So, I've been interested in photography for quite a while. I had a lot of fun back in 2005 doing some darkroom work, making prints. I shot a lot. It kind of petered off when I started dating one of my now-ex-girlfriends, and it's been happening only in fits and starts since then. I think one of the reasons is that I can't print conveniently, so I can't stick up a proof print of an image and see how I feel about it, and maybe move on with it. I've used e.g. Shutterfly and The Light Room, and while their quality is excellent - the Light Room in particular gave me digital B&W prints at least as good as the fiber prints I made in the darkroom - the cost in dollars and latency of delivery are both too high. So, after doing some reading and talking to the guys on Yahoo, I decided to buy an Epson Stylus Photo 1400 printer, and the MIS UT14 inkset. But this will lead to quite some noodling around, and writing about the results... Here. Lucky you, reader!
I got a refurbished Epson - only $180! The barrier to entry is so low I decided to stop agonizing and learn to love the impulsive buy. Also my apartment is too small for a 3800 (ignoring the $1200 price tag...).
I'm sure there will be other things I'll write about as well - I have some interest in politics, and I think it'd be useful to write about current events today to help guard against revisionism in the public narrative. Plus I like movies, so I'm sure I'll blow hard about them now and then.
I'm futzing with blosxom's flavours.Shipped from Indianapolis.
So, printer in transit from Indianapolis.
Also, Newegg's "posted" (whatever that means) the RMA for my SSD (When your 32G SuperTalent appears in the BIOS as a 4.2GB "PM-JM Loader 001", it needs to be replaced). Now I'm just waiting for Canon to receive, repair, and return my 28mm f/1.8 USM...
It'd also be nice if MIS would tell me what I need to print with their inks.Inks.
And what do you know, MIS just this minute emailed me about the inks.
That's right, bitches, I am blogging from a café.
Now I just need skinny jeans and a fixie and chunky-framed glasses and to hang my keys from a belt loop on a carabiner. Or is this passé, and I should be tweeting about it from my iPhone? I can't tell. Which I guess means I'm actually terminally unhip. Ohwell.
To continue my mind-numbingly trivial navel-gazing, I just left T-Mobile behind, hopefully forever. The phone (a Motorola V880) had awful battery life, and the service coverage was lousy. Plus this'll reduce the money my family pays overall to The Man, which is always a worthy goal.This is what it's all been about.
One morning (June 30th, it turns out) while getting ready for work I was listening to NPR. You'll find that is the way many of my news-related stories begin.
Anyway, they aired a story on the auction of oil production rights to foreign companies, and I thought to myself "This is what it's all been about" - the war in Iraq.
And it's happening just as we're beginning the pullout of troops, though I don't think the timing was intended that way.
Though this justification has never really sat all that well with me; from a cold-bloded financial perspective I always thought the oil could be gotten much more cheaply just by doing business with Hussein, but I guess the neocons could never stomach paying him. So instead they engineered the destruction of a recognized independent sovereign government.
Let's take a moment to remember the shifting justifications for the war. First it was the existential threat posed by the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. This idea was never really credible, and when none were found after the invastion we started talking about... Spreading freedom, I think? Was that it? It's a curious kind of freedom, imposed at the end of a gun. And I think there was something in there about the abuses of human rights, a revolting irony given the Bush administration's use of torture. The other goal was to end the Iraq support of terrorism; to be fair, I don't know how much terrorism Iraq supported. Might have been a lot. But we know without doubt that there have never been ties between Iraq and al Qaeda.
I'm not sure what I find most contemptible about the neocons: Their callous disregard for human life, their hubris, or their cowardice. They're nearly anxious to use US military might, but I don't see any of them taking any risks themselves.Writing HTML by hand? It's not 1993!
Gustaf suggested I use Markdown,
so I'm giving it a try. One thing I want is a simple syntax for linking to
images in my portfolio - preferrably something as simple
I bet wWith a little hacking it can be made to
work; for example:
My SSD is en route from Carson, California.
My printer is en route from Indianapolis (last report, Champaign, Illinois).
My lens is being repaired in Irvine, California.
I wish somehow we could harness the power of obsessive tracking page reloading, and use that to speed up the transport.Inks (take two).
Earlier today I ordered up some UT14 inks from inksupply.com. Paul Roark writes about using these to dedicated an Epson Stylus Photo 1400 printer to black-and-white printing. His site is a wealth of information - but a little overwhelming for a beginner.
After asking the guys on Yahoo some questions (because MIS doesn't answer email reliably) I ordered $250 in inks and accoutrements:
As usual, a little bit of searching on photo.net will find you every opinion you want - e.g "Stick with Epson inks or you are bound to be sorry.". On the other hand a bunch of the guys on Yahoo are using MIS inks very happily.
So, I dunno how it'll go. But either way you can be sure I'll be bitching about it here.
I think "N" means a neutral profile. Not sure what "cc2" or "nca" mean.
PremierArt Smooth BW Fine Art (1400-Eb6-PA-SmBW200-cc22.icc)
A matte paper.
Hahnemühle Photo Rag (1400-UT14-HPR-N-1-cc22-rgb.icc)
Hahnemühle Photo Rag. There's a lot of variants of this, matte and glossy, so which one is this?
Ilford Gold Fibre Silk (1400-IlfordGold-N-1-nca-rgb.icc, 1400-UT14-IlfordGold-LW-Warm-rgb.icc, 1400-UT14-IlfordGold-Warm-1-nca-rgb.icc)
A glossy baryta paper; neutral, warm, and I'm guessing "LW-Warm" is "like LensWork".
Kirkland glossy (1400-UT14-Kirkland-Glossy-N-1-NCA-rgb.icc, 1400-UT14-Kirkland-Glossy-Warm-1-nca-rgb.icc, 1400-UT14-Kirkland-LensWorkWarm-rgb.icc)
Kirkland Signature is Costco's house brand. Neutral, warm, and "like LensWork" profiles. I bet this is inexpensive and good enough to make nice test prints on.
Not sure what this is.
It also includes a set of saved curves:
I guess these match the profiles listed above.
I have some samples of Hahnemühle Photo Rag and Ilford Galerie Gold Fiber Silk, but I haven't checked out the other papers yet. I shall have to - particularly the glossy ones, since I really like Harman Gloss FB Al. I have two Harman prints in my living room and I like them a lot. But printing on them apparently takes some work - Roark mentions it's not for the novice. So, baby steps at first. I think I'll spend a little time with this picture while I'm using up the color inks the printer will ship with:
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