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Thread: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

  1. #91

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Hi JMO,

    It’s approx 3hrs. Actually a nice drive. I haven’t been to Topsham but I’ve spent a lot of time in Stowe and my sister in law’s family used to have a country house in Warren, which is about an hour west of Topsham. I would definitely consider doing a workshop there. I’m just not sure they teach what I need to learn first. I’m really at the beginning of digital so I need to learn the basics of editing, and other parts of the workflow. I haven’t looked in detail at the Piezography workshops but from what I can see on the website it seems like although all levels of skill are welcome, you spend a lot of time printing. I’m just not anywhere near ready yet. I guess it depends on what I can learn before things open up. Like you, I would definitely benefit from just being there and taking copious notes. I’m fine with that. I don’t always need to be “doing”.

  2. #92

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Good news: Epson SC P800 is working just fine. Amazing piece of hardware: Idled in Spring of 2019 after consultation with Walker Blackwell with the Epson color ink cartridges in place. ( I have a P600 which was converted to Piezo and idled with cartridges filled with Piezo flush). Ran a series of Deep Cleans and Head Cleans interspersed with head checks and we are back in business. Heads cleaned and checked out. I will follow this with a hand wash of piezoflush and then another series of cleans and tests, but I fully expected this to totally bomb out - even risk having to send it out for repair or replacement. So I will use the Epson-jailbreak software and convert this machine to Piezo and then sell the P600 (the 12X12 print just fails to grip... nice as it is). I have found another P800 machine off the Bay and will bring that in for color work. Ultimately after finishing off my Epson color ink stock, I'll jailbreak that machine and use Cone's color inks. Just makes sense to have hardware that works the same cartridges because there are in fact economies here.

    So much for that. As explained below... I'm looking for more general guidance on monitor selection suitable to the job but not necessarily a budget buster that'd be my most expensive piece of hardware. I"ve looked at NEC and EIZO, and have more questions for having done so.

    Point of my question is that the discussion here has focused on monitors. The range of graphic quality color calibrated monitors is actually quite large, and aside from Ken's comments which are limited in terms of intentionally not trying to provide a full review of options for this purpose (which would be crazy as its a job in itself), I'm wondering whether there are any industry discussions of monitors for graphics and well suited for Photoshop. As an amateur, I want something up to the job, but seriously... I don't NEED to try to top output Michelangelo would envy. I doubt I "need" artisan quality as my purposes are really personal and this isn't going to get the throughput of a professional machine where the depreciation rate and allocation of pro work easily justifies replacement of a mega expensive piece of hardware every 2 or 3 years. Point is that I'm looking more in the $1,000 range... at which point my wallet begins to bark, snap and run in circles. I think doing this is finding a reference source of more general use. I expect Ken's needs to be well beyond my own... and I accept his work as in that league, too. Mine? Simpler... but still worth the effort to merit calibration so my grays come in where its worth the trouble.

  3. #93

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Quote Originally Posted by roscoetuff-Skip Mersereau View Post
    Point of my question is that the discussion here has focused on monitors.
    As I've mentioned in this or other threads, comparing my 2017 iMac with 4K Retina display (turned way down to paper brightness) to my 2018 EIZO calibrated at paper brightness, the significant difference for B&W boils down to being able to just barely discern the darkest few steps in a 50-step ramp with the EIZO. This is underwhelming, but also old news since several years can be a long time considering today's pace of technological "progress".

    It's likely that the EIZO is truer all along the scale, but that determination would require fancier gear. And of course we'd have to worry about the accuracy and precision of that gear

    (I remember using an affordable Spectro unit to measure patches when making my own profiles. Each time I took a reading I got a slightly different number, so I had to average them. I complained to the manufacturer, whose reply was basically "Duhh...What did you expect ?". Even "digital" is analog and variable/statistical when we get down to it. It's just a matter of degree.)

    The section on monitors in the Piezography documentation is helpful, but also possibly dated. Some of today's consumer-grade monitors may already be a generation or two beyond the 3-year old EIZOs and NECs. Since you've been in touch with Walker, you might want to ask him about monitors - and tell us what he says.

  4. #94

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    ... the significant difference for B&W boils down to being able to just barely discern the darkest few steps in a 50-step ramp with the EIZO.
    I was going to stay out of the monitor discussion, as I come to it from a position of very little experience and knowledge. But this quote brings up a sort of philosophical question that I have been pondering ever since monitors came up in this thread: Suppose that I DO have a monitor that can make out the differences in those darkest steps - am I actually going to edit those tones (or is it even possible to any significant extent)? If not, then I don't REALLY need to see them, I can just let Piezography's ability to differentiate them surprise me when I see the print!

    In my ignorance, I'm pretty happy with my gifted CRT monitor. It IS big and heavy. The idea of WYSIWYG has come up a number of times, and I understand that, but I think I also achieve it well enough for me. One simple thing I have found that has helped significantly in that regard is to view the image on a white background before printing. I use Lightroom for my editing, so just typing L twice on a Windows machine gets me there.

  5. #95

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    I should also add that, in my case "what you see is what you get" sometimes doesn't result in a good print. Then I go look at the monitor and realize that "what is there is what you got," and the problem was my seeing of the image on the monitor, not the monitor itself.

    Happens a lot when I'm photographing, as well!

  6. #96

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it


  7. #97

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Good analogy to our discussion, in many ways...

    Fortunately the frequency gamut of our piano (maybe discounting some overtones) still fits within the gamut of my hearing!

  8. #98

    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    I've always been satisfied with the Epson HD ink sets and ABW. Beautiful prints are made every day with that technology, it would take a lot to convince me to make the switch. Frankly I could make a contact print on silver paper, and an ABW print, do a blind test with 10 people, and you'd get 10 different answers.

    Factoring that in mind, you should simply enjoy the process more than anything IMHO. There are differences in every print making technique, only commercial press people (or those who choose to do so) need to really go nuts with costly monitors and spectrometers. Let it be an art and a science, and enjoy it. I'm sure everyone who makes Piezography (can we agree this needs a re-name/re-brand?) prefers their Piezography prints. I'm also sure that I would prefer my own darkroom prints to my ABW prints, because I just like analog.

    But those blind tests man, they really take the wind out of your sails.

    Case in point, observe my favorite developer compared to regular old Dektol: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFoCsOpWN7g

  9. #99

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Quote Originally Posted by sperdynamite View Post
    ...you should simply enjoy the process more than anything IMHO.
    Good advice, but neither process (Epson ABW and Piezography) is all that exciting! So, for me, the end result is the determining factor in this case.

  10. #100
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Piano tuning! One of the only things that's more tedious to me than inkjet printing! Those frick'n high notes! Blow on the tuning hammer...too sharp! Blow on the other side of the hammer...too flat! Repeat....I really should tune my 125 year old Knabe.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing You Don't Already Know

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