23 October 2010

Brain calibration

I have been very busy discovering the powers of my new (used, from eBay) HP 5500DN A3 colour laser printer. I had been told its capability with photos would be modest, but I am finding it is extraordinary, when I re-calibrate my brain to understand its capabilities. My new printer seems to spend half its life calibrating itself, so should I!

First, though, I had to get this printer to connect to my computers. It had a network plug and professed networkability in its control panel but could not be found. I got a serial to USB connector and it connected fine - BUT. The but was that it could not be driven by the laptop running Mac OSX 10.6. Nor did it run on the PowerMac G4 1.25 dual running OSX 10.5. So back to eBay, I got a PowerMac G4 733mhz with OSX 10.4 installed. The printer like a breeze attached to that computer and also accepts print jobs from the G4 with 10.5 via network cable to the 10.4 machine. The 733 machine cost $30, a 15 inch Apple Studio display cost $30; the latter has no back leg so I have mounted it on a corner of the architect's drawing board. Where it can be used for drawing-painting from photos/drawings.

It is also a duplexing printer, so, going to Melbourne last week for Nick's birthday/engagement, I took a draft of his novel, sent several months ago, formatted it for 6 inch x 9 inch paperback, printed it and perfect-bound it with a cover made using a photo of a graffito in Melbourne taken last year. The perfect binding machine worked well. First big use too for super-guillotine, trimmed the book edges very sharply, no problem with 100 pages.

I have not yet figured out how to bring back to the computer the almost watercolour beauty of some of the images I am getting from the printer. Pictures below to make a different point, not printed files.

I have also begun painting the interior of the house and some furniture items using Bio Paints natural wall paint and adding pigments myself. Also getting interesting effects by not mixing the pigments evenly. These paints produce colours with texture much as you see on walls in Rome, Soriano, and other towns in Lazio, with the sense of colour and abandon, the eye for naturalness and alteration. I mean like these in photo taken in February, extracted from our travel blog unmese.blogspot.com.

And that painting is coming back into the framing of photos. I have managed over time to accumulate a number of frames in various conditions and am enjoying using the Bio Paint and acrylics to refurbish frames and make interesting mats.

I now have a mat cutter, to make those 45 degree cuts on the edge of mats around pictures. The hunt for good things to use as mats is on!

Lots of new things for the brain to adapt to!