Modern Replicas are very high quality reproductions of Ansel Adams images, available in multiple sizes, made using the most advanced digital technologies today. Each one is individually produced and inspected, assembled with the best materials, and designed to provide the most elegant presentation possible. Available exclusively from The Ansel Adams Gallery.
The technology begins with imaging, but the entire process begins with image selection. The Modern Replicas are reproductions made from original photographs hand printed by Ansel Adams, rather than from the negatives. This allows us to accurately capture Ansel’s intent when he made the photograph, including all of the choices he made in the darkroom – paper selection, burning, dodging, and toning – to achieve his “visualization”. We have chosen prints from the collections of the Ansel Adams family and the Ansel Adams Archive at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona. The exact print is selected based on the tonal values and clarity.
The imaging technology we are using is not generally available. It is currently in use by only three entities in the US: ourselves, the GettyMuseum, and the Smithsonian Institution. Every element of the image capture is carefully controlled and characterized – the image capture device, color temperature of the lighting, how light falls on the print, and colorimetric readings of the print itself. These elements are then processed with the raw image file using a specialized software program to produce the most accurate baseline image file possible. There is some modest ‘cleaning’ done after the scan is made, but this process provides a nearly 100% color accurate file across 100% of the image area.
The image capture is done in full color, because all gelatin silver prints will have subtle hues of cyan, magenta, and yellow that the eye renders as gray or black. It is only recently that the technology has advanced to the point that these hues can be replicated on paper without creating noticeable (and disagreeable) color shifts. Prior to these advances, gray scale reproductions could look good, but simply did not have the right tonal qualities to be acceptable for Ansel’s work. The printers are constantly self calibrating, and use 12 different inks, including 4 shades of gray. They offer a consistency from Modern Replica to Modern Replica that is unmatched.
Even in, or perhaps especially in, a mechanical process, quality control is critical. Sometimes the technology provides a level of QC that is acceptable, such as printers constantly self calibrating. Regardless, we eye-match every single print to a master and take colorimetric readings on a regular basis to validate the tonal qualities of the Modern Replica. Each one is inspected for other aberrations – scratches, paper dust, paper flaws, or general hiccups. Our standards are very high, and we will not offer anything less than superb.
The “archival-ness” of a medium has become a very important in the world of photography and digital imaging and printing. Many types of color photographs have had a tendency to deteriorate quickly, and early digital printing technologies could only expect to last 5 to 8 years without noticeable deterioration. Recent advances have lengthened the “archival stability” – measured by the length of time that a medium would be expected to retain its tonal characteristics – of certain printing media to over 100 years. The paper and ink used in the Modern Replica have been estimated to last over 180 years.
Display and Design
The design of the Modern Replica starts with the choice of paper. This is a heavy paper that mimics the look and feel of gelatin silver paper. We found in testing that it provided the richest feel and carried the image the best.
We have carefully designed the finished look and specified the material, sizes, cut, color, mount, and frame profile to dramatize each image at the size you choose.
The Modern Replica are dry-mounted. Acid-free foam core provides stiffness and the dry-mounting assures the print to lay flat with less chance of warping as humidity changes.
The 8-ply overmats are museum quality acid-free rag board, hinge mounted to the backer for sizes 8×10-16×20.
The color of the overmat is specified based on the tonality of the image, for example, Modern Replicas with more of a vintage feel (Sierra Meadow) will have a creamier overmat than others.
Each overmat is custom cut to reveal just the image, with a generous outside border. The size of the overmat is close to standardized, enabling multiple images to be hung together, but with some variation relative to the proportions of the image itself. The frame itself can also add or detract from the overall presentation.
We have selected five different options to accommodate different preferences and environments – wood and metal, each with two profiles, and different colors. Plexi-glass is used to provide protection for the print during shipping and for display.
Frame your Modern Replica and receive it ready to hang and designed to stand the test of time. Our Gallery makes framing easy, offering competitive rates simply based on the size of your artwork. Every frame is professionally built by our team of expert craftspeople using the highest-quality materials (wood or metal moulding, acid-free mats and foam core, and optional acrylic with 99% UV protection). Our turnaround time is fast—usually 2-3 business days to create your piece— and then we ship your finished work of art to your door.
We size our prints according to nominal image size. Meaning not all prints are exactly the stated size. Ansel used many different cameras over his career that created finished prints in different aspect ratios. Modern Replicas are not cropped, they are faithful reproductions of Ansel Adams’ original photographs and adhere to the exact aspect ratio (relationship between the height and width of the image) Use our handy artwork chart to determine the relative size of the finished (matted and/or framed) print.
Size Chart Dimensions are listed in inches
Standard vs Museum Acrylic
We use Tru-Vue Picture Framing Acrylic (plexiglass) on all of our prints. Acrylic is strong, shatter-resistant and abrasion-resistant. When shipping your artwork, acrylic vastly safer than glass.
Our Standard Acrylic is Tru-Vue Premium Clear Acrylic. This is high-quality framing-grade clear acrylic that provides safety and security from injury and breakage. This acrylic blocks 66% of UV rays.
Our Museum Acrylic is Tru-Vue Optium Museum Acrylic®. This is virtually invisible, yet provides the ultimate protection for your artwork. It is the highest-quality acrylic available and is used by the world’s most renowned museums. This acrylic provides 99% UV protection. Is anti-reflective, abrasion and shatter-resistant.
Wood FramesOur wood frames are premium quality solid wood, contemporary style frames with a flat face. Offered in White and Black Colors
Frame Dimensions For images sizes 8×10” and 11×14” we frame in ⅞” face moulding
For the larger image sizes we frame in 1⅝” moulding
Our metal frames are Nielsen flat-face frames in German Silver, Matte Black and Graphite colors.