Printing from Mumma Farm Snaps

Antietam National Battlefield Park, March 10, 2013


Window, Outbuilding, Mumma Farm, Antietam National Battlefield P

Ah sweah “Bertha” — HPB9180 — has a mind o’ her own and won’t do nothin’ consistent apart from swillin’ ink around suppertime, just pumpin’ it through her system, spittin’ it out in a little cup, keepin’ track o’ which micropores are open which are clogged.

For all that, she’s pretty good!

Should anyone buy a print, and it arrives off-centered, my permission is hereby given to cut and mat according to taste.

“Gicl√©e” print makers of a certain masochistic bent know how well HP’s expensive dinosaur and headache print — and what I get are technically gorgeous and flawless archival prints — and how badly, how tortuously, how hanged and damnable its software has been to make up for its mechanical prowess.

And just to make sure photographers owning the B9180 suffer on their own, HP, by and large, has supported the absolute worst, most aggressively sabotaging customer service in the world: in one naive episode, the “tech” (overseas) got me to download and load the software for a related machine, which provided me with minimum utility on the unit at hand.


There is a Yahoo user’s group.

I haven’t followed it too closely, but I think I might go to it as one may got to any number of social help groups for victims of one sort of abuse or another.

I’ll tell them, “My name is Jim, and I’ve been beaten up really good by Bertha, my printer!”

The fact is I’d replace here if she didn’t turn out prints like a pro.

You just got to treat her right, I guess.

Lord knows the other models in printing have their problems too, but I doubt any drive their owners as crazy as “B” (9180).

Saving “Bertha” — The Printer

I’ve allowed my printer, an HP-B9180, to run through hundreds of dollars of archival “Vivera” inks without printing a sheet!

I suppose a narcissist needs a narcissistic printer, for she does this to me by way of checking herself out once every 24 hours and keeping tabs on the functioning of her microscopic ink-spitting¬†nozzles. ¬†Printing with such a touchy behemoth scares me, and yet, every time out, with some allowance for cleaning the jets, she prints a brilliant and precise photograph. ¬†That’s why I don’t trade her in, but given the expense of ¬†her breathing just once a day, I hold out hope for serious art sales, either in volume or by the production run.

Starter bid: per 13×19-inch print: $95 plus shipping; Maryland residents pay 6 percent sales tax; cleared check or Paypal transaction.

Editions: open unless stated closed.

Licensing: priced according to usage.

Third-Party Publishing: negotiable.

Cloud-Sea & Moon — Signed, Limited Edition Prints


Printer: HP B9180 with Vivera inks — good for about 200 or more years.
Paper: InkPress Fine Art Matte, 220GSM — acid free for permanence.
Dimensions: 13×19-inch (A3+), no borders.
Print Run: four to six, God willing — there are three already on the dining room table, but “the estate” — such as the tawdry thing may be — may hold one or two in reserve.

I’ve cross-posted this entry from, but in the future may post new inventory here first.

First Project: First Antietam Set

“Old Simon” at Antietam National Cemetery.

Twelve Easy Prints


Aesthetically: internally consistent.

Thematically: coherent.

I’ve spent decades making pretty pictures, technically stunning pictures, sentimental pictures, but this late afternoon, one that marks the end of a long process over time, is the first on which I’ve printed (completed, done) a set of a dozen coherent, internally consistent interpretations of one of America’s great historic landscape: Antietam National Battlefield Park.

I’m having a drink over it, rum and coke, this still warm July afternoon, windows open, fans running, Joe Pass (“Bernie’s Tune”) coming down from a cloud.

Is this how it feels to have something finished, I wonder.

Must be.

Manhattan or Venice Beach or some little spot off the road, Cumberland Valley, twenty minutes driving north of all that death, glory, sacrifice, the announcement in blood of the beginning of the end of slavery (and “separate but equal”, truth to be told) in the U.S.A., it’s the same thing.

Although not quite a wrap — I could stand to print the set a few more times.

In any case, I have something to ship.

I’ve a minimum in mind.

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The HP B9180 survived this round!

Specification: HP B9180 with the Vivera inks on A3+ (13×19-inch) InkPress Fine Art Matte,¬†minimally bordered and at the bottom numbered by volume and print order (left), and signed (right).

Production Run: I’m tempted not to do another set! ¬†However, I’ve in mind placing six to a dozen sets, no more, of this project.

If the HP printer fails (beyond fast repair) on any subsequent order, then I’ll print on the Epson 3880 with the Ultrachrome K3¬†(with ‚ÄúVivid Magenta‚ÄĚ) inks.