Sunday, November 27, 2011


I'm still not 100% happy with how my website is currently and it is definitely a work in progress while I fine tune everything.  Part of my changes will be concerning my photo galleries as I just realised that the reason the gallery images are no bigger than the thumbnails is because of the image size I set on the uploaded files!  I will need to make them larger to enable a larger gallery view once someone clicks through from the Portfolio page thumbnail.  Also I am still a little underwhelmed at the general appearance of my Home page.  Not sure how I'm going to change this yet but I know it needs to be more eye catching to get the attention of browsing viewers.

Once this is all done, I guess I can add web page designer/developer to my list of creative skills, as my entire website is self created. 

Friday, November 25, 2011


After spending a long time, a lot of ink and paper I have to finally come to
the conclusion that I will have to have my printers print heads
professionally cleaned. The black ink is still not printing correctly even
after swapping in a new ink tank.

For the time being I will just have to not print anything or insure that I
print something with no shadows or dark elements to it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Website finally growing

I am finally getting things together on my website ( and will continue to grow it and this blog.  I am also finally putting examples of my photo work out in front of a wider audience, which is something I have tended to shy away from in the past.  Now it's time to stop hiding and let myself finally grow more as a photographer by letting people see my work.  I know there will be a mix of reactions, some will like my current photos while others won't like them so much but that is the whole point of art and two people view the same image the same way.

I hope that anyone browsing through my blog will stop by my main website and check out the photos.  Even better would be if you like what they see while you're there!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Learning fast

I have certainly been learning fast this last few weeks where scanning and
printing are concerned. I was under the impression that I was sufficiently
knowledgeable in these areas and that I could produce high quality prints
from scanning my film negatives. Oh how wrong I was.

I essentially learnt the following points through online research and trial
and error:
1 - You don't need to scan at max resolution to get good images. Scan at
appropriate settings for file size, printing resolution and final image
2 - Inkjet printers are fickle devices and your inks will dry up, clogging
your nozzles. Keeping them powered off when not in use will help mitigate
the drying out. Also, having a humidifier in the room will help prevent
drying out the inks on the print heads and nozzles.

Sent from my Motorola Smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ongoing printer issues

Seems my progress in correcting the printer banding was only temporary.
Thinking I had cleared the issue, I printed a black and white photo of
Smeaton's Tower lighthouse and the shadow areas were banded.

Getting a little "gun shy" over printing at the moment as I am getting
frustrated at the wasted ink and paper from all this. Also now wondering if
I need to have some kind of humidifier near the printer to prevent any kind
of drying of ink in and around the nozzles.

I'll keep on re-scanning my old negatives - and my new negatives, but will
for now abstain from printing them. Instead I will compile them into a
gallery for my website.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Printing better

After doing some online research I found what at first seemed a little too
simple a way to clean the print heads on my Epson printer. Essentially you
take a small folded wad of tissue (I used some heavier shop towels), soak in
hot water and place this on the ink pads where the print heads sit when the
carriage is at rest. You do need to initiate an ink tank replacement cycle
to get the carriage out of the way.

I did the above cleaning twice last night and the banding issue is almost
completely gone. I will likely run this process at least once more and
then, after replacing the now low yellow tank, I will also run a normal
cleaning cycle on the printer too.

Now all I need to do is rescan all the negatives that I trashed the digital
files for thinking there was a problem with the files.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Troubleshooting and irritation

Over the last week or so I have been working to scanning a lot of my 35mm
negatives. My goal is to have them electronically archived AND at a good
resolution to minimize size but still give high quality prints. This
however seems to be where I've hit a stumbling block. Every test print I
have made has suffered from "banding" in areas of shadow or darker toned
areas. This has lead me to throw out a lot of scans and use up quite a bit
of ink and paper as I try to get the print quality fixed.

I have scanned and printed from my main workstation running Windows XP and
also from a (borrowed) Macbook Air and dispite there being some subtle
differences, the banding is still there. To this end I have looked more
closely at the scanning settings. But it doesn't seem to matter if I scan
at 300dpi or 1200dpi, or if I leave the image scaling at 100% or push it to
1000%. All that changes is the file size.

Up to this point I had not looked excessively at the printer as it doesn't
appear to have banding when I print a digital photo from my D-SLR.

As a finally step before I ran out of patience and emptied my ink tanks I
decided to try a different printer. At work I have access to a large format
printer from a different I loaded some scanned negatives
on a thumbdrive and printed a couple out. And guess what? NO BANDING!! So
after all this, it really is something not right with my photo printer that
is causing the banding. Still can't figure out why a digital photo printed
okay and had no quality issues when I examined it. Guess I will need to try
and do a thorough print head clean and test print again to see if things

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Results of test film

I finished my test film roll this weekend and had it developed so I could determine if I was happy with my new camera purchase - and to stay within my 10 day return period if I wasn't.  Not that I will be returning the camera as I have been very happy with it so far.  Also it's been refreshing to be using film again...although loading film for the first time in over 10 years was certainly a little awkward as I had lost the "muscle memory" to do it quickly and smoothly.

Here are a few images from the first film that gave me a chance to test out how the camera and lens performed, which as they are both 54 years old was something I was very curious about.

This first photo was primarily to test the Jupiter 8 lens to see if it was able to produce good bokah and as you can see, it passed the test.

The second photo was to see how the Jupiter 8 lens handled flare in contrasty lighting.  As you can see it handled it pretty good.

The third was to see how colours were handled and again, the aging Jupiter 8 lens handled the task well.

I will end on a small plug for a great website for anyone interested in cameras from the former Soviet Union (FSU) such as Kiev, FED and Zorki among others.  If any of these interest you check out and who knows, you may be like me and be shooting with an aging Kiev rangefinder too.