Thursday, April 29, 2010

Informal Survey of Image Print Display Times

We were reading a white paper by Kodak on light and thermal stability (well someone has to read this stuff) and came across an interesting chart.

An informal survey in the mid-1990s asked how long images would remain on display.  The majority of images were projected to be taken down after 10 years on display.

Image Age (Years) Approx Images Still on Display
5 54 %
10 42 %
20 21 %
40 1.9 %
60 Virtually none

Many different reasons can come into play when it comes to image time on display.  Moving, changes in marital status, and simple redecorating change the landscape of our homes and offices.

The point is to consider the time an image will be out with full exposure to the elements as opposed to how long it may be in dark storage with more limited exposure to fade causing factors.

You can download and read the entire white paper here

Monday, April 12, 2010

Color profiles with Photoshop Elements 8 on a PC

Here's a quick guide to using ICC profiles in Photoshop Elements 8 with a PC (Mac lesson coming soon).

You'll notice a different look to the menus, as the ICC profile selection menu is basically hidden until you seek it out.  Weird but it works.

Read the tutorial, which covers Epson, Canon, and HP printer settings here.

Red River Paper Pro Monday - Joel Grimes

Red River Pro

The Photographer
Joel Grimes is a Los Angeles advertising and commercial photographer whose clients include the Denver Broncos, Kodak, Hyatt, National Geographic, Nikon, Visa, Pentax, Sony and Volvo. He's shot images in
more than 50 countries on advertising and annual report assignments and has won more than 30 major awards for his work. His coffee table book on the Navajo Indians received national acclaim and he teaches his edgy-lighting portraiture techniques at workshops.

The Client
Personal project for portfolio to show Art and Creative Directors at agencies.

© Joel Grimes

The Assignment
Photograph a swim model in high key using "edgy" lighting.

The Execution
"I posed the subject in the studio against a white background using a Paul Buff 22-inch beauty dish with a diffusion sock overhead and two small soft boxes from the side. I then used a pool image that I had
previously shot with five exposures at one-stop intervals to be combined for a high dynamic range image."

Post Production
"The subject was knocked out from the background using Vertus' Fluid Mask (I've also used Photoshop CS4 with good results). The five location images were merged using HDR's Photomatix. Then the two
images were merged creating the composite. While I would like to shoot everything as one shot on location, it is just not always possible to do so because of time, scheduling and other constraints."

The Output
With over thirty years experience printing in the darkroom, my objective in choosing a current digital photo paper is getting deep blacks and a smooth continuous tonal range across the board. I chose
Red River Ultra Pro Satin paper to print this image because it beautifully handles the subtle highlight tones both on the model and in the background, while retaining excellent detail in the shadow areas. It
truly gives me the effect that I had envisioned.

Joel Grimes' web site is at: He may be emailed at:
His workshop schedule and tutorials describing his techniques in detail may be found at:

Friday, April 09, 2010

UltraPro Satin Review

UltraPro Satin is Red River's best selling paper by far.  The combination of retail brand quality and cost that is 40% less than those brands make it a true value.

It's always nice to hear kind words about a product we know should be in the hands of more photo enthusiasts.

Excerpts from a review at Texas Chicks Blogs and Pics

Red River’s Ultra Pro Satin is smoother to the touch than Espon’s Ultra Premium Luster.  The texture is the main difference.  The Epson paper might be a bit heavier, but not by much.

I have always liked the sheen from Epson’s luster texture.  It’s not shiny glossy (I don’t like high gloss photos), but glistening sparkles are apparent when you hold the paper at certain angles.  Red River’s Ultra Pro Satin has some of this glisten, but not as much.  And comparing the two side by side, I realized that the luster was somewhat distracting on the Espon paper.

The Red River Ultra Pro Satin’s color reproduction was slightly more saturated than the Espon Luster, which I liked.  The Epson Luster had more red in skin tones, verus more yellow in the Red River.  Neither would be noticeable to most of us without comparing side by side.

Continue reading the review and comments here

Red River's Arctic Polar Luster and the HP B8850 Printer

Excepts rrom "The Digital Photography Companion's Notes" Facebook page:

I've always had a fondness for luster finished papers and had been looking forward to trying Red River's 75 lb Arctic Polar Luster. This was going to be a dual test actually, because I had a new HP Photosmart Pro B8850 printer sitting in my studio full of ink and ready to output. Why not test both at once?

I then loaded up the Artic Polar Luster and printed the same image. I compared both images to the picture on my calibrated Apple Cinema Display. The colors were almost identical in both prints to what I was seeing on the screen.

