Link List November 2015

Indian Sands Oregon Self Portrait
Indian Sands - Oregon - September 2015

It's getting cozy here in Colorado.  We've had our first light snow and another round on the way tomorrow.  Grab a hot cup of coffee and settle in for my monthly link list!

I know I'm not the only photographer new to Lightroom.  Pick and reject is the most time saving tip I can pass on.  I turn on caps lock (this makes it auto advance), then press "p" for any images I wish to keep and "x" for the rejects. Then I hold down Ctrl+Backspace at the end to permanently delete the rejected files.

Speaking of Lightroom, I discovered Totally Rad is giving out a few samples of their Replichrome film emulators.  The above photo was processed using the Fuji Pro 800 Noritisu preset.

All the best movies come out in winter.  I'm most looking forward to The Revenant.  It's shot entirely with natural light and in remote locations.

I'm still plowing through books.  2015 marks the year I've read more books than any year of my life.   The best ones this month were Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari.

The holidays are coming.  Support the arts!  Some things I've been eyeing are
Double exposures by Polina Washington
Paintings by ClareElsaesser 
Silk Screen Gift Bags and Tea Towels
Handmade Ceramic Flower Pots
Uh huh honey Print

and I just added some small silver gelatin prints to my shop.

I'm always looking for new instrumental music to edit to.  Black Violin is a new to me group.

I can't wait to make this veggie dish again for the holidays.

And my boys have been begging for hot cocoa so I may also give this a try.

Happy November!


Press Prints Review

I started test printing last year and somewhere along the line I decided I need to know everything about everything related to paper, inks, and printing.  My first blog post dealt with traditional prints on photo paper and reviewed several major printing labs - it can be found here.

Before moving onto fine art printing I thought I'd dabble in press prints.  While press printing is used primarily for greeting cards or albums,  a few companies have started marketing them as prints.  The biggest benefit for me is they can be printed on real paper at a fraction of the cost of fine art prints.  But of course, there are trade offs in longevity and quality...  

Press prints are made up of very tiny dots.  None of my prints looked 'dotty' with the exception of a few of my Artifact Uprising prints.

I've decided press prints are best suited for personal prints or gifting.  Here is my take on three labs...

5x5 Prints
Artifact Uprising 5x5 Press Prints

Artifact Uprising

What I sampled: Square Print Set 


I loved Artifact Uprising's paper the most.  It's thick, sturdy, and not too bright of a white.  Also, the website was super easy to navigate and upload.  The preset borders were a nice touch.  All the margins were cut evenly.


Artifact Uprising had the least color accurate prints of the labs I tested.  It was most noticeable in the reds and skin tones.  My tan folks looked sunburned (see below).  Also, at this time there are no other size options than 5x5 for press print sets.  I don't shoot square so this is sad for me.

The shipping costs were quite high for USPS.  Around $8 for a package that would cost me under $3 to send myself, so you have to add that cost into the product when you order.

Artifact Uprising Review
Top: Artifact Uprising Press Print - Bottom: Black River Imaging Press Print


This is a consumer oriented lab with a consumer quality product.  I will be keeping my eye out to see if they decide to offer rectangular prints as I do love their paper.  The quality isn't high enough for professional use, but I wouldn't mind having a pile of these for personal use.  I have considered writing notes in the bottom margin and placing them together in a box to act as an unbound book my kids can flip through.  Other ideas include writing map coordinates on my landscape photos or using the prints to adorn wrapped gift packages.

Press Prints Torn Edge
Loktah Press Print Flat Cards on Cotton


What I sampled:  Press Printed Flat Cards and Press Printed Photographic Prints

Flat Card Pros:

Loktah offers some really nice papers.  I tried the Cotton but the Bamboo looks lovely also.  The color accuracy was really good.  Both the paper and inks are archival.  Also, if you order through their website rather than their ROES  then you can order a different image on each card.  Their free shipping promos do not apply to non-ROES orders at this time.

