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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Another Self Assignment

Another self assignment to digitally transform a photograph utilizing fractals and by 'painting with light'. What are fractals?  See those wavy green and orange lines behind the doll....those are fractals, which are blended into the image at low opacity. And 'painting with light'? That is an enhancement of the yellow glow behind the doll done by using the color picker in Photoshop to choose the color of the existing glow and then painting with a soft, low opacity brush in the appropriate area on a new empty layer. Looks messy, but then change the blend mode to color, or soft light, or just experiment...the messy looks goes away and it all blends together nicely. I also obviously added in the musical note embellishment.

Where is this all headed? I don't know, but I do know that I'm having fun with it all!

 
 © Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

Self Assignments

In my last post, I wrote about trying to get my photographic thoughts and plans together after having 'completed' my Empathy Project.  One of the ideas I had mentioned was delving further into 'Photoshop digital artistry'. I had taken an excellent course in this some time ago, but had really gone through the tutorials listening and watching but not doing.....and that's a mistake. So I have started going through it again, this time giving myself self-assignments to utilize the techniques taught in the tutorials of compositions that seem to be in a style that I like.

And so I thought I would post some of my self assignments, of which this is the first. The assignment was (utilizing my own main image):

Construct a background from multiple textures

Add the main image and mask out the edges  using a 'grungy' brush

Add the frame with the main image 'spilling out'

Add some embellishments to create visual interest, including scribbles that I make and scan in myself

Blend in a 'line drawing' version from Topaz Impression

 

And the final result is below.

 

 
 © Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

What To Do When The Project's Over?

Readers of my blog know that over the last year or so I have been working on my Empathy Project, which took up quite a bit of my time. It really was an all encompassing project for me, both time-wise and emotionally. I ended up with 32 portraits and interviews. Once I had completed those, it took me a couple of weeks to prepare the material for submission to a magazine (more on that in a future post, when I hear back). Once that was completed.....well, it's sort of a let down. What does one do next?? How do you decide on the next project? How do you know where you should redirect your efforts? Because I hadn't really done any longstanding projects like this before (well, maybe one, The Carrie Furnace Project) it's a problem I haven't really previously faced. And I know it may sound trivial, but I really am unsure as to where to find inspiration next.

So I am doing a few things to help me along. First, in the past, I have had an interest in and taken some courses on 'Photoshop Artistry', the idea of using photographs and Photoshop to create composited pieces of artwork. Though I had gone through the courses and used some of the techniques, it isn't something that I really delved into deeply. And, while I had tried to do some of the 'assignments', I am really not too good at following other peoples project suggestions (despite it being a good way to learn). It just isn't a way that I take to very well. So, I am taking another tact. I am reviewing some of the lessons and when I review a tutorial that shows work and technique that is in 'my style', that I can see myself using, I make up my own assignments to practice the technique. I think I can work and practice better that way.  It is something I am trying and we will see where it goes. Who knows, maybe I will even describe and show some of the self assignments and results here.

The second thing is that (and here is something that readers probably don't know about me) many years ago I used to raise orchids as a hobby. In fact, I had constructed a growing room in my basement using with high intensity lighting and various sorts of climate control. I finally gave it up because the time involved became too overwhelming. At one point I actually had an article published in 'Orchids', the journal of The American Orchid Society, about how to construct and maintain such a growing area.

Well, I am starting to do some growing again, but in a much more constrained way.....on a stand under  some fluorescent lights. And in addition to growing a few orchids that I kept, I have also taken to growing something new that has captured my fancy....carnivorous plants. The reason I mention any of this is that the plants are so bizarrely interesting that I would like to make photographs of them. Think I'm crazy? Well, check this out...... 

This is a beautiful book with wonderful fine art images of carnivorous plants.

And then there is Beth Moon's wonderful black and white portfolio entitled "The Savage Garden", named after the classic carnivorous plant growing manual by Peter D'Amato

Several years ago Beth's carnivorous plant portfolio was published in LensWork. These plants really are bizarrely photogenic in a very abstract way.

