We Are Open Again

Open For Business, Sort of . . .

RaberEYES, Rockhopper, PhotoPXL studi and gallery
RaberEYES, Rockhopper, PhotoPXL studio and gallery

On March 23, the governor of Indiana issued Stay-at-home orders. He also ordered that all nonessential businesses shut down. Just in case you didn’t know, photography studios and galleries are not on the essential businesses list. So the whole very large building where my gallery is was put on lockdown. Customers were not permitted in the building, and owners of studios and offices were allowed in but had to wear a mask and had to sign in and out and maintain good social distancing practices.

View of the studio
View of the studio

For the last several months, I have ventured to the studio only a few times, usually to pick something up. Fortunately, I have a great office and space at home to work form. The studio, though, is a place I find I am much more productive. There are few distractions and I can focus on the task at hand. At home, there are way too many distractions — at least for someone like me who is probably the poster child for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The cats want attention and seem to have a master plan that they rotate half hours on. One of the four cats gets to hang out with me. They usually find a comfortable place behind my computer monitors and relax. Almost like clockwork, they seem to require some love time. This is the point at which they come out from hiding and walk over my iPads, keyboards and generally want to spend some serious lap time. Being the nice cat owner I am, I give them the love they need.

This computer drives the Epson P800 and and Epson 9900 printers as well as the image archives
This computer drives the Epson P800 and Epson 9900 printers as well as the image archives

Then there is the dog. After Debra’s dad died, we adopted his dog, Maggie. She’s a great dog, and she enjoys hanging out with someone, too. But like the cats, every now and then she gets off her bed and lays her head in my lap. So it takes a bit of time to love on her.

If I get a bit weary of writing, I may slide over to the other computer and work on some images. Or I look outside the window and see a cool looking bird, so I get my camera and begin to stake out a bird for a photo.

Time To Open Up

The Epson P800
The Epson P800

Indianapolis, the city where I live, deemed businesses could begin to open back up June 1. Of course, there are all sorts of rules, but we could open. I know a lot about COVID-19 since my father-in-law died of it, and I saw my wife suffer weeks from the virus. I am in no hurry to rush out and have dinner at my favorite restaurants. Certainly wouldn’t go out anywhere public without a mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer.

The studio doesn’t see a huge amount of traffic, and it is mostly by appointment. Having sat idle for a few months, there were a lot of things that needed to be done, and I decided to spend the day there getting things back in shape.

The Epson 9900 printer which can print to 44 inches wide
The Epson 9900 printer which can print to 44 inches wide

My mission was to clean and dust things off. That also entailed sweeping and then mopping the floor. The building maintenance guys came by and got the air conditioner going. The big job was getting all my printers running again and to update computer software. A lot of this was going on simultaneously.

I have an Epson 9900 and P800 along with a Canon Pro1000 and Pro 2000. I started head cleaning on each printer, and it took quite a while to get things all cleaned up and working again. It also meant I needed to go to Roberts Camera and get some ink and maintenance tanks. (I have a separate story on visiting Roberts).

A lot of spent ink cartridges
A lot of spent ink cartridges

After spending most of the day at the studio, I had all four printers ready to go. I stocked up on ink and also ordered some paper. My favorite paper is Canson Baryta Photographique II. This is a new paper replaces their former version one, Baryta. I’m all set to go and look forward to two to three days a week working at the studio.

The Canon Pro2000 24 inch wide printer
The Canon Pro2000 24 inch wide printer

We have a number of videos we have been planning on doing as well as some specialty shots. We have some gear that needs to be reviewed, and there is no better place to that than the studio. Yes, I’ll miss the cats and dog as well as some other distractions, but I still plan to work at least a few days a week from home. Kind of the best of both worlds.

If you are in the Indianapolis area anytime in the future, drop me a note and we can find a time to get together. Please stay safe and healthy.

The studio space from the hallway
The studio space from the hallway

Kevin Raber
June 2020
Kevin Raber
Indianapolis, IN

Photography is my passion and has been for 50 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of picture taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can, hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through photoPXL.com, this site, as well as Rockhopper Workshops, and other projects, as well as teaching as Artist In Residence at the Indianapolis Art Center.

Article Type: News, MISC

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