Mid week update / by Neil Alexander

Having managed to squeeze a flurry of back-processing and printing a week or so ago, this week time has once again got the better of me.

I have followed on from an idea I picked up from another blog which was to turn one room that you use relatively frequently into a small preview gallery. So I've just taken delivery of a stack load of A4 aluminium frames from Trade Frames and hung them all in my downstairs bathroom. It's not exactly the Tate Modern, but it works for me. In case you're wondering, I've done this for two reasons: As any photographer will tell you, you don't really get to appreciate your work unless you print it. Whether its film or digital, you've really got to make prints and reasonable size prints in order to properly appreciate and critique what you're doing. I also find that once I've got an image printed and I see it every day on the wall, it gives me ideas on how I can improve on the print - be it by a different slightly crop, maybe a little dodging or burning here and there, or possibly a tweak in the toning. I'm also really getting into the Epson R2400 at last, and really loving it. The quality of the black and white prints it produces are really phenomenal, and the colour ain't too bad either. One of these days when I fire up the wet darkroom again, I must make a couple of prints to compare - one wet printed direct from the neg, and one digitally printed on the 2400 from the scanned neg - would be interesting to compare the two.
On a slightly different tack, readers will be aware that I've been struggling with off-site backups and a stream lined method of being able to work on files at home and in the office. To this end, I pocketed a Western digital 400 GB pocket hard drive from PC World earlier this week which I can use to transfer files around and I can also work directly on Lightroom galleries from the drive at home. It remains to be seen just whether the access speeds will be quick enough for Lightroom or whether I'll have to copy data off the drive first, but it looks neat, its small and it holds 400 Gb which should be large enough as a temporary carry around drive for the time being. And as long as it last longer than that crappy 32 Gb memory stick, it'll be worthwhile. It also comes bundled with some auto-syncing software which I am just investigating.
Anyway, that's it for the time being. Time to get back on the M6 again. I'll just leave you with this - Martin Bailey over at MBP is running another of his fantastic workshops in Japan in February next year. Check out the details here - http://www.mbpworkshops.com/ . If there were 13 months in the year and my little ones were just that little bit older, I'd be there. Last year's workshop looked a real corker - much fun was had by all and some of the work they produced was outstanding.