Raven Mountain Images | Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

What makes your prints special?

A lot of time and effort goes into creating each of our images and we take great pride in our work. We go out in all kinds of weather before sunrise and stay out after sunset. We often carry 30 or more pounds of gear on our backs for miles and miles on trails, bushwhacking, in the heat, in the rain, in the snow, in the fog, etc., looking for unique compositions, wonderful light, and other favorable conditions. We often return to the same place over and over waiting to get just the right light. To create our images it takes passion, imagination, creativity, and inspiration. It takes professional equipment, intimate knowledge, hours and hours of training and practice, and dedication. It takes talent, abilities, skill, and determination. It takes curiosity, patience, and experience.

To be able to offer to you exceptional fine art prints of our images it takes dedication, attention to detail, craftsmanship, the highest standards, and the ultimate in print quality. We use only the best available professional print labs, materials, and processes. We put everything we are into our work and our products and we think you will place as much value on your prints as we do. We want you to have the best prints made today of some of the most stunning and beautiful images out there. Don’t settle for less!

Why no Limited Editions?

Because “Limited Editions” in today’s world is nothing more than a marketing ploy used to create perceived value and artificially inflate print prices by intentionally creating scarcity. Back in the day, the printing process itself resulted in a decrease in print quality as the number of prints increased due to plain old wear and tear. For example, lithographs are printed using a large stone (lithos) or metal plate. As prints are made, the quality of the original stone or plate is degraded and thus the print quality suffers as more and more prints are made. This is why artists limited the printing of their work—to ensure quality.

Today, most printing is done using computers and high tech, direct-to-paper printers such as LightJet and InkJet printers. Every print made this way is equal in quality to the one before it and the one after it. There is no longer a need to limit the number of prints to ensure quality. In fact, just the opposite is true. Printers are improving every year, as are digital cameras, lenses, and the computer programs used to prepare images for printing. If anything, a print today will not be as good as a print tomorrow because the artist will have new and better tools to create and prepare the image and printers will have more advanced technology and be able to make a better print. We choose not to limit our ability to create the best prints possible.

What equipment do you use?

Many people ask what equipment we use thinking that if they buy the same equipment they will improve their photography. While professional level equipment will provide a certain level of improvement above point-n-shoot type cameras, the things that will really improve your photography are technique, creativity, skill, and study. We have heard people looking at fine art photographs remark, “Wow! They must have a really good camera!” In reality, the camera has very little to do with the final results. Ansel Adams said “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.” This is absolutely true. That twelve inches includes not only your brain but also your heart. So if you want to improve your photography, study the work of others who you admire, practice, know your equipment inside and out, attend a workshop, photograph what moves you (shoot from the heart), and practice some more!

Having said all that, here is a list of the equipment we use:

Are you sponsored by any companies?

We are not currently sponsored by any companies. We are open to sponsorship, but only for companies with products that represent true excellence in the photographic arts. If you work for, or represent, a company that produces such products and would like to sponsor us, please contact us.

Do you “manipulate” your photos?

Yes. And if you use a digital camera yourself, so do you! But you probably didn’t know that. Unless you shoot in “RAW” mode and do not adjust your raw images in any way, your photos are “manipulated”. (If you have ever seen a raw image you would know they are usually very flat in terms of color and contrast and almost always require some “manipulation” to make them look like the scene you photographed.) All digital cameras capture raw data. They then apply various adjustments to the raw data to present you with a beautiful, saturated, contrast-adjusted image that you see on the LCD display of your camera. This all happens nearly instantaneously in your camera and most people never know it. This camera-manipulated image is most often saved in jpg format for you to print or put on the Internet for sharing. Many cameras have several “picture style” options to choose from including “Saturated” or “Landscape”, “Black and White”, and others. Thus, your photos are manipulated immediately based on what setting you choose.

Most professional photographers shoot only in “RAW”. The reason for this is so the artist has full control over how the final image is rendered instead of the camera making those decisions. Cameras cannot feel awe or experience an incredible sunrise so they can’t make images that relay those emotions to the viewer. That’s where the artist comes in.

We use programs such as Photoshop and Lightroom to make all the adjustments to the raw data ourselves. While this can be very time consuming, it allows us to pull every bit of detail out of an image and to adjust color balance and saturation, contrast and brightness, and many other parameters to produce the best image we can in accordance with our artistic vision. Our goal is to convey in print (or viewing on the web) what we felt and experienced as we tripped the shutter. No in-camera algorithm can do that!

For a more detailed discussion on “manipulation” see our essay on "Digital Image Manipulation".

What forms of payment do you accept?

Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. If you have a PayPal account you can also pay by direct transfer from your bank account or use your PayPal balance.

How secure is your store?

Very! We process orders through PayPal. PayPal automatically encrypts your confidential information in transit from your computer to theirs using the Secure Sockets Layer protocol (SSL) with an encryption key length of 128-bits (the highest level commercially available). The PayPal server checks that you're using an approved browser - one that uses SSL 3.0 or higher. Once your information reaches the PayPal site, it resides on a server that is heavily guarded both physically and electronically. PayPal servers sit behind an electronic firewall and are not directly connected to the internet. We have used PayPal for many years and have never had a problem.

Do I need to have a PayPal account to purchase prints?

