The title "The Printer" not only defines the inkjet printer I use to make my prints but also my career, for I am nothing if not a printer.
Darkroom days: countless hours printing in various darkrooms, many that I built myself. Before digital, computer displays and the internet photographs were, quite simply, seen by prints made on paper, whether published or actual prints.
My practice still is print based, although I gather much of the following of my work through my website and blog. Unfortunately, the presentation and craft of prints that are exhibited these days is often lacking but still remains of paramount importance to me.
For almost 6 years virtually every print I have made came from my Epson 9900 44 inch inkjet printer. Though most friends and colleagues have moved on by now from theirs, mine kept on trucking, admittedly with more head cleanings and some banding from time to time. This is most likely attributable to a "single user", meaning me, and great care taken in preserving and maintaining the printer. Before it died last week it showed over 5000 prints made.
But returning from the recent trip out west to start editing files and print the work from the wheat fields of the Palouse, I ran into trouble right away. I could not get the yellow ink to give me much yellow at all. Think "wheat" in color. Yellow is the most important of colors. I'd dial in more yellow, saturating it on screen and the subsequent print would only show a little. Nozzle checks bore this out. A significant gap in the yellow range. Several cleanings and what is called a "power clean" which uses a lot of ink, and the head was still clogged. These are sure signs that the head needs replacement. By the time you pay for a technician to come and replace the head and do the work to bring the printer up to specification you really just should purchase a new printer.
My new Epson 9000 arrives this week.