The 75 lb Artic Polar Luster was substantial and felt like artwork in the hands. I couldn't set it down. And the finish is exactly what you'd expect from a premium luster stock: less reflection with rich tonality.

Read the entire post here

You can order the The Digital Photography Companion at

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Printing "Red River" Style Podcast at The Digital Story

From the Digital Story posting:

I recently sampled the new Polar Pearl Metallic by Red River Paper, and I was very impressed by the image that emerged from my inkjet printer. So I thought it would be fun to sit down with Drew Hendrix, VP and evangelist for Red River, to get the inside scoop on the Metallic stock, his personal printing tips, and what we can expect in the future of personal printing.

Click to listen to the podcast

Monday, March 29, 2010

First Polar Pearl Metallic Shipments

Thank you for all of the Polar Pearl Metallic orders this weekend.  This paper will be a real hit thanks to all of our creative and talented customers who realize the joy of crafting and printing their own images.

Our UPS driver was particularly happy as we almost filled an entire truck on the first load!

Some images of today's orders

Red River Paper Pro Monday: Helene Glassman

Red River Paper Pro
Helene Glassman

The Photographer
Helene Glassman has been a professional award-winning photographer and teacher for more than 25 years and her company, Imagery Photography, is a renowned portrait-event and fine art studio. She is a PPA Certified Professional Photographer and holds the PPA Master Photographer degree as well as the PPA Craftsman Photographer degree. Helene conducts workshops on portraiture lighting and posing, and on the art of making and marketing custom designed greeting cards using Photoshop.

©Helene Glassman

The Client
A greeting cards and wall decor self-assignment.

The Assignment
"Shooting scenics is not something I do as much as shooting flowers, table tops and human interest for my greeting cards. This image is out of the ordinary for me. I love trying to create images that are challenging and different from the portraits I photograph each day."

The Execution
"This image was photographed from the 31st floor restaurant balcony of The Hotel in the complex at Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. I was balancing my camera on a concrete post to stabilize it while watching a storm roll in over the mountains to the desert floor north of the city of Las Vegas. I bracketed my exposure to make the most of the beautiful dark clouds and sky against the night lights of the Las Vegas strip. It was shot with a Canon 5D using a 24mm-75mm f-2.8 lens. I usually am in manual mode controlling both shutter speed and f-stop myself."

Post Production
"The image was processed in Photoshop and I used layers to lighten and darken certain areas to enhance it."

The Output
"I printed this image on my Epson 3800 printer using Red River Ultra Pro Satin 13x19 paper and also printed greeting cards for sale on Premium Matt Red River card stock. For many years I used labs to
print my cards until I discovered Red River greeting card stock at a photographic convention I attended. I loved the quality of the paper as well as the many varieties that were available such as River Linen and Greenpix 100% Recycled Photo Matte, both of which I also use. "

Helene Glassman's web site is at: Her e- mail address is


Snow Leopard support for Epson 2200

Snow Leopard support for the Epson 2200 is at last available at Epson's website.

The Epson 2200 dates from the middle of 2002, so needless to say it's what we call "ancient" technology.  However, the printer has actually held up well over the years and many are still in service.  Epson 2200 users will be happy to see than can continue using the printer with Snow Leopard.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

IPI Interview: Is it harmful to display my photos?

The Image Permanence Institute is a university-based, nonprofit research laboratory devoted to scientific research in the preservation of visual and other forms of recorded information. We are the world’s largest independent laboratory with this specific scope.

Red River Paper has used  IPI for all of our print life testing over the years. 

This is from a series of short interviews with experts in photographic archiving.

Is it harmful to display my photos?
Question (Q): I take many family photos, and I want to frame some and hang them on the wall. Will this harm them?
Answer (A): You raised a critical question. The reason photos are taken is for viewing and enjoyment. However, photos are never as long-lasting when displayed as when they are stored in the dark, such as in albums, and viewed only occasionally.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Photoshop of the Future! Content aware fill will make you happy.

Content aware fill looks to good to be true.   Check out the video and see for yourself!

Watch the video

Read more at the Photoshop product manager's blog

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Red River Paper in Photoshop Elements Techniques Newsletter

A big thanks to Rick LePage, editor of Photoshop Elements Techniques magazine, who included Red River Paper in the PET email newsletter.

From the newsletter:

"We did a reader survey last year, and one of the surprising results that jumped out at me was the large percentage of readers who said that they had either bought a photo printer or were planning on buying one so that they could print their photos and pages at home. As a printer guy from way back, this obviously warms the cockles of my heart, and we’re looking at how to cover printing in a better way in the magazine and on the Web site.

