DIGITAL CAMERAS -- Photo Opp?
All Quad/Graphics premedia centers use the same standard operating procedures, and identical digital photography and imaging equipment. Each offers a range of turnkey services, including color separations, scanning, color correction, page assembly and proofing. The network's standard equipment list includes Leaf America digital camera components that are used on camera systems from Sinar, Hasselblad and Nikon.
While not quite as ambitious a move, the Premedia Technologies group of R.R. Donnelley & Sons also recently expanded its reach by opening a new digital photography and premedia center in New York City's Chelsea District. Called Studio W26, it joins the company's network of photography studios that already included sites in Dallas, Chicago and Seattle.
Studio W26 photographers are said to be equally adept at using film and digital photo technologies, primarily from Leaf America and Sinar Bron in the latter case. The facility also provides color retouching, image enhancement and proofing services. The company's stated goal in integrating photography and color services is to provide quicker turnaround of finished images.
According to Michael Rodriguez, technical director for R.R. Donnelley in Chicago, the company didn't expand into photography services until acceptable digital cameras were introduced. The reason being that the company felt digital capabilities would be simpler and easier to integrate than conventional photo-graphy, he says.
Some clients are still committed to film, Rodriguez admits. In fact, he's doubtful about when, or if, motion photography will go digital. Time and quality are the primary concerns for clients who have made the transition, the technical director reports. "Customers expect to get high-quality images with less work using digital photography, so your processes need to be optimized," he advises.
The investments and business ventures of the biggest printers have a higher profile for obvious reasons, but they are by no means the only players in the digital photography market. Consider the example of Color Ink in Sussex, WI. This progressive sheetfed printer does about $20 million in annual sales and employs approximately 100 people.