December 2, 2010

ParrotTalk News – Tuesday November 23, 2010

Filed under: ParrotTalk News — admin @ 11:03 pm


Parrot Holiday Schedule

We wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday season. Please note that Parrot will be closed for the following days:

Thanksgiving: Thursday November 25th and Friday November 26th

Christmas Eve: Friday December 24th

New Years Eve: Friday December 31st


Introducing: Mary Dawley

We’re really excited to introduce Mary Dawley, and welcome her to the team here at Parrot as a Representative of Imaging Services. Mary has a rich background overlapping with our own- she has been a marketing professional to the interior design community in Boston for more than 20 years. Interior designers came to rely on her sharp sense of pattern, design and color and in the past few years, those talents have evolved into her also providing fine art solutions to these clients for their projects.

We met Mary through her company Chestnut Design, which has primarily focused on identifying and procuring art that ranges from unique commissioned pieces to tasteful prints based on the needs and budgets of her clients. She came to us with a unique project that her client needed our help with – the opening of the new Heywood Hospital in Gardner, MA. Scanning a collection of historic photographs and painting by talented artists from the region, we reproduced several of the pieces at over 5’ x 8’; not something that can be done on a conventional wide-format printer. Combining the capabilities of our Cruse Scanner and our Epson 11880 64” printer, we were able to give her client exactly what they wanted: Grand Format painting reproductions.

We knew a great team when we saw it.

Mary saw this as an opportunity to bring our unique services to her existing client base, as well as joining our amazing group of artists, museums, galleries and interior designers to bring them, as well as their clients, the benefits and capabilities of our Imaging Services. We see this as a chance to offer more personal attention, service and Mary’s unique talents to all of our current, and new Imaging Services clients… You can contact Mary directly at Drop her a note and say hello!


The Springfield Museums

We like to call attention the special places we see in our travels, and new home of the Indian Motocycle Museum, long a labor of love for a private Springfield couple, and the most complete collection of Indian Motocycles in the entire world (yes, “Motocycle” is the correct spelling of the original company) now in its new home in a brand-new building at the Springfield Museums certainly fits that description.

The original collection was housed in a private building on Hendee Drive in Springfield, at the site of the original Hendee Manufacturing factory and the original Indian plant. Until 2007 it was presided over by Esta Manthos (shown here), who, at 91, donated her entire collection of over 54 motorcycles and memorabilia to the Springfield Museums.

The exhibit is simply breathtaking to anyone who is a fan of motorcycle history, but also to those fascinated by the rich history of manufacturing, invention and ingenuity that found its home in Springfield. There’s another factor at play here too. In these times, when money is tight and patrons are hard to come by, the Springfield Museum was able to see the importance of this remarkable collection and not only house it, but erect an entire building to give the collection its rightful place.

The Springfield Museums have a lot to offer – it’s actually a collection of six museums: The Wood Museum of Springfield History, the Springfield Science Museum, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Connecticut Valley History Museum and the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, all on one connected campus – including none other than the wonderful Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. At about a 90-minute drive from Boston, it’s one of the best day-trips around, and, if you include the Basketball Hall of Fame, also in Springfield, a great weekend museum jaunt.

The Springfield Museums site is here:

Additional information on the Indian collection can be found here, at

and photos of Esta and the actual move can be found on


Coming Soon! David Saffir Media Evaluation

David Saffir has been working on an evaluation of some of our favorite media. His preliminary post is here, on his photography blog:

…and after a conversation with him today, his enthusiasm for our paper is truly inspiring! His favorite, at this point, is our Angelica Natural White Textured. He said it fills a gap left by all the other fine-art watercolor papers, and that he simply loves working with it, especially for his Black and White images.

Fine Art paper is, if nothing else, an intensely personal choice. We like to compare it to matching a fine wine with a wonderful meal: there’s no right choice, there’s the choice that’s right for you, for your image, and for your audience. It’s wonderful to be able to see how an artist like David responds to some of our favorite selections. Look for an update within the next few weeks with more information from David.

December 1, 2010

Adobe Releases Printer Utility- Fix For Printing With “No Color Management”

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:58 pm

Not long ago we talked about trying to print for building profiles out of Photoshop CS4, and a somewhat kludgy workaround- printing from an old version of PS CS2.  That post is right here: Printing With “No Color Management” with the Epson 11880 (PS4 and Leopard) The short version of the story is that between Adobe, Apple and Epson, they messed with the color management of the application and drivers to the point that you could not print with the “No Color Management” selection in Photoshop.

