Calling what’s been going on around here lately “spring cleaning” is like calling WWII a “border skirmish.” Whew. Writing a blog post feels like a huge break from the action, which isn’t about to let up any time soon.
Lots of perfectly good gear has gotten long in the tooth (or broken) and I’ve been intentionally putting off any updates as long as possible. My Epson 4000 printer, which prints up to 17″ wide might seem large by conventional standards, but once the ink jet paper company Breathing Color made gallery wraps so easy, I quickly found out that I needed to upgrade to a 24″ wide printer.
So what you see here, the Epson 7900, is now affectionately known as “The Beast,” as it seems to take up most of my office. Carol is “thrilled” as you can well imagine. Dare to “Google” the ink prices some time if you find your blood pressure too low, it’s like asking for a quad shot at Starbucks.
If you don’t blink at the ink prices, it means you’re got too much money, or you own stock in Epson.
So my old print server PC died awhile back, not a huge deal, but then my graphics workstation started acting a little weird and the software I needed to upgrade has to run on a 64-bit operating system — which means I need to upgrade from Win/XP to Windoze 7 — and it’s time for a totally new PC! About the best thing I can say about Win7 is that it doesn’t suck, but you can see that they’ve dumbed it down in an attempt to make it “intuitive” like Apple. Was that really necessary?
The new PC rocks, but with the truckload of software that I run, it took quite awhile to get this thing totally configured and up to speed so that I can do everything on this PC and then just turn the old one into a print server.
A lot of these hardware upgrades are part of getting ready for a show I’m in; the Northwest Reptile Expo which is coming up fast — scheduled for May 11th in Renton, WA. We’ve been going to these local reptile shows since Kaitlyn was about 4. Finally after noticing that no one is ever selling any photography, not even cards at these shows, but there is a room full of buyers and hundreds and hundreds of people in a single day passing through the room, I got the bright idea that maybe this was a good target audience. Duh.
So, once again I created total chaos in our family room by turning it into a photo studio so I can get some Red Eyed Tree frog pictures. When I showed the prints to Kaitlyn she said “FINALLY!” because she knows I’ve been putting this task off for far too long.
Shooting frogs (or just about any animal) is more like an exercise in luck than anything else. You might have an image in your head of what you’d like to capture or create, but the frog has a very different agenda. Tree frogs might seem tough to shoot, but compared to Dart frogs, they’re practically narcoleptic, which is one reason I’ve been putting this off for so long. This show is finally forcing me to get’r done.
As I start to get more of this work done and the images processed, I’ll be able to post more shots here. This RETF (Red Eyed Tree Frog) image definitely isn’t what I intended when I started setting up, but it’s not too bad. When I’ve spend 30 minutes just trying to get a frog to stay put on the target plant without even being able to pull the trigger and take a shot, I sometimes wish I was a painter, or even cleaning houses for a living. ;o)