Archive for June, 2007

30
Jun
07

How difficult can it be to make an album

I just encounter my first bad experience with my Epson R2400. I’m trying to make an album from a weekend holiday to Wienna Mia-Maria and I had about a year ago. Making albums are quite boring stuff, so I pushed it as long as I could, but eventually it had to happen. Anyway, as usual, I decided not to go with the simple and easy solution so I bought an album from Hahnemühle consisting of 20 sheets of Natural Art Duo. I had put together the album, consisting of 34 pages, and were ready to print.

First stop was at the Hahnemühle web site to get the printer profile. Imagine my surprise when they didn’t have one for R2400. They’re usually so good at this. After some grumphing, I decided to join the color management lottery. I downloaded profiles for the Epson 3800, the 4800, and where I could find it, the proofing paper that also came in the package. I did some quick and dirty comparison of the profiles, and decidde to give the 4800 profile a try. Although I wouldn’t print for exibitions using this solution, it was actually quite ok for my holiday album.

Ok, back to the old printer. I used a couple of proofing papers to figure out which way I should feed it through to get the print right. Then I made a print with some skin tones on the Natural Art to give the color profile one last check. Everything looks good.

I load the sheet feeder with a single sheet, and being cautious, I ask for the first page only. Everythings good. Then I load another one and ask for page 3, and everthing falls apart. The printer grabs the paper, feeds it right through, spitting it oput on the other side without putting down as much as a drop of ink. I swear at it, calling it names and reload the paper. Same thing happens. After countless attemptsit suddenly stops accepting paper at all. This seems like a good time to go to bed.

Next morning I go to the store. I have decided to be nice with my printer, and purchase a new Firewire cable to replace the old USB. When I get home, I dust it, talk nice to it, reinstall the driver and give it a try. Same thing happened. It either refused to grab the sheets, or just pulled them right through.

This story is getting long, but eventually I found a solution. Right now, I’m feeding paper while I write this, and everything works ok. The Epson and I have sorted out our quarrel.

There were actually two problems. The one causing the paper to be fed right through was as simple as my pushing the cart that set the paper size in the sheet feeder too thight. When the printer grabs for the paper, it pushes the paper a little bit more, and with only one sheet in the feeder the paper curls causing the printer to misfeed the paper. By pulling the cart back about 5mm everything worked fine.

The second problem was caused by paper dust on the feeding wheel. I’m talking about the gray rubber wheel to the right in the sheet feeder. When this gets too full of dust, it slips on the paper. My solution to this was to start a print job without paper. I had a very lightly damped clothwhich I held against the wheel, and when the paper tried to feed paper, the wheel rotated against the cloth, cleaning it. If you’re going to try this, make sure the printer doesn’t grab the cloth. It’s better to do it several times with very light pressure. It is also a good idea to observe how the mechanism works before you try it.

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27
Jun
07

About Copyright notice

Mike Jonston seems a bit displeased with the
copyright notice
on photographs on the web.
While I do agree with him on some of his points, I also mean it is important as a principle to protect my content from being used for purposes I don’t want to be associated with. The Copyright remain, but the conditions aren’t that strict. Photo bloggers may link to my content without asking first, I only ask that you send me an email when you do. Mostly because it is flattering.

24
Jun
07

Incredible rainbow

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The most increadible rainbow showed up just now. It has been a day with much weather. Sun, rain and thunderstorm, and now, a huge rainbow. Notice the second one, a bit fainter. The picture is nowhere near doing it justice.

The most remarkable is that it has been there for 15-20 minutes now. It’s still there. I have to go out and look some more.

23
Jun
07

The base color of Premium Semigloss

It seems to me that the base color of the Epson Premium Semigloss paper is in fact sligthly green. I don’t use this paper for anything serious, only for proofing when I prepare a print for the Hahnemühle Fine Art Pearl, the latter being a very good paper. When preparing color prints, the base color doesn’t seems that disturbing, but on neutral BW, it screams at you. I don’t even need a white paper for comparsion. It’s so obvious that it shows all by itself.

Well, it’s extremely inexpensive, so I guess it’ll do as proofing paper.

21
Jun
07

More on silver and grain

From my post two days ago Back to the glorious days of silver, it may seem like I don’t like film. That’s really not true at all. I really enjoy the way grain and contrast is drawn from a BW negative. Especially the smaller formats and high ISO films. What I don’t enjoy about it is the cost and hassle. I really hate those chemicals.

It is true that digital high ISO noise is very different that film grain, so in my pursuit for the film look and feel I have to use methods for removing digital noise and add film grain. The first step is done with Noise Ninja, the second with my just-acquired plugin from Power Retouche called “Film grain”. It is a very nice plugin that gives extensive control over the look and distribution of the grains. I’ve just given it a brief try, but I must say it behaves very well. One good thing about adding film grain after the noise reduction is that you can do more cleaning than usual. That plastic look will disappear anyway when the film grain is added.

I’m not trying to emulate any particular film. Unlike many photographers, I don’t have a religious affinity for any special brand. My goal is to create the texture that suits each photograph, and gives it a look I like. For this, the Power Retouche plugin is just the right tool.

21
Jun
07

Where am I?

18
Jun
07

Back to the glorious days of silver and film

Just came across the photo web site of Roger and Frances. They have a semi-commercial site containing around 40 articles about photography, mostly technique. A number of these articles (I haven’t counted them), are free, and at first looked interesting, but after skimming through some of them, it I wasn’t all that convinced.

First of all, if you’re not into silver, just skip the whole site. They do write a few words about digital, but only to tell you that it is a funny toy. Well, let’s say that silver is your thing. After reading a couple of the articles, I hard pressed to identify anything that I couldn’t find in the two or three books I already own about photo, and darkroom technique from the 80s. And if you don’t own any, go to the local library, they probably have a collection gathering dust. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the articles had been well written. Most of them uses a fairly fragmented language, and extensive use of bullet- or numbered lists.

Back to the issue of silver vs digital, they were quite insisting on the supremacy of silver, saying something like 18-20MP being equal to a 35mm negative. A fairly bold statement considering that most of the online community compares the results from a 12-16MP dSLR (Like Canon 5D or 1DsII) with silver medium format. Back in the days, medium format being way beyond my budget, I used to shoot Kodak Technical pan developed in Tetenal Neofin doku. It resulted in extraordinary resolution, probably the best you could achieve using 35mm film, but still I get better results with my 5D. Of course, silver has other fine qualities, but in my opinion, the number are quite clear when it comes to pure technical quality. They also have this really amusing statement that the cost is lower as well. I couldn’t agree less.

Anyway, there are some really fine images in their gallery section.




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