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High Quality Desktop Printer

I’m an ardent believer that it’s better to get your photographs off of your hard drive and into print.

About ten years ago, we had a 13″ wide printer to handle some of our smaller photographs. However, after it died following a long and generous life, we chose not to replace it. Since then we’ve been using a variety of photofinishers to reproduce our photographs.

After strolling by the Epson booth and seeing some of their impressive photograph displays, I talked to one of their customer representatives and am now considering their new Surecolor P600.

The P600 is a replacement for their previous R3000 model. It connects to your computer setup via an Ethernet connection or via WiFi. You’ll need a desktop area of 24″x36″ for the printer.

The top loader automatically feeds 13″x19″ paper for borderless printing. There’s a front loader for feeding single sheets of specialty fine art papers up to 1.3mm thickness. For panoramic prints up to 10 feet long, the P600 accepts the included roll feeder.

The P600 uses nine high capacity ink cartridges including three types of black ink for smooth toned black and white photographs.

The many photographs on display at the Epson booth demonstrated excellent quality on a variety of papers including these panoramas. In the past, I’ve had positive experiences using many fine art papers from Epson’s wide selection.

I asked the Epson representative about my concern about clogged ink cartridges when the printer is sits unused for a short while and was told that the ink will remain usable for up to six months from installation.

The list price of the Epson Surecolor P600 is $795. For more information, see the Epson P600 webpage for details.

The P600 is now on my short list of equipment purchases. I’m anxious to print several panoramas that I’ve stored on my hard drive – again, the hard drive is not a good place to keep photographs.
Written by: Arnie Lee


The Small Stuff

23rd November 2013

Sometimes it’s the little things that count

I love being outdoors enjoying nature. And I’m an ardent admirer of landscapes and scenery.

When I’m hiking the scented woods, the winding trails, the golden meadows or the salty seashores, my eyes are usually drawn to the big things – the rolling hills, the roaring rivers, the jagged mountains, the immense forests.

But every so often something tiny, delicate or ephemeral catches my attention. I’m not deliberately seeking out the “small stuff” but somehow they make their way to the front of my lens as I attempt to duplicate the emotive feeling that I get from seeing them.

Yellowstone NP

Jenny Lake, Grand Teton NP

Goldfield, AZ

Reno, NV

Mammoth Hot Springs

Rocky Mountain NP

Glacier NP

Maybe after looking at a few of these up close photos, you’ll have a better understanding of how transitioning from the big stuff to the little stuff can change your point of view in a hurry.

Written by: Arnie Lee







Photography While On Vacation

21st September 2013

I’ve visited many of our National Parks over the years. I have had Glacier National Park in my sites for at least the last ten. This year as I planned our month long vacation, I made it a point to include Glacier on the itinerary.

This vacation was a family affair with my wife Kris, her sister Karen and two of our grandchildren. Yes, I would like this to have been a photographic journey. But when traveling with these familial others, my photographic endeavors are reined in. Of course I used the camera along the way, but most of the photographs that I took aren’t ones that will wind up in the Stay Focused Gallery.

Instead, most of my photos were taken to record the family fun activities. Here’s a few of these outtakes:

The first day we started early and stopped at a hiking trail leading to a waterfall. The trail wasn’t difficult but it was slightly rocky. Unfortunately, my wife’s sister encountered some of these rocks and twisted her ankle. Luckily, a fast moving stream fed by snowmelt was nearby to help ease the pain.

My wife felt compelled to join her sister by removing her shoes to enjoy the cool water. After our hike, we climbed back into the car and followed the park’s “Going-To-The-Sun Road” to the summit at Logan Pass.

At the summit we spotted a stealth marten bringing home some dinner. And there was other wildlife as well. The mountain goat on the right was foraging after descending from higher snow-covered levels on the nearby mountains.

Although it’s July, there’s still abundant snow at the 6,600 feet elevation. One of our granddaughters then proved to us that the snow packs well during the summer.

My Keepers

Yes, I was able to squeeze in a couple of photographs that I consider “keepers”. Both were shot in between my duties as a husband and grandfather.

I spotted this daucus corota (wild carrot) in a clearing along a hiking trail. On the right you can seetThe picturesque stream of water that was close to the road near the park’s “Triple Arches”.

The mountain goat was making his way down the snowy slopes. I think he’s going to remove his ragged coat and go shopping for a new one for the upcoming winter.

I try to keep photography in perspective. Yes, photography important to me, but the other family members aren’t along to watch me take photographs – they’re along to have a great vacation. I acknowledge and acede to their wishes. Once again I’ve returned from another vacation and the family is still happy!

Written by: Arnie Lee


Are you in the habit of holding your camera horizontally? Although it’s fine to shoot horizontally (called the landscape orientation) in many situations, keep in mind that holding your camera differently can dramatically change the impact of the photo. Have you, for example, turned your camera 90-degrees so you’re shooting vertically (called the portrait orientation)?

Look at these two photographs of the same sunrise scene. The photo on the left is horizontal (landscape) and shows plenty of the lake near the edges but not as much of the sunrise. The photo on the right is vertical and emphasizes the sunrise and the rays of the sun on the water much better.

Sunrise scene in horizontal (landscape)

Same sunrise scene but vertical (portrait)

Although it can be a little awkward at first to hold the camera vertically, you may be amazed at the difference it can make to the photo. This is especially true if you’re taking a photo of one person. It’s almost a crime not to shoot vertically in these situations because otherwise you’re wasting so much of the photo area at the edges.

The Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

The same lighthouse but vertical

Even when you are shooting landscapes, you will find that, sometimes, the picture will look more dynamic when you hold your camera vertically.

The Mackinac Bridge horizontal

The same scene but vertical

Whether to shoot vertical or horizontal is all about experimenting which is easy to do with your digital camera. So the next time you’re holding your camera horizontally and take a photo, turn the camera 90 degrees and take the same photo again vertically. Then decide which one you like better.

Written by Scott Slaughter