Printing large images

Printing an image at a given size and resolution.
Divide the longest edge of your image (measured in pixels) by the longest edge of your desired print size (measured in inches). For example, if an image measures 3,840 x 5,760 pixels and you want an 8- x 10-inch print, take the longest edge in pixels and divide it by the longest edge in inches of the target print size: 5,760 pixels ÷ 10 inches = 576 ppi (pixels per inch). That’s more than enough resolution to produce an awesome print; remember, you need a minimum of 240 ppi though it really depends on the printer. However, if you want to make a 30- x 20-inch poster out of that image, you’d have a resolution of 192 ppi (5,760 ÷ 30), which isn’t high enough to print well. From:
A large image should really be admired from a minimum distance e.g. at least a metre away. Get up close to a large image and all flaws will be apparent. Stand back to view the image and it will be magic!
  • Shadows Open up – Print Down a Little
  • Textured Papers Work Better With Bigger Prints
  • Resolution Required Depends Greatly on Expected Viewing Distance
  • Original File Quality
  • Handling and Framing Considerations
Final Thought
Big prints show off flaws in your source material, but keep this in perspective. You will always be the fiercest critic of your own work.

“Home” again

This is my third time in Istanbul.  Even though my stays have not been for long (i.e. a week or so at a time), I have walked many of the highways and byways of the Sultanahmet district, up to Taksim and some places around the Asian side.  This (walking) isn’t for everyone because some of the side-streets are reasonably steep, slippery (cobbles) in the wet and often tricky underfoot with poorly-maintained footpaths, plenty of roadworks and some pushy drivers. I enjoy seeing the ‘raw’ side of cities as well as their highlights and often look for a different ‘angle’ on a place.  This is readily available on foot.
I like the relaxed friendliness of the people.  For a secular society with a largely Islamic population, the streets are full of people wearing, doing, working and playing just like many other western cities. And yes – the streets are full.  Cheek by jowel with the Suleymanie mosque is a collection of the decrepit multi-storey weatherboard houses traditionally built in the city centre and people living in obvious poverty.  It’s just a few metres off the tourist track.  There is plenty of money around – if that can be judged by the number of expensive cars on the road.  By the same token, most cars, scooters, vans and public transport has suffered damage that goes unrepaired- presumably from “touch parking”, minor incidents and the wear and tear of narrow street driving.
Istanbul is, like many cities, a place of urban and suburban life, centres of touristic business activity, spotted with splendid sights and a mix of cultures.  Street vendors, market stallholders, restaurant managers, tour guides and street sellers all compete for your interest and business. This is just a way of life in the tourist season here so there’s no reason to get annoyed with them as they vie for your business.  They are familiar with rejection so don’t be concerned about being polite and walking on.  A technique I have used in China is to wear earphones but not plug them in to anything so it LOOKS like you can’t hear them calling to you..  Anyway – part of the banter with vendors can give you at least some interpersonal contact with locals which, in turn, can break the ice.  Walking around the Sultanahmet district puts you right in the ‘firing line’ so choose to say ‘no thanks’ and keep moving if that’s your preference.
I’ve fallen straight back into my exploration of the city again – as you do with an old friend.  You just pick up where you left off. Today was a circuit of Sultanahmet, the Grand Bazaar; I particularly like the very edges of the Bazaar with street sellers and dusty items for sale.  Sometimes the shopkeepers look up from their tea or backgammon in surprise that anyone has ‘found’ them again; down to the moored boats that run from near the Galata Bridge along the Golden Horn to Fatih, then back uphill to landmark mosques, Fev Spasa Cadessi shopping street and then all the way back into Cemberlitas to check in to the hostel.
Tomorrow? Who knows? 🙂

Skipped a day

Yesterday was the day I had organised to meet Osman from the Istanbul Photography Meetup.  We met at the Ataturk monument in Taksim, chatted over a coffee from Starbucks and then drove across the Bosphorus bridge to Asia.  He took me to a pleasant tearoom at the top of one of the Seven Hills upon which Istanbul is built,  Excavations have been done for the biggest mosque in Istanbul, near the skyline by the forest of antennas. As it turns out, we didn’t take photographs together; we talked.  I introduced him to the game of Conkers (look it up) because there are so many horse chestnut trees around.

