Friday, October 27, 2006

Yet Another Friday

Running: Ran 10 miles this week, yay! Goal for next week is the same - basically once it starts raining the real trick will be to not stop for the winter so I'm not going to try increasing the distance any. Faster might be good though for when it gets cold!

My hosting company, Lunarpages, just upped their disk and bandwidth again. I have one of their business accounts largely because I run four domains on it. I know a choir and a chemistry conference each have basic accounts and that's more than enough for their purposes. I've been happy with them - getting all my domains transferred from different places was kind of a pain and they handled it very well.

I said I'd report back on my test of another photo lab, Mpix, - really the only thing that came of it was that the color prints on the usual Kodak Professional Endura were great but no better than my lab and their black and white prints on more expensive Ilford black and white paper stunk pretty much across the board. Very disappointing. But again, on the Kodak they did a good job and their interface is pretty easy to use. They're what I'd call more of a semi-pro lab, they also have a more professional division that's a seperate company. But they beat the snot out of the consumer places (snapfish or whatever).

They do have a few oddball products like playing cards that I may try out. Every place I've seen that does them before there's a 100 deck minimum. This is much more expensive but it might be fun to get a couple of decks and see if there's a market or not before committing to filling the house with decks of cards!

I managed to knock the glass rod I use to coat alternative process prints off of a counter and of course it shattered. I have backups of many photographic things, but not that, oops. So I ordered two more nice ones and am going to try to fabricate a basic one this weekend (the most simple but still good kind is just glass tubing with a couple of bends to make handles). But I might be stuck with brush coating for a bit. For some things, probably good to get the practice in. But unfortunately I just received my Ziatype kit - which is a platinum/palladium method and there's no way I'm brush coating with that until I get better with it. Especially since the initial prints will be test charts that need a very even coat for me to make a calibration curve off of them.

Speaking of which, I've been making test charts for my existing processes and doing some fancier calibration. Initial results are very good - I was getting better results with some images than others which was leading to a lot of waste and hand tweaking things. This should hopefully be more of a works-the-first-time-on-every-image kind of deal if I can really get it nailed. I'm getting inquries from other photographers about making prints for them and it only really works if I streamline the process a bit.

One option is to pursue papyrus further since that has to be brush coated anyway. My first full sized cyanotype on papyrus is very cool. I've made a vandyke half sheet test on papyrus - won't really know how that worked for a day or two as it slowly dries but I think it has potential too.

Anyway, one way or another over the next couple of months the printmaking should continue to progress, focusing on these rather unusual techniques, making unique images.

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