by Mike McNamee Published 01/10/2002
What a month! With Photokina slap in the middle of the production cycle there was cetainly plenty of news to pick through. Having only just caught up with the Fuji S2 Pro and the Nikon D100 we are besieged with new offerings from Canon, Kodak and others as well as some rumours of another big player about to announce something. Add to that the arrival of the spectacular Epson 950 and 2100 and things are getting quite spicy. In spite of all this it is the Epson 7600 that has caught the eye. With its 24" output from Ultra Chrome pigmented inks it expands existing possibilities and opens up a host of new ones. Printing of limited edition fine art prints has long been the ambition of artists and galleries but they lack expertise in the photographic part of the process. This opens up possibilities on two fronts, make your own fine art and print other peoples'. The pricing of the 7600 brings it within reach of the moderately successful full time pro or perhaps to a collective of less well off, but equally ambitious part timers. We even know enthusiasts who have taken the plunge!
A word on the retirement of Barrie Thomas. Your Editor was one of a select band who met with Barrie and six others to inaugurate what is now one of the strongest digital groups in the country. While it was going to happen anyway, Barrie of all people, was instrumental in accelerating the process by ably demonstrating the possibilities. Many a lecture these days starts with the words "it's really all Barrie Thomas' fault" and goes on to relate how he tempted them out of the darkroom to the new world of creative digital, complete with its early morning bedtimes and abandonment of household chores! We all wish you well Barrie and look forward to seeing you about, even if you have made the decision to ease back a bit.
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