Winning a battle


Here is the first image (not matching the screen image in color or clarity, I’m sorry to say) to be printed by the new Epson. It brings up an issue: what to do with the growing stack of rejects I will inevitably generate here at the bottom of the curve.

The Epson SPR2880 is not just a larger printer capable of larger prints. With the production of professional level photographs as its ultimate goal, it is vastly more in need of user input right out of the box than the basic click-and-go color printer. And this particular user is only a baby step beyond clueless. It took me two hours to get a single page through the sheet feeder, and the result was disappointing–not the printers fault, but mine. Miles to go…

This shot of the abandoned working truck will someday emerge from the new printer as a black and white (see larger image) or sepia toned version. I like its simple lines, and it tells a story of use and disuse–off-road from the road less traveled, a grab shot with dogs barking at me from the houses opposite this pasture on Coles Knob Road.

I’m going to seek some hands-on printer help from three folks in town that have Epson printers and actually know what they’re doing. (And I appreciate tips offered by Fragments readers very much!)

Slowly, the lights will come on. Some day, I’ll stick a piece of 13 x 19 Premium Luster in at one end and exactly what I expected and wanted will come out the other end. That will be a good day.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. My experience with my 2200 was I only got accurate images if I:
    1) Turned off all of the Epson print driver’s color adjustment/management crap.
    2) Profiled my monitor with a hardware calibrator
    3) Calibrated every paper/ink combination I used with a printer calibrator
    4) Printed from Photoshop telling it to manage the colors and use the profiles I generated.

    Step 3 was easier when I had access to one for free, since they are expensive. Eventually, I spent the money for Colorbyte’s Imageprint RIP which came with some very accurate profiles (along with some very good black/white printing features, but I don’t think they support the 2880). There are also companies that will generate profiles from color swatch prints you make.

    Anyways, after that I found I needed very little tweaking after my first print of an image.

  2. I’m waiting and working towards that “anyways, after that…” stage. Miles to go.

    I’m looking at monitor hardware calibrators now, figuring if I’ve come this far, I might as well go for broke.

    Hmmm. The barbs of that figure of speech land a little too close for comfort just now. UPS just delivered my first $75 of paper. Here we go.