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BS: Photography

GUEST,Number 6 22 Feb 06 - 08:43 AM
JohnInKansas 22 Feb 06 - 12:49 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 22 Feb 06 - 12:01 AM
number 6 21 Feb 06 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,DB 21 Feb 06 - 10:17 AM
Bunnahabhain 21 Feb 06 - 05:54 AM
JohnInKansas 21 Feb 06 - 01:59 AM
JohnInKansas 21 Feb 06 - 12:38 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 21 Feb 06 - 12:15 AM
Jeremiah McCaw 21 Feb 06 - 12:15 AM
number 6 20 Feb 06 - 11:55 PM
JohnInKansas 20 Feb 06 - 10:13 PM
Pauline L 20 Feb 06 - 07:53 PM
Bert 20 Feb 06 - 06:26 PM
Scoville 20 Feb 06 - 06:20 PM
Homeless 20 Feb 06 - 05:54 PM
number 6 20 Feb 06 - 03:56 PM
Donuel 20 Feb 06 - 03:47 PM
TheBigPinkLad 20 Feb 06 - 03:42 PM
JohnInKansas 20 Feb 06 - 03:28 PM
Bert 20 Feb 06 - 01:50 PM
Liz the Squeak 20 Feb 06 - 10:50 AM
bobad 20 Feb 06 - 10:32 AM
Phot 20 Feb 06 - 08:47 AM
JohnInKansas 20 Feb 06 - 01:55 AM
JohnInKansas 20 Feb 06 - 01:50 AM
Pauline L 19 Feb 06 - 07:55 PM
Pauline L 19 Feb 06 - 07:40 PM
JohnInKansas 19 Feb 06 - 03:54 PM
number 6 19 Feb 06 - 03:09 PM
number 6 19 Feb 06 - 02:57 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 19 Feb 06 - 01:24 PM
Pauline L 19 Feb 06 - 01:11 PM
Catherine Jayne 19 Feb 06 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,DB 19 Feb 06 - 09:18 AM
Catherine Jayne 19 Feb 06 - 05:10 AM
Jeremiah McCaw 19 Feb 06 - 04:49 AM
JohnInKansas 19 Feb 06 - 01:41 AM
number 6 18 Feb 06 - 11:36 PM
ragdall 18 Feb 06 - 11:21 PM
frogprince 18 Feb 06 - 10:58 PM
number 6 18 Feb 06 - 10:45 PM
Pauline L 18 Feb 06 - 08:08 PM
Bert 18 Feb 06 - 06:22 PM
Bill D 18 Feb 06 - 05:42 PM
Bunnahabhain 18 Feb 06 - 04:38 PM
number 6 18 Feb 06 - 02:18 PM
Amos 18 Feb 06 - 12:49 PM
JohnInKansas 18 Feb 06 - 12:34 PM
number 6 18 Feb 06 - 11:39 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: GUEST,Number 6
Date: 22 Feb 06 - 08:43 AM

I too archived (via scanning) all my previous 'snapshots', and also many ancient family photos from way, way back into digital formats. Some I revised and brought more life to them, also cleaned some images up using Photoshop.

Photography to me is just more than taking a picture ... it is extending your picture forward. New digital technology has provided me with tools that previously where expensive, and cumbersome.

"Photography has always been a rewarding hobby. Now it's even more fun, and maybe a little cheaper even."

I certainly agree John!

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 Feb 06 - 12:49 AM

Art -

The advantages of film are many, but so are the advantages of the digital stuff we have now. There are some trade-offs to be made, and there's little reason for those on one side to argue with those who prefer the other.

Of course your collection of photos/slide were on film because that's what you had then, and you have our immense admiration for what you've collected (and amazement at the consistently fine quality).

The one thing that seems apparent now is that archiving digitally should be much safer than continuing to trust treasured memories only to blobs of chemicals. Even that opinion is subject to change though - when we see if the bits are still around in a few decades.

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I found some of my old prints beginning to fade, so I set about scanning and saving everything digitally. Because of "space constraints" I've actually shredded most of the old prints, although I still have the negatives (I think).

