Primera Bravo 4102 D
Nicely done, Primera
Pros: Highly Compatible, Compact Design, Professional Quality, Easy To Use, Improves Performance
Best Uses: Independent Films, Home Movies, Complex Projects
Describe Yourself: Business Owner
My Bravo 4102 was delivered, yesterday. It is currently furiously working its way through my first batch of 50 DVD+R DL discs. My first impression of the publisher was the packaging. It was packaged very securely, with labels about the order in which to unpack it. All packaging materials were high quality. All printed materials were clean, professional, and informative. Setup was a breeze (I set up on both an Apple and a Windows machine) and I was running in less that an hour. The included setup software walked me through EVERY MINUTE DETAIL of the setup process. The robot is fast and precise, and the printing is spot on (no need for calibration) right out of the box. All around, this has started off as a good good relationship between me and my 4102.
By the way, if you set yours up and are having trouble printing, run a head cleaning cycle.
Another 4:30 wakeup to get another sunrise. We rolled into the park, found the spot that we scoped out yesterday, and set up tripods and cameras. The temperature, by the way, was around 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Normally, this isn’t such a big deal since we were bundled up properly. But the 25 mph wind gusting to 50 mph really made the morning a challenge (especially since we’d worked our way on top of an exposed hill to ensure a good view).
Yeah the view was nice, but with a wind chill adjusted temperature between 4 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit and wind blowing so hard that it was attacking any openings in the insulation, I was feeling a little unpleasant. But the sun soon came. And when the light hit the tops of the peaks, it was beautiful.
Soon enough, it was time to leave. Really. Time to leave. We were freezing. And at that point, our plans changed. We were initially going to head to a trailhead and start snowshoeing. But since we were both frozen, we decided to go to breakfast instead. It was my fault. At least Chris convinced me to do real breakfast instead of donuts.
On the way out of the park, we stopped for a few shots. For those that have known me for a while, the bench in the picture below is where I took the video of a bunch of elks honking at each other.
Then came breakfast! Chris worked through a healthy meal while I was killing chicken egg, cow, and salt-cured pig. After that, we were back into the park. Here is the first after-breakfast shot:
As we climbed towards Many Parks Overlook, Chris had a little trouble deciding where he wanted to take his next picture. This led to a bunch of U-turns. We finally decided to take pictures both places. I liked this spot where I kinda poached the shot that Chris wanted to take:
While I was setting up for this shot, Chris couldn’t decide whether or not he wanted to leap over the stream. I was waiting with my finger on the shutter button for him to go. But in the end, he decided to turn and walk away from the stream. When I started to whine about it, he spun around and jumped:
Chris headed off to shoot a beaver pond. When he returned, we started to work our way out of the area. Chris has floating nicely on top of the snow. But about 10 feet before he reached the roadway, he sunk his whole leg in.
So I worked my way along a different route. I thought I was going to make it all the way. I was formulating snappy comments in my head when I punched through the snow all the way up my leg. My witty comments evaporated in my head as Chris burst out in laughter. Both Chris and I made our ways out of our sunken predicaments by laying on our backs and wiggling our ways out to the road. We got back to the Jeep and headed up to Many Parks. Though I got some shots I was happy with the other day when I was there, today turned out to be not so great. So we headed back down the hill. I got some nice shots on the way:
Then we headed down and out of the park. On the way, I took a cheesy Jeep picture:
We got back to our lodge, and since we are leaving tomorrow, we both went to our rooms and packed our stuff. Then we went to the local brewery for chow and beer. That turned out to be a good way to close the trip.
At 4:30 this morning, the time had come to wake up. I’d spent a nearly sleepless night because I was so excited about getting out for some snowshoeing. I finalized the stuff in my pack, dressed in my layers, and went to warm up the Jeep. At 5:45, I ran into Chris coming out of his room, and we packed the Jeep for the day ahead. At about 6:15 we rolled into the parking lot for the Sprague Lake Loop trailhead, ready to get sunrise pictures. I pulled my thermos of coffee out and was getting ready to pour myself a cup when Chris exclaimed, “We should get some pictures of the moon setting over the frozen lake!” He was, of course, absolutely correct. So out came the cameras and the tripods, and we were then headed over to the ice. We took the loop trail to the far side of the lake and set up our rigs and began to fire away. Here is my favorite of my moonset pictures.
