Photography is by definition "drawing with light" and that's what we do every time we press the shutter release button. We take the light reflected from our subjects and etch the moment as a latent image on film or as a binary code that lands up on our...
This issue marks our annual foray into what's new in the photo/imaging world and contains our exclusive report on happenings at the annual Photo Marketing Association (PMA) Show. We went to PMA with a full staff of reporters who covered their respective beats and who...
It's in those tiny, particular pieces of information that come across my desk that I sense the changes going on in photography. True, I can't help but be moved by the major trends such as the wholesale migration of many friends and associates to the digital side.
This being the start of a new year I thought I'd take the opportunity to thank those who have made 2003 a successful year for all of us here at Shutterbug. This has been quite a year here, what with our going to a different format and producing the most pages of any...
I have to confess that I have not exposed a lot of film recently. The same goes for many photographers I know, who admit to the same thing with a similar trace of guilt that I feel about it. Many folks have been swept up into the digital realm and been hooked by the instant...
More and more digital cameras are now offering a new file format that may be the best choice for those who really want to get into their digital image files. Known collectively as raw, it doesn't really stand for anything, as do the initials in JPEG and TIFF. Raw means...
Elinchrom has introduced the Style 400 BX portable compact flash units. Two new
inexpensive kits, street priced at $995 and $1098, incorporate the latest innovations
in Multivoltage technology with all the accessories necessary to plug-in anywhere.
Featured in both kits, the EL 400 BXECON and EL 400 BX KIT, is the new Style BX
400 Multivoltage with automatic voltage detection from 90 V--260 V, a rapid
recycle time of 1 sec. in a lightweight monobloc weighing only 4.3 lbs.. Additionally,
both kits offer the new digitally stabilized 400BX monoblocs along with all the
lighting equipment and accessories necessary for capturing the most demanding
images while at the same time giving the photographer the ability to travel quick
and light. The EL 400BXKIT adds two Manfrotto light stands and a convenient Stand
The new Style 400 BX Multivoltage compact flash unit features power ranges of
25 - 400 Ws and has the ability to work with 5 f-stops, ranging from 1/16 to 1/1.
The 400 BX is lightweight, weighing only 4.3 pounds (1.95 kg) and is compact for
in or out of studio use, with dimensions of 21 x 14cm (length x diameter). The
new head kit includes a plug-in omega flashtube precisely positioned 20 mm from
the internal reflector. The positioning helps avoid uneven illumination that often
results from non-concentric or U-shaped flashtubes.
Now I know how stagecoach drivers felt when they saw those first rail lines
being laid over their routes. The recent announcement that Kodak would be discontinuing
their silver black and white papers didn't come as much as a shock as
an inevitability that one always hopes will not be manifest. With inventories
expected to last a few months, we're now witnessing the disappearance
of venerable brands such as Polycontrast IV, Azo and Polymax Fine Art, Kodabrome
II and Portra, even their "Digital Black and White" paper, which
was used for digital printers. According to a Kodak spokesperson, Kodak has
seen a cumulative drop in black and white paper buying of 25% per year over
the past few years and could no longer justify being in the market. We also
learned, by the way, that Kodak black and white papers had of late been produced
in Brazil, being packaged from rolls in Rochester. The spokesperson did stress,
however, that Kodak black and white film and chemistry was not on the chopping
block and that Kodak sees silver photography as still extremely viable.
There are those who make prints often, and there are those who make prints occasionally. The split, you might think, is between amateur and pro, but that’s not always the case. Some “amateurs” print as much if not more than some pros, and some pros make their own prints only when they have time, usually for their personal portfolio, but certainly not on every job. That’s why pigeonholing the Epson R3000 in terms of intended audience, amateur or pro, is not so easy. It certainly delivers the quality you might expect from a higher-end Epson model, given its attributes, ink set, fine nozzles, and highly evolved print head, etc., but it’s by no means a volume/production printer, given its single sheet feed for “art” paper, albeit with larger capacity ink carts than some past 13x19” printers, and roll feed capability.
I took on this review assignment because I’ve had considerable history with printing, both silver and digital, and printing with Epson printers. Over the past few years this interest has led me on an odyssey through various printers, profiling, and a considerable amount of (early) frustration. My emphasis has been on monochrome printing and those who share in this interest and who have attempted black-and-white printing in the past understand the numerous obstacles it can present. Those include, but are not limited to, unwanted color casts, gloss differential in deep black areas and some tonal borders, poor deep black reproduction (accompanied by equally poor highlight repro), a lot of poor paper surfaces, and the hassle and waste of switching from matte black to photo glossy inks. Color printers face these as well, plus the challenges of color balance, casts, skin tone reproduction, highlight bias, green shadows, and more. Of late I have printed with the Epson Stylus Pro 3800, 3880, and 4800 models, the 3800 being my studio workhorse for years and the 3880 the model that many photo schools and workshops at which I’ve taught use as a mainstay student and production printer.