Adobe stepped up and FIXED THE PROBLEM!  How?  By incorporating some wonderful upgrade into Photoshop CS5?  By running some sweet upgrade of Photoshop CS4 and above?  Naaaah.  That would be too awesome.  Instead what they did was to build a dopey little application, the Adobe Printer Utility, that simply prints without Color Management.  Sweet.

Go here and download it.

When you start it you get a screen like this:

I know.  What?

Anyway, open the file and you get this:

It’s awesome, isn’t it?  Then it just goes into the standard Epson/Leopard-SnowLeopard driver dialog where you turn the Epson Color Controls off.

If I may.  This is probably the lamest “fix” for an obvious and well-documented bug I’ve seen in the decade-and-a-half I’ve been playing this digital imaging game.  Please.  Spare me.  Oh wait.  According to this thread on Luminous Landscape, it’s buggy.  Resizes the image, so you can’t read them.  Never mind.  Forget I even mentioned it.

We’ve got to assume that there’s some Cold War of Pixels going on between Epson, Apple and Adobe for something this pathetic to come out of Adobe after the release of CS5.  There’s no other explanation that I can think of…  other than some engineer is having a tantrum and taking it out on all of us.  Thanks Adobe, I’d been tossing and turning at night trying to decide if I was going to spring for CS5…  think I’ll pass.

November 29, 2010

The B2B ADVISOR- IRS Section 179, Printer Deals and Year-End Tax Planning

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:40 pm

It’s time once again to look back at your year, and make some decisions about the Tax Man. The IRS Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 has made a big difference in how some companies are handling their large-ticket purchases, and you need to get the facts from your accountant or advisor to make the best decisions. However, if you want to learn more about the Act- commonly called IRS Section 179, we found a great reference for getting up to speed fast:

To quote the site:
“Essentially, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment purchased or financed during the tax year. That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your gross income.”

This means if you are toying with the idea of investing in some new equipment, this may be the time to consider it, before the end of the calendar year. Couple that with some impressive rebates on Epson and HP printers- shown below, and you may have a plan that will put more of your resources to work for you, and less of it into the coffers of the IRS, than you thought possible. That is, in fact, the intent behind the Act: “It’s an incentive created by the U.S. Government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and invest in themselves.”

Here are some of the details of the massive printer specials going on.
Both Epson and HP are offering huge rebates on almost their entire line of professional wide-format equipment- in some cases up to $4000!  Epson has instant discount and mail-in rebate promotions- but the list is as long as your arm, and with savings to match.

HP is calling it the “HP DesignJet Cash In & Trade Up Promotion”, and it covers almost 30 products and can save you up to $2000. Don’t worry – we’ve got all the information, forms and links you need to take advantage of these great offers- drop a note or give us a call today – (877) 727-7682 – and we can match up the best deal for you.

Look at it as your Civic Duty- Washington wants you to invest in Small Business?  The place to start is with your own!

November 22, 2010

Artist Profile- Bruce Keyes

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:48 pm

In spite of the huge volume of background information available on Bruce, nothing can quite prepare you for talking to the man in person.  Animated, entertaining, energetic – none of those words can come close to describing the electric enthusiasm Bruce brings to his discussion of photography, art, digital printmaking, and even the Gulf Coast, Missisippi and the art community there that he calls home.

Bruce’s work hinges on his idea of the “Gestalt of the Lens” – his website bears the tag “Through the Lens Artistry” – the notion that the lens itself determines the vision, the organization of the work itself.  This philosophy extends through every tendril of the many types of work he does, from his book of documentary work for which he may be best known, Spirit of New Orleans, through his nude, abstract, experimental and extended documentary work.  Keyes follows his lens, wherever it takes him.

Keyes is completely involved in digital photography.  He finds it liberating, empowering, and, in fact, feels no need to burden students with all the baggage of learning traditional darkroom and film-based methods.  Instead, he encourages young photographers to experiment, relinquish control, see where a process leads them and their work using all of the tools at their disposal.  Embracing the potential this entirely new medium and remaining open to exploring and experimenting, Keyes could have been the original proponent of the “Let the Tools Set You Free” school of digital photography and imaging.

