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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 Rest of The Story

I’ve been wanting to visit the iconic Horseshoe Bend for many years and I finally had my chance a few weeks ago.

As its name suggests, the Colorado River makes an abrupt 270 turn in the shape of a horseshoe. It’s located downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell near the city of Page, AZ. Drive 5 miles south on US89 from Page and you’ll see a gravel parking lot. From there a half mile hike on a moderately sloped dirt trail brings you to the overlook.

I arrived late in the day and found quite a few onlookers and photographers awaiting the sunset.

 

The overlook is about 50 yards across and provides a wonderfully wide view of the river – both upstream and downstream. The Colorado sits below the jagged cliffs about 1000 feet down.

These spectators are standing pretty close to the edge of the cliff. And while I love the scenic surroundings, I am not a big fan of steep cliffs so I made it a point to stay behind this couple.

There’s plenty of room to accommodate dozens of visitors without feeling crowded.

As you can see these photographers had lots of space in which to set up their equipment while waiting for the sun to go down.

From this vantage point, the cliff on which they are standing looks safe…….

However, in this next photograph I’ve stepped away from the edge so that you can see the rock platform on which they were positioned.

These people are a lot more brave than me. I couldn’t bring myself to stand next to them. I wasn’t about to stand just inches from the cliff’s edge that drops down by a thousand feet. No, not this photographer.


So how did I get this unobstructed view of Horseshoe Bend?

As Paul Harvey would say here’s “the Rest of the Story”.

My shooting position was immediately to the left of the four photographers with tripods. To take this photograph, I laid on my stomach and carefully crawled to the edge of the cliff. My camera was safely hanging from my neck by its strap.

Since I had a very wide angle lens (15mm), I first took a deep breath to get some courage, leaned over the edge, calmly composed the scene in the viewfinder and finally snapped about three shots.


 
So there you have it. By itself, this Horseshoe Bend photograph certainly doesn’t tell the story behind it. To inject a slight bit of humor here, let me say that I’m not afraid of heights, only of falling from them. I wasn’t going to leave the overlook until I had my shot. A little dirt on my clothes is the price that I had to pay to get it.

 
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