For those of you who do print your photos at home, you know how expensive both the ink and the paper can be, and I wanted to turn you on to one of my favorite companies, Red River Paper Co. This company, based in Texas, sells a wide variety of photo and specialty papers that are reasonably priced. I have been printing birthday, thank you and greeting cards on Red River cards for years — I especially love their Pecos Gloss and Polar Matte card stock, which come in a number of sizes, and are pre-scored to make folding easy.

Red River just announced a new paper, Polar Pearl Metallic, that has me almost giddy with anticipation. It supposedly has a look and feel that is similar to Kodak’s Endura Metallic photo paper, which was used by traditional wedding and portrait photographers who wanted that special look. I haven’t had a chance to play with Red River’s version yet, so I’ll keep you posted, but I wanted to pass a link along to these guys. I’ve known them for more than a decade, and their stuff has always been both high-quality and economical. (If you want to know more about alternative papers for inkjet printing, check out this article I originally wrote for Macworld, and reprinted with permission on Printerville.)"

You can read the entire newsletter here - great content included:

If you use Photoshop Elements consider subscribing to the magazine:

You can download a free issue here:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Red River Paper Pro Monday: Bill Frakes

Red River Pro
Bill Frakes 

The Photographer
Bill Frakes is a Sports Illustrated staff photographer and has worked in more than 125 countries for a wide variety of editorial and advertising clients including Nike, Coca-Cola, Champion, Isleworth, Stryker, IBM, Nikon, Kodak and Reebok. Editorially his work has appeared in virtually every major general interest publication in the world and he has received hundreds of national and international awards for his work.

©Bill Frakes
The Client
Personal work while on assignment for Sports Illustrated at the World Swimming Championships in Perth, Australia.

The Assignment
"I covered the competition which led up to the 2000 Summer Olympics. When not shooting the actual events for the magazine, I shot images, such as this one, for myself."

The Execution
"I lay flat on the practice pool deck with a Nikkor 600 F/4.0 lens on a Nikon F5 with Fujichrome 100 loaded. The image was done in the extreme early morning while the light was low and perfect and the pool fairly empty. The light bounced off the lane markers making the red and dark blue color reflections. More swimmers would have disturbed the even surface and the image would not have worked. The new swim caps added a surreal feel to the swimmer as he bobbed up and down in the water."

Post Production
As required.

The Output
With a shooting schedule of over 300 days a year I have to maximize my time no matter what the project. To achieve that objective when printing, I can count on two papers that I've found to give excellent results– Arctic Polar Luster, Polar Matte . The quality of these papers allows me to get consistent results. And when jobs call for other paper surfaces, Red River always has exactly the product I need to get the job done quickly and efficiently.


Bill Frakes' web sites are at: and

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Paris at 26 Gigapixels

Paris 26 Gigapixels is a stitching of 2346 single photos showing a very high-resolution panoramic view of the French capital (354159x75570 px). Dive into the image and visit Paris like never before!

Check it out here

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Faded and Blurred Contest Winners Announced

Red River Paper is proud to have sponsored the Faded & Blurred monthly photo challenge last month.  The winners were recently announced and both received RRP gift certificates.

Check out the winners and the Faded and Blurred website

Monday, March 15, 2010

Red River Paper Pro Monday: Natalie Dybisz aka Miss Aniela

Red River Pro
The Photographer
Natalie Dybisz (aka Miss Aniela) is a young photographer from the UK who stunned the art world by using Flickr to showcase her imaginative, multiple-shot self-portraits, breaking with the tradition of spending years as struggling, unknown artist. In a short period of time, she has developed a huge following that has catapulted her to one-woman gallery shows and guest appearances at photographic venues throughout the world.

The Client
As with most of her images, Dybisz comes up with ideas and then executes them. This composite appeared on Flickr, in gallery shows, and in her new book, Miss Aniela: Self Gazing, available at

© Natalie Dybisz

The Assignment
Create an image that has the same look and feel as the picture on the wall, a reproduction of Fin de Souper (After Dinner), a 1913 work by French painter Jules-Alexandre Grün, showing people engaged in animated conversation around a table.

The Execution
"I used a Sony DSC-R1 on a tripod with the camera set to "Automatic" and the zoom lens pulled back to its widest focal length- 14.3mm (24mm equivalent for 35mm). All exposures were 1/25 sec at f/2.8 with an ISO of 400. In all, 25 captures were made from which I chose six."

Post Production
"I placed two main clones in the foreground who were to be the main focus of attention, as if they were in conversation. The placement and expressions of the other 'clones' in the background were equally important as accessories to a tightly-composed image and contributing to the feeling of bustle in the scene."

