Review on the Epson R1900 Printer

Ok, I think I need to set the ground work on my experience with printers. For the last two years I’ve been using the Epson Stylus Pro R280, great little printer and very hardy, I’ve put that little printer through its paces since I do all my own prints, greeting cards, DVD labels and case inserts, plus everyday printing. It has held up wonderfully considering that I have been using it a little more than it was designed to do. Then my Aunt (a graphics designer) bought me the Epson Stylus Pro R1900 which I have been wanting for about a year now.

                The first word out of my mouth when I printed some 4×6’s was, “WOW!” I’ve never had the luxury to use a printer bigger than my little R280 so for me, being able to use the R1900 is like driving a Honda Civic for years then suddenly getting a BMW 750Li.

                Now for the review, software setup was a breeze. After printing a few test pages, I started printing a few photos for a few Mothers Day gifts and I was totally blown away by the printing quality. Then I started printing my greeting cards for Mothers Day, my brother’s birthday, and my parent’s anniversary. Again, totally blown away! (again, I’m transitioning from a Honda to a Beamer) I’m anxious to try out printing bigger prints than 4×6 on more high quality paper.

                I’ve only had this printer a week now, but I am very impressed so far. But I’m looking forward to seeing how it holds up against what I call, “photographers abuse”, because my Aunt had the Epson R1800 and it didn’t hold up very well, she even replaced it during the years she had it and she isn’t near as hard on printers like I am.

                Sorry, no dog photography tips this week, there will be another one next Thursday on morning light

Snow Days in Texas Part 4

Another Snow Days video for this weeks video Monday, enjoy! Oh, a dog photography tip from this video, I did my videography in this video with a Nikon D5000, and the D5000 is a awesome little camera that a sophisticated photographer like me can tolerate, (even though I doesn’t have half the options that my D300 has) and it is simple enough that I can hand it to my mom and with a little instructions she can shoot it. (in comparison she couldn’t even figure out how to turn my D300 on!)

Dog Photography Tips on Different Angles

What are we all trying to do with our photography? Make it look different than everyone else’s so it stands out and in turn you get more notice. I’ve figured out that one different angle that gets a lot of notice is where the dog is looking away from you with ears perked, in my experience is when the ears are perked you can get great expression even though the dog’s head is turned.

I’ve always been fascinated by odd or different pictures of dogs, so I usually never pass up a opportunity to photograph a really different angle or a dog doing a downright odd thing. The photo below was taken on the fly as usual but I’ve always been fascinated by it. Is it pretty? Not really. Is it stunning? Not really. But it’s just plain different and you usually have to study it in order to see what it is and that’s what I love about it.

Another dog photography tip on different angles is getting down on their level, I mean down on your knees and if possible, on your stomach. Now I will warn you that I’ve been run over more than once doing this maneuver, (one time I got PLOWED over by three, nearly full grown Great Pyrenees while sitting cross legged on the floor photographing my client’s Doberman pup during a doggie play day) but the results are usually worth a few bumps and bruises.

The three Great Pyrenees that plowed over me;

And the Doberman playing Tug-of-War with the Rottweiler

Dog Photography Tips on Doggie Antics

Many times I’ve been asked how I get the dogs to do the hilarious antics that I photograph, well, one way that works really well on my dogs is I yell, “SQUIRREL, or RABBIT!” and off they go. Another way that I use quite often is I find a stick or something and start playing with it myself till I get the dogs attention then give it to them and they normally give me some pretty interesting antics.

Another dog photography tip that I just started using recently was giving them a toy that might provide some funny antics. (like the ring shaped tennis toy displayed below, a frisbee, a really long rope toy so they hold their head really high or to the side, a old cowboy hat, a flat basket ball)

And one of my favorites is them rolling or somersaulting

Oh, and to let you know, I’m writing this post after 2 strong cups of coffee and one cup of chocolate tea, so I’m a little wired this morning. ;)

Dog Photography Tips on Sepia Tones

I love unusual angled or just plain “different” photos, like the one below. (that’s one dog photography tip to make you photos stand out from the rest)

Now this image is straight out of the camera, no modifications at all. After I studied it for a while, I decided to turn it into a sepia (brown and tan) toned image. What I did to it in Adobe Light Room 2 is, I imported it and went over to develop and started fiddling around. First, I started enhancing the colors then I used a Light Room preset for sepia colors and then played around with exposure, fill light, contrast, & blacks. After I got the desired results, I applied a slight vignette to tone down the bright background made brighter by the sepia tones. Ta-Da! I got the image I wanted.

But then, I started thinking… (that’s dangerous for me) what would happen if I made her eyes blue? Now Candy in real life doesn’t have blue eyes, but I thought it might look cool in this sepia pic. So off to Photoshop. I took the original, made a copy and imported it to Photoshop and used the Hue & Saturation and turned it blue and erased everything but the eyes and duplicated it over to the sepia photo. I resized the eyes and feather erased around the edges till I could turn the eyes layer off and turned back on with no movement, just color change. When that was done I saved it, (of course) and Voile! A blue eyed sepia colored Candy

But then I got to thinking, again, the sepia tone with the blue eyes didn’t quite fit. So I got to playing around with it again in Photoshop. Tried changing the color of eyes, didn’t work… change the sepia tones a little? Didn’t work, (I had to dig into my vast reservoir of dog photography tips) then I converted it black & white. Adjust the contrast a little and then I was really happy.

Feel free to comment on these pictures! I’d enjoy hearing from you!

Snow Days in Texas, Part 1

This is the start of the series called, Snow Days in Texas. It’s most of the photography I did during the two big snows here in Texas.

I’m going to be posting a new episode of “Snow Days in Texas” every Monday till I run out of episodes. (at the moment I have 5) So stay tuned!

Oh, and a dog photography tip for the episode above, I had my exposure compensation dialed down to –0.3 to –0.7  for the bright white snow and I had my Active D Lighting on as always.