At this point, I am just trying to put ideas together. If anyone would like to share ideas about how they get inspired or get motivated to 'move on to the next thing', I would love to hear them! 

Blazing Stars - The Annual Pilgrimage

Every year, at the end of July through the beginning of August, my 'photo friends' and I make our annual pilgrimage to Jennings Environmental Education Center to see the blooming Liatris spicata, more commonly known as Blazing Stars. While you can perhaps find them growing in gardens, the open prairie of Jennings is the only place in Western Pennsylvania where they grow naturally. The open prairies of the Midwest is otherwise their natural habitat.

Every year, besides the 'standard' type photographs, I try to do something a bit different. This time around, I tried to not only photograph the plants, but to also photograph what it felt like to be there surrounded by them out in the open fields.

 
 © Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

Canon ImagePrograf 2000 Disaster - Epilogue (Part 2)

Part 1 of this post about my experience with Canon and my ImagePrograf 2000 printer can be found here. At this point I will simply carry on with the story.

After two boxes of printer parts had been confirmed as having arrived at my home, the repair appointment was scheduled. When the repairman opened up the machine he found something very unusual and unexpected. We had thought that the ink was being 'sucked' out of the cartridge and being deposited in the maintenance tank (the tank where excess and discard ink from cleanings etc goes). But there it was. The ink. All pooled INSIDE THE PRINTER and contained within a portion of the machine's 'innards'. it wasn't in the maintanance tank at all.

Before explaining what happened, I need to explain a bit about how the printer works (at least this is the way it was explained to me). Each ink color has it's own sub-reservoir. A volume of ink is drawn into the sub-reservoir from the main ink cartridge and, when you print, the ink going to the print head is drawn from the sub-reservoir tank and when that tank reaches a certain level it draws more ink from the main cartridge. The printer is engineered this way so that when the chip on the main cartridge reads 'empty' things don't come to a grinding halt. There is enough ink left in the sub-reservoir to finish the print job and even to continue with some printing until you can get a fresh ink cartridge of that color. Only when the sub-reservoir is near empty do things come to a grinding halt.

Apparently my printer developed a leak in the sub-reservoir tank (I presume around either the intake valve drawing ink into the reservoir or around the exit valve that feeds the ink down the tubes to the print head). All the ink leaked around this valve into the bottom of the part that holds half the sub-reservoir tanks (there are two groupings of six inks, each of the six with a sub-reservoir tank). Once this was figured out, the repairman knew what parts of the printer needed to be replaced. Of course, nobody anticipated this as the problem and the parts had to be ordered. And there were a lot of parts that would need to go into this 'hemi-transplant'!

Several days later I received three more large boxes of printer parts delivered to my home and another repair was scheduled. This time a huge 'hunk' of printer was replaced, including the sub-reservoir tanks on the side that serviced magenta ink.

So two questions remain: 1) how did this happen and 2) did the fix work?

How did this happen? Nobody seems to know the answer to this question! The repairman and the slew of engineers he spoke with say that they have never seen this happen before, though this model printer is relatively new. In fact, they wanted the parts that were removed as defective to be shipped to them so that they could examine them and perhaps get some type of idea regarding if this was a 'freak' one-time occurrence or if there was a potential manufacturing and/or design problem. 

Did the fix work? I am glad to say that thus far it does appear to have eliminated the problem. Before the fix my large magenta cartridge would be empty within 48 hours of inserting it into the printer. The printer has been 'post-op' for 5-6 days so far and the magenta ink level on the software monitor seems stable. Although nothing was done to the print head, I do notice that on my test prints there is a slight color shift in the highlights, where the yellows are slightly more magenta. I can tell this by comparison to some old test prints I had kept. But I suspect that this color shift (which is very mild) will likely be resolved by recalibrating the printer and making new color profiles.

