Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Report from Photo Plus NY

Thanks to everyone who came to my presentations in New York and Chicago. It was a pleasure to meet the attendees and hear about the interesting projects people are working on. I will be speaking at the Los Angeles Calumet – Wednesday, December 5th – 2-4pm, the San Diego Calumet – Thursday, December 6th – 2-4pm

and the San Francisco Calumet – Thursday, January 17th, 2008 – 2-4pm. It seems that the Southern California fires have been mostly contained at this point. The good news is that the devastating loss of property was not accompanied by a large loss of human life. The landscape will regenerate over time which can be a fascinating process to watch. We have a large burn area near us in Truckee (Northeastern California) that becomes more vegetated and colorful with each passing year and must provide some diverse vegetation for the local wildlife populations. I have also seen the burn areas in Yellowstone regenerate over time.

Attending Photo PLus New York gave me the chance to see what is new in the world of photography and to take some classes on web marketing, print finishing, and fine art marketing. Going from the small mountain town where I live to Manhattan is like going to another planet as far as the environment and the energy, but I find it very energizing and inspiring to be there. Of most interest to me was the event held at the Hasselblad setup at Splashlight Studios. They are introducing a very exciting new image processing software called Phocus, which looks to function very much like Adobe Lightroom. There will also be the ability to use a new Hasselblad GPS accessory with the H3D that will allow GPS data to be stored in image metadata and mapped using Google Earth.

I also had the chance to see the new Epson 11880 printer which is 60" wide. We could really use a larger printer like this and look forward to getting one in the near future. This printer also allows easy switching between black ink modes so it would be possible to print on the photographic luster papers in addition to the matte papers I currently use. Epson was displaying their new exhibition fiber paper which appeared to reproduce wonderfully rich colors on a surface very similar to silver halide papers.

I was also in the market for a waterproof point and shoot digicam that I could take snorkeling on our upcoming trip to Baja. Olympus seems to have a very good offering in their series of Stylus 720 & 770 SW cameras. I have purchased one of these and will give a report on its performance after I have used it. It has digital image stabilization and an underwater shooting mode to help with color adjustments. I think using the rear lcd screen to compose underwater shots will be easier than the previous method I tried of looking through a Canon Rebel viewfinder in an Ewa Marine waterproof bag.

Since we are producing larger and larger prints I took a class on print finishing to see if there were any new ideas on how to display these really large prints without having to matt & frame them with glass. It looks like the best solution is what I am currently doing with the mounting of large images on gator board, treating with Premier Art Print Shield, and framing without glass. There is also the well known method of stretching canvas. I did not see any better solutions at the expo or in the workshop, but am interested in any other ideas people may want to share in the comments.

I will be working on my autumn images over the next week and hope to post them soon on this blog. I have also updated to the new Apple Leopard operating system and find that Photoshop CS3 runs noticeably faster with the new OS. I also think the time machine back up system alone is really worth the price of the upgrade. The only downside so far is that my Imageprint RIP will not work with Leopard, so I have to use another computer with the older OS to do all my printing on the Epson 9800. Imageprint is working on an upgrade so it looks like it will be a temporary problem.


  1. I've had my Olympus 720 for over a year and been pretty happy with it overall. Although the photo quality is average at best, it more than makes up for it by allowing me to take my camera places I wouldn't normally be able to get a camera in (concerts) or have my camera with me (it's in my purse at all times). The biggest selling point for me was the durability- the shockproof feature. I've dropped it, dropped my bags, put it in my back pocket, dropped my purse, etc and it's still going like a champ. Can't wait to see your underwater photos- enjoy Baja.

  2. Thanks for the feedback Amanda - I ended up getting the 790 SW model which was just introduced and looks to have the same features as the 720. I liked the lime green color it comes in, should be easy to keep track of. I now need to get the xd cards for it, I wish they all used CF cards!

  3. Elizabeth - I am curious on where you buy your gatorboard from. WOuld you mind recommending a source? Also, for canvas stretching, I have been doing it all by hand. Do you have any experience with those canvas stretching 'tools'/machines?

  4. HI Mark - I have found that the best way to mount the images on gatorboard is to hire a local blueprint company to do it for me, I use Carl's Imaging in Reno who will do it for $3.25 a square foot. The large prints are difficult to mount and I am happy to leave that to a company that is used to doing it and has all the equipment needed. We do all our canvas stretching by hand, the machines still require that you staple the canvas yourself, they just stretch one side at a time. I would look closely at a machine that also stapled, so let me know if you come across a machine that also does that.