POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH: Improving one’s sense of wellbeing using photography, art, creative writing, public speaking and blogging – my journey written by ©Karen Robinson. Please click here for my latest blog news!
My photography and printing equipment that I have accumulated over the years is pretty simple. It’s not necessarily the very best or most up-to-date, nor the most expensive but is what I could afford at the time of purchase and best serves my needs as a hobby photographer. Please find below a list of camera items I take with me on every photography adventure with the hope I can capture something special to develop in Adobe Lightroom Classic (an image organization and manipulation software program). After developing my images it is then that I blog about my photography adventure. The accompanying blog images are usually uploaded onto my website, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram pages. With the best of the best images being printed and stored for perpetuity.
NB: Camera Equipment listed up first here below with Printing Equipment following on further down this page.
MY PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT LIST
Consisting of the following:- a camera, three lenses, camera right angle L bracket, camera wrist strap, camera remote, a filter, a tripod, two tripod heads, camera bag, spare batteries, battery recharger, spare memory card, lens cleaning kit, ColorChecker Passport Photo 2 card, my mobile phone so I can obtain GPS details. And my dear hubby (lovingly and respectfully nicknamed by my camera club as the sherpa) who helps me lug around the equipment during our photography adventures!
Based on affordability, Sony’s reputation, reviews of other users and my daughter’s advice, this became the best choice of camera for me. Also, taking into consideration it was really a starting point and a good entry-level camera at this stage of my journey with photography.
Overview of Product:
- Sony a711 E-mount Camera with Full Frame
- Interchangeable Lens Digitial Camera
- 5-axis image stabilization
- 35mm full-frame
- Wi-Fi with NFC
- 3.0″ LCD screen
- Up to 5 fps
- ISO 50-25600
Camera Memory Card
Have 2 of these Camera memory cards, just in case one fails when out-and-about during a photography adventure, or one fills up and I find myself in need of more memory. This is not likely for me but if I was going away for a long weekend or longer period of time – would be helpful.
Overview of Product:
- “Eight times faster than ordinary memory cards
- Delivers the speed and capacity you need to capture 4K Ultra HD video3 today
- Up to 40 MB/s write speeds for faster shot to shot performance and up to 60MB/s for faster transfer
- Highest SD card video recording performance with both Class 10 and UHS Speed Class 3 (U3)2 ratings for capturing Full HD and 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160p) video3
- Up to 128 GB capacity for longer video shoots and uninterrupted photo sessions
- Built for and tested in harsh conditions4; temperature proof, waterproof, shockproof, and x-ray proof
- Lifetime Limited Warranty (Amazon 2020)”.
Do have a remote control for the Sony Camera but found it a bit frustrating as it didn’t work all the time and/or had to hold in a specific position for it to work. Also ended up putting it in my pants pocket while out shooting. Once home forgetting it was there and then throwing the pants in the wash, including the remote! So I now mostly use the camera 2-second self-timer instead!
Overview of Product:
- “Approximate working distance: 10 meters. Powered by a CR2025 battery (included in the package)
- Make sure your camera has an infrared sensor; Set your camera at remote mode before using
- “S” for instant photo, “2S” for 2 seconds delay, “START/STOP” for start/stop video recording
- Ideal for close-ups, long exposure, self-portrait and group photos and effectively reduces camera shake
- Comes with a carabiner for easy carrying (Amazon 2020)”.
It became apparent to me during the photography adventures that I needed to worry about securing my camera to me better when walking about holding it in my hand. I had a number of incidents where I had lost my balance and fallen only to be more worried about dropping my camera let alone injuring myself. So after some Youtube research, I discovered this little wrist strap that could be attached and detached easily from the camera while always remaining on my wrist for easy access.
Overview of Product: “Total peace of mind in a tiny, low-profile package. The all-new Cuff is the most elegant, unobtrusive way to protect your camera from accidental drops. Quickly and securely connects to any camera, binoculars, or other device using our unique Anchor Link system. Wrist loop magnetically locks in the open position or comfortably cinches down on your wrist for added security. New all-custom aluminium hardware. When not in use, Cuff stores as a bracelet for quick accessibility. Shipped with updated V4 Anchors (Peak Design 2020).”
