The painter Maurice Johnson, also known as Jervis Corner, is by any name, an outstanding artist. He can be seen on the left with one of his paintings, We Live in Dimension. Jervis has been kind enough to share with us his Artist's Biography which he wrote for a recent event displaying his paintings.
The artist, Jervis Corner, a.k.a. Maurice Johnson, took his name from his birth place. Jervis Corner is a neighborhood in the little town of Port Maria in Saint Mary's Parish. It is situated on the north coast of the island of Jamaica, sixty miles east to Kingston, Jamaica's capital. He spent most of his childhood between the serenity of Jervis Corner and the harsh city life of Kingston. As a child he attended Port Maria Parochial School. When he was 10 the family moved to Kingston. However, he would return to Port Maria often to see his grandmother whom he dearly loved. He loved her sense of humor. He was a teenager living in Western Kinston when he met Ras Daniel Hartman, an artist and actor who would eventually appear in the 1972 Jamaican crime film, The Harder They Come. They became close friends. Hartman encouraged Jervis’ interest in drawing and social issues. He also exposed him to the brilliant poet, Claude McKay (1889 - 1948), who wrote about his Diaspora while living abroad. McKay’s poems - especially, If We Must Die - had a deep influence on the art of Jervis Corner. In the mid Sixties, Jervis left the island to reside in the UK, eventually moving to Canada and then the United States. He presently resides in Berkeley, CA. Jervis is a largely self taught artist; however, he has completed some formal art training in the UK, Canada, and the United States. He earned his bachelor’s of fine arts at the San Francisco Art Institute where his major study was in abstract expressionism. The artist's main concern is with the Diaspora of disenfranchised people.
Ziba Photographics Reinvigorates with Digital Lab System
by Mike Antoniak*
It's cliché to say that digital technology has transformed businesses in the photo industry. But few can say it with greater conviction than Sasha Shamszad.
Shamszad first opened Ziba Photographics of San Francisco and Berkeley, CA, back in 1973. It flourished as a custom pro lab that also came to serve photo hobbyists. It has offered E-6, C-41, and black-and-white film processing, in film sizes from 35mm to 8 x 10 inch sheet film; mural printing; copying; film duplicating; and, of course, printing onto photographic paper, display film, and various photographic reproductions. But Shamszad says Ziba lost more than half of its business in the past decade due to changing technology.
First came the Iris printing process, which took a bite out of the fine-art reproduction business. Then Microsoft PowerPoint with projection software killed the slide industry for business presentations. Large-format inkjet printing, along with the LightJet and Durst Lambda digital printers, stole away traditional large-format optical printing. Not to be overlooked are desktop inkjet printers and digital cameras, which are continuing to eat into the business of technology-minded photo hobbyists. It's only poetic justice that now Shamszad is employing digital technology to reinvent his business. Early in 2001, he installed a Noritsu QSS-2711 DLS digital lab system in his Berkeley location. "This is a tool for photofinishing like nothing I've seen in 30 years," he says. "It's truly revolutionary."
New Efficiencies...Since adding the digital lab, he's seen a 30 percent jump in business. And because the system can do so many things that once required multiple departments, Ziba is a far more efficient lab than ever before. A job that might have gone through five or six pairs of hands in a 48-hour period is now completed the same afternoon, often by one person working alone.
On the DLS, a single operator can produce a range of products, from straight develop-and-print orders to enlargements, black-and-white prints, prints from slides, reprints, prints from digital cameras and digital image files, and more. Previously, many of those services would require more than one operation, often involving more than one part of the lab. The digital lab produces them in a single workflow, and generally much faster.
"In a custom lab, you always make a test print. And if the job calls for 5 x 7s, 8 x 10s, and 11 x 14s from the same original, you make test prints for every size," Shamszad says. "With this system, we can turn out custom-quality work with a minimum of testing. And every size prints with the same density and color balance, so matching prints from one size to the next is automatic."The Kodak DLS Software not only runs the system—it also provides the operator with a powerful set of imaging tools to optimize results and correct flaws. The automated dust, dirt, and scratch removal feature, for example, eliminates the need for spotters to treat individual prints. Before printing, each image is displayed on the system's highly accurate color monitor, and density or color corrections can be made in a second or two per image. As a result, Shamszad estimates he has cut his photographic waste by 90 percent or more since installing the digital lab.
Invading New Markets...Moreover, Shamszad is stealing a page from the playbook of non-photo industry invaders who used earlier digital technologies to take away bits of his business. Now he's going to steal someone else's business—specifically, the prepress industry's. He used to rely exclusively on photographers who brought him film to process, print, or dupe. Now he's going to scan and digitally composite images with text and graphics to produce layouts. Then he will output full-color prints on the QSS-2711 DLS digital minilab. "I expect that to become a major part of our business," he explains.
He has already begun carving out a niche in business graphic design and output. He regularly creates two-page spreads for agencies and other clients. Using QuarkXPress software on a Macintosh or PC, he creates layouts of six or seven images with text, then uses the RasterPlus software RIP and outputs the layouts onto photographic paper in sizes up to 12 x 18 inches using the digital lab system's printer. This extension of the system's capabilities is a result of the Kodak DLS operating system's open systems approach, which allows users to employ third-party software solutions and print from networked workstations.
