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A short rant regarding our test photos...

Tim Gilbert

I've received comments that our test shots aren't artistic enough. (And please, do not take this as an apology, it's not.) Just be glad I'm not still posting photos of the hangar door. (Actually, I would but I'm just really sick of that door. Besides, neighbors are starting to wonder.)
Frankly, I'd much rather wander around the mountains of Colorado taking landscape shots and exploring abandoned buildings. And if a lady or two wanted to participate in some au naturel nature shots, so much the better. Heck, if it gets too cold, we'd come back to our indoor studio for some figure studies. (Of course, my wife would probably insist on coordinating these adventures.)
And while such adventures might be personally and artistically fulfilling, they wouldn't fulfill our project goals. Right now, our primary goal is to prove that the system works. We've learned the hard way that it's difficult to detect uneven development in normal photographs. That's one reason I photograph a lot of rather drab, dull scenes. Any artifacts from the processing system can be easily detected.
Efficiency is also important. For example, I've photographed the bridge/bushes featured on this post too many times to count. Why? Convenience. The location is only fifteen minutes away from the office and has a parking lot adjacent to the trail. That makes it an easy place to setup, (especially when hauling our 8x10 Calumet around).
It's also repeatable since the scenery doesn't vary much from day to day. Thus we can compare today's results to those from last week.
As for the dust specs they complained about? Well, we're not trying to sell you a print to hang on your living room wall; we're trying to optimize a processing system. The dust doesn't affect our testing, besides, we want to present our test shots as raw as possible. True, we'll make minor adjustments to the contrast/brightness but we aren't doing any fancy post-processing. It wouldn't be honest and it's not worth the time.
Hopefully, the SP-8x10+ will be in production soon and I move on to something more creative. Maybe some young (or not so young), female muses will volunteer to help out...

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