April 2016 - Digital Group - Epson Problems & Layers

Meeting Notes March 2009 to 2018.
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April 2016 - Digital Group - Epson Problems & Layers

Post by spb » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:25 pm

I mentioned previously that Mirrorless System Cameras (such as Micro 4/3rds) are particularly suitable for mounting historic lenses via adapter rings and there is a large community of people enjoying this online. Taking it to the extreme, Lomography are seeking crowd funding to reproduce the original Daguerreotype 16mm Art Lens from 1839 for this purpose!

The Google NIK Collection of seven filters for Photoshop/Elements/Lightroom/Aperture is now available for free download. These have been as much as $500 in the past so the news that they are now free is great …. or is it? Google bought Nik for Snapseed, not for this filter collection and the extent to which they will be supported and updated in the future is uncertain. For now – they seem to be working OK, even with Windows 10, and amongst the collection are highly regarded applications such as Silver Efex Pro for colour to mono conversion.

My Epson Stylus Photo R3000 printer has produced some excellent prints in the four years, or so, that I have owned it. Unfortunately it is now becoming unreliable and the Photo Black channel disappeared completely in mid-print recently. A couple of normal head cleaning routines made no difference and nor did the usual round of cleaning the capping station, head wiper, cartridge spigots and the underside of the print head. The fact that the missing nozzles changed from one test to the next indicated that the problem was air in the system and probably not a blockage at all.

The R3000 has fixed ink cartridges and pipework to the print head. Once a significant quantity of air gets into the pipework, normal head cleans will not remove it. After some investigation I identified 2manuals.com as a source of maintenance software which can initiate a full system purge – as performed by a new printer. It took two such purges to restore the Photo Black channel. However the printer has now returned to the previous situation in which the Photo Black channel loses a few nozzles daily, although printing half a page of a black purge file is sufficient to restore it. Ink puddles are also evident on some prints.

At the meeting, a member suggested that the problem was probably due to a faulty component; either a damper (which controls the flow of ink and filters the ink) or the Photo Black / Matte Black switch-over valve. The more you read about the challenges in managing the microscopic quantities of solid ink particles that flow through these printers, the more you wonder how they ever work at all!

Excellent information and videos on inkjet support at Marrutt.

…to be continued.

Layers facilitate experimentation, flexibility and creativity. Images can be altered, adjustments can be revisited, days, months or years later. Selections and Layers are at the heart of image editing with Photoshop.

However, if you take your images largely in-camera and only want to make small local tweaks and overall adjustments for the purposes of presentation, then you don’t need layers, selections, or indeed Photoshop. In this case you would be better served by Lightroom. Similarly if you are finding Photoshop endlessly confusing and even maybe have an ideological problem with image manipulation – do yourself a favour and switch to Lightroom. You are not cut out to be an editor of images.

Many people seem to be frightened by layers. Perhaps this is because of some basic misconceptions;
- Layers can’t be saved. Wrong - save your image as a .PSD file to save all of the layers and all of the adjustments (although not the History)
- Layers have to be flattened before printing. Wrong - the print looks just like the image onscreen, with all of its visible layers
- Photoshop Elements doesn’t support layers. Wrong - Photoshop and Photoshop Elements are virtually identical regarding layers and layer masks.

Everything you need to know to master Layers and Layer Masks is contained within the latest update to the Using Layers document which can be downloaded from the Digital Group page of the APS website. I’m not going to repeat it here. You will only come to understand layers by trying to use them to solve problems with your own images, so get stuck in to this homework...

The only way to learn how to use Layers is to use them on your own project; focus on the objective and figure out how to achieve it.

So to reinforce this point, here is your homework;
- Open an image (Image 1) in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.
- Duplicate the Background Layer.
- Alter this new layer significantly eg with the Clone Stamp or other tool or filter of your choice
- Apply an overall adjustment to the image with an Adjustment Layer
- Create a new empty top layer, select it and create a border in a suitable colour with the Edit>Stroke command
- You should now have four layers. Give them all a meaningful name (except Background).

PART B (Optional)
- Introduce another image (Image 2) into the above file as a new layer using File>Place (or File>Place Embedded in Photoshop CC)
- Select a significant part of that new layer
- Use a Layer Mask to hide the rest of that layer
- Move and/or resize this new image part appropriately
- You should now have five layers. Ensure that they all have a meaningful name.

NB Everything you need to achieve this homework is in the updated Using Layers (April 2016) notes on the Digital Group page of the APS website.

Cheers, Steve

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