Category: Dallas

Corporate Sponsor Spotlight: Red River Paper

In the digital age, most people view photographs on the screens of their devices. But there is something special about getting that image onto paper and displaying it on your wall, as a card or in a hand-bound book. There are a few choices for good, photo-quality printers, and any review roundup will point you in the right direction. Where the choices explode is in the selection of what paper you’re going to use. The weight, tone, surface and texture all affect how different photos will present themselves in the physical world. There are a dozen companies that sell hundreds of variations of paper. Dallas is fortunate to be the home of a company that offers the highest quality papers at prices that reduce printing budgets for all levels of photographers.

Red River Paper was founded by Richard Clampitt. Richard spent most of his life selling paper to print shops with Clampitt Paper Company. In 1996, he started Red River Paper with medical ultrasound paper. A year later, Drew Hendrix joined and both saw photographs printed on inkjet printers and decided to expand the paper selection to include inkjet photo paper. As inkjet technology has improved over the years, so has paper quality and selection. Red River Paper is now run by Drew Hendrix and carries 25 paper surfaces in various weights and sizes to meet the needs of today’s photographer.

WHAT SETS RRP APART:

Red River Paper manufactures paper by buying large bulk rolls from the top paper mills in the US, Japan, and Europe. They then sheet the paper and cut them down to the sizes they carry or create smaller rolls. RRP also scores all paper in house for their greeting card selection, and they sell everything directly to the customer to keep costs lower for the end user. They offer extensive inkjet printing support with their paper and more online tutorials than any of their competitors. Here is a video about what sets their photo paper apart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H5pGfGlhO4

STAFF FAVORITE PAPERS:

KAYLA (Customer Service) – 75lb. Arctic Polar Luster for landscapes

LESLIE (Marketing) – 68lb. UltraPro Satin for portrait photography and Palo Duro SoftGloss Rag for fine art photography

CINDY (Customer Service) – Both Polar Gloss Metallic and Polar Matte for landscapes and architectural images

DREW (President) – Palo Duro SoftGloss Rag for black and white landscapes as well as artistic infrared work

NEW TO PRINTING?

Red River Paper’s biggest piece of advice is to call them at 888-248-8774 if you are trying to figure out which inkjet printer to buy. They will help you find an ideal printer for your budget, paper preference, and space. They will also help you choose a paper or recommend a sample kit that will meet your needs.

HELPFUL LINKS:

Not sure which paper would be best for your landscape shot versus a traditional portrait? Shop paper by photography subject.

Cost per Print Analysis: What’s the true cost of inkjet printing.

Printer Reviews: Founded in 1997, Red River Paper has “been there and done that” in terms of digital image capture, editing, and output.

RRP equivalent paper chart

Preview of Really at Undermain Theatre

We were approached by Undermain Theatre about their new play, Really by Jackie Sibblies Drury. It uses photography as a main theme and they thought we might want to let our clients know about the play. So I went to the preview performance on April 14.

Photography does play a prominent role, in fact, it felt as if it were the fourth character in the play. The three actors are excellent and the story of their relationships is unveiled in a series of emotional interactions and moments. The handling of a camera, fidgeting with lights and talking about photography are woven throughout the drama, sometimes as just busy work, other times as punctuation to the dialog.

I think the play should be seen by anyone who has adopted photography as part of their lives. There is almost no technical dialog about the photographic process here. What the author has done is far more difficult and challenging. She has used photography as a way to explore the very nature of reality and truth. I left the theater in a bit of a fog, in a good way. As a photographer, I’m increasingly aware of my  lifelong attempts to freeze moments and control reality as well as the constant judgment of whether I am good enough. Those thoughts and emotions also apply to relationships. I think Really has done an intriguing job of weaving those two tendencies together.

Preview of the DMA’s Concentrations 60: Lucie Stahl

 

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This morning I had the pleasure of attending Dallas Museum of Art’s Press Preview for Concentrations 60: Lucie Stahl. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a scanner artist but it was close enough to photography that I wanted to know more.

