Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Life of Prime

So pretty much my time is being spent doing the minimum to keep the business running (ordering prints, mailing them out, that kind of thing) and the rest of the time talking to contractors and painting things. Well, mostly priming things. The primer you use on wood paneling's kind of fascinating. It's a bit like rolling on toothpaste, or maybe that old style sunscreen. Basically it's thick 'n' chunky style. (It needs to do two things - bond to the surface and block out dark things like knots). Basically it's a big pain in the butt but it seems to do the job.

Oh - and the floor guy says he can do a light sanding of the softwood floor and coat it and it should be fine for my purposes, as long as I understand the drawbacks, etc. etc. (aka "it ain't oak"). So that should save me some cash/time and should look better than the cheap Ikea flooring I was going to use. Frankly it's going to have seamless paper over it a lot of the time - it just needs to be a bit warmer/softer than the concrete slab I thought was down there.

I am going to make some platinum prints tomorrow morning, and next time there's a good place for a break I'm going to do some "quick" large format photography - take four shots with some new film holders I just got. And hopefully in a couple of days the studio will be far enough along to post some before and after pictures and write up a little discussion of that - anybody thinking of doing a home studio might find it interesting although it's not exactly commercial grade (you can rent studios that are basically whole warehouses if you really want). But for figure work and the kind of simple portrait work I do it should be really nice.

Some lab notes - my regular lab (WHCC) just saved my bacon. They caught a slightly corrupted file - there was just one line of garbage on a 16x20 and they caught it and stopped the job and called me and left a message saying to reupload the file and name it such and such and they'd keep an eye out for it. I uploaded a good file and I checked back with their internal tracking system and sure enough at some point the job restarted and last I heard it was in packaging.

It also looks like the lab that's doing my silver gelatin fiber based prints is doing nicely - I just got a couple more literally as I write this (UPS is working late this time of year!) and I need to look at them a bit closer in the morning but I haven't had any unpleasant surprises since that first batch. This means I'll probably be ending their test phase and raising the prices sooner rather than later, although the next overall one is going to be early in the new year so maybe I'll just do it all at once.

But anyway - it makes a huge, huge difference being able to fire off a file and know exactly what I'm going to get and when I'm going to get it and that they'll call me if there's any concern. That's always true but it's especially appreciated when it's the busiest time of year in term of print sales and I'm trying to move at the same time!


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