What is Giclee Fine Art Printing?
The Definition : Giclee (zhee-klay) - The French word "Giclee" is a feminine noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. The word may have been derived from the French verb "gicler" meaning "to squirt". In giclee printing, no screen or other mechanical devices are used and therefore there is no visible dot screen pattern. The image has all the tonalities and hues of the original painting.
What does that mean in ordinary language? Well Giclee Reproduction for Fine Art Wedding Photographers like ourselves means total control over our finished images. From the moment we take the photography to the point we print the image is totally under our control. There however two very important costs and benefits for the Fine Art Wedding Photographer to consider.
Firstly the entry cost is very high. Look at spending upwards of £5,000 to just get started, realistically expect a cost base of £9-14,000. The benefit is that the cheap and cheerful wedding photographers cannot compete in this sector. Giclee is the reason that all of the top award winning wedding photographers around the world are moving away from sending their prints to Pro-Laboratories and bringing their reproductions in house. Giclee has created two distinct markets. The Fine Art Wedding Photographer who can now create amazing visual images and confidently reproduce them with perfect and seamless graduation and every other wedding photographer who can't!
Secondly, there is the added benefit that all the work that fine art wedding photographers put into their post production work cannot be reproduced or printed anywhere else.
Because the Giclee process relies on the consistent use of colour profiling using an extremely wide colour/tone gamut, the profiling must start in camera and be on every machine right through to the Giclee printers. Therefore you cannot simply send a high resolution jpeg to Boots or Asda to print because they use standard sRGB gamut and what you get back will look nothing like you see on the screen.
Like us, you can go one stage further and create your own personalised colour profiling which means then your fine art wedding photography is totally unique. The graduations, the colourisation, the depth of saturation, the shadow detail are totally and uniquely under your control and cannot be reproduced anywhere without your profile on a Giclee printer.
Can I still create "Standard High Resolution JPEGs" for my clients?
Yes you can, but you must prepare them before you start your post production artwork. It is the artwork and specialised finishing which relies on the profiling system. Therefore we create two versions of an image, 'standard' which can be printed anywhere, and the 'Art' version which can only be printed by us.
What happens if you try printing a Giclee Fine Art Print at one of the cheap High Street printers?
Well here is an example of what happens.
The first wedding photograph is the standard wedding photograph - this is out of camera and converted to sRGB and it will print successfully almost anywhere as you see it here.
This second wedding photograph is the Fine Art version, we now have way more detail than the first, just look at the bride's wedding dress to see what I mean. We have enhanced the tonal range, created an extra wide colour gamut as well as nuancing the stylisation of the finish and so the printing of this image is now outside the sRGB gamut.
This third image is what happens when you try to print it using sRGB, i.e. a cheap online printer.
Giclee is changing the world for wedding photographers forever. We are seeing high end wedding album manufacturers investing hundreds of thousands of pounds in this technology so they can offer wedding photographers 'matched colour profile printing'. Providing perfect wedding album reproduction on fine art watercolour papers of what the wedding photographer sees on their screens in studio.
Giclee is creating a new market and a new kind of wedding photographer, one that wants to take his or her wedding photography to a whole new level of art and sophistication. Yes there will always be the cheap and cheerful wedding photographers, but now there is a yawning chasm separating them from those who create and print beautiful fine art wedding photography.