In with the new

After 13 years of sterling service I have replaced my old Epson 3800 A2 printer with its modern equivalent: an Epson SC-P900.

This allows me to make exhibition grade prints for clients as well as being a proofing station for my CMYK repro work. The new printer uses 10 inks and has a larger colour gamut than the old printer and indeed it is possible to see a visible improvement in the prints.

A new set of ink cartridges run to approx. £350 but quality never comes at a bargain price. By investing in the new printer I hope I can  continue to offer clients the best possible results.

Next up is to fire up the X-Rite spectrophotometer and build some custom colour profiles to ensure the best possible colour accuracy.

If anyone fancies a trip to Sheringham the old printer is available for pickup at no cost (free!), it just needs new ink and patience with its loading mechanism….

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“Wacom One” graphics tablet

Wacom One tablet attached to my Macbook Pro laptop via USB. Im using it to brush back highlight detail with the adjustment brush in Lightroom. Image on screen © Sue Flood. www.sueflood.com, used with permission.

Had a fun time running some Professional Imaging Workflow workshops at Chester Zoo recently. Part of the course involved me doing some live image grading as I described my techniques for processing images in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

I normally use a larger A4 size tablet back in the office but this portable Wacom tablet is very good and I had no problem brushing on the images and controlling the interface on a huge monitor at the front of the class.

I find physical buttons/sliders on Wacom tablets to be a bit of a pain and dont use them so this paired back “minimal” tablet is ideal, it is pressure sensitive and it has a  26cm x 17cm  usable surface area. Highly recommended. I paid £66 for mine but its currently on offer at Amazon (affiliate link below)

The reason I use a pen and tablet like this is that it allows me to better control my brush in much the same way that a pen is easier to write a signature than it is to write it with a mouse or tracker pad, there is a learning curve to use it – but the results are worthwhile in terms of control and productivity.

Don’t buy this if you are happy to use your mouse or tracker pad or if you don’t have access to a screen calibrator – sort that first

Affiliate link:

Get your own Wacom One, click here

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Calculators for planning: image storage, transmission, print and repro

I often need to make advanced plans around quantities, sizes and transmission of images for my clients and to aid this I use some simple maths to quantify things. To aid this further I have created a set of web calculators covering all the common tasks.

Here are some common calculations I need to make when planning in advance:

  • How long will it take me to upload 2GB of images via ftp to a client? – or download 1TB?
  • How many raw or tiff files can I store on a 3TB drive or a 9TB NAS?
  • How many minutes (or hours) will it take to transfer 1620GB of raw files to a NAS from a client’s USB2 external drive?
  • To make a high quality 20″x16″ print at the Epson ideal print density of 360dpi how many pixels do I need?
  • What is the lowest megapixels a camera or file can be to still cover (for example) an A2 print at 350dpi? how about 7″x6″  at 150dpi?

All of these can be answered using the calculators below, here is a list of what they do:

 

Time and transmission:
Internet calculator – Calculate upload and download times for large files and collections of images.
Network calculator – Calculate transfer times for large collections of files across a local wired or wireless network

Capacity and file size:
How many images?
 – Calculate how many images/ files can fit on a hard disk, NAS or optical device
Camera file size and space calculator – Calculate files sizes and storage requirements of a particular camera
Card Full? – Calculate image capacities for your camera writing to different sized SD or CF cards

Dimensions for print and repro:
Print size calculator 1 – Calculate file size requirements when someone asks for a physical size for print or repro, this calculator allows you to specify units of meters, feet, inches, cm, mm.
Print size calculator 2 – Calculate native print and repro sizes from your images pixel dimensions.

Misc:
Getting View: Print Size to work properly in Photoshop
 – Calculate the right dpi for your monitor using this easy and practical method

I hope you will book mark these individual calculators to help plan your workflow. If you have any ideas for other calculators let me know and I will see what I can do.

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How many images?

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Getting View: Print Size to work properly in Photoshop

 

I love using “Print Size” in the Photoshop “View” menu as it allows me to see how big the image will print in the physical (real) world.

The chances are that if you try this with an image in your Photoshop the result will be incorrect (for instance a 10″ image may be nearer 7″ on screen). The reason for this is that by default Photoshop assumes you are using an early Apple monitor that has a resolution of 72dpi. In actual fact most modern monitors display many more dots per inch (pixels per inch) hence making the print preview too small. To make an accurate sized print preview you need to enter the actual dpi for your particular monitor.

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Network calculator

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Print size calculator 1

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Print size calculator 2

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