Check out the Bumblejax man in action!

Would you like the BumbleJax man to create a gallery quality masterpiece with your digital photo like the one in the video?  We mount to acrylic/plexiglass (including 1″ blocks!), aluminum, bamboo, dibond or gatorfoam.  Each piece is hand-crafted with your satisfaction guaranteed right here in our Seattle shop.  Check out over 500 testimonials from our satisfied customers.

Get started today!  Just head over to our configuration system, choose your product tab, upload your photo, select the size, then any options or upgrades and he’ll take care of the rest, working his magic to create your wall art wonder.

See the acrylic prints process at Youtube along with all our other videos.

Now Offering Tru Vue Premium Acrylic For Face Mounting

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We are pleased to announce that we are now offering Tru Life acrylic from the leader and innovator in photo display conservation.  Tru Vue’s acrylic product offers a few enhancements over our standard clear cast acrylic that might be of interest you.

  • Anti-reflective.  In our testing we put it at about a 30% reduction in glare over standard acrylic.
  •  Scratch resistant.  It can still scratch, but not quite as easily.
  • Anti-static properties greatly reduces dust, therefore less cleaning of your acrylic art is needed.
  • 99% UV protection vs about 75% UV protection of regular acrylic.
  • Cleans like glass so can use regular glass cleaner (must be ammonia free).  Special acrylic cleaner should not be used.
  • Optical Coating – optimal clarity for truer color transmission and the greatest color neutrality.
  • Over 98% light transmission vs 92% of standard acrylic providing a touch more contrast and brightness.
 Currently, the Tru Life acrylic product is offered as custom and not yet available for ordering online.  Contact us today for a quote!  It’s about 10-15% more in price and only available in 1/8″ thickness, but we can do any size up to 96×48″.  You can see more about our acrylic face mounting process here.

How To View Your Photo At Actual Print Size In Photoshop

Over the years we have found that most customers aren’t aware they can view their images at actual print size in photoshop and if they are, they aren’t doing it properly so that’s the basis for today’s post.  There are a few steps to calibrating Photoshop properly so that the view you see when going to View — Print Size is the actual print size.

The Big Problem – Photoshop Doesn’t Know Your Screen Resolution

If you simply go to View — Print Size it’s going to show you the image zoomed in to your print size, but based on the default screen resolution within Photoshop of 72 ppi.  You will need to find out what your screen resolution is and make the change in the Photoshop settings which we’ll get to in a bit.

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Get Acrylic Prints Like Photographer Peter Lik

peter lik photographer

For renowned Australian landscape photographer Peter Lik, the future was handed to him on his eighth birthday when he got a Kodak Brownie box camera as a gift. The first photo he took with that camera was that of a spider web in his family’s home garden. That photo was followed by many others for Peter who brought his camera with him wherever he went. Born in Melbourne, Australia to Czech immigrant parents, this hard working artist was self-taught.  The 8-year old boy with the Kodak Brownie box camera is now an internationally acclaimed panoramic landscape photographer.  He is one of the 21st century’s most influential and most collected artists. Celebrities and political personalities look for his work.

The United States and Australia

1984 marked an important milestone in the life of Peter. This was the year when he decided to embark on a life-defining journey and travel to the United States. When he was introduced to the medium format panoramic camera, Peter decided to take his photography to greater heights. But first, he had to go back to Australia.

Back in his land of birth, Peter captured the Great South Land in breathtaking photographic scenes. Cairns became the home of his first gallery. It was also here where Peter established his publishing company.

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Cameras & iPhone Cases For Underwater Photography

underwater photographyOuter space and the deep blue sea are the two most elusive frontiers we have to explore, and thanks to changing technology, at least one is getting easier for the average Joe.

Over a century ago, photographer William Thompson took the first-ever underwater photograph of a blurry bundle of seaweed in the shallows of south England. Louis Bouton took the first clearly focused photograph nearly forty years later.  Both photographers used well-sealed boxes to execute their shots.  The first true underwater photography device was invented years later by an American photojournalist named Jack Williamson in the early 1900’s, and eventually the technology evolved.  National Geographic published the first underwater color images in 1927.

