Paul Roark Information
I live in Solveng on the California Central Coast. I am increasingly interested in the areas within my new "home range." Point Lobos is, of course, one of the outstanding spots along the Central Coast. In general, my other areas of interest have been California's Sierra Nevada "Range of Light," which I have been visiting for many years, and assorted other areas in Western North America.

My primary end product is, generally, a black and white display print. For years, traditional selenium-toned, fiber-based, "silver prints" were assumed to be the technology of choice for black and white display prints. However, recent technological advances have brought relatively archival pigments -- both black and white and color -- to digital printing. This changes the printing environment substantially, and I've now switched almost entirely to that form of printing.

For black and white I use carbon-based pigmented inks from MIS ( These inks on Epson's Archival Matte paper make, in my view, very superior prints that in most respects exceed the quality of the traditional chemical processes. While I have now included a digital step in producing most of my prints, my images remain relatively straight photos.

These are not composite images. My goal is to convey in the print the impression and feeling that the scene left with me. Essentially all original negatives were taken with medium format cameras (mostly Rolleis) on a tripod -- I'm a bit of a fanatic about sharpness.

One very important advantage of the digital print is that much of the unsharpness introduced by optics and film can be offset or eliminated. The image, after being sharpened in the computer, is put onto the paper directly, with no enlarging lens to introduce the inevitable softening caused by the diffraction of the light.

In early November 2000, Roark was one of several photographers working with new digital outputs to submit work for a show at the Margaret MacDonough Gallery at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Conn.

The show demostrated their experiments in creating high-quality digital prints from common desktop printers. Sixteen photographers from across the U.S. and Canada generously responded with prints for the first teaching show of its kind. You can visit the show at the gallery.

The printer of choice among artists working with new inks and papers was the Epson Stylus series printer. Its piezo printhead allowed photographers to experiment with inks in a free and open way. All participants were concerned with the potential of creating long-lived archival prints. Third party inks from MIS Supply, Cone Tech Piezography, Generations from Media Street, Lyson inks and new archival inks from Epson were all represented.

February 3 - March 3, 2001
Margaret MacDonough Gallery
Albertus Magnus College
700 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511

More images are available at Paul Roark's web gallery.

Finally, here is a comment from Mr. Roark about his printing:

The carbon pigment prints on an Epson 1160 are of amazing quality. Some, myself included, think they exceed the visual quality of even top quality silver prints. Just looking at sharpness and resolution, one needs a 5000 pixel wide scan to fully utilize the system's sharpness. Add to that the advantages of not having to go through any lens to get from a sharpened digital file to the print, and the superior highlights and shadows that the "shoulder-less" and "toe-less" medium can deliver, and you end up with a print that is beyond what most of us are accustomed to seeing with traditional enlarging.

Most think that the quality of digital color printing now exceeds that of the best color chemical processes. Well, carbon pigment quad black inks have done the same thing for B&W, in my view.

If you haven't tried it, you don't know what you're missing.

Send emailEMAIL Paul for comments, print price list.
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