The Output
"Their Evening Banter is quite a dark image, resulting from the compositing and post-processing. It has heavy vignetting round the edges, with the shadow areas opening up to strong saturated orange tones by the candles in the centre of the image making it a challenge for any paper to reproduce faithfully, and producing varied results between different paper types.

"Using an HP Photosmart C4580 set to best photo quality, I chose Arctic Polar Luster as my paper choice because the paper's surface shows the saturation of the image in full, without distorting the shadow areas, and without the hindrance of reflection. The paper is halfway between gloss and matt with the benefits of both.
"I often exhibit my images behind frame glass and want to ensure the surface will not be too shiny and Arctic Polar Luster makes the image look vivid but with less sheen- in fact, the paper is barely reflective even when held next to a bright window."

Natalie Dybisz's image collections may be viewed at To contact her regarding the purchase of limited editions of her work visit her web site:

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Test Your Color Vision Online with X-Rite

Take the X-Rite online color challenge and see how well you see color.  You might be surprised at the results.  1 out of 255 women and 1 out of 12 men have some form of color vision deficiency.

The online test is a rendering of the Farnsworth Munsell 100 Hue Test

According to the X-Rite website, "The Farnsworth-Munsell 100 Hue Test itself is used to separate persons with normal color vision into classes of superior, average and low color discrimination and to measure the zones of color confusion of color defective people."

Take the X-Rite online color challenge


Monday, March 01, 2010

Red River Paper Pro Monday: John Conn

Red River Pro
The Photographer
John Conn is a free-lance professional from the Bronx, NY whose images have been published in TimeLife Books, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, American Photographer, Studio Photography and other major U.S. and overseas media. His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of the City of New York and the Hoboken (NJ) Historical Museum.

The Client
Conn is both client and photographer. He sells on the street direct to the public and constantly challenges himself to take the kinds of images that he feels will grab passersby attention and make them stop to buy his work.

© John Conn
The Assignment
A self-assignment done in the early 1980s to shoot a series of images that capture the flavor of New York City's underground transit system.

The Execution
"While I was focusing my Hasselblad on a young couple in the subway car, a hand with a knife thrust itself through an open window across from me. 'Hey, yo! This be a good photo,' said the knife's unseen owner. I grabbed the shot and then, with a 'See ya,' the knife wielder disappeared down the platform. This image turned out to be one of my top selling subway shots."

Post Production
"I vary the contrast and brightness and burn and dodge as I would in a darkroom. And that's about it. When I shoot, I try to get a 'complete' image on film. I don't manipulate my images or try to use Photoshop to 'save' bad shots. I also hate cropping. That's why God gave you feet and the ability to switch lenses. All of my images are full frame."

The Output
"I look for a luster surface for my B&W images, but the paper must also take well to a sepia tone with the warmer whites that I prefer, holding strong. Red River Arctic Polar Satin prints that I output on my Epson Stylus Pro 3800 printer give that edge to my work. From the highlights to the shadows, the 'paper' feel that comes through adds the depth to my subjects that I require."

John Conn's web site is at: His email address is: Prints and portfolios may be purchased through his web site or personally from him in Union Square, NYC. For a list of art shows where he will be exhibiting, contact him by email.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Red River Paper ICC Profiles Type 2

We have been asked if Red River's printer profiles are Type 2 or Type 4.  The quick answer is that we provide Type 2 profiles.

The question stems from a recent concern about Apple's Snow Leopard and that it does not recognize version 4 profiles - at least with the initial releases (10.6, and 10.6.1).  We do not know if more updates have fixed this bug, but apparently Apple knows about it and is working on a fix.

For most people, there will be no discernible difference between a version 2 and a version 4 profile.  Some RIPs and other programs do not work with version 4 profiles, so we default to version 2 profiles on all the profiles we make for you.

Here's an explanation of the ICC version 4 spec from the folks who made it:

Red River uses a program called ColorThink2 (learn about the software) to access a wealth of data on our profiles.  If you are really into color management and profile data this might be the program for you (order ColorThink2).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Another Red River customer makes the most of inkjet greeting cards

Thanks to Red River customer Rowland Gallery for sharing how they use Red River inkjet printable greeting card stock to enhance their product offering at the gallery.

Please visit their blog and take a look at their work. Click here

It brings home an important point - that your inkjet printer is a small printing press, capable of helping you create products to sell and enhance your business in challenging times.

If you are a photography enthusiast, your printer is a convenient way to creatively share your work with friends and family.

Keep that in mind and check out our Shop by Project section for some ideas.