Thursday, April 21, 2005


2 weeks away from my birthday... here's a suggestion for a surprise present:

It's just terrible that I havn't used my 35mm camera in a while... well, except for the trip to Bay of Islands. Why isn't there a digital lomo?

And don't get me started on my wish list of CD's... Well, maybe I just have to settle for a pack of tortillas and some birria.

Bookmark and Share


Anonymous Hooper said...

I've always thought of my Canon digtal camera as the ultimate LOMO machine

As for the SRL, I'm sorry to say i boxed her years ago and had her replaced by the cheapest 35 mm snapshot box I could buy (meaning a non - Kodak - fixed focus - non motor drive - but - with - ISO selector - and - flash unit).

As much as I despised non SRL cameras as toys, I have to concede that it´s not a good idea to bring your precious SRL to parties, beaches and picnics... that sometimes you don't need the secondary flash unit... or the long lenses.... or the filters [on second thought, you always need the filters...] and that every now and then... stuff gets stolen.

Then again, with the digital camera, I've got most of those treats back (like the extra lenses, the filters, exposure control, and such) but I can stip it back to barebones and carry her with me on picnics and strolls, it still allows me to go LOMO, and the icing on the cake is it costs me moot to process the 100~250 shots I take on every round.

There you go, get yourself a bigger memory card as birthday present and start taking LOMO pictures as crazy, then put them here for us to share.

...Matta ne!

10:37 AM  
Blogger Fernando Vallejo said...

At ITESM they gave me... well... it was kind of my money, but I could only spend that on equipment for ITESM. Anyway, I had a Sony digital camera, it was my first digital camera, and I took that as opportunity to learn about quality, megapixels, etc before buying one for myself.

It was just great, because I could take as many pictures of my student's projects without worrying about paying for prints. I could also give it to my students ar like you say, take it anywhere. I wouldn't take "lomo like" pictures with my FM-2.

Then, I got the small sony camera you saw last time. The one with a Zeiss lens... It's just incredible... very nice optics! I can take indoor pictures at night without any flash! Just amazing!

What I miss now are the prints. I need a picture printer, but now I have to figure out which ones are cost effective. You know: paper, ink... etc. Any suggestions?

12:40 PM  
Blogger Fernando Vallejo said...

Well, $300 for a classic lomo... even the can cam is too expensive right now! Just imagine how much would it cost to develop 4x5s at a photo shop, when they go nuts when you ask for a matte finish. Oh boy!

Check out this other short films:
Channel 4 Mesh

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Hooper said...

I´ve been taking LOMO pictures way before it was fashionable

The biggest problem I have with the LOMO camera fad is that they distract too much from true LOMO philosophy.

The original idea was to take as much photos as you can -almost unconsciously- and then come home, weed out the trash, and supposedly you'd end up with a few diamonds you'd miss if you try to purposedly set up every shot.

And they used cheap rusian LOMO snap boxes because they were poor fellas, then they said they like the primitive feel the distorted plastic lenses provide because it was "artistic"...

...sure thing mate, if they had the money they'd bought Leicas instead, you can trust me on that.

Now they try to convince you that if you're not using one of their crappy plastic boxes you are no LOMOing.

Some "artist" go the lenghts to set up a shot , ask people to pose, produce a crummy LOMO out of their bags and voilá they are now up the LOMO bandwagon, even if their photos are as candid as an AMLO meeting.

What's discouraging about the LOMO way, is the cost of the prints (contacts) and of course the film.

That's what you get away with the digital media, son no excuses now... fire away.

As for the printer stuff, the important thing to look for is not resolution, but color fidelity and ink consumption...

Provided that you use the right paper, any decent Bubble Jet printer will give you photo quality prints (mine is an old 300 ppi HP DeskJet, and most people won't believe my prints are home made).

Those so called speciality photo printers are just normal engines with added color screens and memory card bays, good for those who want to print out their shots without the hassle of a PC, but if you are anything like me, you'd at least crop up the images a little and play up with the levels and sharpen filter.

Therefore the extra bays and the screen are redundant, limited and expensive.

You better check out for Color Bridge and Efix 2.0 compatibility.

Velocity (pages per minute -ppm) it's not important for quality color prints; it'll always be slow.

Separate color cartriges (one for each color, instead of one black and one combined CMY) is good since you use each color 'till its empty, instead of throwing away all your blue after printing all those red Santas in Christmas.

Beware though, most single color cartridges are twice as expensive as the mixed ones because they're supposed to be pro stuff

It´s better to have one good all purpose printer for all your daily work and then use good paper to print your photos on weekends.

One thing you must remember is that you can use refilled -or third party- cartridges for all your civil work, but it's not a good idea to use them for photo quality paper, so keep an original cartrige set aside just for HQ prints.

HP printers are specially good at this since the cartridge includes the printing head, so you change the cartridge and start printing right away, Canon and Epson cartidges are cheaper because they don't include the printing head, but once you change them, you must print a couple of sheets before the new ink reaches the head.

As for paper, you can find a lot of weird and interesting substrates, like canvas, cloth, encolated vinyl, magnetic vinyl, transfers, and of course mate and brilliant media in several thicknesses.

To tell you the truth nothing beats the ol' matte or brilliant spray fixative!!!

...Matta ne!

PS. If you really want it, I can fetch for you one of those chinese LOMO copies they sell at the Tianguis, they are as crappy as the real thing. ^_^

7:29 AM  
Blogger Fernando Vallejo said...

