Learning about printing and framing of large prints

Shutterfly print of Concord CenterShutterfly print of Tunkhannock Viaduct This fall I've starting making a more serious effort to learn and practice photography as an art. I've purchased a Canon EOS 20D digital SLR with a variety of lenses, I've taken a class on using Digital SLRs at the Decordova Museum, I've taken a local printing workshop, and I recently purchased a 21 hour Total Training Photoshop CS2 DVD from Adobe.

While I think my technical mastery of the digital SLR is good to very good, and my composition is very good, I still lack printing skills and equipment. One day I'd like to have a home studio with large format printer from Epson or HP where I can print 13x19 inch prints on high quality art paper or canvas like that from Moab. From there I'd like to try to sell my work for a small profit to recoup costs and then a little more for my effort. I'm thinking over methods of selling that include dutch auctions on eBay, negotiating with local restaurants to hang and sell framed images, participating in arts and crafts festivals, as well as obtaining a permit from my town to sell them on the street in the town center. I'm not sure what's possible yet, but check back here next year and hopefully I'll have it figured out.

Until I can develop my own photo studio at home, I had a couple of my favorite recent images printed in 20x30 inch format by Shutterfly. The original images were high quality and suitable for printing in 11x17 inch, so rather than having Shutterfly englarge them, I used a technique in Photoshop to upsample them by first adjusting the resolution from 72 ppi to 300 ppi, then incrementally increasing the print size until I reached 20x30. The result is an image file about 5 times larger but with a resolution and size suitable for this large format printing without noticible degredation in quality.

I was moderately satisfied with the prints as they came back from Shutterfly. While the site says they will be printed on a flat, low-reflection matte paper, in reality it looks more like semi-gloss because it much more shiny than I hoped for. The image quality was quite good, and I'm having these two photos professionally matted and framed by Corner's Framing. The staff at Corner's Framing was very patient and helped me understand the whole process and the cost breakdown so that I could make choices to lower the cost. Framing is quite expensive, and I learned that the frame itself is by far the largest factor in the price. Our initial selection for a frame cost $444 just for the wooden moulding, but they helped me find a a nice looking, suitable frame for about $175 instead. It will be 2 weeks before they are ready.

Should I start selling my prints, I think I'll try to have them professionally matted for about $40 including dry mounting and backing, but I'll either sell them matted only or in inexpensive metal frames. You can view a smaller version of the Concord Center print and the Nicholson Bridge print.

Resources:
Framing Large Prints
From your hard drive to your wall

Concord Best Place To Live For Athletic Types

Every spring Boston Magazine produces a ranking of towns throughout Massachusetts, and an article to provide details and context. This year Concord, MA ranks as the best choice for "Fitness Nuts", those that like to participate in sports and outdoor activities.

No surprise to me. We have the conservation land and its many trails around Walden Pond, then there's Great Meadows National Wildlife refuge, Punkatasset Hill area, and lots of canoe activity on the Concord, Assabet, and Subury rivers. Not to mention there's six health clubs including Gold's Gym and the Thoreau Club, and not one fast food restaurant to be found. Over the next few years, the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail will open and pass through 3 miles of Concord as part of a much greater rail trail system. Check out the aerial views, too!

While the full article is not available on the web, the raw form of the multivariate data for 2004 is available in this spreadsheet, and with a brief intro here.

Last year Boston Magazine ranked towns for the "Most Bang for the Buck", placing Concord as #91.

The year before, Concord ranked as #19 for the overall "Best [healthiest] Places to Live" in the state.

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Macromedia Flex for Web Application Developers - A New Course

View Final Project for Macromedia Flex for Web Application DevelopersThis week I've completed a new Macromedia course, Flex for Web Application Developers, recently renamed to indicate the course's appropriateness for programmers from all web application backgrounds, rather than just ColdFusion. The course is designed to be a day longer than the existing Fast Track to Flex course and has a target audience of web application developers that may not yet be proficient with ActionScript 2.0 or Object Oriented concepts and programming.

The Macromedia Training web page has not yet been updated to include this course, but that is expected soon. I was forturnate enough to participate in the course in its final testing stage where the instructor sought feedback from technology professionals, to be used in carefully tuning the class towards the general skill set of contemporary ColdFusion MX Developers. In addition, this week's course in particular was also used to train Macromedia Training Partners who will later be teaching this course as well.

The Flex for Web Application Developers course demonstrates how to easily build robust Flex applications that provide a sharp looking user interface while integrating with ColdFusion components as the primary data provider. Knowledge of Actionscript 2.0 is not assumed, and the progressive use of Actionscript from day one builds fluency in the language through osmosis, so to speak. The course emphasises programming best practices for Flex's markup language MXML, as well as Actionscript and ColdFusion's CFML language.

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Photo Gallery of Mexico: Oaxaca, Mont Alban, San Miguel de Allende

Click for Mexico Photo Gallery

[View My Photo Gallery] [ Travel Mexico with 3rd House Party]

What follows is an excerpt from a personal letter to a friend in Spain, made shortly after my return home from Mexico:

[August, 1999] For my trip to the south of Mexico I used the budget travel guide "Let's Go". When I arrived at the airport in Mexico City, I found that my luggage was lost, but I was so tired that I was having difficulty thinking& even in English! That night I went to a hotel where my reservations were made one week in advance and a clerk at the desk told me that I did not have a reservation. He denied that that I paid money, and told me that there was another hotel across the street. After some arguing, someone helped me out. The clerk finally returned my money, 130 Pesos and I left. It was clear that this clerk was lying and wanted to keep my money, and he immediately rented the room to someone else.

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Photo Gallery of the Outer Banks of North Carolina










The Outer Banks are a long series of barrier islands separating mainland North Carolina from the pounding surf of the Atlantic Ocean. The transportation backbone along the Outer Banks is an 80 or 90 mile stretch of Route 12 from Kitty Hawk to Hatteras.

To the north is Kitty Hawk and Nags Head, a commercial zone full of gift shops, mini-golfs, kitschy restaurants, and time share travel resorts, but also the site of the Wright Brothers National Memorial at the site of the world's first motorized airplane flight and home of the impressive sand dunes at Jockey's Ridge State Park where they even have a hang gliding school.

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Hiking in Alaska's Denali National Park

Hiking in Denali National Park, A Photo Gallery

This photo gallery of Alaska is a collection of images from my trips to Alaska in August 1992, December 1992, and August 1994. The destinations along the way include:

  • Seattle, Washington
  • Vashon Island, Washington
  • Anchorage, Alaska
  • Denali National Park
  • Talkeetna, Alaska
You can also read about an interesting night on the Thorofare River here.

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A Fall Roadtrip Through Massachusetts and Vermont, October 2002

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The week before Halloween 2002, Mercedes and I enjoyed a weekend roadtrip from our house in Concord, Masschusetts to Burlington, Vermont. Here's some of the photos. The drive consumed much of the weekend because we decided to take the long way west on Route 2 through Massachusetts past Orange and up to North Adams, then north through Vermont on the interstate passed Rutland and then to Burlington. In total, with sightseeing, the drive was 5-6 hours each way, but the mountain views and low traffic were worth it.




We spent most of our time right in the center of town on the Church Street pedestrian thorofare. With the wind blowing in off of Lake Champlain and low hanging snow clouds moving in, we preferred to check out the warm interiors of artsy stores and hip restaurants rather than fight the cold temps. I have to recommend both the Three Tomatoes Trattoria for dinner and the Sweet Waters Bistro for brunch.


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