Red River Paper Blog

Inkjet Photo Paper Photographic Inkjet Printing News & Information

Open Sesame!

by Arthur H. Bleich

Have a file you can’t open because you don’t have the right software?  Or one you want converted to a different file type? Then look into these two free online services that will convert files and media from one format to another.


Zamzar Screen shot

Zamzar is a U.K. Web site named after a character in a Kafka novella who morphs into a giant insect– an appropriate name, I thought. It will convert files containing documents, images, music, videos, ebooks and other formats– up to 100MB each. The other site is Online-Convert which offers the same service but is faster in delivering your converted file.

I recently was emailed a .pub file attachment which resisted opening with different software despite my best efforts. I tried the Zamzar site, and here’s how it went: I first selected the .pub file which was on my computer. Then I specified I’d like it converted into a .pdf format. Next I entered my email address, clicked on “Convert,” and in a few minutes received an email with a URL where the file –now a .pdf– could be downloaded. I did so and It opened perfectly.



To check out Online-Convert I had it do a simple conversion of a .jpg image to a .tif and in seconds the photo was automatically downloaded to my computer. I could also have manually downloaded it from their site had I wanted to. Online-Convert offers some interesting options in the conversion process; for example you can choose a JPEG from your files and have it converted to another JPEG of a different size, color, compression, resolution and more. It was just the ticket for quickly downsizing and sharpening a high resolution camera image for emailing as an attachment without having to use an imaging program.

Both services can convert hundreds file types and also offer several levels of paid services in case you need to regularly work with large files up to 1GB, require 100GB of file conversion storage, need to process multiple files at the same time or receive priority tech support. They even offer encryption for secure conversions if you need it. and


Arthur H. Bleich


HP Printer Custom Paper Size Hack

If you have a newer HP Photosmart inkjet paper and use Windows, it is likely you cannot define or use custom paper sizes. This is a problem because you just cannot wait to use Red River Paper’s marvelous selection of inkjet printable greeting cards. Making your images into photo cards is a wonderful way to connect with friends and family or promote your business.


So, here is the trick to making newer HP Photosmart printers work with custom paper sizes:

If you have Windows 7, adding the driver for HP DeskJet 9800 is simple:

1. Go to Control Panel >> Devices and Printers and Add a Printer.

2. Select “Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer.”

3. Wait for Windows to find your printer on the network and select it, then click Next.

4. It should say “Install a printer driver” and present a list of manufacturers on the left and models on the right. Select HP and select “HP DeskJet 9800″. Then click “Next”. Make sure to uncheck the box when it asks you if you want to make it the default printer.


Now you can print custom sizes by going into your application (e.g., Microsoft Word) and selecting “Print”, and then choose HP DeskJet 9800 as your printer. Once you have selected this printer, click “Properties”. In the “Paper/Quality” tab, there is a drop-down of various paper sizes as well as a button that says “Custom”.


Roc Solid Resurrection

By Arthur H. Bleich


Faded old color print


Recently, a former shipmate on Coast Guard icebreaker sent me a print of an image taken more than 50 years ago in the Antarctic. He told me he was going to trash the photo but then thought that maybe I could salvage a black and white print from it. Most photographers would have called it a hopeless task but I had a magic piece of software, Digital Roc, that I was pretty sure might even bring the colors back.

Roc is one of a series of corrective software plug-ins that Kodak developed years ago and is sold by Applied Science Fiction (ASF) a Kodak affiliate. Several plug-ins have been licensed for integration into scanners but can also be purchased separately as imaging application plug-ins for Photoshop and other programs. Digital Roc will pay for itself quickly if you have to restore print, slide or color negative images that are faded, have heavy color casts, were shot under fluorescents or are badly under or over-exposed causing radical color shifts.

Easy-to-use sliders perform the more mundane tricks of adjusting brightness, contrast and darkening or lightening but Roc really rocks when it comes to analyzing color gradients in the image to remove color casts or tints and restore faded or lost color by generating optimal tonal curves for each color channel. The results can seem miraculous as evidenced by my shipmate’s seemingly dead image that was resurrected.

Restored By Digital Roc

Digital Roc Pro is a cross-platform application and works with 8 bit and 16 bit digital images from any source, including film, flatbed scanners and digital cameras. The only caveat is that it may not work with some current versions of imaging programs; however you can give it and four other excellent applications a try before you buy to check compatibility. If Roc is not simpatico and you do a lot of photo restoration, it’s worth having an older version of an imaging program on your computer that will work with it and its precocious siblings. $99 at

Arthur H. Bleich


RRP Pro Tony Bonanno at New Mexico Art Exhibits

One of our Red River Paper Photography Pros, TONY BONANNO, has been invited to exhibit his photography in a cultural photography exhibition this fall and winter with 18 other photographers. The name of the exhibit is In/Visible Borders: New Mexico Photographers. He will have two images shown at two locations.

Bonanno1 © Tony Bonanno

The dates of the exhibit for the two locations is below:
- The Marion Center for Photographic Arts exhibit runs now until December 13, 2013.
-The Santa Fe Community Center Gallery exhibit runs November 22, 2013 until February 21, 2014

For more details, CLICK HERE.

Greeting Card Design Templates by Susan Bailey


Susan Bailey has added a new product to her line of greeting card designs. She has compiled a collection of 20 templates for greeting cards created using Red River Paper’s standard greeting card stock. They are for many occasions and easy to use.

