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Photography and digital imaging

Improving your photography

Online resources that we have found useful, covering different aspects of digital workflows and photography.

We are in the process of updating this page - some links may still not work correctly, however we are trying to find archive copies of more important articles, so that they are not lost.

Can't find what you wanted?

We've a full search of the entire contents of this site via the search box at the top of the page.

Whilst we welcome suggestions - we do not do reciprocal linking - if you have a site with relevant -and- original useful content then let us know.

Please note we are principally looking for sites that contribute original information in the categories covered.

Photographers' sites are ones that Keith enjoyed visiting.

These links are an evolving resource, and like all links on the web, they sometimes fail. We will try to keep them up to date and hope that over time they become a useful reference.

digital black and white logoFYI: I've set up a LinkedIn group (~6800 members) for people interested in all aspects of Digital Black and White photography: Digital Black and White

Individual Photographers (B/W)

[links checked July 2012]

Landscape - multiple artist sites

[links checked July 2012]

Landscape - colour

[links checked July 2012]

Keith Cooper and two of his printsThanks to everyone who has ever purchased something via our links.
If you follow a link below and then buy absolutely anything (not even camera related) it helps me run this site (the articles are all written by myself in my spare time)
- Keith
BTW If you've just found the site via the rumours pages - please do have a look round the articles and reviews, since they are far more important to me, in helping people get more out of their photography.

Amazon UK link / Amazon France / Amazon Germany | Amazon USA link / Amazon Canada / Amazon Italy | B&H | Adorama | MacPhun | Topaz
(Other ways to help the site)

Black and White Photography

[links checked July 2012]

Infra Red photography and effects

[links checked July 2012]

Printing

[links checked July 2012]

Places to ask - useful forums

[links checked July 2012]

Changing inks on a 7600/9600 without wasting huge quantities of ink

[links checked July 2012]

This method was suggested by Rudiger Schafer on the Epson wideformat list. I recently noticed a couple of errors in the menu selection section (6 & 7)"About changing photo/matte black carts - I use the following procedure without draining the printer:(e.g. photo black installed - want to change to matte black)

For purging the old black he suggests the following:

  1. Printer is not switched on.
  2. Open the ink lever.
  3. Replace the photo black with the matte black cart
  4. But, leave the ink lever open!
  5. Go into Maintenance Mode 2 by switching power ON while pushing the 'Paper source', 'Cut/Eject', and 'Paper Feed down' buttons.
  6. Press the 'Paper Feed down' button until you see "SERVICE CONFIG" on the display - press "Enter" button (Should be 'SelecType' - KC)
  7. Press the 'Paper Feed down' button until you see "NPD" - press "Enter" (Should be 'SelecType' - KC)
  8. There are 3 possible settings for NPD:
    0 - no ink check
    1 - pigmented ink (there should be a star "*" at this setting)
    2 - dye inks
  9. change NPD setting to '0' (no ink check) and press "Enter" - a star should show now next to the '0'
  10. Switch printer off.
  11. Switch printer on.
  12. Close the ink lever.
  13. Printer and driver shows matte black.
  14. Print a solid black print-out until photo black in the tubing is all used up (I understand something like 4' on the 9600)"

For purging the old black he suggests the following:

"The 7600 uses ca. 10-12ml of ink before the tube is flushed out. I create in PS an image of the size of 23"x40" and fill it with pure black (RGB 0,0,0). Than I use cheap matt double-weight paper and print that image with 720dpi. When you look at the finished print you see that 2/3 is photo ink as it looks a little bit dull and the rest of the print shows the nice dark matte ink. The system is now charged with matte black.

The 9600 uses ca. 20-22ml of ink. I use the same procedure but the image is 43"x40". "

You can follow the discussion thread on the list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EpsonWideFormat/message/43923

If you consider that an ink change the 'official way' wastes this much ink for all colours, you can see why there is such a huge saving. If we had one real complaint about the 9600 here at Northlight, it would be the huge amount of ink wasted if you want to change black inks - we are very grateful for the tip!

If you are curious as to what over a hundred pounds worth of waste ink looks like - see here :-)

Note -- We printed four 40"x10" solid black rectangles on cheap matt paper to purge the black line. The first 3 were a light black and the third much darker.

