52 Create – Film Strips

52 Create, my attempt to do one creative project/week for the entire year.  So far all my projects have been out of wood (and most will be too), but for this one I thought I’d run with an idea I’d had for a long time.  While in Paris last year I was thinking that a fun way to display photos would be to print them onto a strip of paper and attach them to the spool in an empty film can.  You could then roll them up into the can and sell them as a set of photos.

 

I ended up printing the photos on a sheet of 8.5×11 photo paper and then cut into 35mm strips.  I fit 9 photos on a strip with a 2:3 ratio, and 7 with a 1:1 (square) ratio.  Made the background of the strip black and typed the name of the set on the end of the roll. I then cut the paper to look like a film leader.  I decided not to add sprocket holes as I thought this was a bit tacky.

 

I like the effect, and I think it could be a really great seller on my Etsy site, but I’ll need to redo these.  The dpi got screwed up in photoshop so the resolution is really bad.  I’d also like to put a little more work into the photos used on each strip. Right now they are sorted by camera and by colour/BW, but I’d like to give each “roll” a theme in the future.  I think this would add strength of the photos.

DIY Film Scanning

As I’m currently in Paris without my scanner, I’ve been looking for ways to scan my negatives inexpensively.  I find it odd that the local pro lab develops your film, then scans it, then prints the pictures on a printer.  It costs less to get your negs developed and printed then it does to get them developed and scanned even though they had to scan them to print them anyways!

I was checking around the web and I came across this post of DIY Film Scanners.  Some look promising but most involve items I don’t have/can’t obtain.  I’ll update next week with my own method once I get it sorted out.

Of Cameras and Paris…

This is a re-post from 99 days in Paris.  With our recent move to Paris I spent the day exploring the film possibilities of this city.  Read on to see my results.

I didn’t bother buying any more film before we left as I had discovered that it was much cheaper in Paris.  Roger had suggested Prophot as an excellent place to buy film, and he wasn’t joking!  While the camera stores in Calgary have a very limited selection, this store sold ONLY film and photo papers and chemicals, that’s it.  The selection was astonishing, I didn’t have to buy the only film they had, I actually had a choice.

They were even selling black and white slide film, although I didn’t get any as I wasn’t sure where it could be developed.  I did however pick up a roll of PX100 Impossible Project film (for polaroid).  This is the new polaroid film that has just reached the market and is now in black and white!

I then headed over to Negatif+, a store that specializes in pro film developing.  While in line I was chatting with the man behind me.  I told him how great the film selection was in Paris and that you could get nothing like this in Canada.  He told me that this was only common in Paris, and was getting worse and worse.  Too bad, I thought maybe Paris was reversing the trend!

Should have some pics back in a couple of days to post on the blog…

Home Photo Printing

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I’ve wondered for a while if it is “worth it” to print my photos at home with an ink-jet printer.  After lots of debate, I have realized that “worth it” depends on your interpretation of the words.  “Worth it” can relate to finances, quality, convenience, personal satisfaction, and as you’ll see, it will depend on you more than anything if you will find home printing a worth while endeavour.  Before answering the question, I will explain what my setup is.

The other day I was in an electronics shop and a very cheap price on a discontinued printer caught my eye.  I had been researching printers for a while, and I knew that $80 for an Epson R280 (R285 in Europe) was a good price so I took the plunge.  This printer can printer borderless 8.5×11 prints and smaller, and can even print on DVD’s with the included attachment.  My only regret is that it cannot take roll paper so I am not able to print some big xpan prints.  While a larger  wide format printer would have been nice, the price was too high, and I simply don’t have the room on my new desk.  A new set of inks for this printer is $80 (same as the cost of the printer), and I’m not sure how many photos I will get from the included ink, however I have read that the supplied cartridges are only half full.

Next, I went to my local photo shop and bought some Inkpress Glossy paper for $25 (50 sheets). Then of course, you don’t always want to print an 8.5×11 photo, so I bought a Kaiser Hobby Cut 2 paper cutter for $100.  Unfortunately, the inexpensive paper cutters can easily cut up to 10 sheets of computer paper, but are not able to get through a single page of glossy photo paper.  I had a USB cable lying around, so I didn’t need to purchase this.  I do wonder about the $2000 wide format printers and whether they come with a cable or not….

Let me just say that I was truly impressed by the quality of this printer.  Once I figured out the settings for printing, I found the results to be stunning.  Only a few years ago, a printer of this quality would have cost well over $500.  I was also amazed at how quickly it prints, and while printer companies always tout their printer’s speeds, it isn’t really a feature I worry about. In fact I even worried after printing the first page, thinking that if it prints that fast, it can’t be very good output…  Glad I was wrong.

Worth it – Finances

Compared to having prints done at the local photo-lab or drugstore, hands down this is not worth it.  At $0.50/page, plus $80 ink cartridges, not to mention the cost of the printer, paper cutter, etc. it’s hardly worth it to print your own photos.  In my town, 4×6 photos can be had for as low as $0.10/print, and the quality will be just as good as what I can provide.

Worth it – Quality

As said earlier, quality is stunning.  For my needs it is as good as a photo-lab.  People often talk about prints and how well they look under a magnifying glass, however I don’t own a magnifying glass, and if you are using one to look at a picture, you are missing the point.

Worth it – Convenience

Obviously the convenience factor is huge with this printer. While I can’t print cheaper than a photo-lab, the photo-lab is not located in my living room.  With a recent baby in the family, being able to print photos for grandma to put in her purse so she can show everyone she meets on the plane ride home is priceless.

Worth it – Self Satisfaction

This is what really tipped the scales for me.  My photographer Uncle had told me it wasn’t “worth it” to print at home.  I think this is similar to saying it’s not “worth it” to make your own furniture as Ikea can do it cheaper.  While this is true, it’s not very satisfying to go to a store and buy something.  It is satisfying (at least for me) to take all the components and construct it myself based on my ideas.  Seeing your vision turning into a useable piece of furniture is priceless and something you will be proud of for the life of the piece.  I think this is similar to printing your own photo.  For me it is a fun hobby, I love seeing the prints come out of the printer, being able to make adjustments, and trying new things.  You can’t do things in life only to save money, sometimes you need to have some fun.

So overall I have been thrilled with this printer and thouroughly enjoy using and seeing what it is capable of.