Wednesday 30 July 2008

Painters with Light featured in Suffolk Magazine

I have just been sent some scans of an article in about The Painting with Light Photographic Society, of which yours truly is proud tobe a member.

The scans are not perfect but I thought I would share them with those of you who are too far from Suffolk to buy yourselves a copy of the real thing:

Page One (pdf)
Page Two (pdf)

They are pdf files so if you don;'t have it you will need to download the Adobe Accrobat reader.

Monday 28 July 2008

Photographers - You should be ashamed of yourselves..

Is there no depth you weirdo photographers will sink to. It now seems some perverts (for want of a better word) have been out taking pictures of an empty swimming pool - they should be locked up!

Some of you have been assaulting defenceless young children with your cameras and even upsetting the mayor of London.

You aren't even safe with ducks these days:

Fun in the Park

Is there no depth you weirdo photographers will sink to. It now seems some perverts (for want of a better word) have been out taking pictures of an empty swimming pool - they should be locked up!

Even ducks arn't safe these days:

Friday 25 July 2008

Adobe Rumours

Being the sort of chap who has his ear to the ground and his shoulder to the wheel, I am picking up a few rumours about Adobe:

Word on the street is that the full version of Lightroom 2 should be released next week. This should be a very exciting release, now that Adobe know how the system is actually used and that there is a huge market for it this should be a release well worth paying for. I might even move over to lightroom myself....if I can ever get a decent result out of ACR :)

I am also told that photoshop users should invest in a decent graphics card. Photoshop CS4 seems to be tuned for good cards and is blisteringly fast off a decent one.

Further rumours abound about other surprise announcements that the imaging giant has up its sleeve. It is certainly an interesting time for Adobe as they use their base in imagig and web tools to go head to head against Microsoft in the battle of AIR versus Silverlight.

Thursday 10 July 2008

New Forest Location Guide

As Editor of the photo locations section in Ephotozine, I am always on the look out for new location guides. I have just come across The new Forest Explorers Guide being produced by Andrew Walmsley.

Pony in Snow
by Andrew Walmsley

It includes walks from village centres, and loads of information on wildlife and the landscape.
Well done Andrew looks likes its becoming a great guide to the area.

Monday 7 July 2008

Epson Stylus Pro 2880 vs Epson Stylus Pro 3800

So having decided to continue printing my own photos I have been waiting for a replacement of the Epson 2400 to appear on the shelves. Finally the Epson 2880 has appeared.

Is it any good I hear you ask? Well the best place to see a full review is photo-i - I have to say it looks pretty good to me. But, knowing the volumes of printing I do, I started to wonder about the costs of those tiny ink cartridges and how it compared to the Epson 3800 Stylus. First I checked out the review, well it looks good and robust with high print quality and it does A2!

Hmmm, A2 now that's a nice-to-have but how much extra will I be paying for a feature I am unlikely to use very often. Time to do some maths.

Isle in the Storm
(Bet this looks good in A2)

So before we launch into the comparison, let me say that these are the prices I found first when doing some Googling. They probably aren't the cheapest around but I think the comparison is still valid.
In addition I have not included P&P, if you order your print carts on-line or, the cost of money when you buy a lot of ink up front. I leave you to decide if these elements will affect your pricing decisions.

Purchase price with additional 2 year Warranty£629.00 £1,062.18
Epson Trade Up Discount £- £150.00
Purchase Price £629.00 £912.18

OK so its an extra £290 of the queens pounds which is not to be sniffed at (even if it does do A2), but out of interest I thought I would take a look at the price and size of ink cartridges.

Individual Cartridge Price £10.95 £35.80
Price for a full set of cartridges£87.60 £286.40
Cart size in ml1180
Price per ml £0.9955 £0.4475

Well that gets a little more interesting 2880 ink is twice as expensive as 3800 ink (and the 3800 does A2).
Now here is a thought - each printer comes with a full set of inks. If we subtract the cost of the inks provided we should get an indication of the actual price of the printer. This gives us:
Price without ink £541.40 £625.78

So in effect you can go from an A3 printer to an A2 for only £83!

I'll assume that ink usage on both is pretty much equivalent and I will pick 100ml worth of to represent my usage for a year or so.

Prices for 100ml worth of printing

Price for a full set of cartridges £87.60 £286.40
No of sets in 100ml 9.09 1.25
100ml price £637.09 £286.40
Total price to print 100ml worth of prints £ 1,266.09 £1,198.58

So it seems that when I take into consideration my normal running costs the more expensive printer is cheaper! Oh and did I mention it does A2 as well!

Saturday 5 July 2008

Why Print your own work?

I've been looking at buying a new printer to replace my ageing Epson 2100 Stylus, and I started wondering if its worth printing my own shots at all or should I just use a lab?

Back in the days of film comparatively few people used to print their own shots at home or in their studio. Of course there were many enthusiasts who converted a spare room in to a dark room, but few had the facilities for colour work or large formats and these were usually left to the professionals.
Now you can buy a simple printer that you plug the camera into and out come your pictures as if by magic. Larger formats are simply a question of buying a bigger printer and reading the manual.

So now we have all this flexibility - but should we use it? Is there still a place for professional printing or should we run everything off on our own ink jets ?

Well as I think about it, there are advantages and disadvantages to either method.

Chocolate Orange
(Click to view large)

Using a Print Lab
Generally for most print runs a lab will be cheaper. They have the economies of scale that you can't achieve unless you are producing fantastic volumes of prints.
There are no start-up costs associated with using a lab, before you can print yourself you have to purchase A printer, paper and all those ink cartridges.

On the negative side you have a less control. If the lab starts printing your shots darker than you think they should there is little you can do about it except complain or go elsewhere. Lead times can be a pain. Print something large, spot a fault with it, get it printed again and you could lose a few days (more if the post office are playing up) on a tight schedule.

Print your own

Printing your own works takes you into a whole new world of printer, ink and paper choices. Allows you to fill whole cupboards full of different types of paper that "really work well with this shot". All the learning opportunities about profiles and sharpening for output. Hours of endless fun printing with the wrong profile or spending a happy evening trying to retrieve the tiny bits of paper out from the rollers after a nasty paper jam. The joy of discovering you have just printed that 42 page spreadsheet on fine art paper instead of plain.

But when it works you do get complete control. If I spot a flaw in an image I can easily fix & reprint it in a few minutes. I can choose from a vast range of papers exactly the paper I want my image to appear on and use a completely different paper for the next shot.
I suppose I print stuff myself for the same reasons I mount pictures myself. I really like the idea that what I have produced is all my own work so that when I hand someone a signed limited edition print that I captured, printed and mounted it's all on my own. It gives me no one else to blame if it all goes wrong............but I can live with that.

Tuesday 1 July 2008

Oliver Blum is Photographer of the Month for July

Every two years, Luminale takes place in and around Frankfurt during the light & building trade fair. Oliver Blum seems to have made it his mission to capture this festival of light.

Rochuskapelle in neuem Licht
by Oliver Blum

A visit to his website is well worth a look as he depicts all aspects of Luminale and the artworks created by the lighting engineers that range from simple to surreal.

Node 08
by Oliver Blum

Previous Photographers of the Month