After photographing the moon and its reflection on the frozen lake, we worked our way around to the west side of the lake for sunrise shots.
Once I was satisfied with my sunrise shots, I pretty much packed up and headed for the coffee that was in a thermos in the Jeep. Chris, looking for good pictures of the initial morning sun hitting the mountain tops, took off in a sprint to the other side of the lake.
Our next destination was the Glacier Gorge trailhead. Out came the snowshoes, poles, and backpacks. Ahead of us was a two-and-a-half mile hike to Mills Lake. The route required a bunch of uphill shoeing on our part. Mills Lake was a place in the park that I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time. And once we reached it, I was beside myself with excitement. I think I described myself as a “Jack in the box”. The view across the frozen lake was beautiful as it led my eye to the high snow-blown cliffs on either side.
We were the first people of the day to make it to this point in the park. For some reason, I found that thrilling, adding to my euphoria at reaching the lake.
Then it was time to head back down. We made quick time back down to the trailhead, occasionally stopping for an uphill shoer or to take a quick picture.
Starved, we jumped in the Jeep and headed straight for lunch. Lasagna. Delicious!
We took a break for a couple of hours and then headed back out around sunset. The night’s sunset wasn’t really that spectacular. But we got a couple of shots. Chris saw something he wanted to get a shot of and took off at a sprint, again. This time, he lost his footing and ended up on the ground. But a quick laugh later, he was back on his feet and headed for his prime shot. Here is a shot I got at that time (no, not of Chris recovering from his fall).
It has been too long since I took a road trip. So when my good friend and fellow photog Chris Brandt said that he would be in the Boulder, CO area, I suggested a trip to one of my favorite places, the Rocky Mountain National Park.
I showed up in Boulder on the night of 14 January and crashed on the couch in Chris’s hotel room. Then we got up in time to catch pictures of the Flatirons as the morning’s first light hit them.
Then we were off to the north. We arrived at RMNP about noon. Our intent was to scout the place out and decide where we wanted to start our photography snowshoe adventure the next day. But we couldn’t resist a few pictures. The wind was gusting up to around 50 miles per hour, and it was stinging us with ice crystals. Here is a picture of Chris, challenging nature as she threw sheets of snow at him.
I was dumb and forgot my gloves and snow hat at the lodge. But I was still able to get my hands out of my pockets and get a few shots…
Regan and her mother, Nancy, showed up at about 11:30 in the morning, and we were ready to shoot. Our plan was to shoot pictures or Regan in both of her cheerleading outfits and then in her street clothes. I used a two-light set up, one light with a 24″x24″ softbox and the other with a softbox of 18″x50″. Initially, I used the 18″x50″ as my key light and the 24″x24″ to illuminate the background. I also had several reflectors set about, and the background was white as the first part of the shoot would be high-key. I shot my Nikon D800, mostly using my Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens. I also used my Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G for a few shots. Regan prepared herself in her first outfit. To get her used to positioning herself as per my direction, I started with only headshots. Then as she relaxed, I backed off to get more of her uniform.
We decided to take down the high-key background and put up blue seamless to match Regan’s school colors. I swapped the 24″x24″ softbox for a standard 10″ reflector and used it as a hair light to separate Regan from the background. I then had my partner, Lauren (who was kind enough to act as my assistant that day) hold an off-camera flash to provide illumination for the blue seamless.
When we were done shooting Regan in her uniforms, she changed into her street clothes. While she was doing that, Lauren and I swapped the blue seamless for a black background so we could shoot some low-key shots. For this, we only used one light (the one with the 18″x50″ softbox).
And we finished outside in the trees. Outside, I permanently switched from my 70-200mm to my 50mm lens. However, the snow kept us from spending a lot of time out there. So we only got a few shots, with plans for a future outdoor shoot.
I needed a printer with the capability to print CDs or DVDs in ones and twos. After a little internet research, I settled on the Epson XP-800. I went to the store, picked one up, brought it home, set it up, and tested it. No matter what I tried, I could not get it to display its ability to print CDs/DVDs. The option just would not show up on any of the print menus. I was trying through the bundled Epson Print CD software. I looked for the solution in both the Apple and Epson support pages, forums, and blogs. No luck.
I finally stumbled on the solution. It was so simple that I felt like a total clown. But since I couldn’t find it anywhere else, I will put the solution here.