Interestingly, this is where his use of various media from Parrot comes into his process.  Keyes seldom, if never has a final vision of what media a photograph will ultimately be printed on when making the image.  His goal is to collect as much as he can, to make as rich a capture as he’s able to allow himself flexibility in the processing and printing of the photograph.  Once the image is ready to print, he’ll experiment with many of our papers, canvases and fabrics to allow the media to render the image as it does naturally: our canvas, Angelica cold and hot-press watercolor papers, our photo-base media, even our fabrics like linen and silk.  Rather than settling on one single paper or treatment, he may print the same image on a range of types and textures, and keep them all as different interpretations of the image.  Keyes relies us to do what we do best, to provide the highest quality media with the best performance, and in the broadest range of offerings, so he can do what he does best- create remarkable photography.

Take a look at the video of Bruce Keyes speaking about his work, his process and how Parrot media helps him create his remarkable images.  He follows the “Gestalt of the Lens”, but also the “Gestalt of the Paper”, and we’re proud to say we’re a part of that.

See more of his work at his site, as well as his book Spirit of New Orleans and other projects.

-Ted Dillard

October 29, 2010

Printing With “No Color Management” with the Epson 11880 (PS4 and Leopard)

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:16 pm

Printing a profiling target with “No Color Management” in Photoshop, and with the printer drivers’ Color Management settings turned OFF is the keystone of profiling a printer.  You need to start with a target file with no tagged RGB profile, and print it just like it is.  Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?

Enter Adobe’s Photoshop CS4, and the Print window- here’s what it looks like, and how it needs to be set to assure you’re not touching the document:

And here’s how you need to set the Epson drivers once you hit Print:

All very standard stuff…  well, except the Epson 11880, and maybe other Epson -880 series printers won’t print.  It will spool the job, maybe hum up, and then spit out a blank page without printing.  Sweet.  So we tried a workaround.  We set the Photoshop menu to “Printer Manages Color”, and then set the driver, again, to “Off- No Color Management”,  figuring it would get to the same place- an un-color managed document.

Well, I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t.

I just got out from under about a week of wrestling with what we thought was a problem somewhere in our ProfileMaker and/or Monaco profiling workflow with the Spectrolino- the profiles were nowhere near as tight as we’re used to- and were additionally baffled by the fact that our i1 Match system with the i1 Pro was building a bulletproof profile.  It wasn’t until the guys at X-Rite (…yes, occasionally we DO have to ask for help from Support!), notably Bruce Wright, said this:

“ProfileMaker and i1Match use the same color math, so normally if you get good results with one, you should get good results with the other. The significant difference is that the targets you print from i1Match come directly from i1Match and then pass through your printer driver. The targets you print for use with Monaco Profiler or PM5, might be getting printed via a program such as Photoshop. This is one possible area that could influence the printing of the charts, as there have been changes in the Mac OS and how it works with Adobe Creative Suite programs in both Leopard and Snow Leopard systems.”

…and that got me to thinking.  I looked yet another time at my print “path”, and saw that “No Color Management” selection once again.  I read a little more.  I then opened up the target in my old CS2 version and printed it the old fashioned way- remember “Print with Preview”?  The new target was visibly different, and when I built the profile and printed with it, I got the same solid print I’ve come to expect from the system…  obviously my workaround didn’t work.  Somehow, some colors were being pushed around.

As it turns out, this Epson driver / Mac OS / Adobe issue really doesn’t get claimed by any of the three responsible companies, but it is a known issue.  My leaning is towards saying it’s probably an Adobe issue, but it really doesn’t matter.  What I have, so far, from someone pretty much in the Adobe camp is that the issue is “fixed in CS5″.  Nice.

The interesting lesson learned is again from Bruce:

“We get this question being asked in all kinds of different ways. But at the end of the day, if a target doesn’t get printed without color management turned off in the printer driver, then using the profile in any version of CS will not give correct results.”


This is basically the same advice when you’re told to check the cables and connections…  start with the absolute basics and work up the ladder.  In this case, and in so many cases of printer color problems, the first, obvious step is to make sure the colors are managed, or not, where and when you want them managed.

It’s simple enough advice, I just wonder why I have to be reminded of it so often…

October 12, 2010

Scanning Glass Plates

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:27 pm

Glass was the natural substrate to use for a photographic negative back in the early days of photography.  Every photo student has heard the stories of going “on-location” with a glass-plate camera, most likely in the context of photographers like Matthew Brady photographing the Civil War.  The process involved disappearing inside a light-proof tent to coat the glass with a light-sensitive emulsion, then inserting the plate in the camera to then expose.