Stahl uses a flatbed scanner to create large format images of items such as food, magazine clippings and trash. The results are fascinating and have a very tactile quality. I really enjoyed her image titled Identity which consisted of a Coca-Cola can, flowers, Lucie’s hands and some unknown liquid. Her method of coating the print in resin made it seem as though the strange red liquid was going to drip right off the wall onto the gallery floor. According to the DMA, “Stahl’s work plays with the notion of liquidity in its many forms – from finance to bodily fluids to the malleability of gender, identity, and images.”

Lucie Stahl Identity, 2015 Inkjet print, aluminum, epoxy resin

Lucie Stahl
Identity, 2015
Inkjet print, aluminum, epoxy resin

Creating art using scanners is actually a really fun and easy thing to do. The images you create can be blown up to huge proportions and are still very sharp. You can use flowers, household objects or even faces. Here’s a helpful how-to on scannography.

Even if you’re not ready to start scanning I certainly recommend checking out Concentrations 60: Lucie Stahl. The exhibit opens Friday, September 16, 2016 and runs until March 12, 2017. Admission is free. Visit the DMA website for complete details.

Patrizia Montanari, new teacher at DCP

Dallas Center for Photography, Patrizia Montanari

The big news for DCP is that Patrizia Montanari will be teaching our very popular Natural Light Portraits workshop starting in May. We first met Patrizia two years ago when she came in for a few one-on-one tutoring sessions with Peter to work on Lightroom and workflow issues. Originally born in Italy, Patrizia left at 24 and since then has lived in a variety of places including NYC, Amsterdam, Florence, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. She has called McKinney her home for the past three years and has started a blog called [On The Square] where she combines her passion for photography with her love for Historic Downtown McKinney.

A few months ago Money Magazine named McKinney, Texas as the number one best place to live in America. Patrizia and her husband were interviewed for the article:

The historic downtown houses a mix of art galleries, boutiques, and farm-to-table restaurants, as well as basics like a butcher, shoe repair, and farm-supplies stores. Mark Strange says that living downtown was a no-brainer for him, his wife, Patrizia Montanari, and their two young children. “It’s a mix of European, East Coast, and West Coast here,” adds Montanari, 36, a photographer. “You get culture and more country charm for less money than what you’d find in Dallas.”

We recently put Patrizia on the spot and asked her a few questions about her work and life.

Q: What is your favorite part about photography?
A: To be able to preserve memories and in some way stop time. Life is just too fast and it’s not always so simple to slow down and enjoy moments. The art of photography allows us to save memories, and to look back at the past and see things from different perspectives, I love that.

Q: What makes McKinney such an interesting subject for you?
A: McKinney screams Texas to me. It is a city with the feeling of a small town and it has a wonderful Historic Neighborhood. Finding inspiration in McKinney was effortless. I can see beauty even in the oldest and most forgotten building and I meet fascinating people every day.

Through my photography and my blog I am able to share their stories and it just makes me feel complete. I love to talk about anything interesting that I discover about the Historic Downtown and its amazing community and I love to showcase local businesses, artists or just cool people. I’ve created a McKinney greeting card collection that sells in selected retailers in the McKinney Downtown Square, and I also have an incredible amount of followers on my blog called “On The Square” Blog.

Q: How does your background in art influence your photography?
A: I consider myself an artist and a story teller and photography is one of my favorite mediums. My love for painting and drawing at one point of my life developed into photography. It’s an immediate and convenient way to communicate what I would have in the past with my paintings and drawings.

I really love to photograph people – they are my favorite subject. I am passionate about body details and I love to sketch those details, stare at them, and talk about them too. I look at people’s eyes and hands. I remember those details sometimes more than I remember what people say (it’s quite easy to get distracted since English is not my first language). When I paint or draw everything else switches off – it’s just me, my subject and my canvas. When I photograph, I feel the same. Nothing else exists and I am completely into the subject.

Q: What is your goal in photography?
A: My goal is to always improve myself as a photographer. I love to photograph people. I especially love to see their reactions when they are admiring a photo of themselves. They are exposed to a different perspective and they can see beauty in the photo.

Meeting with Peter at DCP a few months ago made me realize how connected my art is to my photography so I worked on merging these two passions and I now offer a unique product to my clients. I host monthly events in collaboration with Pavitra Organic Day Spa in Downtown McKinney called Pampering & Portraits. We promote them as relaxing and glamorous sessions born from the idea of combining a wellness experience with the art of photography, all in a unique, creative and sophisticated session for women of all ages. The portrait package includes a photography session with the option of commissioning a portrait painting.

