Creative Work

Rocco Ancora - Creating Everlasting Memories with the Perfect Prints

Melbourne-based wedding & portrait photographer Rocco Ancora combines over 25 years of experience with expertise in color management, post production, and fine-art printing to create award-winning work and everlasting memories for his clients. He is one of the most prolific and awarded photographers in the industry. Rocco is also an educator and consultant for photographers, helping them improve workflow efficiencies and color management techniques.

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Tell us about your background and work in the creative space.

I started in photography over 25 years ago at a studio doing about 300 weddings a year. They also had a color laboratory and my career in photography started in the lab side of the business. We shot transparencies commercially and negatives, both black and white, for wedding clients. Having started in the lab, I learned early the importance of color management and how important it is to get the color accuracy right. With the advent of digital, color management became more important. This led me further down the path of color management and the role the monitor plays in the process.
 

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What was your workflow like when you started and how has it evolved?

In the analog days, we didn’t fully realize that the monitor was our only true window through which we could control color. But we managed. In 2000, we switched from analog and invested in some serious digital equipment. Color management had become more complex because the evolution of digital was turbulent. We began to understand the importance of calibration, profiles, and their pivotal role in the workflow. Through a lot of trial and error, we learned that once we locked in the variables, we could work efficiently and consistently to produce accurate results.
 

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We tried our first EIZO monitors in 2001. These were flat, LCD screens and were amazing because we could calibrate them for accurate results. We didn’t anticipate how the EIZO monitors would evolve – the emergence of ColorNavigator and the monitor’s ability to help us emulate different conditions – to save us a lot of heartache as far as test prints and other mishaps were concerned.

What was the biggest problem in your creative workflow?

Matching screen to print. It is frustrating when the monitor displays one thing and the lab prints something else. If you do your own printing, and understand the process, you can mitigate a lot of these differences. Getting the colors accurate by understanding exactly how the pixels on a monitor are translated onto print and other mediums, and also knowing how the color we are giving to a client will display on their screen is a huge challenge for many photographers.

How was it affecting you and/or your clients?

Our workflow was inefficient. This meant we were wasting a lot of time and money on reprints getting the color right. It didn’t affect our clients much because they were oblivious to how much paper we had gone through to get them their 20 x 30 print.
 

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Why did you choose EIZO monitors?

I remember walking into a showroom in Collingwood, Australia for information about these new EIZO monitors. It was amazing to see how much images on the screen looked like the prints sitting next to them. From a business perspective, knowing we could improve our efficiency and save money by buying one, the decision was easy.
 

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What would have happened if you had not upgraded to an EIZO monitor?

We would have been flying blind, doing the same things hoping for better results as many photographers do today. With digital capture, the monitor is our one and only window into our image file. If that window is inaccurate, my output, whether it’s a print or video or even a post to the web, will not look right. Also, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve consistent results. I have absolute confidence that what I do today is going to be the same as what I do next week, or in a year’s time. With an EIZO monitor and a color-managed workflow I have the assurance that “print 1” of a fine-art print run will look exactly the same as “print 20” no matter how much time has passed between prints.

Did you have any reservations (or questions) prior to deciding?

Before we tested an EIZO at our studio, we didn’t fully appreciate the difference a monitor can make. Compared to the monitors available to us, EIZO was in a different league. We weren’t used to having a monitor that could display with such high accuracy. Our priority was getting the best solution.
 

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Deployed Product

ColorEdge CG319X


 

Rocco Ancora is a member of EIZO's ColorEdge Ambassador Program. The program showcases creatives who are committed to inspiring and educating artist around the world of all levels. To view his profile, click here. Ambassador Program

 

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