At this point in time equipment was not only extremely rare, but also bulky and difficult to use. Soon after, Jacques Cousteau and Emile Gagnan, inventors of the aqualung, began developing more user-friendly equipment with other divers. It wasn’t until 1957 when Cousteau teamed up with Belgian inventor Jean de Wouters to create the Calypso 35mm underwater range finder that the future of subaquatic photography was clearly seen.

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Print Your Panoramic Photos!

With the ease of creating panoramic photos with the new iPhone models and many cameras, many more people are capturing the full spectrum of what they see whether it be the entire family for a group photo, that stunning horizon or urban landscape.  If you’re like me, you have likely often said to yourself, “The picture just isn’t doing this justice.”  Panoramic photos help bring a bit more justice to what you’re seeing.

Now that you’ve got that pano shot on your phone or camera, how about bringing to life by displaying at home or in the office?  Sure, you could go to many online print shops and get a panoramic photo printed.  You can get it done on the cheap at Walmart or Costco, but if you’re looking for something high quality and unique you’ll want to think a bit outside the box on this one.

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Photographer Review: Acrylic Prints vs Metal Prints

A little while back we sent Keith (aka Captain Photo) a complimentary sample of our acrylic face mount product since he hadn’t seen this kind of presentation before.  He was under no obligation to provide a review and certainly not review it positively.  We’re very confident in the quality of our products, but you never know how someone might feel about it.  Fortunately, Keith was very impressed saying “Once you go Bumblejax, you never go back!”  Ha, now that’s a great slogan :)  In the video below he compared our acrylic print product to his previous standard of excellence – the metal print.  It’s nice to know Keith now has a new standard of excellence!

You can get all the details on our acrylic face mounting process here.

Acrylic Photo Blocks Are Here!

It hasn’t been an easy road to get to this point, but we’re thrilled to finally announce our newest product – acrylic photo blocks.  These 1″ thick beautifully polished acrylic works of art bring your photos to life in extraordinary fashion.  The thick acrylic refracts light in a way that illuminates your image in the right light and provides for a 3-D effect.  They are free standing so are perfect for a desk or mantle.   With Mother’s Day around the corner this would make a perfect gift and we’ll give you a little extra incentive with a 10% launch discount.

We are currently offering these in 3 sizes with the common digital camera aspect ratios of 4:3 (6×8″) and 3:2 (6×9″) as well as a square format for you Instagramers out there (7×7″).  In the future we may offer additional sizes depending on what our customers want.

Retail pricing for these pieces begins at $59 and goes to $75 depending on size and whether there is an upgrade to metallic paper (for even great vibrancy!)  We may be able to accommodate custom sizes, but we would require a minimum order of $500.

====> Check out all the details of our new acrylic photo blocks here

acrylic photo blocks
 photo credit: Janice Phenix

 

Acrylic Printing Services: What To Look For

Not all acrylic prints are created equally, so we thought it was important to write up a little guide to help those looking for acrylic printing services.  It’s a guide to help you in forming questions for the lab you may use, although we hope you’ll give us strong consideration!  First and foremost, it’s important to know that there are two very distinct processes in creating an acrylic print with two very different outcomes – direct printing onto the acrylic substrate and the face mounting method of printing onto the photographic paper, then mounting behind the acrylic.  Here at Bumblejax we would never consider the direct print method as it leads to inferior results in terms of color accuracy and vibrancy.  We believe photos were meant to be printed on paper! .. not to mention the unique display properties are best achieved with the print behind the acrylic.  You can see more on our acrylic photo mounting process here.