So far so good.....it looks like I have my printer back. Not, however, a fun ordeal! And now we will see how easy or difficult it is to get Visa to pay for it using the extended warranty benefit.

Canon ImagePrograf 2000 Disaster - Epilogue (Part 1)

Back in May I had written a long post about the apparent demise of my Canon ImagePrograf 2000 printer. For full details, those that are interested can revisit that post. Suffice it to say that I switched over to Canon because of multiple head failures on my Epson 7900 (a well known defect that Epson has never owned up to - just Google Epson 7900 print head failure), with the Canon having a user replaceable print head. While I found the prints from the Canon to be every bit as good as the ones that rolled off my Epson, the printer developed a 'terminal' problem just when it was out of warranty.

The printer seemed to empty my magenta ink cartridges in 24-48 hours instead of the almost a year that the ink cart should last. Nobody at tech support could figure out what was going on and I wasted several hundred dollars in magenta ink. Because the printer was out of warranty, Canon wanted $1500 to come fix it without providing much in the way of a warranty for their work and without knowing what the problem was. When I complained about the price, they said I should call my local Canon Worldwide authorized repair service and maybe they could determine what the problem was when they came and examined the machine. They were going to charge me $1500 because they didn't know what the problem was but, if the problem was identified then perhaps it could be fixed for significantly less. I did what Canon suggested, and while the local repairmen weren't sure what the problem was for sure, they thought they might be able to fix it with a $30 part and a $180 visit to install the part. But, of course, there no guarantees. Nonetheless, I took the gamble. But two days after their 'repair' (replacement of the print head service module) the machine 'gobbled up' another $175 magenta ink cart. The printer was far from fixed.

Enter my 26 year old son......

"Hey dad, too bad you didn't use one of those fancy credit cards to buy the machine. You know, the ones that extend the manufacturer's warranty"

Turns out I raised a genius :)  It just so happens that the credit cards that offer that benefit don't have to be all that fancy. And when I checked, I had 'unwittingly' purchased the machine on just such a Visa card! After submitting the appropriate paper work, and after a few delays and missed deadlines on their part, followed by my making several phone calls they agreed that this fit into the manufacturers warranty extension benefit and that they would cover the cost as long as I got it repaired within 6 months. 

So I made a call back to Canon to get the $1500 repair deal. Except now the cost 'would have been' $1000.....would have been because Canon claimed that since I already had 'someone else' work on the machine they could no longer get involved with the repair.

WTF? I follow their instructions, call who THEY suggested, get the machine worked on by an authorized Canon Worldwide dealer who charges me over $200 and still doesn't get the machine functional, and have now poured several hundred dollars worth of magenta ink into the printer and now Canon can no longer work on it because 'someone else' initiated a repair???? I asked to speak to the tech support supervisor. He couldn't help me but said he would bump it up to a customer service supervisor. That supervisor said they couldn't help me but said they would bump it up to another supervisor. Finally, after pushing through three supervisors they agreed to repair the machine for $1000 paid up front (which I planned to submit to Visa once all was said and done). The repair was finally scheduled.

The first step was to speak with a very interested and supportive repair person who, like the others, said they had never ever heard of this happening but that he was going to call some engineers to get some ideas. He called back and said that two boxes of parts would be arriving at my home before he was scheduled to have a look at the printer.

Want to know what the problem was and how/if it got fixed? Tune into the next post for the answers. After all, one post can only go on for so long :)!

Could John Turner Be The Next Undiscovered Vivian Maier?

If you're not familiar with Vivian Maier you can check her story out here. I have some of her books and they are wonderful.

But here is a new discovery and, while Turner certainly doesn't match Maier in terms of being prolific, he does, in my opinion, match in terms of, shall we say, 'wonderfulness'! The video is on CNN so I can't embed it, but it is definitely worth a watch. I particularly like the irony of the image where the 'beggar' is asking the woman who is collecting money herself for a donation. He really had an eye for irony and for catching 'the moment'.