After a couple of hours of pleasant chat, he drove me to Uskudar where I caught the Metro under the Bosphorus to Sirkeci (station).  I had five minutes to get to a meeting point with Tessa at Eminonu in time to catch a Bosphorus Ferry tour at 1.30.  Made it a couple of minutes late (believe it or not, running in sun makes you very sweaty) only to find that the daytime Bosphorus tours had been cancelled because of a yacht race.  Booked in for the 6.30 to midnight run!

Spent a lazy couple of hours wandering up though a PACKED spice market to Grand Bazaar and back down to Eminonu for 6.10.

Ferry ride takes 6 hours because it stops at five or six ports on the way.  Live music on board kept the locals singing.  Stopped at the north end of the Bosphorus for a couple of hours to eat a fish sandwich and trawl slowly through the gift shops.

Pleasant party atmosphere on the boat with singing and dancing until our return at midnight.  City still very busy.

Starting to lose track of days.

Had a 12 hour case of Bully Belly next day – not sure if it was from drinking the tap water or something else.  Took it easy through Aya Sofia museum and rested up in the hotel at lunchtime  80% good the next day – had to skip the Hammam.

Early flight to Zagreb and on to Dubrovnik made it a good day to get over the gut issues.

Now settled into Villa Flores in the Dubrovnik Old Town.  Need to stroll slowly so you don’t see all the old-town attractions too early.

Plenty of people!  Much busier than last time I was there (in March 2010),  Walked round the harbour at sunrise this morning; spinach burek, chocolate croissant and cherry juice for breakfast.  Nice meal out at Lucan Katun restaurant last night.  Lamb in honey and lavender, caesar salad, lentil soup, fish consomme, white anchovies on rocket…

Cable car and city walls coming up soon.

Active day getting around

We caught the tram from Sultanahmet district to the north side of the Galata Bridge searching for the cafe that sold Kaymak (fresh buffalo cream with honey).  The Turks don’t say “smooth as a baby’s bottom”, they say “smooth as buffalo cream” and now we know why!  We congratulated the business owner whose business will have been operating for 100 years next year.

With a bit of energy inside us and a boost of Turkish coffee in the blood (don’t drink the mud at the bottom), we made our way up through the electronics and music shop district to The Galata tower, then on up Isklidal Caddesi (Independence Avenue) to Taksim square.  After a quick look at the monument and then the location of the protest camps in 2013 which started in an effort to save the park from development, we caught the funicular down to Kabatas and then the ferry to the Asian side of the Bosphorus at Uskudar.

There we walked along the shoreline through a series of bookstalls under vinyl tents – representing the “book festival”.  For a late lunch we grabbed a fish sandvic (sandwich) and lentil soup and watched the ferries ply their trade. From there we came back to Eminonu ferry port and had a nice pot of Turkish tea in a tea garden of Gulhane Park overlooking the Bosphorus.  We walked around the Topkapi Palace back to Gulhane (tramstop) then visited the Blue Mosque for half an hour.  We used the tram to get to Aksaray and walked down to an Uzbeki restaurant (Mihari Express) for dinner in the north Asian enclave of the city where Russians, Uzbekis, Pakistanis and Georgians live.   Quite a different “feel” on the streets here – a rougher “edge”, heavy traffic jams, fewer tourists, dozens of toy shops and clothes shops and vendors on the streets.

After a dinner of chicken kofte (meatballs), Russian salad, aubergine salad, mince dumplings and Pilaf (rice and lamb) we walked along Turkeli Caddesi back to Sultanahmet in the dusk light.

Mid to late 20 degrees C all day.  Two-tone (orange and beige) sheep grazing and spending time with its owner on the lawn between Blue Mosque and Aya Sofia.

KL layover…

Day 1 is just to help you relax into the fact that you’re on the way to a different part of the planet.

Getting “Museum legs” from walking so slowly to fill in time whilst waiting for the bus / train / plane is just part of the deal. When you’re ‘forced’ to arrive at departure points ahead of time, you simply must engage ‘airport mode’ and slow down.