There have been reports that you need to reinstall the Epson driver on Macs after doing the change - if you are using a Mac and get 'COMMAND ERROR' on the display, and blinking ink cart lights, then a reinstall might be tried. As with any Epson driver installation on Mac OSX, it's best to run a permissions fix (using the disk utility in Utilities) afterwards. A lot of the drivers for older printers incorectly set file permissions. As general Mac 'housekeeping' it's good to do a permission repair before and after and new software installation anyway.

Changing black inks on the 4880/7800/9800/7880/9880

Printers we've reviewed

Supplies

[links checked July 2012]

Photography techniqes

[links checked July 2012]

Digital image tips and techniques

[links checked July 2012]

Assorted info on using a graphics tablet to work with when editing - I have one and find I just don't use it much, others use them all the time.

Scanning

[links checked July 2012]
    • "I scan my negatives and save at 16 bit Greyscale. In Photoshop I do most work at 16 bit and only convert to 8 bit for printing.
    • I try and capture as much information at the start and lose only what won't show up on my print. I find the ability to stack several masked layers of adjustment most useful since the underlying data is only changed when you flatten the images."

Colour Management

It's definitely worth getting to know the principles, as Keith comments:

  • "I've found that an understanding of colour management (even if you don't have the equipment/software to do it 'perfectly') helps no end in the creative process. I'd suggest that getting your monitor right is an essential first step. Whilst it is true that to do it properly requires either an expensive (self calibrating) monitor or some external hardware, there is much to be gained by starting with doing it by eye. If nothing else, you will realise some important things about the human visual system. For myself it then becomes important to get the printing right - having profiles for ink/paper/printer combinations will go a long way towards getting consistent results. The 'default' or 'canned' profiles that are available are often good enough for marked improvements. The less you are concerned with the technicalities, the more time you have to think about your images. You also understand when the technology is a limiting factor. For example, that really powerful bit of colour in an image that just can't be represented with your particular ink/paper combo"

Colour management information on this site

General Colour Management

Equipment and software reviews

X-Rite (ex GretagMacbeth)

June 2012 - X-Rite are shipping updated i1Pro 2 with i1Profiler 1.3
Reviews: i1Pro 2 Basic - i1Pro 2 Photo

April 2010 X-Rite ship V1.0 of i1 Profiler - Full i1 Profiler reviews and information

May 2010 X-Rite annouce new profiling software for Q4 2010 - i1 Match and ProfileMaker Pro will be superseded by i1Profiler later in 2010. We have some notes and press info in the X-rite information section of the Northlight blog. For purchases after April 1st 2010 here will be free upgrades, along with other offers when the software is available.

Sept. 2008 X-Rite and the i1 range

From Sept. the range is simplified to two options. The functionality is the same as we have reviewed, but exactly what you get varies. As a result of this rationalisation, the i1Photo, i1Photo SG, i1Proof and i1XT have all been discontinued, and the i1 range now consists of:

With the i1XTreme you can calibrate and profile:

*Requires Digital ColorChecker SG Chart - available separately.

Datacolor (aka ColorVision)

Pantone

Others

Color Management bookI often get asked for suggestions about learning more about the nuts and bolts of Colour Management.

My usual suggestion is Bruce Fraser's Real World Colour Management. My own copy is well thumbed. It's my first port of call if I'm asked a question and I feel I don't quite understand an issue well enough to be absolutely sure of an answer.

Check latest price/availability from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

RWCM 1st Edition RWCM
RWCM 2nd Edition RWCM

Other Amazon sites
Amazon France / Amazon Germany / Amazon Canada

See some other books Keith has on the shelf, on our Books Page

Other colour management resources

[links checked July 2012]

Note -anything- whatsoever ordered via Amazon helps us run the site - thanks to everyone contributing!
Amazon UK / Amazon France / Amazon Germany / Amazon USA / Amazon Canada

Digital Imaging

[links checked July 2012]

Dust - Digital sensor cleaning (at your own risk)

[links checked July 2012]

Camera Drivers and software

Manufacturers

See also: How to install Canon EOS software without the original CD

Other areas of our site that may be of interest...

New site features and some of Keith's latest work are covered in the News, articles and reviews page.

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