Are you looking for a unique new way to display your landscape photographs? Keith Briley gets to grips with a 3D Art Wall from Avenue Artwork
There is nothing like placing your first order with a color lab and having your first image printed. It's addictive. The order is placed and, before you know it, the delivery driver shows up at your door with a large box. I will never forget that initial excitement of opening my first print order. To see this creation from scouting to shooting, processing to print, and having something tangible in my hands, was nothing short of thrilling.
For many of us that first print order was on paper, perhaps then you tried canvas. An increasing trend throughout the years though (especially for landscape photographers) has been printing on metal. Printing on metal is a tough concept to explain or understand without having it in your hands. I have frequently tried to explain the beauty of metal printing to guests, who come on workshops with me, but my words often fail and I end up bringing one along in the back of the Jeep to demonstrate. If you haven't seen one of your pictures in metal, I highly recommend you contact a color lab, have a 10x20” printed, and be prepared to fall in love.
In the last three to four years I have had no fewer than six lab print images and mostly on metal. I am always eager to try a new lab and see something innovative. I am amazed that metal is still in its infancy to the average consumer!
Avenue Artwork may be a new brand but it is certainly not a new color lab. Adam Fried, the company’s owner, recently started Avenue Artwork due to a desire to bring easy ordering, simplicity, and printing to the busy person who has a day job, but shoots on weekends with ferocity. Fried has a history of printing as he is also the owner of another color lab, which has built up a positive reputation among portrait photographers in the professional community.
In an effort to create 'the next big thing’, Avenue Artwork introduced us to the 3D Art Wall. You have to see this to believe it. Imagine 11 to 15 small metal prints, all printed individually and then fastened together using sleek hardware.
Ordering was a breeze. The Avenue Artwork website was very easy to navigate and to select the product that I wanted. The only delay was choosing the size that would best fit my image, as I am not a standard crop sort of guy – I allow the image to determine the crop. Once I had my size figured out, the time from pressing ‘order’ to receiving it on my doorstep was exceptionally fast.
I admit it, this wasn't my first rodeo or the first time I had seen a physical print of mine, so my excitement level wasn't there… until I pulled it out of the box. The color and printing was exceptional and surpassed my expectation. However, my excitement did not stop there.
The graphic artists at Avenue Artwork pick up the image, and individually customize the 3D Art Wall around your specific print, which means that no two photographs will have the same shape. This is custom, hand-crafted precision at its best. Specifically with my piece printed (as seen), I had captured an image of the ruins of a pre-revolution church. I photographed this in spring when the dogwood tree had been blooming, which became an important element in my composition. You will note in the image accompanying this review that I also had a large tree stump, which anchored my composition, that I also felt was important. Without my input the graphic artist picked up on this, and selected to raise these two compositional elements of my print to give it increased and added depth.
One thing worth noting is that I hadn’t anticipated that I would have to put the Art Wall together upon arrival. However, the folks at Avenue Artwork labeled each piece and provided the hardware and plans showing how to assemble it. This took me approximately 15 minutes once the pieces were laid out.
My 3D Art Wall was hanging in an office that very same day, and I can safely say that it won't be my last. If you want a sleek, modern and professional look that will really set itself apart, this is going to be for you. In summary, my hat is off to Fried and his company for thinking outside the box. Literally.