Have a look at the short video: entitled "Photos Found In Suitcase Show A Different Time". A very enjoyable few minutes! 

The Empathy Project #32

It feels a bit bittersweet, but The Empathy Project will more or less be coming to an end with this installment. It just feels to me like it is time to take a bit of a break and move on to some other projects. It is quite possible that I might resume the project at some point in the future, but for now I feel I need to move on to other things I'd like to explore.

This has been a very meaningful project for me and I do hope that others found it enjoyable to see and listen to! And I thank everyone for the comments along the way.

This gentleman speaks very openly about what it's like to have and deal with heart disease at a younger age. "When you wake up and see the sun you know you have another day!"

 
 © Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

The Empathy Project #31

WARNING: Do NOT, I said do not play cards with this woman if you want to hold onto your  money :)  I also love when she flips the interview and asks me how old I was when JFK was assassinated!

 
 © Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

The Empathy Project #30

In many of my patient interviews I have asked people that are older what they remember of World War II or the Korean War. These are wars I know well from studying history but I obviously have no first hand knowledge of the events. The first war that I remember, and which surely defined my youth, was the Vietnam War. I distinctly remember watching it on the news every night and being quite scared about the possibility of being drafted, though I was too young to actually be drafted at the  time. Of course, nobody knew how long the war might go on for. Vietnam, and the social changes surrounding it, were the defining events of my generation. And so, for the first time as part of this project, I had the opportunity to talk to someone who served his country in Vietnam. It wasn't an easy interview and I believe you can tell quite a bit not only from what this gentlemen says, but also from the tone of his voice.

 
 © Howard GRill

© Howard GRill

 

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

The Empathy Project #29

At age 92 she's seen a great deal. And she can tell you about it with great eloquence......

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

 
 © Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

The Empathy Project #28

This lovely woman needed a little reminding that everybody is important! 

My goal for this project was to photograph and interview 30 people. I have actually had the opportunity to 'enroll' 32 of my patients since starting the project. After I process the last several, I am planning to take a break and think about what my next project might be. I am not quite sure how one knows a project has been completed, but it feels to e like this one is winding down for me.

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

 

 
 © Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

The Empathy Project #27

The depression never affected this delightful man when he was a kid......he was still able to go skinny dipping in the summertime! His advice at age 87? "Keep your mind fresh."

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

 
 © Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

The Empathy Project #26

Do you know what a wood pattern maker does? Neither did I, but this very pleasant man really enjoyed his work, which combined the technical with the 'doing'. Listen on.....

When I first started this project back in September I had been hoping to collect 30 portraits and interviews. At the time I though that might be a bit 'pie in the sky', but it looks like it just might happen (especially since, while I have 26 processed, I actually have 3 more already waiting to work on!)

The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

 
 © Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

Black & White Magazine Portfolio Merit Award

I am very pleased that my black and white floral series was chosen for a portfolio merit award and three of the images in the series were published in the current issue of Black & White Magazine (Issue #128).  It's always fun to see your images in print!

The three images published from the portfolio are:

 

 
 Sunflower    © Howard Grill

Sunflower    © Howard Grill

 
 Cyclamen    © Howard Grill

Cyclamen    © Howard Grill

 Lotus    © Howard Grill

Lotus    © Howard Grill

The Empathy Project #25

Molybdenum.....how much do you know about it? Well, I assure you that this gentleman knows far more about it than you or I.  In fact, as you will see, I even had trouble pronouncing it. 

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

 
 © Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

Problems With My Canon ImagePrograf 2000 Large Format Printer

RANT WARNING:

Just under two years ago, after going through three print heads in about four years on my two Epson 7900 large format (24 inch) printers, I said that I had had it with Epson and their quite clearly faulty 7900 print head design (there were hundreds, if not thousands, who were having similar print head problems and at that time there was even a class action suit brewing). So I purchased a Canon ImagePrograf 2000 24 inch printer. The Canon has a print head that is easily replaceable by the user, and with the print head being the part most likely to develop problems (and also among the most expensive of parts), I thought that even if the print head went bad it would be easy to swap out (albeit at $650 a pop). I was looking forward to years of printing with the new machine.