While I did not order images with white margins, I have been told that their margins are cut evenly if I add them myself.

Flat Card Cons:

Well, I didn't order torn edges, but they did refund my money for that mistake.  Of the 3 times I've ordered through them, I've had two incorrectly fulfilled orders and I don't think any of them have shipped within the promised time frame.  They have made all incorrect orders right, but it has been frustrating.   The blacks on the cotton prints are muted.  Part of that is due to the paper itself.  The blacks almost remind of of Fuji Deep Matte paper in their tone.  I'll post a few comparisons below for a general idea, but it's hard to compare accurately in photos.

Press Prints Review
Left:  Press Print on Cotton Black River Imaging - Right: Press Print on Cotton, Loktah

Press Prints Pro Lab Review
Left:  Press Print on Cotton Black River Imaging - Right: Press Print on Cotton, Loktah

Press Prints Pro Lab Review
Left:  Press Print on Cotton, Black River Imaging -  Middle: Press Print on Eggshell, Black River Imaging -Right: Press Print on Cotton, Loktah

Top: Loktah Press Print on Cotton - Bottom: Richard Photo Lab Photo Print on Fuji Matte

Photographic Prints Pros:

This is a product I've never seen before.  Loktah offers press prints on photo paper.  They have a traditional luster paper and a metallic option.  Whats interesting is they seem to have more detail than a luster print from a traditional lab.  As much detail or more than the Fine Art Giclee print I got from the same lab.  I also like how the metallic paper allows me to write on the back with pencil.  There are no imprints or marking on the back giving a nice clean writing surface

Photographic Print Cons:

Despite having more detail, I can't say I like the overall feel of the images.  On the metallic paper, it almost seemed too sharp.  It's not a technical flaw, but the aesthetic I didn't care for.   Also, my luster print had a cyan hue to it.

Lotkah Press Print Examples
Clockwise from top left - Traditional Luster Print, Black River Imaging -  Press Print on Luster, Loktah - Gilcee Print on Matte Paper, Loktah - Press Print on Cotton, Black River Imaging

Lotkah Photographic Press Prints
Left: Press Print on Metallic Paper, Loktah - Traditional Print on Luster Paper, Richard Photo Lab


Loktah is a small company and going through some changes in their ordering system, so I'll attribute the ordering mistakes to that.  Several of their products are interesting, but not quite hitting the spot.  Their ordering system was the most difficult to navigate of any I used, but like I said, they are in transition.  I'd like to see what they have to offer a year or two down the road.

Press Prints Cotton
Black River Press Printed Flat Cards on Cotton

Black River Imaging

What I sampled: Flat Card Press Prints on various papers and Folio Press Prints.

Flat Card Pros:

Black River Imaging had the best quality printing of all the labs I tested.  I would love if they started offering individual prints in the future rather than card sets.  I used the greeting card sampler to test mine along with some larger test prints they sent me for free.  All paper and inks are archival.  You can choose between 4 or 6 color press prints.  I could not tell a difference between the two, but it was the only lab of the three to offer the 6 color option.

The paper selection was very nice.  The cotton had more texture than Lotkah's cotton paper.  A nice catch on your fingertips roughness.  It felt a more fine art.  The only paper I didn't care for was the Linen.

Flat Card Cons:  The biggest issue I had were the prints I added a white border to.  They were cut unevenly resulting in an off center image.  I would not add a border in the future.  This was not an issue with my Folio Print as the border for that was a template during the ordering process.

Black River Imaging Print Review
Black River Imaging Press Printed Flat Cards on Eggshell Paper

Folio Print Pros:

The Folio Prints are really interesting.  They seem to be almost the exact same product as Artifact Uprising's Signature Prints, but for a fraction of the cost.  I checked all the specs and the only difference I can find is Artifact Uprising's seem just a little thicker, though I have not ordered one to compare (way overpriced!)   We are talking $7 vs $30 for an 11x14 print.  The detail is almost comparable to a fine art print.  Of course, fine art gilcee prints are superior for several reasons, but I wouldn't mind this low cost version for a gift or my own walls.