Q: Why did you leave Italy?
A: Italy is a beautiful country. The history and the art are just amazing and the food is probably what I miss the most. But it wasn’t enough anymore, I needed to discover and travel and the United States gave me great opportunity to express myself and value myself more. Now my home is where my family is and my husband and children are here in McKinney. This is where my children will probably grow up and where we are going to create new memories.

Find out more about Patrizia’s work at www.patriziamontanari.com
The full article in Money Magazine

Our own Jillian makes it into the New Texas Talent show

Very rarely does a photograph of mine make it to print, let alone get displayed in a gallery. However, an image that I took of the singer, Lorde, made it into the New Texas Talent Show 2014 at the Craighead Green Gallery on Dragon Street.

I must confess. I absolutely love sneaking in my Canon AE-1 film camera into shows and snapping a few rolls of the performance. I live for the thrill of getting a camera with a detachable lens past security and then discreetly shooting the event. I headed over to Don’s Used Photo Equipment and debated between shooting in B&W or color. Todd looked at me and said, “Black and white is always classic.” Tri-X 400 it was!

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From the minute the show started I knew I was witnessing something special. At 17, Lorde knew how to command a stage, demand your attention and draw you into her world. I strained to see her through the packed venue but managed to find her around the heads and arms of the fans. The results of the night were a series of abstract images, slightly over exposed but strong and powerful with a point of view. My view.

 

The entire process of shooting, editing, submitting, framing and then displaying work was an incredibly rewarding experience. Peter helped me digitize my negative and print it for the show. This actually turned out to be harder than expected. I had my film processed at BWC and they had provided me with rough scans which I had turned in for the show. However, when Peter scanned the negative by shooting it with a Nikon D600 and a macro lens, there ended up being way more detail in the frame than what the initial scan had shown. Peter and I spent about 30 minutes recreating the rough scan from BWC. Those Lightroom sliders were all over the place!

The energy of gallery opening was tangible and my whole family showed up to support me. It felt satisfying seeing it hanging on the wall at the gallery, completely alive with the other pieces at the show. Peter stopped by as well and took a few shots of the event including this one of my uncle explaining to my grandfather what was happening in the photograph.

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SMU Historical Aerial Photos

I recently discovered that Southern Methodist University here in Dallas (SMU) has a nice online collection of historical photographs. Included is a group of photos titles “Miscellaneous Aerial Views of Dallas, 1930s-1940s”. They are a fascinating look at our city in earlier decades. The one below is titled “Mid-Town Business District” from 1935 and has call outs for the major buildings.

You can find the SMU photo collection here. The site is well worth spending some time on!

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At the crossroads of patience and truth

VIDEO PRODUCTION IN THE 70’S

After I graduated from UNT I worked as a video producer making short instructional films. For two years I was in the Special Ed department, working with some basic black and white video gear. Then I moved to the physics department for two years, where this photo was taken. They had color cameras and an actual 3/4″ tape to tape editing system. Pretty big stuff back then. This is me in a live switching segment, in my best director pose, fingers poised for action. Cameras one, two and three on wide, medium and closeups. Character generator ready to lay in some graphics. I think we were prepping a piece on basic circuits.

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Peter speaks at the Travel & Adventure Show in Dallas.

The number of photographers in DFW

A discussion with someone at the national office of ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers) had me wondering where DFW stands in terms of number of professional photographers in the U.S. The fascinating and useful site run by the Bureau of Labor Statistics lets you slice and dice the country by professions using intuitive maps and data. The map below comes from this page showing employment of photographers in May, 2012

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Hovering over the separate Dallas and Ft. Worth regions (while on the BLS page) shows that we have 800 and 340 photographers, respectively. That total of 1140 photographers places us in 6th place after NY, Chicago, LA, Orlando and Atlanta. Orlando was a surprise but I’d imagine there’s a lot of photography around the theme parks.

The DFW area already has the 4th largest population in the U.S. and we’re the fastest growing area in the country last year. All this points to our area becoming an even larger producer and consumer of photography and media over the next few years. Good news.