Camera – 3 Lenses
Sony states this lens is one for all occasions which I have found to be good for me as a hobby photographer. It has allowed me to take big landscape shots and then be able to take more intimate views of the same scene. I have gotten very used to what it can achieve over time.
Overview of Product: “A 24mm to 240mm 10x zoom range allows this one lens to cover an extensive variety of shooting situations, making it ideal for travel where reducing luggage is a priority, for landscapes, architecture, snapshots, portraits, and much more. Switch between wide-angle and telephoto without having to change lenses, so more of those fleeting moments will be captured. Advanced optics effectively subdue aberration while achieving high resolution throughout the image area, and a precision linear motor drives focus for quick, smooth response. Handheld telephoto shots and low-light photography are facilitated by built-in Optical SteadyShot (OSS) image stabilization, and the design is dust and moisture resistant for reliable operation in challenging conditions (Sony 2020)”.
The reason for purchasing this lens came about when joining my daughter in her photography adventures photographing birds. She had previously carried out the research to find a lens that could meet her needs and within a price range that was achievable. While we also needed to purchase a Sigma Mount Converter (MC-11 Canon EF-E) for it, in order to use with the Sony E-Mount Camera Body, it ended up being the best choice for the both of us.
Overview of Product: “An outstanding specification tailored to the needs of the user. The first compact, lightweight super-telephoto zoom lens from our Contemporary line. At just 1,830g, this lens is ideal for handheld photography. Offering all the core features of our similar professional lens in the Sports line, this lens boasts incredibly compact and lightweight construction. The highly compact, lightweight version of the 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports lens in our Sports line. When removed from the camera, this lens is easy to carry. The tripod socket may be detached and replaced with a protective cover to further reduce weight and make handheld photography an even more lightweight and convenient experience. This lens is the optimal choice for photographers who desire super-telephoto functionality while staying light on their feet. Exemplifying the outstanding performance of the Contemporary line, this lens offers the same high optical performance in a lightweight package ideal for a wide variety of photographic scenes. Retaining the basic specifications of the SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports in the Sports line, this lens offers lightweight and compact construction ideal for carrying and extended handheld photography. With an emphasis on optical performance, this lens features FLD (“F” Low Dispersion), SLD (Super Low Dispersion), and other fine glass elements and optimized power distribution. An issue for hyper-telephoto lenses in particular at the telephoto end, optical aberrations have been minimized throughout the zoom range. Dust- and splash-proof, to facilitate photography in the field, and featuring a detachable tripod socket for more convenient handheld photography, this lens is a lightweight high-performance model offering outstanding usability (Sigma 2020).”
Over time, I felt a need to be able to take close-up/macro images to expand on my knowledge and enjoyment with photography. After doing some research, it became clear that this lens would help me be able to take good quality images once my ability to do so developed with this type of photography. It also was a good addition to my lens collection.
Overview of Product: “High resolution plus gorgeous bokeh! The first E-mount medium telephoto macro lens with built-in image stabilization delivers outstanding G Lens quality: stunning resolution at up to 1:1 magnification plus gorgeous background bokeh when required, even when shooting handheld. A floating focus mechanism ensures that consistently superior optical performance is achieved at all focusing distances (Sony 2020)”.
It became evident over time after photographing waterfalls, rivers, lakes and within forests that I was in need of looking at purchasing a polarizer. After some research, I found that other photographers were recommending the use of such a filter for forest photography to help achieve bluer skies, greener leaves, reduce and eliminate reflections thus benefiting greater image clarity. I have to admit that with the COVID-19 Lockdowns (2020), I haven’t had much of a chance to use this new piece of equipment but hopefully, soon that will change!
Overview of Product: “The FUSION Antistatic professional filters are made in Japan using hand-selected silicates that are carefully smelted and blended to yield high-performance optical glass. HOYA then uses extreme care and precision to apply the Improved 18-Layer Super Multi-Coating (both sides) formula which greatly reduces or eliminates reflections on the surface of the glass and yields very high light transmission rates. This means the filter has virtually no effect on the colour balance, contrast, or clarity of the final image beyond its polarizing effects. The filters feature a lightweight, two-piece, very low-profile aluminium frame to house the glass. The low-profile frame eliminates vignetting when used on ultra-wide-angle lenses.