I like being able to write or sign the prints in pencil since they are on an Eggshell paper.  If you choose the border option, there is no need to buy a mat.  You can also print double sided for no additional fee.

Folio Print Cons:

If you do not add the border, the edges do get a little beat up and chip away at the image if you don't have it framed.  Also, it's is thick like matboard, so that may be a pro or a con depending on your preferences.

Black River Imaging
Left: Black River Imaging Folio Print - Right: Fine Print Imaging Fine Art Print
Signature Prints
Left: Black River Imaging Folio Print - Right: Luster Photo Print

Black River Imaging
Left: Panopticon Find Art Print - Right: Black River Imaging Folio Print
Black River Imaging
Side View of Folio Print

I would certainly order from Black River Imaging again.  They had the highest quality press prints of the bunch and they offer free shipping for orders of $35.

There are so many labs I didn't review, this was a rather random bunch.  Feel free to leave any feedback in the comments!


Link List - October 2015

maryanne gobble photography
Beach Fire -  Last Day of Summer 2015

Fall as finally arrived and I'm feeling more like myself already.  I can think and feel more clearly.  Today is overcast and womb-like, a welcome break from the relentless Colorado sun.  Everything is coming up cozy.

I have various things I'm working on from my last shoot, but lets start the  month with a link list.

New to me artist:  Joanna Pallaris

A dose of technical common sense:  A Plea for DNG

My stomping grounds, as seen from the sea:  The Raw Way Home

maryanne gobble photography
Mack Arch as seen from Crook Point - September 2015

Inspiration:  Brooke Shaden Interview  "I see the world very specifically. I always have."

For photographers as well as dancers:  I Dance with my Heart

Grab your tissues: Human.  They have lots of stories on their Facebook and YouTube also.

More on being Human:  Trauma Workers Find Solace in a Pause

Must see portfolio: Nashalina Schrape - True Fiction

Currently reading:  Library of Souls  and The Man Who Wasn't There

Quote:  "Successful people...  Every one of them has a story saying, "Here's a list of people who said I should do something safe."  Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Popular Science, September 2015

Favorite new dish:  Tex-Mex Casserole  (her photos don't do it justice, ignore them)

Thank you to everyone who lets me poach their links and then forget to give credit to.  You know who you are.


Link List - September 2015

So I fractured my big toe.  Yup.  The day before my kids started school.  The day before my almost freedom.  I have about two weeks until my next planned adventure so I am taking it easy.  I may or may not be spending way too much time online.   But I'm into sharing, so let me link you up with the best of my diggings.

Coastal Sun, 2015

Laia Abril, The Epilogue.  I found this book in the library and almost tore out a page thinking it was a loose letter someone had left as a bookmark.  Really neat book design.

Calamityware:  Things could be worse.  I can think of a dozen people I want to gift these to.   Along with these sea monster notecards.

Free images.  Millions.  I foresee all future packing I do looking like this.

When You Give a Tree an Email Address 

Free National Park Passes for all the nations 4th graders and their families!

David Bonagurio: a new to me artist and I love what he is doing with 5x5 prints.

I had just ordered 5x5 prints of my own work with space to write in the margin.  I'm considering  this glass box to hold them in lieu or my next family album.

New prints in my shop!  I have a few 5x7's available in Lotka paper gift envelopes.  $20, free domestic shipping.

Letters of Note: Currently waiting to check this book out at my library.  I love this letter from Tom Hanks in the second book.

Seal Wants a Tummy Tickle:   I'm slightly obsessed with seals.

Fish Tacos:  Not complicated, but so good. I'm mostly vegetarian so my kids got a kick out of going to the meat counter for the first time in their lives.  They were so impressed that "they wrap it for you!"