2004-01-09 / Columnists

Digital Photography Corner By Jeff Berman

Digital Photography Corner By Jeff Berman

 In my last column I mentioned that I would attend Photo Expo at the Javitz Center. Well I was pleasantly surprised at the number of enthusiasts attending this informative event. After talking to several shutterbugs

I noticed some of the attendees were not convinced that digital was the way to go. On the other hand many of the converts to digital were brimming with creative juices. The show catered to both traditional and digital photographers.

If you are still reading my column I am hoping that you are curious about recent developments in digital  photography.  I will be doing a talk and demo for the National Art League on Friday February 6 at their gallery on Douglaston Parkway. If you want to personally ask me questions I will be available on that day to discuss your digital concerns. I was surprised by the number of recent developments in printer technology. Many experts were on hand to answer questions and steer you in the right direction. Different companies are producing papers for the printers so as to make a digital experience a truly artistic one.

The cost factor is important to consider in any purchase.

In my last article I discussed the cost of cameras. The same pitfalls await you when eyeing a printer for your home digital studio. The cost of a beginner’s model starts at about $100.00. These models make beautiful images up to 8 by 10 inches.

Mid sized printers can cost up to $500.00 to produce images 13 by 19 inches. Some models come with inks that resist fading.

I personally use a printer that can produce images 24 by 30 inches. These large format printers come with a price tag between $1500.00 to about $5000.00. Professional artists and photographers use these models and the quality of these printers would make your heart beat faster. The inks for these models are listed as archival. If these prints are kept under glass and away from direct sunlight 50 to 75 years is the longevity claimed for these prints. The images should outlast conventional prints. After talking with reps from different companies and artists using their products, I got the feeling that Epson was the most  concerned.

 They seemed to go the extra mile if you had a problem. Their reps got back to me on the internet and did research for problems that I was experiencing. I needed special paper for different kinds of mixed media work. I got information from their head technician with links to other people who might be able to help me.

Several companies are producing inks that could be used in these printers. You have to take care that they do not clog the print heads.

I have been hearing that some photographers are waiting for the technology to advance before they try digital. Some have even switched back to traditional forms of photography. They have to understand that it takes several years to un derstand the new technology. Remember how many years it took to become a good traditional photographer. Some artists and photographers do not feel computer compatible. It holds true that some computer techies do not feel comfortable as a free spirit artist. I personally think that it takes many years of study to be a good artist and you cannot rush the process. It also takes many years to be a good computer person and you cannot rush that process either.

Since I have been to the photo expo new digital cameras are appearing on the market. They have addressed the problem of producing images in true 35 mm format. They use interchangeable lenses. I think that in the near future the prices will come down and more of the mass market will be able to afford these new digital cameras. Canon just came out with an 11 megapixel camera but it has a price tag of $7000 dollars. Pentax came out with a 6 megapixel interchangeable lens camera for much, much less.

I also noticed that new memory cards are available for these new  high megapixel cameras. They are being produced to facilitate faster transfer into your computer and hold more images per card. The price for the older cards have come down and on line internet companies have rebates available to tempt you to make more purchases for these and the newer cards. Buy.com seems to have some good sales promotions.

I hope that my column has helped you in your quest to be a digital photographer or artist. I know that my patience in my own personal  digital art career has really started to pay off . There really are not any short cuts. You must pay your dues. Just do not give up!!! 


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