- NEW Antistatic coating repels dust
- Ultra-smooth filter rotation
- Scratch-resistant – Hardened coating protects against everyday wear
- Stain-resistant – Protects against exposure to ink, markers etc.
- Water repellent – Water beads up and wipes away easily
- Fingerprints and smudges wipe away cleanly
- HOYA’s Professional-grade optical glass
- Two-piece, very low-profile filter frame with front filter threads (Hoya 2020).”
Camera Right Angle L Plate Bracket
The decision to add a Right Angle L Plate Bracket to my camera was based on the better practice of having the camera centred directly over the tripod. Also, it meant it was a lot easier to create portrait and landscape shots by just being able to quickly release and reset the camera to the Ballhead. I found this new tool addition made my photography experience more enjoyable.
Overview of Product: “Really Right Stuff camera body plates are all custom designed for each camera body and precision machined from solid blocks of 6061-T6 aluminium. Fully compatible with 1.5” RRS Dovetail Standard, our plates feature precisely contoured anti-twist flanges for a perfect fit that prevents twisting between the camera and our plate. All of our quick-release plates utilize a custom machined 1/4″-20 threaded, captive-style mounting screw that threads into the tripod mounting socket of your camera body. RRS camera L-Plates feature two dovetail mounting surfaces in the shape of an L; one on the bottom of your camera, and one on the left-hand side. This additional mounting option allows you to quickly change between landscape and portrait orientations while minimizing the need to recompose your shot, saving you time and hassle. Also, an L-Plate keeps your gear centred directly above the tripod’s apex which helps maintain the best stability possible. RRS modular L-Plates have all of the same advantages of our amazing L-plates but are made from two separate components: a conventional base plate and a dedicated vertical L-Component that mounts on the left-hand side of the base plate. This modular approach offers the flexibility of allowing the photographer to remove the added L-Component for a slimmer profile, or when maximum access to the side ports is needed (Really Right Stuff 2020).”
My decision to purchase this tripod came after trying a number of other types resulting in average experiences. The choice of this tripod was based on it sturdiness when using in the field during my landscape photography adventures. Also needed a tripod that could bear the weight of my Wimberley Head. Have been happy with this product and works well for all the types of photography I undertake.
Overview of Product: “The intuitive, incredibly usable tripod with a headset for savvy amateurs. You’ll always have everything you need to hand with the 290 Xtra Aluminium 3-Section Tripod Kit with 3-Way Head. Designed to meet the demands of the most challenging shoots, this great tripod with head comes with a shoulder bag for easy transportation, and plenty of standout features to make getting that perfect shot even easier. Designed for photographers just starting out, every part of this set is easy to use. The 3-section tripod is totally rigid thanks to robust but lightweight aluminium leg tubes, with innovative top casting to further enhance durability and performance. The handy leg locking levers are tension-adjustable, meaning you can even alter to combat wear and tear, making this stand last longer. And rubber leg warmers give you all the stability you need, whatever the weather or terrain. Once you’re set-up, you can shoot from all angles with 4 leg angle positions available, or use the centre column to increase your height range.
- 4 leg angle positions for total flexibility
- Durable, adjustable aluminium leg locks
- Steady grips thanks to rubber leg warmers
- Precision guaranteed with clever 3-way head
- Tripod with head comes with a comfy shoulder bag (Manfrotto 2020).
Previous purchases of other brands of Ballheads had different aspects of failings. After doing some research online, watching numerous Youtube reviews from photographers, I decided on this product. It has not disappointed me and I find it great to use in the field, once again adding to the enjoyment of my photography adventures because of its ease of use.
Overview of Product: A RRS ball head is the best choice for all general photography, and will give you fast and accurate control and solid support of your camera or lens. Aiming and horizon levelling can be accomplished as one instinctive motion, and rigid lockup takes just a quick twist of one control. As a result, our ball heads are faster to use and inherently more stable than 3-axis pan-tilt tripod heads. Since the ball head profile is smaller and lacks the protruding handles, they are also much easier to carry and pack (Really Right Stuff 2020).”
Tripod Gimbal Head
To be able to enjoy bird and animal photography better I found I needed to look at a better way of handling the bigger telephoto lens. Due to the weight of a bigger lens and the need to be able to hold it steady when trying to capture birds in flight or animals moving about and due to my age, a gimbal seemed like a good choice. The Wimberley Gimbal Head II was just that and has helped me be able to capture more satisfying photographs of animals and birds.
