ScanSnap 1500M mini-review

I’ve been using a new gadget for only a few days. But already, I’m convinced it will vastly increase my productivity and organization, and I wanted to let you all know about it. I bought mine retail from Amazon ($419 before tax; free shipping if you’re not in a hurry), and I’m on no one’s payroll but my own. So this is one man’s unpurchased opinion.

And while this post is not strictly photographic, it applies to photographers and to anyone else who has to manage mountains of inky information adsorbed onto thin layers of pounded cellulose. Paper, that is. File this post, therefore, under “…other stuff that moves me”. For I’ve been very moved indeed by my new Fujitsu ScanSnap 1500M.

Like many of you, I’ve done all I can to go paperless. I pay every bill I can online or by automatic bank draft. I have every statement, invoice, or receipt sent by email, or I download it from a website—when that capability is offered.  I save emailed order confirmations of things bought online as keyworded PDF’s; the keyword sequence “tax”, “2010”, “msphoto”, for instance, marks the item as a 2010 photography-related-purchase receipt with tax implications, an easy confluence of tags to Spotlight-search come April 15. In short, I miss no opportunity to eschew paper in favor of 1’s and 0’s on a hard drive. But there’s still a torrent of stuff coming at me that has to be looked at, acted upon, and sometimes stored. All those leaves represent information locked up; space, both mental and physical, consumed.

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Summer dog days

Swim meet, louisville, 7/18/10
Swim meet, Louisville, 7/18/10

With our recent sweltering temperatues, getting out and shooting has seemed like a painful chore.
Welcome to the summer doldrums.

I’ve busied myself mostly with work (the day-job kind of work); with ferrying kids hither and yon as they do their summer activities; and with relays of visiting family and friends.

Creating new work has been slow lately. I’m keeping my hand in by editing and revising existing work, and sending it out into the world to further seek its fortune. To wit, I’ve submitted my project 52 Miles to the Conscientious Portfolio Competition 2010, and I’m buffing that same work also for Critical Mass. That deadline is a mere 5 days hence, so I won’t be idle. This body of work is mature and (mostly) stable, and I’ve showed it and worked it extensively in the past, so I’m 90% ready, already, to submit it. Being the compulsive sort, though, I’ll obsess about it some more before seeing if it has further legs with a new set of viewers. Continue reading

Five Inkjet Papers Considered

As I prepare my portfolio for review at PhotoNOLA next month, my thoughts have naturally turned to the subject of inkjet papers. There’s a welter of different papers out there, so much so that can be overwhelming to consider them. To wit, here are some of my thoughts as I evaluate my range of choices.

I do not intend an exhaustive review of any one paper, nor do I claim any sort of scientific accuracy in my musings. Others have done those things, and reviews of all these papers are available for the searching on the web. (For some of the better reviews, search on Luminous Landscape, or check Stephen Schaub’s Figital Revolution. There are many others.) Furthermore, since PhotoNOLA will be my first portfolio review, I am far from expert about the review process itself.  On that subject, I expect to have more to say here once the bleeding has stopped I have had some time to mull over the experience. Continue reading

Fuji Instax 200 first impressions

end of road, August 2009

After playing around with the Fuji Instax 200 instant camera for a week or so now, I thought I’d share some initial impressions of the camera and its images.

Bear in mind that I’ve only run a single 10-shot film pack through it—day job and family obligations have been in the fore lately—so take these thoughts with the usual metric ton of salt. Furthermore, I’ve shot but few flash pictures indoors or out, and have worked mostly in bright sunlight with scenes of “average” tonal range—not exactly a challenge for any camera’s auto-exposure capabilities. So I’ll have to leave detailed remarks on those aspects of the camera for a later post. Nevertheless, within these limitations, I’d give the camera a qualified thumbs-up, with a few caveats. The images themselves, on the other hand, get an enthusiastic high-five. Read on, if you can bear it.

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