When I got started looking at some of the scans, mostly from "snapshot" sized prints, I found several really startling things I never knew were in the prints. "Shopping" your images can be a real revelation. Photoshop (Elements) allowed me to bring up a very nice portrait of an old friend from one shot - and I never knew she was at that party 30 years ago! Since it's one of very few pictures of that particular person, it was very rewarding to find and save it.

Photography has always been a rewarding hobby. Now it's even more fun, and maybe a little cheaper even.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 22 Feb 06 - 12:01 AM

John,

Thanks so much. There is so much I don't know about this subject. You insights open my eyes a bit. Still I had fun with slide film as I moved around and on the folk scene. I took snapshots and had some half way decent instincts. But Photoshop let me do stuff I never figured I would ever do.

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: number 6
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 11:47 AM

Bert ... to the scots 'definition' is 'soul' .

Before there was Photoshop and the advent of 'digital', "artsy stuff" was done in the lab. I never gave the environmental factors a thought until a visit to a reknowned New Brunswick (Canada) photograper's (Jamie Wilson). He had recently moved out of town to an old country house which he impressively converted into his home and studio. The discussion came about concerning digital vs film ... an advocate of film he admitted he found himself being converted over to digital ... one main factor was now that he lived out in the country he realized the impact developing chemicals had on the environment.

here is some work James Wilson's if anyone is interested.
James Wilson

            

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 10:17 AM

Just out of interest has anyone tried taking digital photomicrographs (ie. pictures down a microscope - not sure if I've got the right term)?
I'm into botany - with a particular interest in ferns - for identification purposes it helps if you can examine things like spores and sporangia (spore capsules) etc. I bought myself a cheap 'student's microscope' and a 'Universal Digiscoping Adapter' (I kid you not!) which is, basically, a mechanical clamp and stage affair which allows a digital camera to 'look down' the eyepiece of the microscope.
At first I experimented with my Nikon 4500 but it was too heavy and the lens had trouble focussing. I then tried my little Canon A85 compact camera which I had bought cheaply in a sale to carry around when I didn't fancy lugging around the heavier Canon 300D SLR.
I set the A85 on the shutter priority setting and kept clicking through the various shutter speeds until the image in the LED screen looked OK. I then took the shot (and a couple of bracketing shots for good measure). The pictures were astonishingly good - especially after having been tweaked a bit in Paint Shop Pro!
All of this confirms for me that digital cameras are amazing - and there's not much that you can't do with them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 05:54 AM

Thank you John.

These kinds of deprecated techniques are used to some extent by a few photographers of some reputation, and are attempted by far too many amateures. They're sufficiently easy, and controllable, with modern equipment that they can be used by a knowledgeable photographer, with care, with some hope of still getting useful images. It generally is better though, particularly for the amateur who can "work his images" to get sharp pictures, properly exposed, with good depth of field, in the camera, and do the artsy stuff on the computer or in the lab. Especially now that it's relatively easy to do it on the computer.


Of course, if you're now shooting digital, there is no reason not to try both ways. Get the high detail image, and then try the artsy stuff. The worst it can do is not work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 01:59 AM

J McC -

It's largely a matter of what direction you come from when it comes to deciding whether the "take the picture with the camera" and "make the art in the lab" concept applies to both Adams and Cartier-Breson.

Ansel Adams tackled the difficult subject of landscape photography where it was necessary to get all the detail possible out of scenes with wide ranges of brightness. He, with Edward Weston, formed the f/64 society in 1932 and developed the zone exposure system, possibly with the intent of applying it to the more difficult subjects for which Ansel eventually became best known. The f/64 group was responsible for encouraging – some would say forcing – film manufacturers to develop significantly improved films, particularly with respect to low level gamma and to some extent general film exposure latitude.

Although Cartier-Breson took some excellent pictures during the same 30s era, most of his subjects didn't demand extreme attention to large variations in area brightness correction, and by the time the major part of his career took off after about 1947, improved films made it even easier to do what he's famous for.

If you look at a few Cartier-Breson images, as I'm sure you have done, you'll observe that his images – whether "on the fly" and "off the cuff" as he claims, show remarkably deep depth of field, very sharp focus throughout most of the visible depth, with relatively few deep shadows with adjacent bright spots. In fact, he chose his shots to get good pictures, including his choice to take pictures where the light was "good enough" - and even enough - to get the good shots: i.e. to get enough information on the film to make a picture out of it in the lab.

