Hamilton Color Lab

The Professional's Choice for digitial imaging


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Enlarging Old Photographs

Many times customers come into the photo lab with a very small, old photograph and would like us to scan and print a large portrait. Sometimes this is possible, it very much depends on the quality of the original photo.

Portrait photographs from the early 1900’s were taken with very high quality cameras and the result was extremely high quality photography. Photographers took a great deal of time and care to assure their photographs were in focus, sharp and clear with proper lighting. Nothing like today where most people just point a phone at someone and say “Smile”

Below was a project which originated from a 1 1/2″ photo proof from 1918 and resulted in a large 20×24″ enlargement.

Early 1900's Vintage portrait

Scanner quality is key in reproducing large prints from small photographs, we use only professional scanners with high dmax values to capture all the information and detail, without noise or distortion. Detail in the original photo needs to exist first.

Detail in vintage photo scan

As you can see the detail in the eye above is phenomenal, detail right down to the eyelashes which couldn’t be seen in the original small contact proof print. The original is about  the size of my thumb and in very good condition. Some photo editing and Photoshop work was needed on the face to erase minor smudges, but for the most part it was a very clean photo.

For scanning and restoration of your old vintage photos or create better than original prints, from negatives, or slides bring them to Hamilton Color Lab at 120th & I Street in Omaha, NE.


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Happy Birthday Warren Buffet

Happy Birthday Warren Buffet! Since today is his 83rd birthday, I thought it appropriate to post an art reproduction example we did for the artist  Dave Phillips and his wonderful pencil/graphite portrait of the Oracle of Omaha.

Artwork by Dave Phillips, reproduction and giclee printing by Hamilton Color Lab

Artwork by Dave Phillips, reproduction and giclee printing by Hamilton Color Lab

Dave Phillips is an local Omaha artist who envisioned a series of portraits of great leaders in various industries: business, music, sports etc. The past few years have not been kind to Dave and an fireman’s accident left him unable to work.

Through friends and colleagues word got to Warren about this exceptional portrait and after seeing the original  Mr. Buffet gave Dave permission to reproduce and sell quality reproductions. This gave Dave the endorsement needed to continue with his sponsors, one of which was Hamilton Color Lab, to proceed with the digital capture and giclee prints.

The journey of a new artist when they bring Hamilton Color Lab their first piece of art to reproduce is special and this was no exception. So much time, in this case hundreds of hours, goes into a piece of art that it’s almost like handing over a child to a new caregiver with the hope they will take care of your child as much as you would.

Then there is the worry and anticipation of seeing the reproduction. Will is represent your art in the best way possible? Will the detail and color be captured accurately and faithfully represent the original? Will a customer recognize the reproduction as a copy, or will it almost pass as an original?

Obviously each piece of art is different, and how a reproduction will translate to different papers is a unique depending on the medium. In the case of the Warren Buffet reproduction the original was created with graphite pencil on water color paper. The choice to print the reproductions on Velvet Cotton Rag paper using  the Giclee process on our Epson 9900  was obvious.

The result was nothing more than amazing. The digital capture using our special flat camera lens was able to pick up the finest detail strokes, maintain sharpness corner to corner without any lens distortion. Dave Phillips was hard pressed to tell the difference between his original piece of art and the reproductions.

Warren Buffet was impressed enough with the results he signed six copies and gave his blessing for this representation of him to be sold by the artist. Dave Phillips was appreciative enough for our work that he signed the first copy and gave it to us and it now hangs in our lobby,  not only an example of the quality of our art digital captures and printing capabilities, but to give recognition to an Omaha native who has brought attention to our great city of Omaha.

On this day, August 30th, we say Happy Birthday Warren Buffet.


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A New Relationship with the JJ Audubon Museum

During the summer of 2013, the John James Audubon museum in Henderson, Kentucky invited the owner of Hamilton Color Lab, Dave Hamilton, to the museum to digitally capture and reproduce all the original works of JJ Audubon. This is just the start of  what is anticipated as a long and endearing partnership. JJ Audubon is most know for his Birds of America Series consisting of 435 life size prints of over 700 North American birds, (the Red Shouldered Hawk below is part of the series) however there are several pieces of art in his personal collection which have never been reproduced or printed.

