Drum Scanner

I’ve been looking for a used drum scanner for several years, hoping to add super-high quality scanning capability at an affordable cost. Quite by accident, I recently became aware of a Howtek HR-8000 scanner that was for sale from a display graphics company in Washington, D.C. It’s in excellent condition and I’m fortunate to have a Mac that’s old enough to run the software.

Drum scanners are old technology, but for anyone making images on film, they are still far and away the best tool for making very large, high-quality digital images. The HR-8000 will enlarge a frame of 35mm film to a size that can be printed over 4×6 FEET—and at that size you WILL see every grain in the emulsion. The optical quality is amazing and it will handle film formats to 8×10 inches and larger. In the past, I’ve had to outsource scans from film formats larger than 6x7cm.

With this new capability, I can now begin working through the forty-year backlog of film images in my library and, when the New55 film becomes available later this year, I plan on shooting a lot more on 4×5 film. Of course, I’m also hoping that other fine art photographers who are still shooting film will send me their film to scan. I now have the complete large-format workflow from film, to scan, to image processing and final output to the Epson 9900 printer.




Wendy, the last of our Collies passed away last November. We’ve since adopted two other dogs, but the experience of living with Collies is somehow different than other breeds. It’s not just that they’re beautiful and friendly, as most dogs are. They have a sense of responsibility and commitment that I haven’t experienced with other animals. They seem to feel like it’s their job to take care of you—not the other way around.

I put together a collection of pictures of Ernie and Wendy that I know some of our friends will enjoy. Both Ernie and Wendy were with us for over ten years after having a difficult start in life. They both earned all the love we could give them.

(Click on any image for an enlarged slide-show view.)

November Snow

While it isn’t unusual to have some snow in November, a foot of snow on the 14th with follow-up storms over the next week have been pretty exceptional. At least we’re not getting buried the way they are in Buffalo.

Protect Geauga Parks

In an effort to thwart a hostile takeover of the Geauga Parks District by persons whose purpose appears to be to stop the growth of the park system and turn much of it into free hunting zones, I donated several large banners to a grass-roots organization called Protect Geauga Parks. County park systems are often viewed as easy pickings for corrupt politicians who use them to favor one group of residents while surreptitiously milking them of funds and other resources. One of our Board members just received a contract worth $9,999.00 to “study” the drug abuse problem in Geauga County. That’s an interesting number that probably falls exactly $1 below a threshold that would require competitive bidding and approval by County Commissioners and the Budget Committee. In any case, anyone who wants information about drug abuse could probably get it with phone calls to the Sheriff’s office, the DEA and the FBI. Might take an afternoon to gather the info and write up a report.


BUY ART! You won’t regret it.

I’m a fan of Polly Chandler. She is an outstanding photographer, currently living in Austin, Texas. I would describe her work as being allegorical. She works primarily in black and white and she carefully stages people, props and environments to give the viewer a suggestion about happenings and circumstances that are beyond the picture as well as within the picture.

I first saw her work published in TEST magazine, which was published for a short time by Polaroid Corporation. The photograph in the magazine was one she had made as a student at Southern Illinois University. Over the years I’ve viewed her website on occasion and I’ve shown examples of her work to my basic photography students to give them some inspiration and show them that images can be designed by the photographer rather than simply found.

Recently, Polly announced that she was having a “print sale,” Her Facebook Page showed her fans four images that would be available as small prints at a very low price. Flashback to 1970: as an undergraduate student at Ohio University, I wandered into an off-campus art gallery and saw a photo exhibition which included a print by Emmet Gowin. The image was one that I had seen in a photo lecture earlier in the semester. If you’re at all familiar with Gowin’s work, you’ll remember the picture of the little girl with her arms crossed and outstretched toward the camera, holding an egg in each hand. The print was being offered for a price of $75.00. I thought for several minutes about whether I could make it to the end of the semester without skipping any meals if I bought the print. I decided to think about it and come back later to buy the print. I never made it back to that gallery in the remaining two weeks of the semester and the exhibition ended with the print unsold. Two years ago a print of that image was sold for $14,000!

The price of the Gowin print certainly got my attention and made me wonder why I didn’t just pull out my checkbook and buy it when I had the chance. But, far more important than the appreciation in monetary value, was the realization that I could have been living with that work of art every day for the last 40-plus years and that there is no way I could afford to buy it today!

So I bought a print from Polly Chandler. Let it not be said that I don’t learn from my past mistakes. I paid very little for the print. I think I paid as much for the materials I used to frame it. And no matter how much it appreciates in monetary value in the coming years—I will never sell it—ever. If it ever does get re-sold, I will not be here to accept the payment.



14037-008 Polly's Print

More on the large format workshop

Here are a few samples of the kind of landscape subjects you might find during the workshop. I just went for a thirty minute walk this morning and came back with these (not shot on 4×5, but just to give you an idea of the kinds of subjects you can easily find).