The uncommon (for the time) depth of field with sharp focus suggest that he used small apertures (thank you f/64 guys); and he must have used largely the fastest films available in the era and probably in many cases "pushed" the film in development past rated speeds. I can argue that this constitutes "getting as much detail as possible on the film."

The combination of small aperture and fast film typically results in low negative contrast, and in fact many of his scenes that appear to be appropriate to bright sunlight have a slight overcast, or "rainy day" look that's contradicted by what's happening in the scene.

In all probability:

1. He used small apertures to get depth of field and sharp focus.

2. He used exceptionally fast film for his time period.

3. He forced development to pull as much detail as possible up in the negatives, consistent with the above 2 choices. (see overcast appearance above)

4. He probably forced the necessary gamma and latitude corrections in the prints

5. He was very good at all of the above.

All of these are consistent with the "rule" that he put as much as he could get on the film – within the constraints of the situations in he was shooting and the equipment with which he could shoot;

and he made art out of what was on the film when he got it in the lab.

What is conspicuously missing in images by both Ansel Adams and Cartier-Breson, that I've seen, were things like the "wide open lens close up" to minimize depth of field and "pull an area of interest" out in the taking of the picture. Or deliberate attempts to under or overexpose parts of a picture to "cut out" an objectionable object in the taking of the picture. I believe I have seen at least one Cartier-Breson image that looks like he may have used a "camera pan" to produce an impression of motion. That may have been necessary to keep the moving subject in focus if he was shooting at the limits of aperture/speed/film, but even that could easily have been a lab effect in the print.

These kinds of deprecated techniques are used to some extent by a few photographers of some reputation, and are attempted by far too many amateures. They're sufficiently easy, and controllable, with modern equipment that they can be used by a knowledgeable photographer, with care, with some hope of still getting useful images. It generally is better though, particularly for the amateur who can "work his images" to get sharp pictures, properly exposed, with good depth of field, in the camera, and do the artsy stuff on the computer or in the lab. Especially now that it's relatively easy to do it on the computer.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 12:38 AM

Art -

I've seen some discussion of "what would Ansel have done?" and while nobody can be sure, the consensus was he'd probably have done about the same things he did, but some of it might have been a little easier. His major achievement, if one must be singled out, was in developing exposure factors to adjust the picture taking not just to the brightness of the scene, but to the variations in brightness within the scene. His purpose, as he described it, was to have sufficient "information" in all parts of the negative, so that he could have something to work with in the lab when he created the print.

Since he did a lot of "new developing" of methods, it's likely he'd have taken a look at anything new that might appear helpful.

With the films and cameras he had, getting the information onto the negative was really the hard "blood sweat and tears" part of it, but it was largely done to formulas and calculations once he picked a subject - and once he'd figured out his formulas. The "artist" came out in the lab, but I don't think we really know how many "scratch copies" he burned. He might have used Photoshop, if he'd had it. If he declined to use Photoshop, he'd probably have appreciated a modern office shredder.

It has to be noted too that although Photoshop allows you to do some things easily and with great versatility, it only works because we also have large format high resolution printers (and scanners) to allow us to use what Photoshop produces. Without the peripherals, Photoshop alone wouldn't have been much use.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 12:15 AM

In another thread, I wondered what Ansel Adams would've done with Photoshop!!??

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 21 Feb 06 - 12:15 AM

" Some people will always be inclined to try to take the perfect picture but the pros in the coffee table books NEVER did it that way. The strove to get as much information as possible on the negative, and then went to the lab to make the perfect picture from what they had on the film."

HA! Horse feathers! Tell that to Henri Cartier-Bresson! (But not to W. Eugene Smith.)

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: number 6
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 11:55 PM

Actually there is no need to buy an expensive macro lense. You can buy 'macro filters' such as Hoya or Tiffen. They are certainly way much cheaper than the macro lense.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 10:13 PM

Pauline -

I have an excellect film camera setup. Canon A-1 that started out with 28mm, 50mm, 125mm lenses, with an "extrender" attachment that can be inserted between the lens and the camera body. With lens barrel in the insert, it gives about a 2x shorter effective focal length for the lens, and with the barrel out, it gives a 2x longer focal length, so I was covered from 14mm to 250 mm effective lenses - for only about $600 in lenses.

