DIRECT CAMERA CAPTURE
Princeton double elephant prints were produced directly from the original Audubon/Havell antique engravings. Instead of capturing the image by taking a photograph which reduces the image to a small 8 x 10 transparency, and then enlarging that image to fit on a large printing plate, we purchased actual originals (from Sotheby's or other auction houses) and brought them into our own printing plant. These originals themselves were then carefully mounted before a giant wall-mounted bellows process camera, with film the same size as the print. Thus the exact image was captured on the film, an absolute one-to-one capture. The large image could then be directly transferred to mechanical printing plates, without any intermediate reductions or enlargements. This direct-camera process is risky, lengthy, and costly, yet the results are stunning. Direct-camera prints capture all the striking detail in Audubon's originals. The color fidelity is unequalled, the depth of color breathtaking. Concisely, the direct-camera process eliminates two steps (reduction in the original photo and enlargement to match the size of the printing plate) and transfers the image of the original directly to the printing plates. The elimination of these two steps eliminates their attendant distortions, and results in the most accurate of all reproductions. Of the major Audubon Birds of America full-size reproductions, the Princeton Collection stands alone as the world's only direct-camera, first-generation facsimile edition. A first-generation print is a re-creation of an original with no extra intermediate steps, being only one step (first) from the original. A second-generation is a copy of a photograph of an original, the intermediate photograph being the first-generation. For example, Amsterdam and Abbeville prints are second-generation, or copies of intermediate photographs (Copies of copies instead of copies of originals). Most modern giclee (ink-jet) prints go through even more adjustments and embellishments in Photoshop. But Princetons are exact documents of the original art. It is not surprising, therefore to read this quote from Chris Lane, art appraiser for The Antiques Roadshow ..."Of all the full-size facsimiles of Audubon's prints, those from Princeton Audubon Limited come the closest in appearance and quality to the originals. Combining this with their very reasonable cost make the Princeton Audubon facsimiles winners for those looking to acquire some of the most dramatic American natural history images ever produced." More information on the direct-camera process can be found in our Resources area. Thank you.