Sunday, February 26, 2012

Homewood Suites by Hilton® Jackson Hole

As many already know we recently had a show earlier this month in Jackson WY at the Homewood Suites.  We wish to thank the wonderful staff at the Homewood Suites. We won't give names of the individuals as we don't wish to embarrass them nor do we want to omit anyone accidently.  We hope it will suffice to say the entire staff from the cleaning crew to the kitchen staff to the front desk and those behind the scenes in the front office did so much better than just a great job.  If it weren't for the entire staff of the hotel we doubt we would have had the success we did.  So please accept our heartfelt thanks.  We also want to thank our secret spies that were there to give moral support - you know who you are...

We ended up packing our truck to the roof taking over 18 images with all but one arriving in good condition.  We made deliveries of 3-canvas prints and 4-paper images to two very satisfied friends with the remaining images being on display at the hotel.

This turned into the shortest trip we've taken to Jackson arriving on a Sunday and departing the following Sunday.  In-between we made deliveries, hung images, got in a sleigh-ride in the National Elk Refuge and of course had the show.  We're working with the local Elks Lodge to produce an image for a charity raffle and was able to capture the image and get it approved for the printing.  We were in Jackson 6-days and had about 1 1/2 days to ourselves before we had to leave. 

And on the home front:

We reported earlier about replacing our Epson 9800 wide-format printer upgrading to the 9900.  While most of the images taken to Jackson had been printed on the 9800, there were a few from the 9900.  The 9800 is gone, having been donated to a local high school which teaches photography.  We're very happy to report the 9900 has become a rock solid printer and we're looking forward to many years of service.

We also decided to replace/upgrade our studio computer going from a Dell Precision 690 to a T7500.  The 690 has worked very well over the 5 1/2 years we've used it.  The 690 is a dual quad core  3.GHz computer with 52 GB RAM.  We've updated the RAM as we went along and changed a couple drives as they got tired and wore out.  We're using better software which takes advantage of both the core and memory and we felt a change was due.  Add that to the fact that Don is shooting with a 60 megapixel camera and often has image files exceeding 4-GB we felt the time had come.  Better to replace/upgrade before you have to.

The replacement is a Dell Precision T7500, Dual Six Core 3.46GHz with a total of 96GB RAM.  We were able to keep our NVIDA 490 video card as well as most of our internal hard drives.  

Needless to say this thing screams!  Don began the migration to the new system shortly after returning home and 4-days later is finished.  Testing the system he's found that Capture One Pro opens much faster than previously.  The thumbnails load almost instantly once the program is up and running.  Photoshop CS5 and Bridge loads much faster as well.  We use 3-NIK software plug-ins with CS5; Viveza 2,  Silver Efex Pro 2, and HDR Efex Pro.  While Viveza and Silver Efex loaded relatively fast, HDR had always been slow.  Sometimes so slow you needed to walk away from the computer and come back later.  No so with the recent tests on the new system.  Don opened an image from the P65+ then using CS5 and Nik HRD and found it as fast now as both Viveza and Silver Efex.  Having 12 cores (or according to the Recourse Manager 23 CPU's)  along with 96GB RAM isn't for the faint of heart.  The machine is hugely expensive.  The memory would have been prohibitively expensive had we not gotten it from  The bottom line is we have a printer/computer system in the studio that should last many years and be able to follow us as our camera gear is upgraded.  Well worth the extra money.

Our immediate future will take us back to Jackson in May were we hope to shoot early spring and be there in time for calving season.  We also hope to join friends of ours in celebrating the delivery of a new 2012 Ford Raptor.

Keep checking here as we'll return.

Thanks for allowing us to visit.  Please remember your thoughts, questions and comments are always welcome.

Sandy & Don

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