Friday, May 26, 2006

The New Black

Halleluja, praise the Lord! Amy remembered to bring her Camera Store gift certificates to work today so she can get some frikkin' ink and print over the weekend!

Let's see...I need me some light magenta, some cyan, and probably light black.

My printer takes three kinds of black ink. Photo black, which is for glossy paper. Matte black, which is, obviously, for matte paper. And light black. Which is not to be confused with gray. It's not gray. If it were gray they would call it gray. It's light black.

So in my quest for ever-new photography gear, I perused the B&H Photo catalog that came in this week's mail, drooling over the new technology, specifically, a flash. M caught me and asked, "Good grief...what do you need now?" Just to tweak him, which isn't nice but I can't seem to help myself, I replied, "Well, my camera is a D100. Now they have a D200. It's gotta be better. It's 200 instead of 100." He rolled his eyes, "What does it do that yours doesn't?" "Let's's 10.2 megapixels. Mine's only 6.1." I thought he was gonna have a heart attack.

He asked whether it makes a big difference, and would our printer even be able to tell the difference between 6.1 and 10.2 megapixels. I said probably not, and therefore we should probably look at upgrading the printer, too.

I think this is why he has gray in his hair. Just a guess.

So, just for fun, I looked at the new printers. Turns out that Epson has a fancier-schmancier printer than my beat up ol' 2200. (My printer is neither old nor beat-up, but if I start laying the groundwork with M now, maybe in a few years I can upgrade. Wink wink.) The new printer takes THREE black inks. I presume these are dark black, medium black, and light black.

Seriously, how many blacks can the human eye actually distinguish? With clothes, yeah, you can tell. Because your new black shirt is never quite as black after you wash it. And by five or six washings, you can start to look downright dingy. With photographs, someone like me, who is also known as Ms. Pickypants and who loves to scrutinize images with a giant loupe, will see all those different gradients. But I'd pretty much guarantee everyone I know who will see my images would probably be perfectly happy with just one black.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to start really looking at black. Try to decide if what you're looking at is a dark black, medium black, or light black. No one really gives a shit, but you just might start noticing things you hadn't before.


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