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The Tools of My Trade

Richard Charpentier Arizona, Canon Cameras, HDR, Photography, Photomatix, Photoshop, Prescott, Printers, Wide Format Printing Leave a Comment

It’s been a while since I’ve listed off what I use for the work I do.  While I wait for two different painters to come in to check their proofs I thought about what’s important in my day to day business, and figured it would make a great blog post……

What gets used every day?

This isn’t in order of importance, and there’s no rhyme or reason to the list…’s just what I find myself using every day here.

  • Canon 5D Mark II:  Every day the 5D gets broken out for something.  Lately it’s shooting paintings each day for reproduction work.  Just this morning I shot another new painting by Barbara Kimmel Palmer.  Yesterday it was a piece by Linda Young…….
  • Macintosh Computers:  Well, there’s more than one here.  We’ve got the IMac, the old G5 that’s still hanging in there, and regularly my restored MacBook Pro (circa 2006) is in here as well.  Right now, blogging from the IMac.
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3:  Lightroom seems to be the hub of my operation.  Client files are setup in one library, and each year of my own shooting is stored in individual libraries.  For many painting reproductions I use Lightroom only to correct White Balance and match the print to the original.  It’s that powerful a tool!
  • Adobe Photoshop CS4:  While 75% of my working time seems to be confined to Lightroom, Photoshop always plays a role as well.  When artists bring me positive or negative films to scan in, if the images do not match the original I find myself in Photoshop fine tuning the image until we have a match.  Curves, Hue and Saturation, and exposure adjustments seem to be the norm for this type of work.  In addition, using masks to confine alterations to only specific parts of the paintings.
  • XRite’s Color Checker Passport:  Every painting shoot, every time.  Lets me dial in on the white balance instantly!
  • HP Z3100:  While the HP can no longer run glossy at all, it still gets used to run canvas.  The bar that the print heads run along is stuck in the position for canvas, so I’ll make use of it until it gives up the ghost!
  • Canon IPF8300:  The new Canon has become the photo paper workhorse here now.  Glossy, Satin, Metallics, vinyl banner material…..all are running very well in the Canon.  Additionally I have done several sets of canvas out of it to see how it works, and it works well!
  • Fisher Space Pen:  Yup, I love these pens!  Got one at home too.  🙂
  • Pro Art’s Stainless Steel Ruler:  Always having to measure originals you know!
  • Manfroto 190XDB Tripod:  For photographing paintings and photography in general.
  • Apple Cinema Display:  I’ve had this display forever.  I hope that I won’t have to replace it any time soon because I do appreciate its color accuracy.

What gets used every week?

Well, the daily gear and software gets quite a workout.  Every week I find I’m using certain software and hardware as well.  Sure, it doesn’t get used every day, but if I didn’t have it I’d be stuck for sure!

  • Color Munki:  Loving the Color Munki!  I actually like it more than my former EyeOne that I used for nearly 2 years!
  • PhotoMatix:  Yes, Photomatix gets used several times per week.  Even with the availability of Nik’s new HDR software I’m still running Photomatix.  I don’t think I’ll ever stop using it!
  • OnOne’s Plugin Suite:  Since getting OnOne’s plugins the other month I find myself using them often.  PhotoTune, Photo Tools, and Genuine Fractals.  Using them all, and using them often.  What I’ve found lately is that photo clients like to do a little extra post processing prior to final print.
  • Epson Perfection V700 Photo:  Gotta say, I’ve been impressed with this scanner over the past 2 years.  Positive and negative film never looked so good after scanning!
  • Topaz Plugin Suite:  Another favorite purchase, Topaz is used regularly on my own works.  And I do find myself still messing with my photography here and there, even though the bulk of my time is spent printing!

There’s the short list

There you have it.  Whenever I’m at work you now know what’s getting used!

I’m sure I overlooked a thing or two here and there.  But that’s the overall list.

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