We, Michael A. Smith and Paula Chamlee, are photographers (www.michaelandpaula.com). We never dreamed of having a publishing business, having a new photographic printing paper made, selling archival mat board and related supplies, or offering digital services. That we now do each of these things is an extension of our own need for them. Anyone who knows our photographs will know that we are fanatic about the quality of our own prints. By extension, we are equally demanding of the quality of the reproductions in our books, whether they are our own books or those by other photographers. By further extension, that carries forward in everything we do. We believe the photographic paper we have specially made for us yields the highest quality gelatin silver prints of any paper made since the 1940s. And as you can read in the accompanying article, and see in the reproductions there, the ArtCare mat board that we use ourselves and that we offer to others is the only really archival mat board made today. And our DaiNippon Screen drum scanners, capable of scanning up to 20×24 originals at 12,000 dpi, were arguably the finest ever made. LODIMA (Amidol, the print developer we use, spelled backwards) stands for quality. You can be sure that whatever materials or services of ours that you need, we will take the same care as if we were using it or doing it for ourselves.
Lodima gelatin silver-chloride contact printing paper: When Kodak Azo, the last of the silver chloride contact-printing papers, was discontinued, we began what became a six-year odyssey to have a new silver chloride paper made. Silver chloride paper is the type of paper that Edward Weston used exclusively, and on which Ansel Adams made his finest prints. Silver Chloride paper has deeper blacks and a longer gray scale than any enlarging paper. See a few comments by users here.
Lodima Archival Materials: Originally based in Philadelphia as Superior Archival Materials, Lodima took over the mat-cutting business from Al Geiser and Son Custom Bookbinding. In 2009 we moved the equipment to our studios in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in order to have ArtCare archival mat board (the only type of mat board the Library of Congress and the National Archives use), and computer-cut overmat services readily available for ourselves and to provide these materials and services to others. In 2013 we constructed an addition to our mat-cutting studio to house our 8×10-foot, 5, 000 pound, 1948 Seybold guillotine, and we have now expanded to offer frames and framing supplies of the same type we use ourselves.
Lodima Digital: While we are committed to using film (mostly 8×10 and 8×20) and to making contact prints in the darkroom, we have begun using 8×10 color film, scanning it, and making large inkjet prints (we also make large black and white inkjet prints for special projects). To do this work we set up a large digital editing studio, run by our long-time assistant Richard Boutwell. We acquired three drum scanners, and large format flatbed scanners and printers. We even have a calibrated viewing box for transparencies and prints. We bought this after making our first color prints and wondering what color they really were. Viewing prints in daylight, and then under tungsten or halogen bulbs changed the color dramatically. We needed to know what the “real” color was. And we are planning on having a laminating service available soon, an extension of the need to mount our own large archival ink jet prints.