Audubon Red Shouldered Hawk

JJ Audubon: Red Shouldered Hawk

While there have been various fine art reproductions of the Double Elephant Folio series the museum always thought improvements could still be made to not only return the art to original luster and vibrancy, but make prints available for sale to the public at an affordable price. Although Dave has quite a reputation in the art reproduction industry for doing phenomenal work, it is not where this story began.

Our story into the world of JJ Audubon begins with a customer, fellow photographer, and good friend, Tom Wandel.  In the fall of 2012, Tom Wandell traveled the Eastern United States on a photography tour. His mission, through his Indelible Images organization, is to assist wildlife and other conservation organizations with professional photographs and images for use in their educational and outreach efforts.

After meeting with the curator and staff Tom was inspired and proposed an art reproduction and restoration project of not only the DE Bird Folio but various other Audubon art. Tom and the curator envisioned a partnership between the Audubon Museum in Henderson Kentucky and Hamilton Color Lab where Dave Hamilton would digitally capture and restore the art and  both the museum and and Hamilton Color Lab could sell the prints, branded and authenticated with the JJ Audubon Museum Fine Art Collection seal.

The first step has been completed, with two full days of photography at the museum capturing over 800 pieces of art, some the public has rarely seen, except in the Audubon family museum. Next came step two, selecting a few pieces from the Folio series to restore, print and send to the museum for approval and the go ahead to proceed with the remainder of the art.

Prints were packaged and shipped UPS to Henderson Kentucky and the next week Tom and Dave contacted Allen on the phone. Allen said when he opened the box and removed the parrot and hawk prints the first words out of his mouth were “These are drop dead gorgeous!”

Success!!

Now the real time consuming work begins, starting on the first book of the DE Folio. Eventually there will be four leather bound limited edition books, just like the original series and individual limited edition prints in the original size and one size smaller, printed on cotton rag archival paper using a Giclee printing process. Details have yet to be worked out regarding price, number of editions, and sizes. We are still in the beginning phases of this project.

We are compiling a mailing list for those interested in purchasing any prints and invite you to complete the form below. Mailing address is not mandatory, but if you include it we will mail you notifications on the progress of the JJ Audubon Museum Fine Art Series.


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What Does it Cost to Print Professionally

With digital photography people are printing fewer and few images and the photos they print are the best representative of their memories. It would make sense to print these photos at the highest quality to last for generations. Professional photographers know the benefit of using a professional color lab to print wedding, infant and senior photos, but professional photo printing is not just available to professional photographers.

Hamilton Color Lab in Omaha Nebraska welcomes not only professional photographers but serious amateurs, camera hobbyist, and people who just want great photo prints.  The difference in a professional print vs. a 1-hour photo is clear: heavier paper, true silver halide paper (not dry ink), increased clarity, sharper details, improved color and a professional Lustre photo paper, not the obnoxious glossy finish.

The concept of a photo lab may seem archaic, even vintage like the car below in this day of one hour printing and instant gratification, but it’s worth your time to search out such a business. In Omaha we are located at 120th & I St in Sports Plaza and we believe in personal service.  We help you through every step and will load your photos and inspect the files for any potential errors before you leave.

Hamilton Color Lab with Customers Model A Ford

Hamilton Color Lab with Customers Model A Ford parked in front

Many people think it will cost and arm and a leg to print your photographs at a professional color lab. But it doesn’t. You can get the same quality paper, the same resolution and color management professional photographers receive for just a little more than your discount “one hour” printer at the corner store.

Maybe you purchased a professional digital package for your wedding or senior pictures. Your photographer put a lot of time, expertise, and spent a lot of money on her camera and lenses to capture you and your day in the best light possible. Now do you really want to take these to Walmart or Walgreens to get printed?

Professional Photo Printing

Rounded corner die cut wallets

Discount stores use discount paper, discount inks, and the cheapest methods possible to print photographs. Although some of the technicians may be trained in photo editing, most are not and cannot help you with even the basic questions. Most of the time you are placed at a photo kiosk and left on your own to figure out why the 8×10 version of your photo crops off your child’s head.

