Awards & Engraving

April '20

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A&E APRIL 2020 • 9 So, what makes a photo ideal for engraving? There are several considerations that need to be taken into account when determining whether a photo is suitable for engraving: • Ideally, a photo shows many grada- tions of color from light to dark • The photo shows good focus and definition of detail Shading: Make sure you have a variety of colors from light to dark within your photo. A single-color photo that has a lot of sky won't provide much visual interest when engraved, and neither will one with large dark areas. Take the picture of the couple standing in the shadows (Figure 1). While it may look visually interesting when printed, it will lose a lot of that detail when engraved. Close-up subjects: Your photo's com- position is an integral part to the quality of the etching. Take a look at Figure 2 — the engagement photo of the couple holding hands in the meadow looks great artistically but will lose detail when etched on wood. Figure 3, on the other hand, features a variety of shading and close-up figures, which makes it much more suitable for engraving. Additional photo engraving tips: • Digital images - Get the highest reso- lution digital image you can. Low-res- olution photos from the internet are almost never suitable for engraving. • Convert your photo to black and white. This modifies the dot pattern that is in the image and makes it more suitable for laser engraving. • If you are engraving a photo on dark material like black marble or black anodized aluminum, you are going to need to invert the photo before sending it to the engraver. When you invert an image, you are essen- tially creating a negative. The laser will fire wherever there is a dot in the artwork, so for most engraving materials like wood or acrylic, you are creating a dark mark wherever the laser hits the material. However, on material like black marble, you do the opposite — creating white wherever the laser fires, not dark. Inverting just changes all of the black dots to white and vice-versa. Fig 1 ALL IMAGES COURTESY AMY DALLMAN Fig 2

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