At just about the time that I finished collecting my set of lenses, Canon came out with some absolutely superb zoom lenses, and I found that with one 20mm - 78mm zoom, and one 50mm - 135mm zoom, I could get by with carrying just two lenses instead of 3 lenses and a bunch of accessories. Actually, for my usage at the time, the one 50mm - 135mm zoom would have met 95% of my uses. Since I can no longer see far enough to tell what's in a shot that I'd really need 135mm for, I'd probably use the shorter zoom more now.

Of course, almost as soon as I got set up again with my good zooms, Canon introduced a new mount that made all of my existing lenses incompatible with all new Canon cameras. So I have around $800 worth of extremely fine Canon lenses that won't fit any of the Canon digital SLR cameras that "can use all your old Canon lenses." They mean "everybody's old lenses but yours, dear John."

Other than looking for sympathy to which I know I'm not entitled, the point is that Canon zoom lenses have just as good optical properties as even Canon fixed length lenses. Some of the other camera/lens makers can probably legitimately make the same or very similar claims.

Unless you frequently jump from one extreme condition to an opposite extreme, there's little need to be swapping lenses very often for a photo expedition, if you can manage to equip yourself with one of the more versatile lenses. You may find this less true if you don't have a Canon (or may Nikon etc.) but among the top echelon brands, the zoom lenses are generally excellent.

Digital photography also offers the option: a "macro" lens is NOT NECESSARILY the best way to take "macro" photos.

The main difference between a "macro" lens and another ordinary one that can focus at the same distance, is that the "macro" is presumed to provide a flat plane-of-focus so that something like a postage stamp photographed really close-up will all be in focus on the film plane. Another lens will focus a curved surface in the vicinity of the object just as precisely on the film plane, but you have to find for yourself which direction the curve goes for a given lens.

If all your flowers are FLAT, then you obviously need a macro lens to take closeups of them. If they're not, you have to compose the picture to get as much as you can properly focused, within the extremely short focal depth you get with a short focal length lens, and the curved plane-of-focus of even a mediocre lens may actually give a more pleasing effect than a true macro lens.

Now enter the digital world. IF you have sufficient pixels available, you can get the same "closeup" by shooting a longer view, and cropping the middle out of it to get that nice tight "closeup" picture. With a slightly longer focal length lens, shooting from appropriate longer distance, and being incredibly fussy about getting the focus right, you can get close-in blowups with incredibly better depth of field than you'll ever get with a "closeup lens" and getting really close to the object you're shooting.

The neat part is that after you have that nice crisp closeup shot cropped out of your big picture, you may not want it all in sharp focus. You just drop a selection area over what you want to leave in focus, invert the selection, and drop a gaussian blur filter on top of it - and when you "apply" the filter, everything in the "not what I want to keep" area is instantly out of focus (i.e. just slightly blurred). By selecting the "blur radius" you can even choose "how much out of focus" to have it be.

And don't forget, since you NEVER EDIT AN ORIGINAL, you still have that incredibly sharp image with lots of depth of field that you can use to make a completely different "closeup" with the bug's feet sharp instead insted of his nose. (Or at least one pic for the bug and a different one for the flower.)

Some people will always be inclined to try to take the perfect picture but the pros in the coffee table books NEVER did it that way. The strove to get as much information as possible on the negative, and then went to the lab to make the perfect picture from what they had on the film. You can go to the computer, and won't have to put up with the smell of the lab.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Pauline L
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 07:53 PM

JohninKansas, thanks for your detailed critique on photo software. I will follow up.

I have heard that manufacturers are cutting back on the kinds of film they sell and charging more for what they are continuing to sell.