The Deep Veins really got a workout (not) on the ‘leg’ from MEL to KL whilst the brain got a wash from watching three trashy movies: ‘Godzilla’, ‘The other woman’ and (less trashy) ‘Fading Gigolo’. 

3.5 hours layover at Kuala Lumpur airport will lead to Catatonia – no, not Spain :-)! So Day 1 on arrival at Byzantium/Constantinople/Istanbul will be a complete headspin. Looking forward to it immensely!

“OK. What have I forgotten!?”

“OK.  What have I forgotten!?”

It’s the last question I ask myself before leaving for the airport but it should probably be my FIRST!

I leave for IST next Friday afternoon and have done most of the normal things people do as preparation.  Clothes, shoes, health and safety equipment, camera gear, electronics, accommodation, directions, basic phrases, passport, tickets, money, communications, itinerary, what else?

Oh yes – Mindset!

I haven’t got into the swing of this trip yet…  I’m not “already there”, despite what I have read about the places, what I have planned to do, who I expect to meet, what I need to do to ‘blend in’.  I am going with an open mind (thank God), a loose plan (always important) but not with a sense of excitement – yet.

Normally that excitement happens on the plane half way across the world when I realise I don’t have to go to work, I can’t always be contacted, I have to ‘forage’ for my food and that I am parachuting (not literally, I hope) into communities that will all see me in different ways.

For some, I know I am a source of income; for others I am an intrusion; still others will see me as an opportunity – whether that be to practice their English, to find out about a different culture, to say they’ve met someone from a different country or just to spend some time with a ‘random’ unknown.

Next week I will start the process of ‘switching on’ my mindset and preparing for a whole set of new and fascinating experiences.


Travel – can’t live without it…

I believe it’s part of the inquiring mind and the human condition that when we are doing something that is becoming routine or repetitive, too challenging or stressful, we think of ways to avoid it, change the task or improve how we can do it.  An alternative (or an addition) to this response is to give yourself a reward for your effort.

Coming from a meritrocratic tradition, I discovered some years ago that a good reward for my effort is to “earn” myself a ‘break’.  That break may just be a holiday away from the task or the break may involve taking the time-opportunity to learn about other people and places, indulge myself by taking pictures of new places (or the same places but in different ways), and create or participate in an experience that I can remember and share into the future.

I think that (sadly) this makes me a tourist as opposed to a traveller but I can accept that, simply because I must earn a living and so can’t spend my life travelling.  Instead, I must spend short periods of time doing interesting (to me) things.

This year, I am going to re-visit a couple of places I have already visited but this time will travel with my partner and share those experiences with her.  That will make those places “different” in my mind, thereby re-awakening the “old” locations for new reasons.

Tally ho!

Istanbul and Croatia on the agenda

I’m heading back to Istanbul and Croatia but this time will go with Tessa, my partner.  We travel both independently and together and this time we’ll be spending time together.

This will be good for me because I like to share my time with friends and experience different things.

We’re in Istanbul for a week.  Tessa has organised a cooking class (wasted on me!). I have organised to spend a few hours with a photographer from a Meetup and look at Istanbul from HIS perspective.  I’d like to see the Rumeli Fortress, have a hamam (Cemberlitas?), take a day trip to the Princes Islands, catch ferries up and down the Bosphorus, re-visit the bazaars and mosques, Dolmabahce Palace and maybe find a different place to see the Dervishes.

In Croatia, we start in Dubrovnik and have booked a (shared) yacht with a small company that will take us up through the Croatian Islands to Split.  Brilliant!  I wouldn’t normally spend my hard-earned on this but it’s a good part of travelling with Tessa.  Looking forward to it! The itinerary is dictated by the weather and the wind so I don’t know where we will go.  I would like to see Hvar, swim off the boat in the Adriatic, work with the skipper onboard (haul them ropes!) and maybe even catch some rays on the deck.

Then it’s on to Paris for (literally) a couple of days.  We’ll have dinner, visit an auction house (just for fun), drop in at Angelina’s, walk along the Seine, Tessa will do a cookery course and then it’s time to go.

I’m assuming Malaysian Airlines will still be in business by then!