In the course of a year I run about half a dozen workshops and tours, and have done for the last decade. I watch my companions collect images by the tonne, filling up their memory cards and laptops with images. The weight of imagery is massive, yet for the most part they are invisible. Most of these images don't really exist unless you dig through a laptop or flick through an instagram feed.
This weekend I ran a food photography workshop and brought along a lovely big printer and we sat around creating something real. At the end of the first day we've styled beautiful gourmet scenes, played with fancy tilt-shift lenses, tinkered with gorgeous studio lights and spent considerable effort processing the RAW files into a refined image. Then we plug in the Epson R3000 and watch magic happen.
Naturally we wanted really big prints, just a little bigger than A3 in this case. Size matters and if we're creating "real photos" we may as well make them really lovely.
It's a special moment when the page slides out and your photo is written large across the lustre paper. The colours feel different to what you see on a laptop screen. You can touch them. The paper has texture and in the right light you can see the bumps. You can hold the colour in your hand, like a bunny rabbit or a flower. You can hold up the image close to your eyes and wander through it, searching for the little stories lost within.
Until you print off your images on a really good printer you may not realise just how good your camera is. With good paper and a top line printer like the R3000 you can reveal the limitations of your imaging. You see if a lens is sharp, where the corners pick up distortion, how the resolution at wide apertures exceeds your expectations.
These big prints are tangible and have longevity. They don't disappear from memory the way a Facebook update will. You can leave them in your office and have a daily reminder of your creative realm, a physical milestone that says, "On this day I created something unique and special, I am an artist."
Real photos make you feel like a real photographer.
Please Share Your Thoughts
JUST THE FACTS
I've had the pleasure to use a few of the big printers in recent years. For practicality, ease of use and quality of image I've been impressed by the Epson R3000. Paper is the tricky thing with these printers, finding which one matches your images and your budget. You'll try a few before you find the one you love best.
Very selected features on the hardware, software and extra wares that help me get the job done.
SD Cards Explained
Shopping for an SD card is frustratingly hard, with so many brands, standards and price points to navigate through. Especially when speed is a necessity rather than a luxury. It's also possible that the best value SD card is a MicroSD card, if you have the right adaptor.
The Worlds Worst Menu System
I'm astounded that Sony have released a camera that is so darned good, yet crippled by a user interface so completely awful. The ZV-E1 is hard enough for a seasoned professional to tame, but a potential road block to be avoided for anyone just starting their journey into photography.
Tamron 35-150mm F/2-2.8 Di III VXD
I travelled in the Himalayas for a few months in late 2023 with this lovely lens. If you're interested in more than just tech specs, and what it's like to work with this lens for an extended time then you've come to the right place.
20mm is the new 24mm
20mm is now far more common than ever for both primes and zooms, but is 18mm the better option for photographers? And why even bother with 24mm? When shooting wider than wide does it make a difference to buy an extra few mm of perspective?
Tamron Got It Covered
The Tamron 20-40mm F2.8 and 35-150mm F2-2.8 narrow the gap between primes and zoom. I didn't think I'd like these new lenses from Tamron so much, but the fact is every time I took them out to shoot I ended up with a tonne of great images. That’s a little bit annoying for a prime lens snob like myself.
My Favie Magnetic Filter
From the studio to the harsh sunlight of Australia's North-West, I dragged my little pouch of magnetic ND filters around the country to find out which system works best. And found myself a new best friend in OKKO.
Ewen's Photography Book
"ReIMAGINE" is now available to order online. It's a very big and very generous book that will help you to reconnect with your creative side.