Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Canvas OnDemand versus Brian Morgan (ordinary guy :-)

A while back I wrote about my experience using Canvas on Demand to print out my favorite F1 photo shown above. Overall the results were great, but this story ended up taking a funny twist.

A co-worker of mine, Brian Morgan, contacted me after reading my article and let me know that he'd like to see how his work using a Epson 9800 (now replaced by the Epson 9880) would compare to that of the "professionals" at Canvas on Demand. To that end, he offered me free canvases in matte (Epson Piezo Pro) and glossy (Epson Canvas Satin) format so I could review the results.

The Verdict

While my favorite price is always free, I warned Brian up front that I wouldn't say his work was good unless it really was. After all, I have no incentive to publish bogus information because it only hurts my creditability, but he agreed that he'd take his lumps if his work wasn't up to standard. He then proceeded to send me two prints using the same identical file I sent to Canvas on Demand, and the results were surprisingly good!

Tone-wise, his prints were slightly brighter than those produced by Canvas On Demand, but I felt his were more accurate to how I had modified my picture on my PC (i.e., he didn't intervene as much and kept my artistic intent - or lack thereof). He did have to upres the photo a bit, and he informed me he use Genuine Fractals (group discount link also part of Plug-in Suite 4) for that. When I had talked to Canvas on Demand about their print they also confirmed they used it as well. He did some selective sharpening (using Nik Sharpener Pro) on the hood (just like CoD). Lastly, he had to add some black borders for the wrap, but other than that he simply printed what I had given him with his minor edits. The results were great, but they didn't include wrapping on wood, so that was a bit of a bummer. However, this made shipping easier, and it was free, so who am I to complain eh?

Out of the two prints, I much preferred the matte printed on Epson Piezo Pro much more than the glossy. The glossy just looked kinda cheesy and attracted too much unwanted light no matter where I put it. CoD appears to print on matte too, so despite my preference to print on glossy or lustre for my personal prints, this is the one (and only) case where I really prefer the matte look.

Cool, so how much does Brian charge?

While these prices will probably be subject to change (i.e., don't quote me), Brian seems to have some pretty affordable prices compared to the competition. In fact, if you ask me, he doesn't charge enough when you consider the fact that his printer alone was well over $5000 after you consider shipping, setup costs, and ink. This doesn't even include the supplies like canvas, but he feels it is worth his effort (and the little extra he generates on the site from his printing business):

Height Width Canvas Fine Art Luster
40 60 $ 170.00  $ 140.00  $ 120.00 
30 40 $   85.00  $   70.00  $   60.00 
24 36 $   60.00  $   50.00  $   40.00 
20 24 $   40.00  $   35.00  $   30.00 
16 20 $   30.00  $   25.00  $   20.00 
11 14 $   20.00  $   15.00  $   12.00 
8 10 $   15.00  $   12.00  $   10.00 

These prices do NOT include shipping, and more importantly don't include mounting (i.e., you are just getting the rolled canvas as it comes out of the printer, so you'll need to get it mounted yourself).

Sweet, so how do I contact Brian?

You can reach Brian by email at bmorgan@msn.com or by phone at 770-856-1600. He did great work for me, and I'm sure he'll do the same for you. In addition, if you are a printer junkie and want to learn more about how to do your own, I'm pretty sure he can give you some helpful tips as well.


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Anonymous said...

Ron -

Thanks for the kind words and I'm glad you're enjoying your prints. I appreciate the details you shared regarding my tools and processes. To that end, I also wanted to let your readers know that I leverage the Colorburst's Imageprint 7.0 RIP to drive my Epson 9800 Printer. It gives me a level of consistency that few others can achieve with literally 100's of custom profiles available for papers from a multitude of manufacturers.

Anonymous said...

I have been using Brian’s printing services for the past 3 years. He has produced no less than 40-50 large prints for me during this time. The 9800 does an amazing job on large canvas prints and glossy papers as well. Most of the prints were 20x30’s or 24x36’s and recently a large panoramic that was 7”x 80 inches on Semi Luster. I highly recommend Brian to produce Fine Art Prints. My work is primarily Landscapes with a focus on Famous Golf Courses around the world.

Anonymous said...

I can highly recommend Brian's service as well. He did a great job with a marginal file and was still able to make a very usable print out of it. Highly recommended!


Brian Morgan said...

Hi Ron -

I just wanted to update you and your readers on a few things. First of all, thanks again - I got a referral from your blog just a week ago even though this article is almost a year old. Secondly, I wanted to update everyone that I'm now running the very latest ImagePrint 8.0 RIP from Colorburst and it includes some very nice refined profiles that make for some amazing looking prints. Thirdly, I've had to increase prices slightly due to materials cost going up - but I will continue to honor the prices in this article if people mention your blog when ordering. Lastly, I've updated my website and contact information. You can find me at http://www.brianography.com and you can reach me at 770-446-2781 or bmorgan@brianography.com. Thanks again for all you do for the photography community!