I’ve been plagued by distractions, especially this computer. No, it didn’t crash, but sometimes as a tool it’s wanting.
I enjoy printing out my own photos via the digital darkroom. But inkjet printers – at least the one I have – can be a pain in the ass. What you see on the monitor isn’t necessarily what ends up on the page, especially when a key color gets gummed up and your print-out looks like crap because there’s absolutely no yellow in it.
For some reason the yellow ink in this Epson printer likes to fail. Then I have to clean the cartridge a few times which uses up even more ink, all the colors, not just the yellow. After I get the inkjet more or less working properly, I print a few 8 by 10 prints and the color cartridge is almost dry. It costs over $60 to replace the cartridges, both the black and the color. Epson is making too much money off me, the bastards.
But I’ve learned a few tricks on my own. Instead of printing out the whole image, I select a key area, around a couple of inches or less square, and test print that. For example, a wasp was the subject. I wanted to emphasize its yellow color. What I saw on the monitor looked more intense than what was hitting the page. So by adjusting the color and then printing out a few little squares, I got the yellow hue I wanted. Then I printed the entire image. (Screw you, Epson.)
And as with any tool, there’s maintenance. I wanted to defrag both hard drives, the computer was getting a bit cranky, but I couldn’t because there were too many large photo files stored on my PC, not enough available memory. So I spent about five hours the other night sorting and backing up files on CDs, then dumping the duplicated files into the trash bin, freeing up the space needed to run the defragmentation program. And don’t forget, you also have to run an anti-spyware program on a regular basis. That eats up time, too. (Screw you, Bill Gates.)
Anyway, I got my photos printed, then I had to mat and frame them. Two are now on display at the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts on Brinkerhoff Street in Plattsburgh. And just up the street from the NCCCA is the public library where another group exhibit will be sponsored, but this one only features photography. That should be up by this weekend with three of my images. So if you’re in the downtown area, you can see what my stuff looks like in meatspace, instead viewing it on a computer screen.