A Half Priced Mistake

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here and it comes down to I haven’t had much to say let alone to update on. My life is not exciting and worth writing or documenting about in any form on a regular basis. It’s not a bad thing in my mind as I enjoy my quiet life. Still, I felt it worth posting a bit of an update as I have had a small adventure since the year began.

I own many film cameras but only one digital camera. My wife and I are not rich and live a happy yet frugal life and that’s just fine by us. So when my Digital camera finally gave out instead of going and just buying a replacement I had to spend time thinking about what to get and invest into. I was happy with the performance of my Sony SLT A33 as I don’t need anything fancy but since its release so many things have advanced that I’ve been wanting to explore. As such I finally decided on a camera and what should have been a simple order and wait for its arrival turned into an interesting surprise. Instead of getting the camera that I paid for, the Sony A77II, I received a Sony A7II. If you aren’t familiar with the Sony lineup to put it simply I paid $900 and got a camera package worth (at least at the time I ordered it) a little more than double that price. I found this funny because my last entry here I wrote how I wasn’t ashamed of my crop framed sensor. Hell, more and more professionals are shooting on them because of advances in technology and certain advantages they get from the sensor size but now here I was looking at a camera that was full frame and possibly to become my new digital camera. Keeping a long story short, I spoke with the company I purchased it from and about the mistake that was made on their end. They wanted me to pay for return shipping/stocking and were giving me the run around. I’m not going to name names here but in the end after talking with management I was told to keep it. I am now the owner of a full frame camera and paid a lot less than market price.

This does give me a bit of an issue though in that all my glass is a-mount and the A7II uses e-mount. The lens that came with it is OK but I’m really happy with the glass I have now and have been using for years. Luckily there is an adaptor of which I ordered and with its help have been getting to know the camera. Still, I long for the A77II because a good portion of how I shoot the use of a crop frame sensor is a nice bit of help. Namely that I use glass built for full frame and thus get a bit of a further reach. Besides, when I ordered the camera I also picked up extra batteries and a grip for it so I’d like to put them to use because again, the company wanted me to pay for its return and even stocking yet I’m not the one that made the mistake. In the end it’s their loss really.

So now I’m getting to know my A7II with plans of purchasing the A77II soon. Though I did buy a used A200 for $100. It was barely used and came without even a scuff mark on it and I’ve been looking to shoot on one for fun. It was my very first DSLR and ever since I sold it years ago I’ve felt bad for doing so. While not the best camera out there, even when it was brand new, it was still a champ at what it did and I’m honestly glad to have one in my hands again. As such I’ve gone from only ever having owned one digital camera at a time to now owning two and soon will own three.

Neither the Sony A200 nor myself are professionals but I still enjoy the results.

Print Calibrations

SONY DSC

So at some time or another one will want to print their photographs and for many a simple print from most anywhere will do. Heck even my wife has had a few of my photographs made into a print from a family event and sent them out to others for their scrap books. Printed from Walmart they came out fine and if I had to be perfectly honest better than expected but if I want the best print I can get I go with another more professional printing service. I don’t care who you choose to make your prints there will be an issue of what you see on your screen and what you see from the physical item.

Now printing is important because you want others to see what you see and while technology helps us share more of our work more easily a print lets others see it the way it was meant to be seen. I say this because everything that displays a digital image will always show whats on its screen in a different light, literally. No two computer monitors, phones, tables, television sets and more are ever set the same. People will either use it however it came from the factory or make adjustments to how they feel it should be especially with TV sets having modes for movies, video games and more built into them. With a print on the other hand you can show off your image the way you feel it is at its best and as an artist that is part of what we strive to do. While things can be left to interpretations we want our viewers to see the colors, highlights and shadows the way we see them. It’s not always possible what with some people being colorblind of which I am not making a joke, I know a few colorblind people and others whose vision over all is not the best. Still, we want to show our work the way we see it as best as possible. We can’t control how others see it on their digital end, at least not within the realms of full control but we can regulate how they see it face to face and this is how I accomplish that task.

The first thing I do is set aside a small collection of photos. In my case I have ten of these and they range from colorful and vibrant to a bit bland. From simple black and whites with good toning to high contrast with pure whites and the blackest blacks. Of these ten images two are set aside for charts with one being a gradient chart in black and white and the other in color. All of these combine so that I can make adjustments to my display so that I know when I send out images to be printed they will look the same when physically in my hands as they do on my monitor. It’s really that simple for me. I use good lighting to make sure they are shown as they should be and spend the time to get everything looking the same. Every so often I check back with them making sure everything is still good and periodically I get them reprinted to make sure that my print company of choice hasn’t changed anything on their end that might skew the end results from a printing run.

So that’s it! Its low tech but for me it works and helps keep my monitor in check as well as my printing service. Sure, one doesn’t have to go this far as many places make fine prints without getting complicated but I think if you want to keep the integrity of what you are trying to express then it’s worth doing a little work to make sure that artistic vision is given the best opportunity to shine.

Also, if you want to know who I use for my prints, it’s Meridian Professional Imaging. No promo here as I’m not getting paid or any kickbacks, I just simply enjoy the service and product I get. Go with whoever you like, it doesn’t matter to me personally. Just make sure you get your monitor and prints to match so you can better show yourself off.

And as for printing at home, that’s nice and all but unless you have some serious money for some serious equipment it will never match what a professional printer can do for you.