from theft.
According to Kortler, the prints more than met his and his artist colleagues’ expectations: “We were very happy with the quality and vividness. The colours, consistency and reliability of the prints in the display conditions were very high. The contrast was excellent and the prints have very nice saturation.”
The salt-water durability of the prints was no surprise for Kortler. “The prints that were under water in last year’s exhibit still look like new today. And the newest prints also came out of the water looking as bright as they went in.”
“I love the HP technology,” enthuses Kortler. “And I also love the service I get from HP. They always pay special attention to the quality; check everything is OK. They really care.”
As a sponsor of the exhibit, HP also took care of producing all the outdoor signage for the event. The banners were printed using HP Latex Printing Technology, with water-based HP Latex Inks.www.hp.com