We’ve worked on several projects involving glass plates, including some plates that hadn’t stood up too well to the ravages of time.  One plate was broken into more than a few pieces- then taped together.  It was an early shot taken of the Boston Braves- the Boston baseball team that eventually became the Red Sox.  Unfortunately one of the cracks went right through the batter, who was caught mid-swing.  Photoshop, though, made it easy to cut and paste the negative back together and clean up the edges.  By the time we were done with it, you’d never have known it was anything but the original!

The shot above was a yard-sale find.  It looked like an interesting image that begged the background story- who are these people, where is this house?  Perhaps we can find out more…

This plate was part of a project we did in 2009 for the Billerica Historical Society, the Billerica Union Hall.

Each project demands a slightly different approach.  Like any restoration, the degree to which you “fix” the image depends on how much you’re trying to reproduce the image as it remains today, or reproducing it as it was originally.  It’s more about the way the images will be used, the story you’re trying to tell with them.  …and, in spite of all the power of Photoshop, in many cases we’re pushing our top-end equipment to the limit to dig through the layers of Time, and thick, uneven emulsions to find the true image.

Still, in spite of all the technology and the process, sometimes you have to step back and marvel at these unique, historic, yet timeless images.   It’s what makes our work at Parrot so much fun!

October 1, 2010

Parrot adds High-Res Multi-shot Capture!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:43 am

We’ve been known for years for our amazing Cruse scans of paintings and rare, delicate artifacts – even pinball tables – but never before have we had the capability to shoot your complete collections, until now. With the addition of our Hasselblad Multi-shot capture system and a re-tool of our Betterlight cameras, we can now cover every piece of a collection, exhibit or catalog under one roof.  We’ve worked with some of the finest and most cherished flat artifacts for decades now, including the remarkable Giza Pyramids project,  but our experience isn’t limited to just that- our team has years of experience shooting studio photography, artwork, sculpture and jewelry for some of the most demanding clients.

The vase shown here is a exquisite piece shot for the Fitchburg Art Museum from our staff portfolios.  It’s only a small example of the kind of work we can do, as well as a demonstration of what a complete understanding of light and color control can do to create a photograph that is true to the beauty, delicacy and scale of the original artifact.

In many cases you only have one opportunity to have a collection photographed.  It’s crucial that the images represent the originals, and are in a form that represents a true visual archive.  Parrot understands this, and through our work in photography, color management and fine art reproduction, and now with our additional tools, we can cover everything you need in one comprehensive process.

Don’t hesitate to give us a shout for more information:  …and check back, we’re planning an Open Studio to show off our new gear in the coming months!

September 28, 2010

Hey Mom! Guess what I saw today! (HP Designjet T2300 eMFP)

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:55 pm

Can you say “ePrint&Share”? Somebody at HP had the brilliant idea to take the features of a standard laser MFP (Multi-Function-Printer) and plug it all into a nice wide-format chassis. You may have heard of it, well, my friends, we saw it. Touched it. Caressed it. Along with a few other new releases we can’t talk about yet. This thing prints from a workstation, prints from a jump drive, networks, goes online, and scans. Yes. It scans full 36 x 93.6″ originals.

Here, until we can post our shots from today, (on Oct. 18th- stay tuned) is the HP Designjet T2300 eMFP from their YouTube channel. Really, the possibilities of setting up a bunch of these units all talking to each other redefine online collaboration for construction firms, architects- anyone throwing around huge output. Print it out, web-conference about it, mark it up, then shoot it back to be updated. Very cool stuff!

Gee. I just happened to see this here video from Photokina, too. Hmm. The HP Z6200 Photo printer. Not that I’m sayin’ we saw one today or anything… nah.

More on what the T2300 eMFP is all about, here:

and here:

September 24, 2010

Northeast Museum Directory

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:40 am

Looking for an interesting weekend museum jaunt?  We were going through some of our listings of museums in Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island, and came up with this.  Who know there was so much, tucked away in the nooks and crannies of the New England landscape?

We’re seeing some old friends here- The Peabody Essex, The Griffin Museum of Photography…  but some unexpected gems, too, like The Fitchburg Art Museum- certainly one of the most impressive collections in New England.

Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Museum Website
Addison Gallery of American Art Phillips Academy
American Textile History Museum
Andover Historical Society Museum
Art Complex Museum
Atwood House Museum
Bartlett Museum
Beard and Weil Art Galleries Wheaton College
Becket Land Trust Historic Quarry & Forest
Berkshire County Historical Society
Berkshire Museum
Beverly Historical Society & Museum
Boston Children’s Museum
Bostonian Society Old State House Museum
Cahoon Museum of American Art
Cantor Gallery College of the Holy Cross
Cape Cod Maritime Museum
Cape Cod Museum of Art
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
Children’s Museum in Easton
Concord Art Association
Danforth Museum of Art
Davis Museum & Cultural Center
Decordova Museum and Sculpture Park
Dedham Historical Society
Egan Maritime Institute
Emily Dickinson Museum
Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Fairbanks House
Falmouth Historical Society
Fitchburg Art Museum
Forbes House Museum
Fruitlands Museum
Fuller Craft Museum
George Peabody House Museum
Golden Ball Tavern Museum
Gore Place Society
Griffin Museum of Photography
Hancock Shaker Village
Harvard Art Museum
Heritage Museums and Gardens
Historic Deerfield
Historic New England
Historical Society of Old Newbury
House of the Seven Gables
Hull Lifesaving Museum
Institute of Contemporary Art
Ipswich Historical Society
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum
Longyear Museum
Lynn Museum & Historical Society
Martha’s Vineyard Museum
Mass Audubon Visual Arts Center
Massachusetts Air & Space Museum
Mead Art Museum Amherst College
MIT List Visual Arts Center
MIT Museum
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum
Museum of African American History
Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of Russian Icons
Museum of Science
Museum of World War II
Nantucket Historical Association
National EMS Museum Foundation
Newton History Museum At the Jackson Homestead
Nichols House Museum
Noble & Cooley Center for Historic Preservation
Norman Rockwell Museum
North Andover Historical Society
Old Colony Historical Society
Old Dartmouth Historical Society New Bedford Whaling Museum
Old South Meeting House
Orchard House Home of The Alcotts
Paul Revere Memorial Association
Peabody Essex Museum
Peabody Historical Society & Museum
Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology
Pilgrim Society & Pilgrim Hall Museum
Provincetown Art Association and Museum
Rockport Art Association & Museum of Art
Rose Art Museum Brandeis University
Rowe Historical Society
Sandwich Glass Museum
Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library
Semitic Museum at Harvard University
Shirley-Eustis House Association
Smith College Botanic Garden
Smith College Museum of Art
South Shore Natural Science Center
Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History
Springfield Museums
Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute
Tower Hill Botanic Garden Worcester County Horticultural Society
University Gallery University of Massachusetts
Wenham Museum
Whistler House Museum of Art
Whittier Home Association
Willard House and Clock Museum
Williams College Museum of Art
Wilmington Town Museum
Wistariahurst Museum
Woods Hole Historical Collection
Worcester Art Museum
Worcester Historical Museum
Barrington Preservation Society
Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson & Wales University
David Winton Bell Gallery Brown University
Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology
Heritage Harbor Museum
International Tennis Hall of Fame
Little Compton Historical Society
Museum of Natural History, RWP
National Museum of American Illustration
Naval War College Museum
New England Wireless and Steam Museum
Newport Art Museum
Preservation Society of Newport County
Rhode Island Historical Society
RISD Museum
South County Museum Cononchet Farm
Abbe Museum
Bates College Museum of Art
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Colby College Museum of Art
Maine Historical Society
Maine Maritime Museum
Maine State Museum
Owls Head Transportation Museum
Portland Museum of Art

(Photo: The Atrium, Peabody Essex Museum)

September 20, 2010

Artist Profile: Joseph Deiss

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:23 am

It’s not often you can point at a photographer’s work and say it’s truly unique, but that is certainly the case with artist/photographer Joseph Deiss.  He works with a photographic wet process, and the pieces he produces are simply like nothing we’ve ever seen, with a feel that is truly ethereal.  We just scanned four of his most recent works with the Cruse, which he will assemble to create a mural-sized print.

We can only hope to have a chance to see this amazing work on display- hopefully soon!

See more of his work on his site, here:

He had some kind words for our work as well:
“Thanks for the compliment…  However I have to say that the 4 panels of the piece you scanned were great! The 17 images in “flora & fauna” were a labor of love that took over 8 years. The latest piece I finished took 7 months.

These new scans from your Cruse scanner is going to save an immense amount of time. Artifacts (in the files of these particular type of photograms) caused by scanning from a “normal” scanner were, I thought, a fact of life. I’m looking at only a few weeks worth of work from your scan!

Ah! Life is good. Many thanks… Joseph”

-Ted Dillard

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