Overview of Product: “The Wimberley Head is a specialized gimbal tripod head for telephoto lenses. Its gimbal head type design allows you to easily support and manipulate very large lenses for tracking birds and animals. Since its introduction in 1991, the Wimberley Head has become the industry standard for serious nature photographers. The Wimberley Head Version II offers the same stiffness, capacity, and fluid movement of the old version in a more compact and lightweight package. The head’s redesigned panning base has zero play, and the pan locking knob has been moved to the side of the head, thus allowing the user to easily operate both knobs with the same hand. New lobed “soft-touch” knobs provide a more comfortable grip and perform better when using gloves. In addition to the above improvements, Wimberley has examined all aspects of the head, tightening tolerances, improving friction materials and so forth (Wimberley 2020).”
- Apple iPhone 8 Plus Mobile Phone
My iPhone is a must to take while out-and-about doing my photography adventures. I use it to gain GPS readings of locations where I have taken photographs at. On my return home, I then load the images into Lightroom Classic. From the iPhone JPegs, I copy and paste the GPS readings onto the images taken from my Sony Camera. Lightroom Classic maps all images with a GPS reading which is wonderful to be able to view all the locations I have taken photographs at over the course of time.
Camera Colour Reference Targets/Calibration Software
During my image processing via Lightroom Classic, I was finding that my images from my camera had a blueish cast. So after much Youtube research and seeking out what other photographers do, I decided to purchase this product to help me achieve the best colour possible in the field with my camera. This process has worked well in helping me feel more confident that I have a good colour starting point before attempting to develop my images.
Overview of Product: “With four targets and software, ColorChecker Passport Photo 2 includes all you need for exposure control, white balance, camera profiling, and creative enhancements, from capture to edit. The journey to colour perfection starts with a Passport! One passport. A world of colourful creative places to explore – The art of colour management is all about getting your colours to match from input to output; meaning your camera captures true colours, your monitor displays them accurately, and your printer produces a photo that matches what you see on screen. With a combination of targets and camera calibration software, the portable ColorChecker Passport Photo 2 delivers professional-quality colour control for a perfect colour journey. Created by Color Perfectionists for Color Perfectionists – Designed by engineers with more colour science experience than anyone in the industry, ColorChecker Passport Photo 2 is an indispensable tool for photographers. If you are looking for accurate, consistent colour and creative flexibility, it can help you capture the colours of the world more perfectly and ensure you are editing the most accurate files possible. Four Targets in an Adjustable, Protective, Pocket-Sized Case
- Gray Balance Target to set exposure with an in-camera or handheld meter.
- White Balance Target to create custom in-camera white balance for a consistent white point across a set of images with no need to correct each individual image later.
- Classic Target, the industry-standard 24-patch colour reference target for creating custom camera profiles and for visual colour assessments.
- Creative Enhancement Target to neutralize and create your look with enhancement patches, check and evaluate shadow details and highlight clipping, and control colour shifts.
Custom DNG and/or ICC Camera Profiles – ColorChecker Passport Photo 2 also includes camera calibration software to create custom camera profiles based on your individual camera/lens/lighting combinations for both DNG and ICC workflows, and a Lightroom® Plug-In to create custom camera profiles directly in Adobe® Lightroom® Classic and Lightroom® Classic CC. ColorChecker Classic target is supported by third party software solutions, including Hasselblad Phocus, Black Magic DaVinci Resolve, and 3D LUT Creator (x-rite 2020)”.
My daughter purchased this camera bag for me after she had tried it out for herself and found it to be compact, lightweight and not too big for our needs.
Overview of Product: “Tenba Solstice sling bags combine the all-day carrying comfort and support of a backpack with the quick camera access of a shoulder bag. The 7-litre sling bag will fit a mirrorless or DSLR camera with 2-3 lenses (up to attached 70-200mm 2.8), plus an iPad Mini or similar 8-inch tablet. It also fits the DJI Mavic and other compact drones. The side pocket will fit a large water bottle or compact tripod, and the bag includes a removable WeatherWrap rain cover for extra protection on wet weather days. The dynamic interior can easily be adjusted to split between different ratios of camera gear and personal/travel items (Tenba 2020)”.
