Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Leopard, Lightroom, and Aperture, Oh My!

If you are planning on upgrading your Mac to Leopard and use Lightroom or Aperture, you should read this story about its interactions with Time Machine over at the Macworld site.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Epson 11880 has arrived!

Our Epson 11880 is here. As soon as we can make and test profiles, we'll be offering prints. One of the coolest things about the 11880 is we can make prints up to 64 inches wide. We'll post more once it is up and running.


Yosemite Rainbow

f8 and be there........

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pens for Signing Prints

If you are looking for an archival, acid free, ph neutral pen for signing prints, check out the Pigma Micron pint from Sakura. They work great with Fuji Crystal Archive Matte and Gloss, Crane Silver Rag, and Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper.

Get the 6 pack, which has 6 different tip sizes, and test it to see which size works best for you.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Fall Color Alert for Yosemite

Yosemite is experiencing a magnificent autumn. The dogwoods are as nice as they get, and are at peak. The oaks and maples are near peak. If you want to see stunning fall color in Yosemite, head up now! The weekend of October 27-28 should be very nice, but leaves can fall quickly once color has peaked!

These Photos are from October 20, 2007 in Yosemite Valley.

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LCD Update and Apple Cinema Display Results

Since I don’t know when I’m going to be able to give you a full report on our tests of the NEC LCD2690WUXI, I’m going to give you the executive brief today.

While I personally hoped this (by the numbers) super-accurate display would be the end-all, be-all display, curing all of digital printmaking’s shortcomings, stamping out imaging hunger and achieving photographic peace in our time, this has not been the case.

It’s a good monitor, but in real-world, side-by-side daily use and testing, the color accuracy (while better by the measurements) proves to not make any real difference over a ~69% AdobeRGB Display. I would not replace my existing ~69% color accurate display with it just because of the NEC's measured gamut...but if you are looking for a BIG color-accurate display it’s a good choice, albeit at $1,500.

This led us to do some additional testing with a brand-new Apple 23” Cinema Display ($899), and we were pleasantly surprised. The 23” Cinema Display was as accurate as our 19" NEC 1980sxi, and as accurate as the NEC LCD2690WUXI. To our obsessive-compulsive, color-critical eyes, there is no advantage to color accuracy with any one of these displays over the other. None perfectly matched the proof (and no display does), and all can make the finest-quality print (the finest-quality prints still require hard proofing). The NEC LCD2690WUXI has the advantage of size, but the Apple 23” Cinema display offers a huge size at a very affordable price, giving you the best bang for your buck.

As a side note, we have run into several problems with the NEC LCD2690WUXI, and have been through five different units trying to obtain a “perfect” one. Our first one was as “perfect” as they get, but we didn’t know it until we went through three bad ones and one more good one. We’ve had dead pixels in three of the five, all of them had a color shift in the corners from the off-axis viewing angle that happens with such a wide screen (we did not experience this on the Apple 23” Cinema Display), two have had problems with the backlight bleeding into the display area, creating a noticeable light spot, and our last two had slight vertical density bands in the center of the display. It’s possible to work around all of these issues, except for the blacklight bleeding, and NEC has been extremely cooperative in replacing every one.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Half Dome Cables Coming Down

Yosemite News Release
October 4, 2007
For Immediate Release
Half Dome Cables Scheduled to Come Down for Season in Yosemite National Park

The cables on Half Dome in Yosemite National Park are scheduled to be taken down on October 15, 2007, weather permitting.

The cables extend approximately 300 yards up the steep shoulder to the 8,842-foot dome. They give access to the summit and to the unparalleled views of Yosemite Valley and the surrounding mountains of the Sierra Nevada.

Visitors are advised against attempting to summit Half Dome without the cables in place as the rock under the cables is extremely slippery and may be wet and/or icy even in seemingly dry conditions.

The Sierra Club funded the installation of the first cables on Half Dome in 1919; the Civilian Conservation Corps replaced the original cables in 1934.

The cables will be re-installed at the beginning of the summer season in 2008. (-NPS-)

EDITOR - What they don't say is that trying to climb Half Dome when the cables are down is a good way to die....

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Time Machine and Mac OS X

Time keeps on slipping, slipping, into the future.......

Backup is one of those topics I talk about all of the time, because most people aren’t backing up their data...and most of those that think they are backing up their data, aren’t doing it very well.

You don’t need to know why this happens (read here if you do), but you do need to backup up your data, and it’s about to become a lot simpler thanks to Time Machine which is a new feature in Apple’s soon-to-be released OS X Leopard. From what I’ve seen, this software is reason enough for most photographers to buy a Mac, because by just plugging in a hard drive and turning on Time Machine, the vast majority of photographers will have an effective backup for the first time ever.

The details are enough to bore the non-IT person to tears, but there is a great article over at AppleInsider.com, if you are so inclined. If you are not inclined, that should be a clue that you should just buy a Mac, plug in an external hard drive or three, and turn on Time Machine. Your photos will thank you.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fall Color Report

The Weekend of October 13-14 is your best bet for fall color in the Eastern Sierra. Most of the big trees are near peak color, but with the unusual weather patterns we’ve been having, it might not last long. Another storm could end it all, or two weeks of warm weather could make it last and last. It’s anyone’s guess. Last week’s storms burned out or blew off the leaves at higher elevations, and there is snow painting the shadowed crevices of the peaks.

The latest reports are saying that Conway Summit is not looking good, but from Lundy south there is a lot of nice color.

Be on the lookout for migrating deer. Last weeks snows have driven them from the higher elevations and there are lots of dead ones on the side of the roads from their attempt to migrate to lower elevations.

If you make it to Mammoth, try the mahi-mahi fish tacos at Roberto’s Cafe. YUM! Top notch!

Yosemite is also starting to turn, and the dry year is bringing a spotty change in color. Many dogwood are already turning, with a lot of deep reds, more than in most years, but many are still green, The oaks and big leaf maples are starting to turn and will probably peek around Oct 26, but is worth a trip even now. The maple tree by the chapel is in full color now, but I always ignore it as it is a non-native species, and I’ve got a thing against those.

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Paper, Paper, Paper

Paper. It’s something you read about all the time in the photo magazines. Some company is always coming out with a new paper, some website is always touting some supposed innovation, someone is always saying what they think is best. I suspect this will be a huge topic of conversation until we stop printing photos or the world comes to and end, whichever comes first.

It’s probably no surprise that “what paper should I use” is one of the most common questions we get at WCI. To help people answer that, we’ve put together free samples that let people touch and feel the papers we offer, and we go to great lengths to test new papers to see if we think they are worth offering.

There is so much to talk about when it comes to paper that it’s going to be a frequent blog topic, and an outlet for the questions we get about different papers. I want to disclose up front that I have no financial relationships with any paper manufacturers at this time, and if I do ever enter into such an agreement, I’ll disclose it. Stay tuned, and fasten your seat-belts...it’s going to be a interesting ride!