Mostly about my amusement

Tag: Photo (page 1 of 1)

No, they are not miniature grenades

Think I’ll have a problem at the airport?

I like film photography and use up a lot of film. I also needed a new key chain as my old one was made out of leather and was falling apart.

Light bulb! I take my film to the local Costco and Lily is on friendly terms with the people behind the counter. So I asked them if they could spare the old used 135 film cartridges.

Boy, could they. I got about a dozen and picked out some different color ones. I got some 1″ key rings from Home Depot, Dad has a drill press in his work room and in a few minutes I had new key chains.

The Gakkenflex is a cool kit camera

My son received a camera from his uncle, a cool Fuji STX-2 SLR with a 50mm lens. The girl wanted to have a camera too. So rather than get another film camera from eBay, I went to Makershed and ordered a Gakkenflex kit.

I mean, fair is fair right?

This is a TLR camera meaning it has two lenses. The top one is a viewfinder and the two lenses focus together. The kit took less than an hour to assemble and the results have been fun. If you’ve ever assembled a Gundam MG kit then you will have no problems with the instructions or the assembly. Just in case Makershed provides a link to the English PDF version of the instructions.

This camera takes 35mm film and I’ve already shot 2 rolls of 200 Fuji SO film. It’s light and small but not too much so. It’s not tough, my girl already cracked the viewfinder gear when she had a er, disagreement with her brother.

I’m still getting the girl to take photos but she’s learning and having fun. Someday I may get a real TLR with 120 film, but for now this will work nicely.

Epson printers rock

Back in January I became the recipient of my brother Stefan’s Epson Stylus Photo R300 color printer. He no longer used it because he had a better one and the R300 inks would run. The printer was discontinued and replaced with a newer version.

So I bought inks and premium glossy photo paper. The problems he had? I just don’t see it. I’m on vacation and I’m printing up a storm. In Photoshop Elements 8 I can even print edge to edge and the results look fantastic.

I used to be an avowed HP Inkjet fantastic but Epson’s R300 has converted me.

Going on a trip? Plan ahead for photos

Wednesday August 25th the family and I went to the Statue of Liberty.  The trip was planned weeks in advance and we took the Huntington Station line at 6:15 Am to get there nice and early before the crowds.

It was raining cats and dogs the whole time we were there.

I had expected to take lots of outdoor photos so I only packed my 18-200mm lens.  Since it was raining, we went into the museum. For museum photos, I consistently use my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens with a circular polarizer attached. When I do, I get photos like these.

You can see more from that set on my Flickr page.

With the 18-200mm the results are OK but not inspiring. Here’s a sample.

This was an OK picture but the ISO got bumped up to 3200 and the photos lacked a lot of sharpness. Also without the circular polarizing filter, reflections off the glass was a pain.

With the 30mm I get a nice prime lens that opens wide. With the circular polarizer I can dial out most of the reflections off of the display cases.

Next time I’ll plan better. We still had a good time, but I want to take better photos.

Recycling an old printer

Stefan had replaced his old Epson Stylus Photo R300 printer a long time ago and dropped it off at my house.  It’s a USB Epson inkjet printer that has been replaced a couple of times over. I don’t even know what the current model is, but this one was free so who cares?

Naturally, I hooked this up to my Linux server in the basement. I could not get CUPS to agree with me so I’m printing via Samba.

I went to Costco and picked up replacement inks and glossy photo paper.  The Epson inks were $60! The paper was the Kirkland knock off so I’m assuming the price was good. I connected my laptop to the print queue and shot off a test page using plain paper.  That came out okay, so I loaded up the glossy paper and printed a couple of photos.

The photos looked like crap. There was banding all over the place and it looked like the ink had not decided to adhere to the glossy surface. If I looked closely, I am sure that the ink was about to slide off the page. So a few more test prints later and I set the default as premium glossy paper, Photos only, and enhanced photo processing.

The next photos looked stunning. The colors jumped right off of the page and the detail in the photos was just plain amazing.  For my color test, I printed this photo of some fish statues. I had forgotten that some of the fish were actually not blue. I’m printing more and I have lots of paper and ink. The only downside is that the printer often has problems grabbing the glossy paper. It requires a lot of “take out the paper, insert the paper the exact same way”. But the output is really good and as I said, I got the printer for free.

What? No, I did not read any of the printer instructions or documentation. Why would you ask?

On Monday I’ll update the photos in my cubicle with these new printouts. I can look at them and admire the photos I took.