I came across a discussion which included a thought provoking link on the perils of saving company money by using low-cost images: The article shows how the same image can be used over and over, in a variety of contexts, companies and countries. As long as each ad designer is unaware of the other examples, fine. The discussion thread, containing lots of interesting comment from professional photographers, was here. What is microstock? See here. How can one track where an image is used, e.g. to find copyright violations? Try Tinyeye.
Last week I went out on a photo expedition, determined to get some good shots of a block of larch about 70km south of Nelson. They are looking great right now in their late autumn colours, but I’m running out of time to catch them. So I planned the day quite carefully, using the “Photographers’ Ephemeris” to check out the sunrise and sunlight angles at various times of the day. The larches look their best in late afternoon light, but there was a good chance of some early morning mists creating other opportunities. And so it proved, along the Buller River near Kawatiri:
Murchison excursion, “på svenska”
I’ve just spent a few days with some visitors from Sweden, a “Group Study Exchange” team sponsored by Rotary International. You can read about them in their blog here. For me was a great opportunity to brush up my Swedish language skills.
Two of the team were keen photographers so we left a few hours earlier than the rest of the team for the drive from Nelson to Murchison. We drove in a giant “S”, via Tapawera and St Arnauds. The weather had cleared up somewhat after heavy rain the day before, so the trip yielded some interesting images.
More outdoor art
While on the subject of outdoor art, here’s a few objects from installations in Christchurch’s Hagley Park last year. As a keen sailor, I was very impressed with this steel dinghy dumped upside down on the grass:
Peter Donnelly is an artist in Christchurch producing ephemeral works using rather basic equipment: stick, rake and broom. His canvas is the sand by the pier at New Brighton, Christchurch.
I think this image captures the exuberance and energy he puts into his work:
(Well) off the beaten track
After my albatross encounter in Kaikoura, I had to drive down to Christchurch stopping off for a night to stay with family on a sheep farm in North Canterbury. As I had plenty of time for the trip, I decided to take the Inland Kaikoura route. This very scenic drive starts at Mt Fyffe, takes you past the Mt Lyford ski area through Waiau and on to Culverden. Here is the start of the journey, looking back at Mt Fyffe:
But it got better!
Printing fine art papers
This post will be of interest to very few, but it has some good tips for those experiencing problems so I’m posting it anyway. If you don’t print fine art papers then skip it – you’ll be bored to death.
I have been using a beautiful paper made by German company Hahnemuhle. It’s an archival grade matte paper called ‘Photo Rag’, quite heavy at 308 gsm. The prints I get are fantastic. The trouble is, my Epson R800 was not designed for such heavy papers. It does not have a ‘straight-through’ option for the paper path so they don’t feed well at all. Even when I can get them to feed, after a few copies are printed the paper starts to slip on the rollers causing loss of register, jams or simply refuses to feed.
However, I found a couple of really good tips on the web that have solved my problems completely.
I had to travel down to Burwood Hospital for my regular treatment last week. I decided to combine the trip with some serious photography, starting with bird watching.
I booked a tour with “Albatross Encounters“, who operate out of Kaikoura. It’s the same company that run “Dolphin Encounters”, but more on that at the end of this post.
I got some great images. This first one is a closeup of a female Wandering Albatross, with mating plumage accentuated by a diet of shrimps and krill:
One of the casualties of our move back to Nelson last year turns out to have been my printer! I use an Epson R800 for high quality printing in colour (not B&W though). Epson printers like this one have the actual printhead in the printer itself, rather than (as in many HP printers) in the cartridge. If the printer is not used regularly the ink can dry out and cause blockages. The result is banding, or in more severe cases a huge shift in colour balance as one of the 5 colours disappears.
Almost five years ago, My son Tim took us on a tramp into a very remote place in the Mt Aspiring National Park, the Siberia Valley. He was really looking after his aged parents: had a sat phone in case of emergencies, was continually telling us what the weather was about to do, and in general was completely in charge. (Actually, the reversal in roles felt very good indeed!)
The valley itself is a great place, accessible very quickly via helicopter (but a couple of days walking otherwise).