So, Question #1? Do you print onto the acrylic directly or do you face mount by printing onto paper first then mounting?  You’ll find that companies who print directly onto the acrylic are able to offer it at a cheaper price, so if you don’t mind giving up some color accuracy and vibrancy this may be a good option particularly for outdoor spaces.  The face mount process is more labor intensive and there aren’t many companies doing it well consistently.  It isn’t an easy process, but the end result is well worth it.

Question #2? Do you use stand off bolts?  If I were to take a guess I’d say that 80% of companies offering acrylic prints only offer prints with stand off bolts in each corner which are used for securing two acrylic pieces together into what is known as an acrylic sandwich frame (first image below) or used to separate it from wall and hanging purposes (2nd image).  It’s our belief that the stand off bolts in each corner take away from the image so it’s a method of hanging and separating we would NEVER use.  We prefer to use a dibond backer (more on this next) with two dry kilned fir boards attached for both the floating look and for ease of attaching to the wall.  No tools are required to hang our prints and without the stand off bolts you truly get that “floating off the wall look” (our acrylic print in 3rd image with no bolts).  This is a choice you need to make, but we want you to know it’s an important question to ask.  Often times it will be easy to tell just from the product images on the site you are looking at.

acrylic_sandwhich_frame acrylic_print_stand_off_bolts Acrylic300crop

 

Question #3?  What kind of backing material do you use?   Unless the company doing your acrylic print is printing directly on the acrylic and using stand off bolts, there is a good chance that a backing material will be used to attach hanging hardware as well as stabilize the acrylic.  This is important.  This will generally consist of two materials – sintra or dibond.  Sintra is high density plastic and cheaper than dibond, but provides less stability for the acrylic.  This may lead to some bowing of large acrylic pieces over time.  Dibond on the other hand is more rigid, providing much greater stability of your print, but is more expensive.  Dibond is basically a polyethylene core sandwhiched by two pieces of thin aluminum and it’s the material we prefer for stabilizing your print.  For smaller pieces, sintra is probably OK, but if you’re ordering larger pieces be sure that dibond is used.

Question #4 How thick should I go?  Most companies offer an acrylic print in either 1/8” or 1/4” thickness.  We offer both, but at the 1/8” thickness  you still get the same stunning look for a lower price and less weight.  That being said, some customers like more thickness at 1/4” and it does provide just a touch more depth and vibrancy.  Recently we began offering 1″ thick polished blocks in small sizes and they are stunning.  The 1″ thick acrylic does provide a significant bump in vibrancy and a 3D look and we provide these without hanging hardware since they are meant as standalone pieces.  However, we aren’t far off from offering larger 1″ polished acrylic blocks at 10×10, 12×8 and 12×9!  We’ll even have the option of adding hanging hardware!

Question #5 What kind of paper should I use?  This is always a tough one for people and a question we get a lot.  An entire article could be dedicated to this and often times it depends on the image, but suffice it to say that we prefer a satin paper which is somewhere between a glossy and a matte finish.  We don’t like glossy because the acrylic will give it a bit of a glossy look anyway, so glossy behind acrylic is a bit overkill.  The matte finish can be a bit dull.  In addition to our satin paper, we also offer a metallic paper upgrade which has become very popular.  The metallic paper gives the image more a bit more depth and vibrancy than a traditional satin paper and when mounted behind the acrylic, gives the image even more of a pop.

Question #6 Do I need anti-glare acrylic?  For this question I’ll refer to an article we wrote a few months ago.  In summary, we feel that clear acrylic without non-glare coating provides the best look for your image and isn’t worth the image degradation and cost.  Only a very small % of customers want non-glare acrylic as a custom order.  We have tested some of the most expensive and supposedly best non glare acrylic and while it may minimize some of the glare, you’ll see it.  One thing to keep in mind is that the camera tends to enhance the glare a bit when taking a photo, so you might see some images and video on our site with significant glare.  In person, it’s not quite as significant and quite frankly it’s one of those things you don’t notice as much after some time.  Most people have traditional frames with glass in their home.  You have to ask yourself do those traditional frames really bother you?  I’m guessing the answer for almost everyone will be no.