"People who have been working in the desktop environment have been held back because they've never had an output option that compares with this," he says. "The only way to get true photographic quality from a desktop design is through a system like this."As an accomplished medium- and large-format tabletop photographer himself, Shamszad has typically originated images and then handed off transparencies to the ad agency that hired him. Now he can take jobs through more of the creative process, from digital photography on a Hasselblad or Sinar large-format camera to design, page layout and composite proof.
This promises to dramatically increase his piece of the creative services pie (and the associated billing). Equally important to him as a photographer, it extends his control over what will happen to the images he creates. Shamszad decided to acquire the digital lab for a host of reasons. The biggest may be flexibility. He is convinced that the DLS system is the utility infielder of photo labs. "You can do many things on the digital lab that used to require several pieces of lab equipment. It's an amazing piece of equipment: One person can use this system and offer a wide range of lab services. Before, to start a lab, you had to depend on so many people, so many machines and operators/technicians. It required a lot of photographic expertise."
He explains that printing a slide used to require an internegative, or a special R-reversal process. Copying a print required a negative; printing black and white required black-and-white chemicals and paper. Now all are straightforward operations with the DLS: Scan the original (as with any kind of film original) and send the resulting file to the digital print queue. The new lab has also allowed him to reduce his staff, thus cutting down even more costs."You don't have to be an experienced photographer or photo lab technician to get high-quality results," he says. "You can train an art-oriented person with computer experience. "He says the lab is also completely networkable, unlike some other digital labs, adding to its flexibility. Not only can Shamszad send images to print from the DLS system's own workstation, he can also send files from any of the networked PC or Macintosh computers in the shop. So images brought in by customers, or scanned and manipulated in Adobe Photoshop or Quark XPress software by Ziba employees, don't have to be processed by the DLS workstation operator.
Digital Camera Orders Increasing...Ziba has long handled basic photofinishing for advanced amateur users, many of whom are Shamszad's commercial clients as well, "just so they don't start going somewhere else." But he's reticent to distinguish between amateur and professional work. "There's only one kind of print made here," he says, "and that's one that any professional would be proud of. "Increasingly, Ziba's "amateur" work is coming in on digital camera cards, now that the lab can produce photographic prints directly from those files. Shamszad estimates the shop gets 15 to 20 cards every week. He says printing from digital media is a highly profitable business because an operator merely inserts the card into the machine and begins processing files. "It would take me less than 10 minutes to make 20 8 x 10s for you, and in that time, I would give you essentially custom prints. You would be bowled over," he says enthusiastically.
To promote the service, he's offering a package price: 24 prints, plus index print with density corrections and color balancing, and a Photo-CD, all for $14.95. "We want people to see how good it is," he explains. "I figure the money I would put into advertising outside, I'll give to my customers and let them do it for me through word of mouth. "Of course, professional photographers who have made the transition to digital cameras come to him for exactly the same treatment. "Someone came in with a rush order not long ago. I was upstairs, so I took the camera card down to the lab and started making prints right away. She was just planning to drop off the order and come back for it later; but I finished printing it before she had gone. So I took it upstairs and handed it right over to her. It all took less than 10 minutes. She couldn't believe it!" he gushes. "A few years ago this would have been impossible. "That's the kind of difference our digital lab is making," he concludes. "We're creating a whole new level of customer expectations."
*This article first appeared in the February 2002 issue of PHOTOGRAPHIC PROCESSING magazine.
Donald F. Anthrop is a long time ZIBA customer. Four of his images can be seen on the California Mountains page of our website, /pages/california-photography. Below he describes how he got started in photography, and some of the things he has done in this field.
Don Anthrop: I got my first camera, a Kodak Pony 828, while an undergaduate student at Purdue University. After graduation, I came to Berkeley to attend graduate school. A group of us began taking frequent backpaking trips into the Sierra Nevada. I was impressed with the spectacular beauty of the mountains and I wanted to capture this wild beauty on film. At the same time, I felt constrained by the 8-exposure rolls of film that the Kodak 828 required, so I bought an used Zeiss Contaflex. One day, while trying to photograph a scene of Matterhorn Peak in northern Yosemite National Park in which I wanted everything in focus--from wildflowers that were 6 feet in front of the camera to mountains in the distance--I realized the limitations of a 35mm camera for landscape photography, so I purchased an used 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 Linhof.
In 1962, I finished graduate school and moved to Boston to work for an aerospace firm. In December 1964, I was able to return to California. This was during the devastating floods in northern California. It also happened to coincide with efforts by conservationists to create a Redwood National Park in the redwood forests on the North Coast. I made my first trip to the redwood forests of Humboldt County in the March of 1965. Along with three other young photographers, I was soon very busy photographing the great redwood forests along Redwood Creek as well as the devastation being wrought by the clear-cutting techniques that were used at the time. Soon, my images were appearing in the Sierra Club Bulletin, The Living Wilderness, and the Sierra Club book, The Last Redwoods Of Redwood Creek. Today, some of these historic images are hanging in the Redwood National Park South Operations Center in Orick, CA. During the time that I was photographing redwoods for the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Sociery, I had the good forture to meet Ansel Adams. I did a great deal of this work in traditional silver halide black and white, and Ansel Adams was an enormous help to me in developing darkroom technique.
In 1972, I started teaching environmental science at San Jose State University. Although the courses I taught were primarily in energy and water resource management, during the last 20 years I taught a course in landscape photography. I always ran one field trip to Yosemite National Park so that the students could experience the grandeur of that place.
My photographs have been showcased in many calendars with images from throughout California, and I have provided images for use by Redwood National Park, The California State Parks Foundation, and other organizations.