Down here on the Southern Tip, Christmas and the country-wide holiday season edges closer, heralded by the opening of the crayfishing (rock lobster) season. The road outside the house is a parking lot this morning, as perhaps as many as 100 people arrive for their dip at harvesting freebies from the ocean.
I’ve had to put chevron tape across the driveway to stop people either parking, or using it as a place to turn around and in the process, shooting the gravel everywhere with their tyres scrabbling for grip on the steep slope down to the house.
This week has been an interesting one, photographically.
First off, I finally wrestled the Hahnehüehle driver for my Epson 3800 into submission and broke the seal on a several year old box of 50 sheets of brilliant white A3 photorag. Paper loaded, I set about previewing some images I thought might print well, in Lightroom.
WTF! Every one was washed out and looked like a thin film of talcum powder had settled on each one.
Past experience with offset printing came to my rescue, making me realise that (the on-screen emulation of) the paper’s emulsion was telling me what it would be like as it inched (millimetred?) out of the printer.
30-odd sheets in and I’ve not yet managed to print anything close to an original on-screen image, but I am getting happier with every one. For a close match, I suspect I’ll need to go back to glossy stock. Either way, it’s a damned expensive process as neither paper, nor ink are manufactured here and the plummeting exchange rate of the SA Rand against everything save the Zimbabwean dollar just makes it all the more costly.
That said, I do have a growing collection of high quality prints. The tactile benefit(s) of them alone makes the effort and expenditure worthwhile.
Some weeks in the planning, I spent Friday morning with a small group (4) of photographers from the Cape of Storms (CoS), Facebook group. They all live in or near Cape Town, some 70km away – I had volunteered to be their guide around the area.
Rubbish Facebook if you will, but as a hub for the group activities of CoS, it works very well. We have a location for posting pictures, opportunities for peer review, comments, teaching and get-togethers.
So, my alarm went off at 03:30 on Friday and I could hear the rain outside – just as the weather wonks had predicted. Still, rainy dawn and sunrise pictures can sometimes be really interesting.
At 04:05, I was halfway up the hill out of Rooi Els, en route to Kleinmond, 25km away to meet my four companions, who had B&Bd there overnight. Ring ring, ring ring.
It’s howling at about 40km/h in Kleinmond and tipping it down, where in Rooi Els, the rain had lessened to a drizzle. Sigh and back home for more coffee and to re-visit the weather a bit later.
Long story short; I met up with my co-photographers at 09:00, drank yet more coffee and ate a toasted sarnie in a café in Kleinmond, where we decided to head down to the lagoon to see how things looked.
Not good. Thick overcast/heavy mist dominated, although the wind had abated. We shot a few pictures and I suggested a visit to the Kogelberg, a Cape Nature reserve, a couple of kilometres outside town.
The drizzle had left huge photogenic droplets on the fynbos (indigenous plant life), through which the natural colour was clearly visible. None of us was too keen to get wet, but a few minutes in this magical environment changed our minds.
Much sooner than I’d hoped, the time loomed for a meeting with my auditor, followed by a doctor’s appointment and reluctantly, I left my companions to venture off into the nearby mountains to explore even further.
I’ll keep the day clear next time.
For the technically-minded, or inquisitive, I used my Fuji X-Pro2 and a Zeiss Biogon 25mm f2.8. It’s a great lens and when I get the focus right, can produce extraordinary 3D quality in its output – see below:
PS! After nearly half a century, the Rolling Stones have finally produced an album to measure up to their raw and raunchy efforts of the mid-’60s. Released a few days ago “Blue and Lonesome” is a grand R&B (the real stuff, not that wimpy crud that passes as the genre today) romp, full of great music and no filler tracks. Give it a listen.
#771. Saturday Quickie – Spring in the Fynbos
#89. Battle of the tiny Titans: Sony NEX-5N vs Sony NEX-7
#84. The Zeiss ZM Distagon 18mm/4 on the Sony NEX-5N
#82. HDR with the Sony NEX-5N
#981. Friday Post (20 March 2020) – The Write of Spring
#958. Monday Post (27 Jan 2020) – Galleries, projets, pics of the month, challenges and a few thoughts following comments
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.
Why am I always first to comment? – do you all go to bed, as soon as something is posted on DS? 🙂
My favourite in this selection, Paul/, is the droplets on the fynbos – haven’t the least notion what a fynbos is, or what you do with it, but I love the photo. The one thing Zeiss don’t give in exchange for the price of their lenses is weatherproofing on the Otus lenses, so I’d be terrified of venturing out in such weather. But I appreciate your efforts on our behalf.
