Friday, December 12, 2008

Sorry for anyone who has been reading this blog. I haven’t been very good lately about posting anything. I promise to do better, I have some things planned for January. You will have to check back.

So what have I been doing? Printing! Printing lots and lots of pictures. I have been making master prints of my favorite images. I have decided that I need to find a way to make my photography self sufficient. That is I don’t want to quit my day job, but it would be nice to have something help pay for all my toys. So that is why I have been doing so much printing. I am working on getting a group of images ready to be sold as prints.

Doing all this printing I find myself still as excited when a print comes out of the printer as I was with the first print I ever made. I got to thinking of how I got into photography (you have some time while a big print is printing to think). First off I have always liked looking at images. I remember pouring over my dads old National Geographic magazines. Just staring at these great images on that glossy paper they use. Fast forward a few years. It all started I think back around 1997ish. I had purchased my first computer and printer. I remember it was a Canon color printer, not a very good Canon color printer compared to what we have today but it was my first. I remember finding an image of Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night (always liked that painting) on the still new to me internet and printing it out. As the print slowly inched its way out I remember being so excided and thinking how cool is this I can make my own pictures. Well the print didn’t look very good. Infact not good at all, but I didn’t care, I could make my own pictures! After that I tinkered around with what I had but never was satisfied.

Than I made what for me was a huge leap in the right direction. I got a HP 8400 photo printer. Wow was I in heaven. I got me a pack of glossy 4X6 and 8.5X11 and was off. Finaly I could print my own photos and they looked like I thought they should. The HP 8400 also made great B&W prints as it had an ink cartrage that had 3 shades of black. This printer was great except for one thing, paper size. The largest you could print was 8.5X11 and that’s just not big enough! (I still have this printer and use often for everyday printing)

Enter The Canon i9900 photo printer. Wow what colors. The canon dye inks at that time in my opinion were great. They didn’t have the longevity of todays pigment or even todays dye’s but man could you get some saturated colors. This printer could print big compared to my HP. We are talking 13X19. Now I was getting up there. Nothing looks better than a big print of a picture that you took. The one thing that this printer lacked was B&W printing capabilities. It couldn’t hold a candle to the HP 8400. But if you wanted bright in your face color this printer shined. By now I was getting into color manigment and sort of knew what I was doing. I had been using Photoshop for a wile and knew about things like color space, ICC profiles and DPI. I could get what I had on screen and make a good print that matched. I have several prints hanging on my walls that were made with this printer and I think they still look great. The one thing that naged at me in my ever quest for the perfect print was that fact that dye base inks are very unstable. You can have color shift, fading and other things that make a print not last. So my serch continued.

November 2007 I got my current printer and Epson 3800. Posibly one of the better printers for the money. It used Epsons K3 pigment inks that will last far longer than I will be around for. And it prints 17 inch wide paper. Very nice! I like the almost endless choices of paper you have for this printer. I had only dabled in printing on fine art paper with the Canon i9900. Now with the Epson I print about a third of my prints on fine art paper. There is something about holding that type of paper that makes it for me. The weight and feel lets you know that you have something special in your hands. I do some printing on Epsons Luster paper and for most images this is a great choice for me. Its my everyday paper. My new favorite paper for making my prints is the baryta papers. Epsons is good but Ilford’s Galerie Gold Fibre Silk is the paper for me. It has a slightly warmer tone than the Epson paper.

So I probably have told you more than you wanted to know about me and prints. I still get excited every time I make a print. I am bending over looking in to the printer trying to see the image as it is coming out. Like a little kid at Christmas wanting to open up his presents and see what’s inside. There is something magical for me to hit that print button on my computer and in a few minutes I am holding a picture that I made. It takes all those chips and sensors and electrons, programs and profiles and makes something that is real. You can touch it, hold it, and smell it. It’s yours and you made it.