Updated: Jul 1

Follow me on a visit to Large Metal Prints in Pleasant Hill, CA. For 30+ years, three generations of Jon Lutz have been running this extra-professional, extra-friendly business where I have had my beautiful prints done since 2017.

I wanted to familiarize myself with the sublimation process, so I tagged along the printing of two of my latest photographs. I shot both images at the Valero Benicia Refinery in March, right at the start of the quarantine. The left one will get printed at 38"x72" and the right image at 38"x72". Large metal prints indeed!



The images are flipped horizontally and printed on high heat resistant sublimation clay paper with sublimation ink (1). The edges of the cut-to-size and pre-coated aluminum sheet are sanded (2). The Unisub ChromaLux metal sheets are imported from Kentucky. Once the orange protective film is peeled off, the aluminum sheet is blasted with pressured air for dusting (3).



The aluminum sheet is carefully lined up above the printed image (1). The image and the aluminum sheet are inserted in the heating press (2). The sheet is at room temperature and needs to be warmed-up before the sublimation process can start (3). Once ready, the sheet is infused with the paper's ink through 100 psi pressure and 400°F heat. The heat and pressure causes the sublimation inks to transform into a gas. The gas is then absorbed through the pores of the polymer coating of the metal and into the base coating. As the metal cools, the pores close and the metal surface stabilizes.



While the print is "cooking", the metal frame is assembled (1) and lined with extra-strong double-sided tape (2), which will firmly hold the print. The frame is 1.3" thick and comes in either brushed black, silver, or gold anodized aluminum. After about 4.5 minutes, the print is ready to be removed from the press (3). As the aluminum cools down, the coating's pores close, trapping-in the ink.



Once cooled off, the print gets a quick trim (1) and the edges are sanded (2). The print is then skillfully placed on the metal frame (3).



The double-sided tape is removed (1) and the print is ready (2). It then waits patiently in the studio (3) for a hanging wire. Rubber bumpers are applied to all four corners for wall stability. Once hung, the frame puts the print exactly 1.5" from the wall. Et voilà!



A HUGE thank you to both Jonny and Warren at Large Metal Prints for letting me buzz-around and talk their ear off while they worked.


Thank you for reading! Stay safe and healthy :-)


Follow me on Instagram: @nathstrand

Visit the website: www.nathaliestrandphotography.com

#photoblog #photographyblog #nathstrand

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Updated: Jun 24

Family weekend trip to Pigeon Point :-)

Perched on a cliff on the central California coast, 50 miles south of San Francisco, the 115-foot Pigeon Point Lighthouse, one of the tallest lighthouses in America, has been guiding mariners since 1872. Its five-wick lard oil lamp, and first-order Fresnel lens, comprised of 1,008 prisms, was first lit at sunset, November 15, 1872. The lens stands 16 feet tall, 6 feet in diameter, and weighs 2,000 pounds. Now on display in the fog signal building, it sat in a lantern room constructed at the Lighthouse Service's general depot in New York before being shipped around the Horn. Although the original Fresnel lens is no longer in use, the lighthouse is still an active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation using an automated LED beacon.

The coastal areas surrounding Pigeon Point Light Station are rich with life. Marine mammals, such as seals and whales, can be seen regularly from shore as they pass by beyond the surf. The inter tidal zone along this part of the coast, particularly in the rocky reefs that flank the light station, contains a diverse and numerous variety of plant and animal life.


Here is the picture I chose to edit for this post: the original non-edited picture on top and the final print-ready photograph  at the bottom.

Stay healthy and safe! And thank you for visiting :-)


Follow me on Instagram: @nathstrand

Visit the website: www.nathaliestrandphotography.com

#photoblog #photographyblog #nathstrand #nathaliestrandphotography #alvisomarinacountypark

Updated: Jun 24

Early morning bike ride to the Alviso Marina County Park with my family .

This bay side park is beautiful but can get crowded. The trick is to arrive before 10am when the crowds arrive. You can enjoy a nice long walk, jog or bike ride along the Alviso slough and the salt ponds and marshes of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The pathways and boardwalks offer fantastic views of the mountains surrounding the bay, and of the wildlife that call these ponds home.


Here is the picture I chose to edit for this post: the original non-edited picture on top and the final print-ready photograph  at the bottom.

Stay healthy and safe! And thank you for visiting :-)


Follow me on Instagram: @nathstrand

Visit the website: www.nathaliestrandphotography.com

#photoblog #photographyblog #nathstrand #nathaliestrandphotography #alvisomarinacountypark

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