Ephemera For The Week.

2000_031_10.jpgJust wanted to let everyone know what is going in my world. After a couple of days the latest Aperture update is proving to be much more stable. I have not had it crash once since the update - your milage will vary. Hooray for Apple.

The screencasts have gone well so far - I have received a lot of valuable feedback and very much appreciate those that have taken the time. I will take the suggestions to heart and try my best to incorporate them. Thank goodness that people have found them helpful in various ways. I have my list of topics that I am guessing people would like - if you have suggestions feel free to drop a comment or an email with your priorities I am always interested.

As many of you know I am an avid film shooter - not for nostalgia's sake (well maybe a little) but because I think it is superior in some situations. Of course I shoot digital as well and it has it's merits as well. I love that we have both - if you have not shot film in a while or even ever don't short change yourself - try some. On that note - a photographer buddy of mine that went pure digital about 5 or 6 years ago is considering shooting film again, not exclusively but along side his digital. Of course I played a part in the subliminal suggestions that he might want to try it.

He is a color guy so no B+W - he is a fairly big time travel photographer that does a lot of landscape work and when he does he treats it very seriously - no need for speed or high ISO. You know the whole nine yards - tripod - ND grad filters, TS lens - the whole bit. The issue is he has a new market for his work - big giant prints - really big. His current kit is 12 MP cameras and we are having a little trouble producing the detail that he wants in his 3 to 4 foot wide prints - yea they look good because everything else is spot on - focus - no camera movement - color - exposure - etc. The important things but… 12MP even with a lot of tricks falls apart in terms of rendering fine detail. So we are both going to go out and shoot next weekend - his gear and he is going to shoot Velvia 50 in my old FM2 (hooks to his stuff) side by side to see what he likes better for the big enlargements of landscape with high detail - of course the film will get scanned and be output digitally. His conundrum - he does not want to plunk down $8000 plus a spare for the D3x right now and is not even sure if that will cut it - it is a small part of his business (the big prints) and I agree - this is bad timing for $16K on D3X gear. He does not want to go MF digital for two reasons - cost and it is too heavy.

I may bring my large format camera and two lenses with me to shoot 4x5 Velvia - we'll see. I have this mentality that if you are going to futz around for 10 minutes with tripods - tilt shift - grad filters for one exposure you may as well shoot sheet film and be done with it - forget the small crap. A decent 4x5 field camera and two decent (spectacular) schneider's or rodenstock's are dirt cheap compared to MF digital or a one D3X and I will bet you that kit is lighter - he already has a giant carbon fiber tripod and all that crap. I will let you know where he goes with this and how the 35mm experiment turns out.

That brings me to prints - I have been dabbling with my mentioned friend in custom large print services - If getting big prints on good paper from a big Epson at a reasonable cost is something that you are interested in let me know. I may be doing this for a few people shortly.

Speaking of prints - my least popular product - the sample black and white prints (real ones) are selling about 10 copies a month - plenty for me to keep doing and not too much for it to be burdensome based on my current darkroom schedule. Even though they are not that popular to the general web crowd - they are well received by the couple of nutty people that want stuff like this. Number one request - more samples on different materials and larger variety of negative choices. Funny - I did not predict that.

If you have any strange stuff you would like to see in terms of B+W products let me know what specifically you might be interested in seeing - if it makes any sense in terms of time and cost I will probably be willing to produce it.

RB

Ps - Answer to a few questions about large "art" prints that I have received: I do not sell these on-line - I cannot see selling a large expensive to produce and expensive to purchase print sight unseen. If you end up not liking it when you get it - I will feel bad and probably loose money. I do not want people to buy something from me that they do not like. So… at least for now I will sell hand made B+W final prints the way they should be viewed and acquired - in person.

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