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Photojournalist Thomas Hoepker discovers new life in images, using the HP Designjet Z3200

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Story Highlights

  • World-view photos captured over 50 years enjoy renaissance, thanks to HP printing technology
  • HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer provides a platform for exhibition-quality prints Hoepker sells to fine art collectors
  • HP 73 Chromatic Red improves color gamut without entirely overhauling color palette

New life for photos, new career for photographer

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Magnum photographer Thomas Hoepker has traveled the world documenting people’s lives and issues for magazines. As a result of more than 50 years in the field, he’s amassed an incredible body of work. At the request of the Photomuseum in Munich, Germany, Hoepker developed a retrospective exhibition of his life in photography—after combing through literally hundreds of thousands of images. The exhibition led to a book, which in turn led to unexpected calls from collectors.

“Suddenly I found myself in the art world, something I had never intended,” he says. Hoepker had been using dye-based printers for proofs and comps, but he wasn’t satisfied enough with the print quality to use those printers for collectors.

Today, Hoepker uses the new HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer to produce exhibition-quality prints he sells to fine art collectors, opening up a whole new revenue stream for his images.

Digital technology sparks a return to roots

HP Indigo: the profit of progress

“Consistency is very important, especially to my clients. I need to make sure the print is the same today as it was three years ago, and the same as in my book.”

Thomas Hoepker,

“I grew up in the dark, more or less,” Hoepker jokes. “As a student I developed and printed my black-and-white shots in the darkroom, but when I started shooting color the magazines did all the printing.” When HP introduced pigment ink formulations, he jumped at the chance to return to his roots and start printing his own work, finding a new market for himself and his work in the process. “The pigment printers are a big leap forward, especially when you think of the long life of the prints. They are projected to live up to 200 years. That’s pretty amazing.” 1

He especially appreciates the new HP 73 Chromatic Red ink, part of the new Designjet Z3200 technology, because it gives his red shades pure RGB values without changing the overall color palette of the printer. And the HP Quad Black Ink set produces the gradient shades needed for stunning black-and-white prints.

“To achieve an excellent black-and-white print is more difficult than printing a color print. I think the new pigment printers really have reached a point where they are rivaling the old darkroom prints,” he says.

Ink innovation on the new HP Designjet Z3200 advances Hoepker’s work by enabling:

  • Rich color saturation, using the HP 12-ink printing system with HP Vivera pigment inks, featuring new HP 73 Chromatic Red ink
  • Stunning black-and-white prints with the HP Quad-Black Ink set
  • Exquisite gallery-quality prints that last more than 200 years on HP media1

Consistent, controllable color

Hoepker also appreciates the HP-exclusive technologies that make the printer easy to use. “I’m not a techie, I’m just trying to make the best print possible,” Hoepker says. He loves the fact that he can create media-specific custom ICC profiles with very little intervention, thanks to the automated media profiling features—part of HP DreamColor Technologies.

A true journalist at heart, he never alters an image, but he uses the color calibration features to bring out nuances of the images traditional photo processing would miss. The HP Color Center makes profiling and calibration easy, using the embedded spectrophotometer with i1 color technology.2

“Consistency is very important, especially to my clients,” he adds “I need to make sure the print is the same today as it was three years ago, and the same as in my book.” Automated media profiling takes the toil out of what used to be a complex process.

HP-exclusive technology onboard the HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer offers leading-edge color consistency. Benefits include:

  • Precise calibration using HP DreamColor Technologies for color consistency from the display to the print
  • Greater ink efficiency and always-on quality with proactive automatic servicing routines3

“A big advantage of these HP machines is you can use any type of paper. I played around with the different options at the beginning, but now I’ve settled on just a couple,” he says. The HP Designjet Z3200 supports more than 50 different types of HP large-format printing materials. For exhibitions Hoepker chooses HP Professional Satin Photo Paper for its color accuracy.

New markets, new audiences and new adventures

“I see digital as a great improvement. The quality of the Z-series printers is really stunning, and I have a new adventure and a new income stream!”

Thomas Hoepker,

More than a half-century into his career, Thomas Hoepker has experienced firsthand how digital printing opens up new markets and untapped venues. Printing his own work has led him to embark on even more journeys. His calendar is filled with speaking engagements, master classes and exhibitions that keep him globetrotting.

“There are still a lot of photographers out there who won’t touch digital, and I’m very glad to see that the old technology will be kept alive. But for myself, I see digital as a great improvement. The quality of the Z-series printers is really stunning, and I have a new adventure and a new income stream!”

1Image permanence estimates by HP Image Permanence Lab based on testing on a range of HP photo, fine art, and specialty papers: confirmation tests in progress at Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. For details, see www.hp.com/go/supplies/printpermanence.
2Embedded in this HP Designjet Photo Printer is an i1 spectrophotometer from Xrite. Close collaboration between HP and Xrite ensures a reliable solution that's been thoroughly tested to meet customer demands for ease, quality, and dependability.
3Based on internal HP testing, the HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer series utilizes at least 30% less ink during routine maintenance operations versus select printers from other vendors.