Camera Spare Batteries
With this particular Sony camera, there’s a need to have several batteries as spares. I have four, just to be sure I don’t run out of fully charged batteries when on long photography adventures.
Overview of Product:
- Hybrid Lithium-ion battery
- 7.4V total capacity
- Faster charging with ACTi FORCE
- Sleek, modern, and durable design (Amazon 2020)
Camera Battery Charger
Like this camera battery charger because I can recharge batteries while in the car. Sometimes I find I go through batteries quickly and being able to recharge in the car is a lifesaver. It can mean not missing out on that all-important shot because of not having a charged battery!
Overview of Product:
- “EXACTLY LIKE THE ORIGINAL: But the bigger capacity of 1100mAh/8.1W Battery, can charge inside the camera, or using the 2.1A USB input charger to maximize charging efficiency
- MORE BATTERY, MORE PHOTO: Triple your camera runtime with a complete backup package including two replacement battery and a dual battery charger to keep the empty ones charging
- VERSATILE CHARGING OPTION: Common micro-USB/Type-c input and the ability to charge with a USB wall charger, car charger, or external power bank gives you more options than a standard battery charger; Designed with an LCD display screen to clearly display the power level of each battery
- STANDARD COMPATIBILITY: Made to the exact specification of SONY NP-FW50 battery, compatible with NEX 3/5/7 series, SLT-A series, Alpha series. (See below descriptions for the full compatibility list)
- 100% SAFETY GUARANTEE: Built with multiple circuit protection (over-charging, short-circuit, high-temperature, and surge protection), and high-quality, fire-resistant construction (Amazon 2020).”
Camera Sony Lens/Image Sensor Cleaning
The link above provides some helpful tips on cleaning lens and senor products/processors for Sony Cameras which I basically follow to ensure my equipment can perform well and stay in good condition.
Camera Sensor Full Frame Cleaning Product
- VSGO DDR24 DSLR or SLR Camera Full-Frame Sensor Cleaning Kit (12 X 24mm Sensor Cleaning Swabs + 15ml Sensor Cleaner)
When I first started using my camera, I didn’t take enough care when swapping over my lenses. Usually done out in the open with lots of wind and/or dust particles flying about, thus settling on my exposed camera sensor. It came to a point where I needed to clean the sensor and after doing some YouTube research, found this was the best product and way for me to obtain a clean sensor. I am a lot more careful now when swapping over lenses, and when I do need to clean the sensor, this works product works well.
Overview of Product:
- “Package includes 12pcs 24mm Swabs for Full-Frame Sensors AND 15ml Sensor Cleaner
- Every sensor cleaning swab is made in a 100% dust-free environment and sealed in a vacuum package
- Super soft and flexible swab head spreads pressure evenly across the sensor and cause NO damage
- The sensor cleaner is made from ultrapure water, clean sensors without leaving streaks or blemishes (Amazon 2020).”
MY PRINTING EQUIPMENT LIST
My printing equipment purchasing choice and usage became another big learning curve. During this year’s unprecedented worldwide COVID-19 pandemic event and throughout Melbourne Australia’s “Lockdown” over many months, I took the opportunity to teach myself how to do printing of photographic images from my home studio. Deciding which printer to purchase, what type of inks best to use, choice of photographic paper for the kind of results I wanted, storage system for prints – has been an interesting, challenging and rewarding experience. Its has been a lengthy process of researching and drawing on the experience of many other photographers via Youtube tutorials. It has also proven to be a most worthwhile undertaking!
Cataloguing and Developing Images in Adobe Lightroom Classic
An amazing comprehensive program that has allowed me to be able to catalogue images in a way that is easy for me to sort/find/develop and print. Lightroom Classic has over the years gone from strength to strength and I look forward to seeing how much more can be offered in the years to come. The only thing that I can state is that I have had to invest in more RAM as my iMac only came with 8 GB of memory. Am in the process of increasing it to 32 GB which should help quicken up the time it is taking currently while processing/developing images.