First of all, the included data disc has an old version of all the drivers and applications. Don’t use it. Instead, go to the Epson XP-800 Drivers & Downloads page. I visited it just now, so here is the link. If you are running something other than OS X 10.8.x, hit the refresh button so the site can determine the OS you are using. Once at this site, download the “Drivers and Utilities Combo Package” which you will find under the Drivers heading. Next, if you plan to use Print CD, download it from under the Utilities heading. Now you have an updated version of the applications and utilities that are on the bundled disc.
Use the newly downloaded Drivers and Utilities and Combo Package to install your printer. Then install Print CD if the combo package doesn’t do it for you.
Now here is the important part. (Click on any image for a larger view in a new tab)
Notice that next to Kind, the display reads “EPSON XP-800 Series-Airprint”. The AirPrint part is the OS X default print utility. And it is the problem preventing you from printing CDs/DVDs. So delete the printer using the ” – ” button below Printers. Here is where it is at:
You will be asked if you are sure you want to delete the printer. Confirm the deletion. Then press the plus button you will find here:
In the resulting box, in the main window select “EPSON XP-800 Series Bonjour Multifunction”. Then in the USE dropdown menu (where AirPrint is selected by default) select “EPSON XP-800 Series”. Once you’ve done that, finish off by clicking the “Add” button.
You will come back to the main Print and Scan page. Set the newly added printer as your default. Then your window should look like this:
Notice that next to Kind, you do not see the word “AirPrint” next to the printer name. You’re all set.
If you choose to use Epson Print CD, you will need to set the printer. So in the application, click File then click Print. Here is the menu you will see:
Notice that, next to Printer, the display reads Not selected. Simple fix. Above that, click the Select Printer button. In the resulting menu, select “EPSON XP-800 Series” and click OK.
Now, next to Printer, you will see EPSON XP-800 Series. Happy printing!
Okay, so this set of blogs is leaving the straight timeline and starting to bounce around as I get to pictures. This entry is about my visit to Bodie, California. Bodie was a gold mining town whose boom took place from 1877 through the late 1880s, but who steadily declined in population in the early 1900s, to officially be be abandoned in 1942.
Bodie is now a California State Park with well-preserved buildings and other period pieces like old cars and buggies. Walking through the town and looking in the windows of the abandoned structures, it would almost seem that the residents just decided to leave everything behind when they left.
But time has naturally taken it’s toll on the town. Though the buildings are generally well preserved, they are obviously weather beaten inside and out. This, of course, makes for fantastic photography.
Following an outstanding day in Monument Valley, we started talking about what we could do to keep up photographic momentum the next day before returning to Phoenix to close the trip. After much discussion, we decided on Sunset Crater National Monument (landscape around a dormant volcano) and Wupatki National Monument (ancient Native American Pueblo remains).
Sunset Crater National Monument opens with open flowered meadows with surrounding mountains. We, of course, stopped for pictures, here.
We then moved onto a brief stop at the visitor center and then onto the lava fields.
We actually didn’t remain long in the lava fields before we were headed to Wupatki to see the pueblos. The first pueblo we encountered, Wukoki, really set the tone for me. It was an impressive multi-room structure with great views of the grassy landscape all around.
We woke early and headed for Antelope Canyon, just outside Page. But the rain of the night before had flooded the canyon. So we climbed in the van and headed east for Monument Valley, Utah. I didn’t really mind, as half of Antelope Canyon was closed because flooding had washed out bridges and stairs. I’ll return some time when I can see the whole thing.
A few short hours after departing Page had us crossing the border into Utah, and a right turn had us headed into Monument Valley. Monument Valley is an impressive sight. The landscape is littered with rock spires and mesas. And because of the wet year, a relatively large amount of grass grew and complemented the red rock walls with green. We spent over five hours in the monument. Then we headed back to Flagstaff.
We rose early on the day following Tucson and headed north. Before reaching our destination, page Arizona, we stopped at an old Standard Oil Products store.
We eventually made it to Page, AZ, checked into the hotel, and headed off for food and beer. Following the food and beer, we went to get pictures at Horseshoe Bend.
After shooting at Horseshoe Bend, we headed over to Glen Canyon Dam. The sun was going down, so we also got some good sun rays while we were there.
Then it was time for a few more beers.