I went to a festival today and took my camera. Last night I got out my Nikon 5700 digital, which I haven't used for a few months, and I couldn't remember how to use it. Really. I had to read the instructions. I looked through the viewfinder and was very unhappy with what I saw -- the fisheye view. I decided to take my Nikon D50 digital SLR and two lenses instead. I carried everything in my backpack, stopped occasionally to change lenses, and had so much fun. Now to look at my photos.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Bert
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 06:26 PM

"digital lacks soul" - Actually it lacks definition.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Scoville
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 06:20 PM

We still use my parents' Pentaxes (early 1970's vintage, I guess), especially since they are the only ones for which we own multiple lenses (regular, macro, and architectural), but they bought me a Nikon D70 for my birthday/Christmas a couple of years ago and I wouldn't go back to film for anything. I'm not a great photographer by any means--I'm still learning to use the Nikon--but even being able to upload and see my pictures before printing them has me sold. I take a lot of pictures for one of my other hobbies, under conditions where lighting and color are extremely important, and not wasting money printing hit-or-miss photos is a blessing. I also hate dealing with photo negatives and since nothing I do is fine art that would be kept for posterity or reproduced widely, I am very glad not to have to store them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Homeless
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 05:54 PM

I hate to sound like a wet blanket, but to me claiming you're a good photographer because you got a fancy camera seems about on par with saying you're a good musician just because bought got a $10,000 guitar. I know guys who enter contests with prints made from cameras that cost no more than $4. Four dollars. A good photographer can get a beautiful shot from any camera that is handed to them, as JohninKansas alluded to above.

Unless you are going larger than 8x10, 2 megapixels is plenty. Knowledge of the effects of lens focal length is more important than having a big zoom.

Since people have mentioned wanting to get better zooms, does anyone understand the difference between optical zoon and digital zoom?


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: number 6
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 03:56 PM

My wife is detests digital ... she is a diehard film photographer and sticks to her old Pentax Program Plus.

She says "digital lacks soul" ... Jeeesh, those Scots will drive one crazy.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Donuel
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 03:47 PM

I found you really don't need more than 5 mega pixels unless you are doing movie posters - and even then - if you do not rasterize and print from a Tiff file you can make enormous prints.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 03:42 PM

I'm about to go over to digital (prompted by a couple of people who actually took the piss out of me at the last beer festival for using my trusty Canon 35)

This is a great site for photographers: http://www.flickr.com


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 03:28 PM

From a PC Magazine report on freeware:

"Software company Serif has a novel approach for attracting new customers to its latest applications: Give away the old versions. At www.serif.com you can buy 2005's PhotoPlus 10 for $80, and at www.freeserifsoftware.com you can download 1999's PhotoPlus 6 for free. So, while PhotoPlus 6 clearly isn't the latest and greatest, it is hands-down the best free basic image editor around."

The claim is that PhotoPlus has "nearly everything that's in Photoshop." Some user comments indicate a slightly "clunky" interface, but reviews and user reports rate it pretty highly.

I haven't tried it out, but have downloaded it for a couple of people who needed "something to fix photos." Unfortunately they're all more talkers than users, so I haven't had any reports on what they think of it.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Bert
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 01:50 PM

I just took a look at Gimp on a linux machine yesterday. It looks pretty powerful and as you say the price is right. Is there a Windows version?


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 10:50 AM

I certainly wouldn't go back to film, it's so expensive getting films developed and then you've got the hassle of storing both print and negative!

I've just spent the weekend with my uncle, scanning old prints onto computer - he used PhotoWizard to enlarge some tiny 1" by 2" Box Brownie prints and the result is fabulous. Now if only they would invent something that produced colour images from old black and white ....!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: bobad
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 10:32 AM

Pauline

Gimp is a free, open source photo editing program that is highly recommended by a lot of people. I don't use it myself as I have several programs already including Photoshop but you may want to take a look - the price is right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Phot
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 08:47 AM

Well, guess from the handle what I do for a job! Best job in the Royal Navy! We use Nikon D1x, and D2x bodies, which are OK, but they are nowhere near as good as the latest kit from Canon. My colluges and I find that the metering, optics, focusing, and general build quality is nowhere near as good, and as for the flashguns, forget it. There is no consistency in the output of the flashes.