Overview of Product: “Lightroom Classic gives you all the desktop editing tools you need to bring out the best in your photos. Punch up colours, make dull-looking shots vibrant, remove distracting objects and straighten skewed shots. Easily organise all your photos on your desktop and share them in a variety of ways. With improved performance under the hood, Lightroom Classic lets you import photos, generate previews and move from Library to Develop Module in record time. Use range masking tools to easily select the areas or objects you want to edit based on their colour, luminance or depth. Create HDR Panos faster now that you can merge multiple bracketed exposures into multiple HDR photos and then stitch them into a panorama — all in one step (Adobe 2020)”.
Professional Display Calibration for Photographers
During my experience printing images, it became apparent the great necessity to calibrate my iMac monitor. With a successfully calibrated monitor and carefully soft-proofing my images, I was able to render colours that match well between the monitor and the actual printed image. It did take me some time to work this all out but I got there in the end! NB: I do use Lightroom Classic to control colour and not the printer to achieve the best results.
Overview of Product: Professional Display Calibration for Color Perfectionists – Are you looking for the highest level of on-screen colour accuracy for all of your screens, including projectors? Then the i1Display Pro is the solution for you! It’s two user modes, Basic and Advanced, provide serious Color Perfectionists with the perfect combination of unrivalled colour precision, speed, options and controls to fit any workflow. You’ll no longer risk spending hours at your monitor perfecting images or video only to find that the display was not accurately representing the digital files. Properly profiling and calibrating your displays ensures reduced editing time and a more realistic no-surprises representation of the final output. The i1Display Pro incorporates technologically advanced filter and optical systems, amazingly fast measurement speed, and unrivalled colour accuracy on all modern display technologies including LED, Plasma, RG Phosphor, OLED & Wide Gamut. It’s also spectrally calibrated, which makes it field upgradeable to support future display technologies, extending the life of your investment. The ultra-modern ergonomic design incorporates three functions – ambient light measurement, monitor profiling, and projector profiling – into a sleek, compact and fully integrated device with no parts to misplace. What makes the i1Display Pro different and also the benefits:
- Blazing fast measurement speed in an intuitive all-in-one design also adopted by leading display manufacturers as a preferred colour management device
- Top-of-the-line i1Profiler colour management software offers the ultimate in flexibility and control. Basic mode offers a wizard-driven interface with predefined options for the quickest path to professional on-screen colour. Advanced mode offers user-defined options for more sophisticated profiling workflows to deliver the highest quality colour results on monitors and projectors, as well as display testing and quality assurance tools.
- Compensates for the ambient light surrounding your workspace with Ambient Light Smart Control. Since the intensity or amount of ambient light in your workspace affects the way you perceive colour on your display, take advantage of i1Display Pro to automatically adjust your profile or simply notify you as ambient light conditions change. With the integrated Ambient Light Measurement, i1Display Pro automatically determines the optimum display luminance for comparing prints to your display.
- Flare Correct™ measures and adjusts your display profile for reduced contrast ratios caused by flare light (or glare) falling on the surface of the display. By accurately measuring your effective display contrast ratio, you’ll have an even more accurate display profile.
- Intelligent Iterative Profiling, an adaptive technology, produces optimized results for maximum colour accuracy on each unique display every time you profile.
- Newly included video colour standards ensure that what you see is what you will get throughout your digital video workflow. This is increasingly important while colour grading or editing video footage.
- Multiple Display and Workgroup Matching – re-use profile settings on multiple displays connected to the same computer or to multiple computers within a workgroup.
- Next-generation i1Profiler software for calibrating and profiling all modern display and projector technologies including LED & Wide Gamut LCDs. Advanced user-defined controls support more sophisticated workflows.
- Save time by re-using profile settings on multiple displays connected to the same computer or multiple computers within a workgroup. In addition, Automatic Display Control (ADC) adjusts display hardware for increased speed and fewer manual adjustments.
- Quickly and accurately create projector profiles to show your images on the big screen with colour confidence.
- Create custom patch sets to optimize your profiles by choosing a combination of patch set size, extracted colours from specific images and/or PANTONE spot colours selected from the included PANTONE Color Manager software.
- Its unique optical design allows for high repeatability on the same display and across different display types for more consistent colour matching.