Hamilton Color Lab retail pricing

General Price Sheet

At Hamilton Color Lab you get personalized service, it’s painless and easy. Senior Mom’s walk out with a sigh of relief and in a fraction of the time that the previous trip to Walgreens.

Our prices are reasonable and we are the only location in Omaha (could be in all of Nebraska) that prints professional wallets with the rounded corners. Below is just a short flyer on our retail prices and when you want your photos and memories to last a life-time print them at a professional lab. We have the best prices in Omaha for true senior wallets.

For a more complete retail price list including quantity discounts, mounting, and canvas pricing download our customer retail price sheet.

If live outside of Omaha we can mail your order directly to your home anywhere in the country. If you are a professional photographer either in the Greater Omaha area we welcome you to stop by and take a look at our samples and services.

Professional portrait photographers do receive additional discounts and all we require is a State sales tax ID form to set up your account.


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4th of July Photography

The 4th of July, or Independence Day, is the perfect time for family, food, fun, and fireworks. In towns and cities all across America there are parades and celebrations, many ending with the anticipated fireworks show.

4th of July Photogrpahy Tips

Tell us your best fireworks photography tips

It’s a great time to take out the camera and capture some of the festivities. In Nebraska fireworks can be sold ten days before the holiday, that normally is about June 26th, and in just about every neighborhood informal displays can be spotted. Much to the chagrin of the local police and law enforcement.

For photo enthusiasts, and amateur photographers the 4th of July is the perfect time to try out new photography techniques, take photographs of fireworks, parades, and all the festivities in red white and blue.

4th of July Festivities

4th of July Festivities

So, until July 1st, I’m asking for your favorite photography tips and for the 4th of July. They can include links to your blog and the top tips will get re-blogged and posted here the week of the 4th of July.

  • Where is your favorite place to shoot fireworks? (Omaha or elsewhere)
  • What camera tips, or words of wisdom, do you have for taking fireworks photos?
  • What is your favorite fireworks photo from previous years?
  • How do you capture patriotic photos?
  • How to take memorable parade shots?

Remember, bring your photographs to Hamilton Color Lab at 120th & I Street in Omaha Nebraska for professional printing results and memories that will last for generations. Take your photos off your camera and print photos again!


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Free Graduation Photoshop Template

High school graduation season is upon us and seniors are looking for fresh designs to showcase their announcements.  Hot off our Photoshop  desk is a classy black and white design 4×8 photo card design which will compliment any color photography.

As a gift to you we are offering this free Photoshop template as one of several we will be offering throughout the year. Not only thanking our customers, but to inspire your imagination, creativity and design.

The above template will work with Photoshop CS2 and layers are customizable for color and text. Font names and links are provided, or you can use your own font from your library.

Looking for a place to print your senior announcements? Just upload your finished JPG or  TIFF file to Hamilton Color Lab for professional photo printing of your announcements on professional Lustre paper. Your senior announcements will stand out from the crowd and make you shine.

We will be more than happy to ship your invitation order, or you can pick them up at our Omaha Nebraska location at 4305 South 120th St.

Check out our Facebook album for more graduation announcement styles and custom designs.


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Christmas Photo Cards

Contemporary Christmas and Holiday photo cards are new this year.  We have 4×8 and 5×7 sizes complete with envelopes that will complement your family’s photo. Use your own snapshots or bring in your photographers disc, with the print release,  for a memorable card this season.

There are a couple ways to order. Come into our store location at 120th & I street in Omaha and have our helpful staff help you, or upload your photos to our website with the design number and text. We will email a proof for your approval before we print and call you when your order is ready.

Click on the images below for a larger size.

At Hamilton Color Lab we print our greeting cards on the same high quality Fuji Professional Plus Lustre photograph paper to preserve the color and clarity for years to come.

Friends and family will cherish these high quality professional quality Christmas prints and save them as keepsakes to look at each year as the holiday boxes come out. Just image 50 years from now your children sitting around the Christmas tree going through the memories of holidays past.

We also have New Years Cards to welcome in the new year for those who didn’t quite find the time to send out Christmas cards.