Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Andrew vs Canon Printer = Printer Defeated!

So the other day I finally got ink for my printer, got some great paper for business cards and post cards, and started up shop. Now my printer isn't anything fancy, just a decent $150 (at the time) Canon desktop inkjet. Only really got it to do paperwork for the business, envelops, and normal office type stuff.

So I was printing off some 5x7 images for some postcards. The paper is so thick that it didn't really want to feed right going one way, but the image would get shrunk and re-sized weird the long way. So after a few hours I finally figured this out as well as there wasn't much I could do to get around it. Still have no idea how I printed my envelopes out as I did - but that's besides the point.

I will have better luck when I get to the 8.5 x 11 sheets of the card stock since that should feed just fine, and the 5x7's came from the butt end of the press sheet - since they only sell the paper per press sheet rather than cut down, and although "cheap" it wasn't like going to office max or something.

The next part I didn't really enjoy but knew what coming is color. So what we have going on here are viewing conditions, paper stock, inks, printer, and the actual image. I knew this was coming because I do have a background in the print industry from college, and a person can take control of the situation and calibrate everything. But, my point is that for the use I needed the post cards for (and will need) are some color prints sent to clients now and then, and some black and whites made for fun and sold online cheap. Also, the viewing conditions of those images will vary widely, so spending all this time calibrating something expendable seemed silly to me, and my printer is on the low end so it wouldn't have even been worth it.

I guess the lessons of this rant are the following...
- If you can farm out printing it's worth it. Granted my business isn't setup on selling prints, so for me it's perfect to order online and pick up the mail.
- Buy a printer with a rear feed tray. There is no chance at all the card stock would make the bend in a normal printer.
- Learn how to use the printer and read the manual. (oops)
- If you don't need to calibrate, don't, it will be in the ballpark and honestly if you need things nuts on dead accurate, well, then you wouldn't be reading this blog for advice =).
- Keep the use in mind. I only needed about 20 copies of the post cards I made, and it would have been super expensive to farm that out. I came out ahead even with all the time learning how to do this.

Again though, if you don't need a nice photo printer at home there is really no reason to get one when really nice prints are pretty affordable online or even at locations here in the cities.

Andrew | 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Minnesota Rollergirls!

We usually go to pretty much every bout/event, and made our way there last night. For those who don't know about derby check them out here or the North Star league here It's a really good time and a great family event, also they are always looking for new members, so women who want to do this should check the sites out and see if it could work out!

The other reason for the post, is that sometimes it's fun to leave the big camera at home and see what I can do with my old cell phone. Just add a bit of brightness/contrast and we're set! So for those photographers out there, or those that take pictures, sometimes see what you can do


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Stones Peak - Rocky Mountain National Park

So I learned a few things about myself and the word here last spring on a trip to Denver/Boulder with my girlfriend. One of them is that the mountains are pretty neat, which I found out driving around the 3 mile Caynon (or just west of Boulder where they were hit with floods) and going though Gold Nugget Hotel Creek Mine Hill Town (or whatever that town is just west of Boulder). I also found out that, yes, the air is thinner and I was a bit out of shape, after climbing some stairs in a parking ramp.

Then the next day we took a trip into the mountains. Which, from Denver we went out on the freeway and got on the Peak to Peak which went up to Lyons and over to Estes Park (both of which as you know were hit bad with floods over the summer). Mountain driving, or foothill driving is a weave of turns and no real area to go straight, it's also up and down all the time. Oh, and there are crazy people on bikes everywhere! Not that they are crazy for being a pedal biker on the roads, but that these are pretty hilly and they must be in just amazing shape to do that.

Anyway, more to the image, I found out I'm not really a fan of being high up in a car with no guard rail, oncoming traffic, on a skinny mountain pass road - which was Trail Ridge Road in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Not that it's unsafe, just new to me, and I didn't like it all that much. What I did enjoy was getting out (after getting over my fears of getting out) and grabbing a few images of the landscape. This is the first one of them I was able to retouch, and there are a few more that I'm going to work on soon.

Also hopefully soon I will setup my online store, and my more art black and white website.


Andrew | |

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The New Standards Holiday Show

So I must admit, I've been a fan of them for many years, almost from the beginning, or at least their first time playing at the Dakota. The part about seeing them first, and then another time early on is what made me hesitant to go out and see their new work. To me, and it is jaded, I think of them as a small room acoustic stripped down jazz group, not a huge theater with guests and larger arrangements. That's not taking away from their music, what they do, or what they want to do, only that in mine mind the picture that I have of them is a bit different than some of the things they do now.

Also please excuse the photo quality for a moment, we were pretty much in the back row, my phone isn't too new, and I was more worried about enjoying the show than taking pictures.

Anyway my girlfriend was looking at something and stumbled on tickets to the second show. It's amazing that they even pretty much sold out a second show, and that they had to move venues to a larger place, and that the venue move was pretty late, only a month or so (I think) before the show. So we were able to get some tickets, all the way up at the back top level, and I geared up to see what this holiday show deal was all about.

Tell you what it turned out to be a great time, I'll post a link to a better write up about it on the bottom of this post, and I'd recommend the show to anyone and everyone (well maybe not younger kids). They brought on a great set of artists locally who did an amazing job, they had fun, and their covers are always a blast. Also, and wasn't expecting this, but Trip Shakespeare got back together for a few songs which was pretty fun to see as well.

So again, when it comes around next year I suggest to anyone that they get some tickets to this show, or listen to it when it's on the radio Christmas Eve and Day. 

A better review than I can write is here  -


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Smiling with your eyes, Squinching (by Peter Hurley), and other ways to pose for a headshot.

So, everyone always hears about how to pose, how to do expressions, how to move, and "smile with your eyes" has been around for a while. In fact, Peter Hurley did a video about it (which is long and I didn't make though most of it) - - and a friend of mine commented on the video and the Model Mayhem thread "that must be a joke". I'm not going that far, as learning new expressions has advantages and it's own merits.

I get asked all kinds of stuff about expressions like that along with what to wear and all that sort of stuff. Thing of it is, I don't really have the answer, and doing odd (for you) expressions can and do look uncomfortable to a viewer. You don't want to walk into a interview for a job and have a half finished draft resume, likewise you wouldn't want to walk into a casting or meeting with a headshot that looks uncomfortable and forced.

My best advice to those getting headshots is to practice, learn how you want to present yourself, and look though your market and try to figure out what the person looking at your headshot wants to see. So if you're a model, are you going to do more commercial (as in everywhere but NYC and LA just about) or are you going for more of a fashion look. As a actor do you want more of a serious image, dark, light, funny, what do you think would fit into the roles you want to play? For a business person, what do your clients and consumers want to see, someone in a suit or more of a casual look?

I can help and give advice, believe me I can, but in the end it's really all about how you want to present yourself, who your viewer is, and what the market is like, and again, how you want to approach it. I can give direction, but the majority of choices are up to you and I'm here to help you get the best results you can.

Andrew Thomas Evans