The included i1Profiler colour management software offers the ultimate in flexibility and control. Its Basic mode offers a wizard-driven interface with predefined options for the quickest path to professional on-screen colour. The Advanced mode offers user-defined options for more sophisticated profiling workflows to deliver the highest quality colour results on monitors and projectors, as well as display testing and quality assurance tools. i1Display Pro profiling provides full support for NTSC, ITU-R-Rec.BT.709 and PAL SECAM broadcast video standards (X-RITE 2020)”.
After doing some research via YouTube featuring how other photographers soft-proof their images I managed to work out a process for me. It does take some doing but well worth the effort. It’s great seeing images printed just as they are on the monitor.
Overview of Product: “Soft-proofing is the capability to preview in how onscreen photos appear when printed and optimize them for a particular output device. Soft-proofing in the Lightroom Classic lets you evaluate how images appear when printed, and adjust them so that you can reduce surprising tone and colour shifts (Adobe 2020).”
As per my usual resource for knowledge and understanding, I source information via YouTube about this product. I mostly sort out well-known photographers who had experience using this printer and all stated it was amazing. The other attraction for me was this model could print on A2 size paper. After printing now over 70 prints, I find it truly amazing and to achieve such great results from my own home studio – outstanding.
Overview of Product: “Lead the way with spectacular results in colour or black and white. Working with a 12 pigment ink system and accurately placing an incredible 32,256,000 ink droplets on the paper every second, the iPF PRO-1000 produces spectacular reproductions of photos and fine arts with smooth gradations and excellent detail. Chroma Optimizer ink ensures uniform glossiness on lustre and gloss stocks. Get the wow factor with lustre and gloss prints. Canon’s special Chroma Optimizer ink minimises microscopic bumps between ink droplets, to give your prints uniform glossiness and regulate surface reflections. Silicon oil, added to the inks for abrasion resistance, prevents scratching, making your job easier when it comes to printing and transporting large volumes (Canon 2020).”
The printer stated above uses archival pigment ink, truly beautiful results!
Overview of Product: Canon Archival Pigment x 12 Pack Genuine Canon PFI-1000 Ink Cartridge Set [MBK+C+M+Y+GY+PBK+PC+PM+PGY+B+R+CO] for IMAGEPROGRAF PRO1000 printer
Digital FineArt Paper Type
It took me some time to work out what paper best to use for my FineArt Printing process. My first experience of choosing a paper came with outsourcing my printing with Image Science. They recommended this paper and the results where outstanding. So when it came to printing from my home studio, I decided to stay with what I had first experienced. Over time I will look at different papers, perhaps a different choice for black and white images. But for now, this choice of paper is perfect for me!
Overview of Product: “Hahnemühle Photo Rag® is one of the world’s most popular papers and the valued all-rounder for high-quality FineArt inkjet printing. The white cotton artist’s paper, with its characteristic, wonderfully soft feel, boasts a lightly defined felt structure, lending each artwork a three-dimensional appearance and impressive pictorial depth. Combined with the matt premium inkjet coating, this paper produces outstanding prints that feature brilliant colours, deep blacks, striking contrasts and perfect reproduction of detail. This acid- and lignin-free classic meets the most exacting requirements for age resistance and is specially designed for FineArt applications. Whether it is used for FineArt photography or art reproductions, the ideal combination of structure, print quality and weight makes Photo Rag® one of the most versatile FineArt inkjet papers. As a special highlight, the Photo Rag® 308 is also available with hand-torn deckle edges on all four sides. The result is exclusive prints which truly come into their own in a shadow box frame.
- 188 · 308 · 500 gsm, 100% cotton
- Characteristic, beautiful defined felt structure
- Matt premium inkjet coating for outstanding print results
- Acid- and lignin-free
- ISO 9706 conform / museum quality for highest age resistance
- Compatible with pigment and dye inkjet systems
- ICC-profiles available (Hahnemuhle 2020).”
Storage of Prints
Such a lovely way of storing my A2 archival photography prints! It’s reassuring to know they are being safely stored and that they will not deteriorate over time and therefore well worth the investment.