Colored border

In any version of Photoshop you will drag one of your photos over the design template. Then click Layer – Create Clipping Mask and your photo will pop into the gray area. There are a variety of shapes the photo will pop into – circle, oval, rectangle, heart, star, etc……… even one designed for putting your dog’s photo with paw prints around the border.


This sells for $10 and you can use each one over and over with the same photo or different photos. The downloadable file comes with complete instructions. More details at with a full listing of the cards.

Here is an example of a template (with photo) - you can change all the colors.. and the text to anything you want on all the designs!

Colored Border RRP

Shooting Long, Slow And Steady Bags a Squirrel On a Power Line


Arthur H. Bleich

A few years ago, I had an assignment from a power company to illustrate an article about causes of power-outs. Many disruptions are caused, I learned, by animals (and even bugs) during their daily rambles I had just received a Pentax K100D to review for a magazine so I decided to set the ISO to 400m and aim it at a squirrel during its noisy back-and-forth runs on a nearby line.

Pentax had included an adapter for older M-42 screw mount lenses and I had a lightweight 400mm, f/4 Astronar left over from my film days. I decided to give it a try, knowing that I’d probably end up with a bunch of blurred and/or out-of-focus images. The effective focal length of the lens was actually 600mm when used on the Pentax’s smaller-then-35mm sensor and the shutter speed should have been set to at least 1/600 sec (that’s the rule of thumb– for a shake-free image, use the focal length of the lens as a minimum shutter speed).

However, if I had used 1/600th at f/4, the image would have been totally underexposed, so I resorted to three tricks that most pro photographers use:

     1. I put my right arm through the camera strap (which was around my neck) so that the strap ended up going across my upper back and under my right arm. Then I adjusted it so that when it was pulled away from my body, my nose could be brought tight against the camera back with my eye in line with the viewfinder. This formed a rigid and stable arrangement– the camera became part of my body.

     2. Just before taking the shot, I stopped breathing. I didn’t take a deep breath and hold it because that would have further contributed to shake. Wherever you are in your breathing cycle, just stop before you shoot. You can go even further by learning how to slow down your heartbeat (as biathlon athletes do before target shooting) but I think using current shake reduction technology is quicker and safer.

     3. I took several shots in rapid succession knowing that the law of averages would probably give me one that would be acceptably sharp. And this turned out to be the case.

RR Blog Squirrel-Bleich copy

© Arthur H. Bleich

And that’s how this shot was made. Want to guess at the shutter speed? 1/90 sec without shake reduction on. Why didn’t I activate it? Because it was a new camera feature at the time, the squirrel was in a perfect position, and I knew if I fiddled around to figure out how to use it, the shot would be lost. By the way, that would make a good a fourth trick. If there’s a once-in-a-lifetime shot to be made, make it. If you spend too much time trying to get everything perfect before you shoot, chances are you’ll miss it.

RRP PRO Paul Roark Gallery Showing

Black and white photographer Paul Roark will be the Featured Artist at Gallery Los Olivos in September. There will be a reception at the Gallery, 2920 Grand Ave., Los Olivos, CA on Saturday, Sept. 7, 1 – 4 pm.



The exhibit is called “Landscapes and Cityscapes” and will include a selection of Paul’s new as well as favorite images.


The front room of the Gallery will showcase Paul’s latest and unique B&W dye technology printed on Red River Polar Pearl Metallic paper. The effect of this very sharp, high dynamic range medium is described by many as “three dimensional.” These high megapixel images, printed with a minimum width of 17 inches, provide a level of detail and impact that is beyond other B&W media.

For more information, see .

Inkjet Paper for QSL Cards…wait..what ARE QSL cards??

According to Wikipedia - A QSL card is a written confirmation of either a two-way radiocommunication between two amateur radio stations or a one-way reception of a signal from an AM radio, FM radio, television or shortwave broadcasting station. It can also confirm the reception of a two-way radiocommunication by a third party listener. A typical QSL card is the same size and made from the same material as a typical postcard, and most are sent through the mail as such.

This is an example of one might look like.

QSL Card Example

So Red River Paper did some research and printing your own QSL cards is quite popular.  Of course, from our vast assortment of 33 different inkjet papers we have assembled the best for printing them!  So, if you’re an amateur radio operator or know one, here’s your best inkjet paper for printing QSL cards!



Canon Advanced Shooter Workshop


September 20, 21, 22, 2013

Begins at 6:00pm Friday and concludes at Noon on Sunday

Inn on the River, Glen Rose, Texas



Canon shooters who want to master your camera system, this is the workshop for you. A weekend retreat that covers one topic in depth – operating your Canon DSLR. Take your proficiency to the next level in this hands-on extensive workshop at the idyllic Inn on the River in Glen Rose, Texas.

The topics presented in the workshop are intended for the more advanced photo enthusiast or pro. Learn how to master the control systems of your digital camera including focus, exposure and flash. See how your Canon system fits into an efficient and effective digital workflow that allows you to work quickly without sacrificing quality.

This is a hands-on program so bring your equipment and be ready to practice what you learn. You’ll also have the opportunity to try out other Canon gear too. Try that new camera, a fast long lens or the new radio controlled flash.

Join program host Rob Hull of GreatPhotography and Bob Malish, Canon Senior Professional Products Specialist on September 20th. For more information visit As a valued Red River Paper client you can take $20 off the tuition fee by using the coupon code “redriver” when you register.