For presonal preference on a budget, I'd choose the Canon Eos 20D, its a brilliantly specification body for a reasonable price, with more resoloution than a D1X. If you have a bit more to play with, the Eos 5D is the tool of choice, with more res than a D2X, and its cheaper! If money is no object, then it has to be the Eos 1DS Mk2,(£4,750.00 Body only) 16.8 megapixels, thats better res than wet film! ( I'm buying one later this year) It is the professionals tool of choice, almost every pro I speak to has, or is changing.

Photoshop Elements, is a brilliant programme for the price, for the average joe, or enthusiastic amatuer, it has all you need.


Wassail!! Chris


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 01:55 AM

PS for Pauline -

I had an ISP crash and lost my original post. When I recomposed, I neglected to mention that you can download a trial version of PSE 4.0 at the second link above. I haven't looked at the trial, but I'd expect it to be a "large" download.

There is an "associated" program called "Premier Elements." It purports to do for Video the same sort of things that Photoshop Elements does for photos. I'll continue to ignore it, but suit your own interests and curiosity if it looks like something of value.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 20 Feb 06 - 01:50 AM

Pauline -

Photoshop Elements was created by Adobe to cash in on the digital photography craze. It consists of selected utilities from Photoshop that are specifically applicable to processing of photos. It's actually a remarkably complete set of Photoshop functions, and some of the utilities were "repackaged" in forms that make the same functions a lot easier to use in Elements than the same functions are in Photoshop.

The original PSE 1.0 listed for about $69.00 (US) but nearly always could be found with a rebate coupon that made the real price $39.00. When they upgraded to PSE 2.0 the list was about $89.00, but again with common rebates so you could get it for about $39.00. I got both of them. I haven't had a first-hand look at later versions, since I haven't seen them available at other than list price.

Once they got everybody "hooked," Adobe updated their whole line of image/illustration programs, and wrapped everything into what they call the "CS" (Creative Suite) package. The last time I looked, the whole suite was about $1800. I avoid checking too often because it makes me drool. You can check out their whole line at Adobe Products.

Since the new Suite came out, it's a little less convenient getting individual programs; but you can check out the current Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Windows. (The Mac version is still at 3.0 rev.) List price, direct from Adobe, is $99.00 (US) for the CD version. You can download the program for $10 less, but its more than 500 MB so you'd need a really fast connection to make a download practical.

In PSE 1.0 or 2.0 you can open a "Layers Menu" that shows a thumbnail of each layer in your image. Drop down menus let you choose any of about a dozen layer types for each layer. (I use Screen and Overlay quite a lot.) Selections vary with the screen type, but generally there are about a half-dozen "layer effects" you can apply to any given layer. Filters can be applied to an individual layer, and the most used (by me, thus far) are the Unsharp Mask (used for sharpening images) and Gaussian Blur.

Scratch and Dust/Speckle filters are included and are sometimes handy. Text functions for adding notations on the image can use any font installed on your Windows machine. Alignments, cropping, resizing, etc are all simple - usually with a half dozen methods (that I know of thus far) for doing each thing. Parallax and pincushion removal are sort of "advanced techniques," but are really simple once you figure out how. A good "browse" function is included, although I usually just browse in thumbnail view in Windows Explorer. Contact Sheets, Slide Shows, and automated "For Web" rescalings are included.

A really handy feature is the ability to do "batch processing" that allows you to do the same thing, like resizing or changing file format, automatically to all the files in a folder.

If I lost my $39 PSE 2.0, I would justify spending $100 for this program, even though it would mean skipping my meds for a week or so.

Those who like it may argue, but IMO, for working with photos, compared to PSE, PaintShop Pro is a "toy" program. Of course, compared to Photoshop, PSE is a "sophisticated toy" program. Arguments about which program is most powerful or most versatile are academic if the program you have does everything it's necessary for you to do. It's also true that what's necessary expands quite quickly when you find things you can do easily with a program you have. I've found a lot of new "necessaries" since I've learned to use more of PSE.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Pauline L
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 07:55 PM

I just read about Photoshop Elements 2.0 (PE 2.0), and it has many of the capabilities that PaintShop Pro does. I have not been able to get the layers functions to work on PaintShop Pro. Is PE 2.0 more user friendly for layers?


