Blog

A raw look into my thoughts and photographic endeavors.

REVIEWING THE ILFORD GALERIE PRESTIGE COTTON ARTIST TEXTURED PAPER

Today I want to talk about the other side of photography that in my opinion photographers have forgotten about, print making. Ilford is one of those brands that have literally stood the test of time. For over 130 years Ilford has been involved in the photographic process and since 1998 Ilford has been immersed in the fine art ink jet paper market.

My favorite paper right now is  Ilford’s5 star Galerie Prestige Cotton Artist Textured Paper. Thisis a 100% cotton rag 310gsm (grams per square meter) paper that feels wonderfully heavy and firm at touch.  I can promise you that once you hold this paper in your hand you will feel just how special the paper is. There are no optical brighteners, which can cause your paper to fade and yellow over time. The Cotton Artist Textured paper feels like a traditional watercolor paper that a painter might use.  

What impressed me most is the clarity and sharpness of my prints. I wanted that watercolor look without sacrificing sharpness, and so I was pleasantly surprised when the colors and sharpness jumped off the print.

This particular print was taken in Venice, Italy, and had a wide color range with deep greens and light blues. The Cotton Artist Textured covered the color gamut flawlessly. I print and show my landscapes with the art gallery, Drizl. When I sell a print, my customers are looking for that fine art touch and feel, so paper choice is paramount to producing beautiful works of art.  

Ilford Discovery Pack

Ilford Discovery Pack

A good way to get a feel for all of Ilford’s papers is to buy one of their Discovery Packs.  These sample packs allow you to try four papers at a time , so you can find what paper works best for you.  Another important step is to download the ICC profiles for your select inject printer (Epson, Canon, and HP). The ICC profile is a custom profile from Ilford that is made specifically for each paper.

I can’t finish this post without mentioning a couple other papers from Ilford that I really like  but for different reasons, the Ilford Galerie Prestige Gold Fibre Gloss 310gsm and Smooth Cotton Rag 310gsm.

Ilford Smooth Cotton Rag

Ilford Smooth Cotton Rag

I like to use the Smooth Cotton Rag for some of my B&W images because it gives that charcoal etching look while maintaining paper firmness.

Ilford Gold Fibre Gloss

Ilford Gold Fibre Gloss

I also like to use the Gold Fibre Gloss for architectural photography   because the paper saves those finite details without having to sacrifice that cotton rag feel.  

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Please feel free to leave comments and share this blog with your friends. Please make sure you also sign up for my newsletter, where I give away prints and show the tips and tricks I use to produce my works of art.  Happy Printing

Semper Fi

 

A New Leader in the Off-Camera Flash market

I have a new favorite photo gear brand that I want to share with everyone, LumoPro.

In their own words "LumoPro is a brand of quality lighting and support equipment made by photographers, for photographers. We are devoted to exceptional photographic equipment and extraordinary customer service."

It's true, the bar has been set very high in the off-camera flash market. I have personally purchased several of their light modifiers and stands, and they are made with functionality and quality in mind. I was recently allowed to test drive one of their more recent flashes the Lumopro LP180 Quad-Sync Manual Flash. Now when I say "this baby is built like a tank",  I mean it. Even without the four AA batteries, you can still tell just by holding the flash in your hand that this thing is made to last.

Originally released in 2013, this three year old flash boasts an impressive guide number of 110 @ 10ft x f/ll at ISO 100. There are four easy ways to sync this flash with your camera, standard hot shoe, 3.5mm (1/8”) miniphone port, PC port,  and built-in optical slave.

Here I compare the LP180 to the workhorse Nikon SB-800.

Here I compare the LP180 to the workhorse Nikon SB-800.

Here are a few pics I shot in my home studio using the LumoPro 22" Beauty Dish with one Lumopro LP180 flash. You won't find a finer made beauty dish either, who needs the standard 17" when you can have Lumopro's 22" cylinder of goodness.  This beauty dish is made for speedlights but can also be retrofitted for and monolights using bowen mounts. A separate bowen mount can be purchased for this purpose. 

My one light setup.

My one light setup.

The following pics were photographed with the included beauty dish soc and the separately purchased 20 degree grid. The LP180 is an all manual flash which means it can be triggered with any name brand or third party transceivers. For this demonstration I used the higher end  Pocket Wizards and economically priced  Cowboy Studio Poppers to trigger the flash. 

Here are some finished photos from the shoot. One LP180 provides plenty of light for the 22" beauty dish. Of course as in all setups your flash to subject distance should be complementary for proper exposure. 

I encourage everyone to check out the LumoPro website and take a gander at their light modifiers, stands, and flashes.  LumoPro products can be purchased through authorized dealers geographically

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. Please feel free to leave comments and share this blog with your friends. In the future I plan to do more product reviews and lighting setups, so that we can all grow our knowledge of this photography medium that we all enjoy. Happy shooting.

 

Semper Fi

Ruins of Pontotoc

I finally made the stop. The Flat Rock Ranch is the Faske family's hunting utopia, located between Llano and Brady Tx off Highway 71.  One of the towns you pass through is Pontotoc. Pontotoc has no lights or stop signs, however, there is a "reduce your speed" sign which makes you slow down and take in the towns ghostly scenery. These particular pictures show one of the last standing structures that fell victim to a 1947 fire which began in the local theater and swept throughout the town.