On the subject of printing, I’ve been having the time of my life lately. My new Epson P600 is all fired up (well it is on the MAC, but I can’t get anywhere with it on Windows – don’t care any more, not wasting any more time on Microsoft, I’m going to remove their rubbish from the premises shortly, so there’s no point – ever since the debacle with their “free trial” of Windows 10, their junk has simply gone from bad to worse, and I won’t be putting up with it for too much longer).
Back to printers. I selected half a dozen shots to print off this afternoon – two required a bit of a touch before being dispatched to the printer (one only to bring up a person who strayed into the shot by accident – her mother wanted the photo, and I had to alter the shot to make her daughter more visible – not for aesthetic reasons) – that said, the whole six photos went straight through, without a hitch, and the match to the screen image was near enough to 100%. I couldn’t be more thrilled – it’s like shooting goldfish in a barrel (just kidding – I don’t even own a gun!)
I will continue to fool around with Capture One, but I can’t see myself buying it. It’s weird, complicated, not very well explained, rather tricky to work with, doesn’t do anything particularly magic on any of my photos, and I can see a much better way of spending the money elsewhere, to improve the printing process.
You’re more adventurous than I am at the moment, Paul – I only use two types of paper (both Ilford) for all my stuff. And I’ll keep doing so until I am firmly in control of the whole printing thing, so that branching into other papers should then be easy from a firm base.
What I am getting at the moment, out of a combination of Adobe’s LR & PS with DxO’s OP & VP, is about as good as it gets. And it frees up time I can deploy more usefully getting on top of the weird menu system on the Canon G1X Mark II, as well as improving my low light & available light photography with the other cams.
I suspect your early replies are due to the fact that you are up and about while we slumber on. There has to be one good reason to live in Oz 😉
Fynbos local blurb here: http://www.southafrica.net/za/en/articles/entry/article-southafrica.net-south-africas-fynbos
Sorry the URLs are clickable, but WordPress has never quite mastered the necessary HTML
You can’t taunt me about OZ – I was meant to be born in the “old country**”, I merely live here – and I’ve always felt as if I am a visitor in OZ. It’s not so bad, although moving from one “tourist attraction” to another is a bit of a chore – there’s tons to see, but in many cases huge distances between anything that’s different. Living here all these years, I’ve seen most of it, while moving around the place in the ordinary course of life – but I do sometimes wonder what draws tourists here – they must suffer culture shock, if they come from places in Europe where there’s so much to see in every village, every bend in the rod – to a place where you can literally drive all day without seeing much more than sunrise & sunset. (Actually you can see more than that – this continent teaches you how to “look” and to “see”, in a way that having tons of stuff to enjoy doesn’t train you to do).
** – that does NOT refer to England, either !!
And it’s about as far away from Donald Trump as you can get, without a spacecraft.
The Cape Floral Region seems to be a fascinating place. No wonder you went photographing there. I never knew that the pelargoniums in my courtyard originated in SA.
Actually Pete, I was born in the UK and came here during the lunatic ’70s when Ted Heath was fighting with the unions and I was told I could only work three days a week, because there was no coal to generate electricity.
The region I live in is the (UN declared) Biosphere, so photographing fynbos can start at the doorstep. It’s a wonderful area and much visited by tourists, eco-people and twitchers from around the globe as it is the sole location to see the Cape Rock Jumper – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_rockjumper
For me it’s that first image that grabs my attention. Something about looking down that rock until my eye hits the bush in the centre left. Then my eye has to go back to the rock again and repeat the process.
Sad to hear you are not liking Capture One – I just finally bought it yesterday. The learning curve is steep, but it seems just as much for any of these kind of programs. I went through evaluating Affinity, Luminar, Capture One and Lightroom all as potential replacements for my old friend Aperture. At times I thought my head was going to explode. Now I’m settled on Capture One, for better or for worse.
I will look forward to hearing more of your experiences with it – as I always do with the DearSusan content.
I notices with Pascal’s previous post there were a lot of comments about post processing for printing and print previewing, including the first part of your post here.
Do you (or any of the readers) use a matt screen photo/graphic quality monitor for print preview?
I saw one set up properly in a shop once working off a IMac for glossy screen comparison. The look was much more natural, no artificial bling-tastic crystalline edge to sharpness but no apparent loss of detail.
Do the monitors make it easier to process for printing?