Overview of Product: “Portfolio boxes are ideal for storing matted or un-matted prints. They are often the best choice when the presentation is an important factor. Ruggedly constructed with strong hinge section, along the longest side, withstands repeated opening and closing. Select white or black lining. Clamshell design allows the top to fold open and lie flat, providing easy access to artwork. This design facilitates the transfer of stored items from one side to the other for a smooth and professional presentation. An additional and important benefit is that prints are subject to less physical handling reducing the risk of damage. Box core is Kappa binder’s board (.100), a bookmaking board with no glue between layers. Lined with 80 lb. acid- and lignin-free paper. PAT tested and passed. Covered in Black library-quality F-Grade Buckram (poly-cotton) with a moisture-resistant, 100% aqueous acrylic coating. The adhesive is pH balanced and buffered, <.0008% sulphur content. Reinforced hinge. Close-tolerance construction to keep out dust (Archival Methods 2020).”
Glassine Art Paper
Stored archival photography prints can be damaged if stored on top of each other. I purchased a roll of this recommended paper. Then cut A2 sheets, placed one single layer between each stored print to ensure they don’t get damaged during the process of sorting and/or viewing them on occasions.
Overview of Product:
- “Used to protect final artworks from scratches and scuffs when stored
- Protect any art: pencil, inks, markers, paintings, pastels, and photography
- Neutral ph. paper
- 25 pound/40 gram paper
- 36-inch x 100 yards roll (Amazon 2020).”
Gloves for Handling Prints
I use gloves during the handling of the archival printing paper, both before printing and after the printing process. Also anytime during the handling of the prints while sorting and storing to ensure the prints don’t get marked and that I don’t leave any fingerprint oils/dirt on the surface. Over time, any of these marks can show up on the print or damage the ink and spoil it.
Overview of Product:
- “8.27 inches in length, one size fits most
- Soft and convenient; Enable you to work with flexibility
- No elasticated wrists – Comfortable and breathable
- Use as a protective barrier, protect your hands from possible injury
- Ideal buddies for mime, fancy dress and performance; convenient hand protector for gardeners, florists, librarians and printers (Amazon 2020).”
Colour Accurate Lighting
When checking the colour accuracy of my prints against the iMac monitor, I found it difficult to be sure all was correct while using the existing lighting in my studio. After checking the best approach to obtaining correct colour accuracy, it became clear I needed to invest in a Colour Viewing Lamp.
Overview of Produce: “Fiilex V70 LED Viewing Lamp transforms your desk into a colour viewing workstation. At a fraction of the size and cost of traditional viewing stations, the V70 offers the same clean D50 and D65 light used by professionals to evaluate and compare colours in prints, paints, and fabrics. Its high CRI guarantees that your colours will look beautiful, and four colour temperature settings (3000K, 4000K, 5000K, 6500K, accurate to a few hundred kelvins) allow you to assess your work in a variety of lighting conditions. The V70 includes a low profile Dome Diffuser and is compatible with many other Fiilex accessories, giving you even greater versatility in image viewing. Operated by three touch controls, this sleek lamp allows the user to turn the light on/off, dim the light smoothly, and change the colour setting. Streamline your colour-critical workflow with the V70, the perfect addition to the modern image maker’s office.
- High CRI (≥90)
- Full Spectrum Quality Light
- Colour Temperature Range (4 Color Settings: Warm 3000K, Middle Warm 4000K, D50 Daylight 5000K, D65 Daylight 6500K)
- Continuous Dimming 100%-20%
- Intuitive 3-Zone Touch Control
- Does Not Emit UV Radiation
- Cool to Touch
- Compatible with Fiilex Accessories (Image Science 2020).”
In summary, it has taken years for me to reach this point in my photography journey. In-depth research via YouTube and consultation with my daughter, before purchasing any product, has been important. It has ensured I have been able to purchase the right product to help meet my hobby photography needs within a price range that I could afford. The whole process starting with getting the equipment, learning how to use it, going out into the world and taking photographs, coming back home, sorting and developing images in Lightroom Classic, then blogging about them and finally selecting the best of the best to print – has been and still is a wonderful process I have been able to enjoy with my hubby and my daughter. It has been a way of being able to get out into nature, enjoy the world around me, build strong relationships with family and be creative. I look forward to continuing on with this amazing journey over the years to come and feel fortunate I am able to still do…
© Karen Robinson – October 2020
POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH: Improving one’s sense of wellbeing using art, creative writing, photography, public speaking and blogging – my journey written by ©Karen Robinson. Please click here for my latest blog news!