No. You can still use PayPal to purchase a print without a PayPal account. Simply identify the photo and the type of print you want (paper, canvas, metal, etc.), locate the size from the drop-down box, and click the link to add the item to your shopping cart. When you are done shopping, click the shopping cart link at the top right of the page (it’s only visible if you have something in your cart), review your order, and then click the “Check Out” button. You will be taken to the secure PayPal website to complete the transaction. You can make payments through PayPal without registering for an account. Upon completion, PayPal will send you back to Raven Mountain Images.

I don’t see the size print I need. Do you print custom sizes?

In most cases, yes! Please contact us with your requirements and we can let you know what is possible and work up a quote. Please be advised, however, that some of our images have an upper limit to how large they can be printed and still retain their quality. In order to ensure that only high quality prints are shipped to our customers, we reserve the right to place an upper size limit on a particular image. This usually isn’t a problem as we have printed many of our images at sizes up to 30 x 40” and they look great! If you need a size larger than that, let’s talk. Chances are we can accommodate you!

How are your prints produced?

For traditional fine art prints (inkjet or giclée), we use a heavy weight fine art paper and pigment inks. Lumachrome® prints are created by printing the image on a transparency that is then sandwiched between 1/8" optically clear and UV limiting acrylic and a pure white protective backing. Canvas prints are also made using pigment inks and a specially coated canvas to protect the print from UV rays. For metal prints, inks are infused into the surface of a sheet of aluminum and then coated with a protective (UV inhibiting) finish. For laminated prints, we start with a fine art print on glossy paper which is then laminated to 3/8” fiber board with a special UV filtering vinyl laminate. See the "Fine Art Prints" page for more details.

What’s the difference between a poster and a fine art print?

A "poster" is an inexpensive print made on Fuji Professional Crystal Archive Luster paper. These are high quality posters with beautiful color reproduction and dynamic range. The paper has a semi-matte finish to reduce glare and fingerprints. In order to keep the prices of posters as low as possible, we do not offer a guarantee/warranty or return policy on posters unless they are damaged during shipping. Posters are rolled and shipped inside a sturdy tube. Posters are not signed or inspected by the artist but do have a life expectancy of greater than 50 years if displayed indoors, behind UV filtering glass, and out of direct sunlight.

A "Fine Art Print" is a custom made work of art produced using the finest materials available today and will last for more than 100 years without fading (metal prints last ~50 years) if properly displayed and cared for. Please see our page on "Fine Art Prints" for detailed information on all the options and processes. All fine art prints come with a 10 day money back guarantee.

How long will my prints last?

Lumachrome® Acrylic Face-Mounted prints:
>100 years

Canvas Prints with pigment inks and a UV coating:
>100 years

Metal Prints:
~50 years

Laminated Prints:
>100 years for Color and > 200 years for Black & White

Inkjet Fine Art Paper Prints (Canon, Epson) with pigment inks framed under UV filtering glass:
>100 years for Color and > 200 years for Black & White

Photographic Paper Prints (C-Prints, Lightjet, Lambda) framed under UV filtering glass:
>100 years in low light situations
>30 years in bright light situations

The estimated longevity of prints given above is based on accelerated aging studies (see Wilhelm Imaging Research for more info) and requires that the prints are displayed indoors and not in direct sunlight. Indirect sunlight is fine. Prints on paper should be framed as soon as possible using UV filtering glass or acrylic to help protect your investment. Lumachrome®, canvas, metal, and laminated prints all come with a UV filtering coating to help preserve the prints. Metal, acrylic, and laminated prints are very durable and can be cleaned with a damp microfiber cloth. Canvas and paper prints are more fragile and should be handled with care. Wear cotton gloves if you have them when handling paper prints to avoid getting skin oils on the prints.

How frequently are new photos added to the site?

We are out making new images at every opportunity. It’s what we love to do! Images are added to the website fairly often. So check back frequently and also check out our blog to keep up to date on all the happenings at Raven Mountain Images.

What if I’m not happy with my purchase?

We are confident that you will love your new prints. So much so, that if for any reason you are dissatisfied with your print, you may return it to us within 10 days of receipt for a full refund less shipping costs. Please contact us if a return is required. The print must be in its original condition and undamaged in any way. Please reuse the packing and shipping materials your print came in. Please note that posters do not carry a guarantee or warranty and are not returnable unless damaged during shipping.

Can I download/print/copy/use your images for free?

No. While we are flattered that you like our images enough to want to download them for your enjoyment, our photographs are protected by U. S. Copyright laws and cannot be used in any way (except for viewing our website [or other websites where we display our photos such as Facebook, Flickr, 500px, etc.] on the Internet, print purchases, or through rights managed licensing) without written permission and/or a contract from the photographer. We work very hard to create our images and have invested a lot of time and money into our business. To allow free downloads, use, or printing of our images would defeat the purpose of being in business. We make our images available to our customers as fine art prints and posters and they are also available for licensing for use in publications such as calendars, magazines, displays, etc.

We may, on occasion, allow use of our images by charitable organizations involved in conservation, natural resources protection, and wildlife protection for a reduced fee or no fee, depending upon the organization and the situation. Each request is handled on a case-by-case basis. Please feel free to contact us with your request.


For more information, please see the section on Stock Photography listed under Services and/or our Copyright statement.