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The Shell on Saal’s Alu-Dibond Butlerfinish

Okke Ornstein reviews the Saal Digital Alu-Dibond Butlerfinish® with his best-selling image “the Shell”, and is pleasantly surprised.

“Would you like to review one of our products?” That’s the question I got from Saal-Digital.nl, a Germany based firm that offers prints, posters, photo books and so on.

And yes, why not. Having moved to Holland recently, it would be a good idea to find some regional providers for my photography printing needs.

I chose “The Shell”. It’s a photo I took on the island Taboga, about 10 miles off the coast of Panama. I lived there for about five years. I love the image and others do too, because they buy prints.

With Saal, I opted for the Alu-Dibond Butlerfinish. The website says that it’s really great for black & white images, because the whites actually show the brushed aluminum which gives a beautiful sparkling effect.

So how does it work? To place an order, you have to either download and use the free software from the Saal website or order directly on the site. I opted for the software, which does the job but is otherwise nothing special. What I missed is the possibility to reduce the image size on the canvas — or in this case, aluminum — so you get some white space around it. With the aluminum, this could look nice. To achieve that, you’d have to edit the image itself in photoshop or something similar, give it a bigger canvas, and then use that to order the print. But that’s many extra steps for something that should be straightforward.

Anyway, I placed the order and waited. Within just days, it arrived, well packaged in carton and wrap.

What does it look like?

I think it’s gorgeous. I love the shine of the metal, and how it changes depending on the angle at which you look at it. The blacks are deeper than I thought they would be. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to show it online in its full glory; you have to see the real thing to appreciate it fully. This process really does the image justice, and I will start offering it to buyers.

So, thanks, Saal! And congrats on a job well done.

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