I do need to say that the print quality, both color and black and white, with the ImagePrograf 2000 is fantastic. Every bit as good as the Epson (to my eye anyway) and I have no complaints about the quality of the output. Early on (while still under warranty) the print head did develop a clog that would simply not resolve in the yellow channel (part of the nozzle check pattern was fine, but part refused to print no matter how much I cleaned the head). I use the printer essentially daily, so remaining idle was not the problem (these big printers are meant to be used and if the ink stops flowing for a week or two it is very easy to develop clogs). Canon cheerfully sent me a brand new print head which I was able to easily pop into place.....problem resolved and to this date has not come back.

Unfortunately however, a new and seemingly 'terminal' problem has developed. All of a sudden, completely out of the blue, the magenta ink cart registered as empty. I changed the cart ($173 a pop for a 300 ml cartridge!) thinking I probably had simply missed the 'empty soon' warning. It registered as a full cart until the next day, when it suddenly went from being read as full to empty in a split second. That's 300ml of magenta ink that usually lasts me at least 6 months!

Canon tech support was very willing to spend a good deal of time with me on the phone, I will give them that....which is more than I can say about Epson support once your machine is out of warranty. They had me print out an error log from the printer, photograph it using my cell phone and send it to them.....there were no errors noted by the machine. They then had me update to the latest firmware. Another fresh cart of ink went in and registered as full.....it looked fixed! For a day. The next day the exact same thing happened (oddly without the maintenance cartridge filling up significantly with discarded ink as best one could tell) and another 300 ml cartridge was emptied and registered as needing to be replaced. In fact, whenever I lifted the cartridge out of the machine it did feel totally empty based on weight. But it was still printing and gave a perfect nozzle check. I was happy to keep printing since there was about a years worth of magenta ink that had been put in there somewhere, and as long as the nozzle check was OK I could ignore the 'cartridge empty' warning sound. 

That was until it developed it's 'terminal' problem. It wouldn't print anymore because it apparently finally 'thought' the magenta cart was empty. If I turned the printer on and off it sometimes bizarrely indicated full but usually indicated empty and, in either instance, the machine wouldn't print because of the empty ink cart (which by weight seem to be the case). If I tried to print I would get an error message saying that there was no magenta ink and printing couldn't continue.

Why do these things only happen when the device is just a couple months out of warranty? The machine is not even two years old. Canon USA wants $1200 pre-paid to come out and fix it (even though they say they have no idea what is wrong at this point)! Instead I called a local Canon authorized repair and maintenance company that actually has been a pleasure to deal with, but they had never heard of this happening before and couldn't guarantee what it would cost to fix. Nonetheless, the tech thought that it was possible that it could be fixed with a $27 part (print head management sensor) but the trip over and subsequent work was $180/hr. If that didn't work his next guess would be to replace the purge unit, a $300 part and $180/hr labor (the functional word here being guess), but that he couldn't be 100% certain that would fix it either. In addition, as I explained to him, there would need to be a wait between tries because I could just put a new magenta ink cart into the machine and it would register as full and work perfectly....for a day or two....so it would initially appear that whatever they did would work, but that the test would be with time. They did note that if they got it working (for even a day) that I could put it on service contract so that if it broke again a few days later it would be repaired. Great idea, but the cost of that would be $1200 for a single year of coverage! The machine itself was barely twice that brand new.

I decided to roll the dice and thought it would be worth giving them one chance with the best guess $27 part. I spent what was required to have them replace the print head management sensor and all was well. For a day and a half anyway, after which the machine emptied (presumably into the maintenance 'discard' cartridge) yet another $173 magenta ink cart....the third one since the saga began! However, I do have to say that the repair technician was honest and up front from the start and really did put in a good deal of time and effort before coming to my home to try to figure out what the problem was likely to be.

