If you’re a pro photographer you have probably at least been aware of the increasingly popularity of acrylic prints. Many get introduced to this unique and modern presentation through the work of Peter Lik who displays much of work in this dramatic and stunning way. The photograph seems to come alive in a way that just can’t be duplicated with a traditional frame and glass.
Don’t think you can just head to any frame shop or photo lab on the corner and have it done. There aren’t actually many professional labs in the US who do this. OK, let me rephrase that a bit. There aren’t many labs in the US who use a process that emulates the diasec process where the print is face mounted to the acrylic. In recent years many labs are popping up that print directly to the acrylic which is a novel idea and looks pretty cool, but it doesn’t offer quite the same richness. After all photographers were meant to printed on high grade white photo paper for full gamut. The adherence of the photo to the acrylic with no air between makes the image pop with incredible illumination.
The reason there aren’t many labs in the US who are creating acrylic prints is because it’s a very difficult process to perfect. It requires considerable skill, some luck and often times considerable frustration. The smallest dust speck or bubble can render the entire acrylic print unusable. This gets very expensive for a photo lab let alone an amateur attempting it in his or her garage.
It’s quite a fascinating process really. I recommend checking out this video of the acrylic prints process. It’s the best I’ve seen so far.