I do have one of those "all in one" printers: HP psc 1350. I must tell you that I had to ask customer services to send me a CD with the driver for OSX... the CD included was for old japanese macs. (No was really for japanese macs!)

Anyway, I haven't tried to print pictures because the cartidges are too damn expensive!

So. Is it really the same to print pictures form an A4 printer than from one of those small picture printers?

You are right... the lomo philosophy got lost somewhere, when it became "fashionable". But hey, tamagotchis are also fashionable again! Time to search for mine inside the boxes. He, he.


1:37 PM  
Anonymous Hooper said...

Color Thermal Inkjet Tech 101

I checked the specs for your all in one frankenstein and found no problem for HQ color printing.

As a matter of fact I don't know how come you haven't been using it for that sole purpose so far

According with the data sheet this baby not only prints Photo Quality Prints but is compliant with HP PhotoREt III and it supposedly includes memory cards bays for: CompactFlash I and II, Smart Media, Memory Sticks®, Secure Digital/Multi Media and
xD-Picture Card!!
you don't even need the Computer or Kiwi Mac Dives to print your photos!.

I mean, it also supports HP PhotoREt IV with a third optional photo quality ink cartridge, wich allows you to print in Hexachrome!!!!!!!

C'mon don't you ever read your manuals?????

The extra Photo Quality cartridge is Überexpensive... but truth is you dont need it.

What you need now is some Photo Quality paper... and set the print setup in "HP Photo Paper" even if you are not using HP brand paper.

Don't forget to print from a image editing program (that is, one that opens the file, not only places the image) and be sure that the file is on RGB.

Resize your file so it's at the intended (final) printing size and still over 150 dpi (200dpi if full of tiny details, and 300 dpi if it includes hi-contrast zones -like text-)

Print a couple of images and you can start to tweak you color and levels to better suit your output.

Once you have a good print, don´t forget to save a copy of the file with the fine tunning on, and don't forget to label it clearly so you don´t lose your raw images, they are like your negatives, and you'll need them to print your photos in a diferent environment.

...matta ne!

3:24 PM  
Blogger Fernando Vallejo said...

Thank for the tips! Really, thanks!

The first principle of ergonomics is: "no one, ever, reads the manuals"

The second principle is:
"if someone reads the manual before actually using the product...he/she is probably too dumm to actually understand the functions of your design"

Well, maybe the joke was on me...

Now I have to make some saving to get me a pack of print paper and cartidges. I'll let you know when I do my experiments with that. Good to know!

So, should I send them to print from photoshop directly?


4:32 PM  
Anonymous Hooper said...

Well... you have to remember that I make the manuals ^_^

Photoshop is OK.

Remember that you can use Photo paper of different brands, here in Guanatos you can buy a 20 pages pack for about US$10.00 that's 50 cents for a letter page.

I buy my photo paper in 100's packs and bring the price down to about 30 cents a page, but I use it for a variety of things, aside of pure photo printing.

I usually print 4 ups for "contacts", smaller than that won't help you decide on color correction, besides it's a nice size for every day photos to share and give away.

Normal Prints are 2 ups, half a letter is enough to show detail but it's not an overkill on ink price.

Full pages are for special cases, normally the paper is cheaper than the ink, photo paper sucks more ink than bond paper.

In any case, don't forget that most A4 printers can´t print to the border of the paper, so you have to keep a margin around your images.

Depending on the printer maker, it's about 5 mm on the upper, right and left sides, and from 10 to 20 mm on the bottom side (Bubble Jet printers always print in portrait mode, if you change to landscape the driver makes the switch on the fly and then print it in portrait, therefore, the bottom is always a short side).

In Photoshop you can use the print setup and preview page to check up this margins.

Photo prints are weak to humidity, so it's a good idea to make a proof before using spray fixative, acrylic fixative is good for sealing them, and let's you add matte or glossy finish.

If you want to frame the prints like fine art, treat them as if watercolor (don't let the print touch the glass, and better yet, use UV polycarbonate instead of glass)

If you want to print B&W photos, turn the image to grayscale, make your changes and then bring it back to RGB, never, ever send grayscale images directly to the printer, and beware of using the use only black cartridge setting in the print setup, it's just for text printing.

If you want -and you will- richer B&W prints, turn your images to grayscale, then change them to duotone and choose a nice set of grays -black and light gray will give you a silver plate effect, you can warm up or cool down your tones with a dab of red and blue. Black or brown and yellow make a nicer sepia than the ready-mix filters the cameras offer-

Don't forget to change back your duotones to RGB before printing.

Mate, I feel like I'm back at the workshop teaching prepress, nice feeling by the way.

...Matta ne!

7:58 PM  
Blogger Fernando Vallejo said...

Thanks again for the advise!

It's good to know because I was just about to print my portfolio...not from the web site, but I used this chance to make a document with Hi-res pictures. You can download a low-res pdf from my web site. I did that exporting each slide to TIF and then compressed to 20% jpegs... no wonder they look awful! The original document doesn't look that bad.

I know that you are going to go ballistic... but remember that I am not a professional, so I don't have "in design" or "page maker"... so, I did it on... you won't believe this... : powerpoint. Usually I print from the pdf exported document. At least that's how I did it before. The problem is going to be the dpi resoultion... but I'll see about that.

The pdf already has white margins...which I considered when making the layout on powerpoint.

Do you think is best to print from the tif files (uncompressed) or from the pdf document?

I guess the best way to find out is to make a test of each option with one page. But first I have to buy paper and ink!

A chinese romo-leprica? I dunno, I guess the delivery would be as expensive as getting the real deal. Sounds good tho. tempting...


12:08 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home