It was clearly time to cut my losses and not throw good money after bad. Between my experience with Epson, and now Canon, it does make me wonder if any of these large format printers are designed to really last more than a year or two. The extended warranties are expensive and seem necessary because, at least in my experience, it seems like the companies know the machines won't last. I could have gotten a 'lemon' once, but not all these times. To me, the whole thing just feels contrived. The problem is that I love making prints and enjoy making large ones. So I may be looking at yet another printer. 

It seems like the more electronic and 'better' printers get, the more likely they are to fail. The last printer I had which was replaced electively and only because I wanted to 'upgrade' was an Epson 7600. It has been downhill after that :(

At this point I am considering a return to Epson even though the  Surecolor 7000, which is the replacement for their 'ill-fated' 7900, uses the same print head the 7900 did, albeit with some minor revisions I am told. That, and the ink has been reformulated. I am a bit uncertain where this will lead me, but I am certainly very disappointed with Canon! 

I will post an update as to where this leads.

The Empathy Project #24

A six year waiting list for nurses to volunteer to go to Viet Nam! I love the things you find out just by talking to people. When you start talking and have no idea about a persons background you start to learn all sorts of things. Despite her being a patient of mine, I had no idea that this fascinating woman had been the head nurse at the hospital I now work at. I decided to ask her to participate in my project based purely on the book she was reading when I walked into the room (it was a history book about spies working for George Washington during the Revolutionary War). 

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

 
 © Howard Grill

© Howard Grill

 

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation

I am very pleased and that the Arnold P Gold Foundation has recently recognized my Empathy Project, publishing a blog article and interview with me about the project. 

What is the Arnold P. Gold Foundation? They are a wonderful group that is focused on the importance of humanism in medicine and how it affects and integrates into optimal medical care. To put it in their own words, their vision is "to create the Gold Standard in healthcare – compassionate, collaborative and scientifically excellent care – to support clinicians throughout their careers, so the humanistic passion that motivates them at the beginning of their education is sustained throughout their practice. We strive to ensure that care and respect always govern the relationship between practitioner and patient." Their mission is to "sustain the commitment of healthcare professionals to provide compassionate, collaborative and scientifically excellent patient care." Their mission jives extraordinarily well with my goals for this work, and I am very pleased and honored that they have recognized my project in this way. 

To see the blog post and read their interview with me about the origins and goals of the project, hop on over to their blog and the post entitled "In The Empathy Collection, cardiologist shares intimate portraits of patients".

The Empathy Project #23

Although this lovely 91 year old woman is the 23rd patient that has participated in my Empathy Project, she is also a first!  All of the other patients that I photographed and interviewed were people that I had been seeing in my office as outpatients; she is the first hospital inpatient that I approached to participate. I was asked to see her as a consultant and had never met her before, but we hit it off right away so I thought if I was ever going to try to photograph an inpatient this was the time.

Towards the end of the  interview I talk about her being a YouTube star for her whistling video. If you would like to hear her and increase her viewer count here she is whistling................

Back in September, I had introduced my Empathy Project. The idea behind this 'humanism in medicine' project is that doctors often see patients without nearly as much time as they would like to have in order to get to know them  as 'people'.  It's easy for doctors to lose sight of the fact that patients have the same types of lives as they do, with the same ups and downs, and with interesting events that they have either witnessed or lived through. This project is an attempt to recognize 'patients as people' by having me take their portrait and record their stories at the end of their visit to my office.

As I make these posts, the portraits and audio will be added to my Empathy Project Portfolio, where all the entries can be seen and listened to in a group.

If you receive my posts by email, the audio won't come along with the image.....so, if you would like to listen, check it out on the blog itself at howardgrill.com/blog

 
 © Howard Grill

© Howard Grill