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Pauline L
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 07:40 PM

Thanks for the clarification, number 6. Your place looks beautiful in spite of the cold.

I transfer my photos from my camera to my computer by taking out the memory card, putting it into a high speed reader made for the purpose, and connecting it to a USB port.

What is PSE 2.0 and how much does it cost?


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 03:54 PM

As always, Art's link deserves a "clickie:"

      www.plankroad.org.

Our 'cat society is obviously infested with sadists determined to persecute me with endless recitations of the features of their good digital cameras while I suffer along with my antique 2MP snapshooter. I've had to move a bucket next to my computer seat for drool control to finish reading all of the above.

I have seen what more state-of-the-art cameras can do. 'Catter Phil visited with us at the WVA festival and shared some great pics he'd taken with his Canon SLR (model not noted). He asserted that they were all taken with "automatic settings" and he got crystal clear images where I, and four or five others who shared pics from the same events got "mostly mud." Even most of the pics from other "cheap" cameras were as good as, or better than, what my POS gets (although my "superior skills" got some better shots than some with slightly better cameras did, of course.) There were two discoveries:

1. You usually don't really have to have a "program" that comes with a camera to offload the images. If you can make the USB connection, WinXP at least will recognize the camera memory as an "external USB drive" and you can copy and paste the images just as you would do for files of any common kind. Note that some cameras save images internally in "proprietary formats" so you do need a program that recgnizes the format, but being unable to do anything with the images shouldn't prevent copying them elsewhere - so far as I've seen.

2. I really need a better camera.

For the benefit of those others who might have less than modern small cameras:

Unless taken in full daylight outdoors in midafternoon full sun, virtually every shot with my camera requires "lightening" to be useful. Since most of the "action" at the fests where I've taken the majority of my digital snaps is either in the dark around a campfire, in the dark under a puny streetlamp, or in deep shade under the trees in the campground, I have to "pull up" at least 80% of the shots I get. (My camera is limited to ASA100 equivalent, and the built in flash is essentially only useful for "fill.")

Automated "corrections" in my PSE 2.0 program, and in similar programs I've (seen like some cited), can do "sorta good" corrections, but if your original images are really bad like mine, you'll do a lot of "fussing" to get much improvement. You can also "fuss with" brightness/contrast etc, with similar "sorta good" results - maybe.

After doing it this way for a while, I "got the book" and learned that if you:

copy the image base layer to a new layer (a drag and drop in PSE) and

change the new layer type to a "screen" layer,

you have, instantly, exactly the same colors, but twice as bright. Drag the new layer onto the copy button for additional effect. In PSE, you can reduce the density of the last layer you drag to get "just right" brightness when anything starts to be too much.

If you have to drag more than 5 or 6 layers to get bright enough, you'll probably find that the image was actually underexposed, and you'll start to see "halos" and degenerate colors; but for most images that are just a little off, it's a very effective correction.

This one simple discovery compensates for one of the major defects of my inadequate camera, and is largely responsible for my continuing with "digital" photos at all. People with really good cameras may need it only rarely; but those with the cheap 'uns may find it handy.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: number 6
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 03:09 PM

... forgot to add ... NB is New Brunswick (Canada) Pauline.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: number 6
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 02:57 PM

Thank you Pauline ... the 'x-ray' pic is actually icicles on my back yard fence .. the orange and blue one is closup looking through an observation deck on the cliff of Mispic beach looking out over the Bay of Fundy, there is a pic of our grehound Otis, the others are various shots of the streets here in Saint John ... they have been altered slightly in Photoshop, but basically the 5700 had a unique feature of filtering pics .. I wanted to get the feel of 'old days' Saint John.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 01:24 PM

To read a column I wrote on photography (among others) go to www.plankroad.org and click on "Columns". Mark Dvorak's and other people's columns are there too.

That's the site of the Plank Road Folksong Society in Chicago suberb of Brookfield, Illinois.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Pauline L
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 01:11 PM

Number 6, I like your photos, too. I don't know what all of them are. What is the black and white one that reminds me of an X-ray? Where/what is NB?

My previous digital camera is a Nikon 5400. I used it to take photos of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, butterflies in the local butterfly garden, and the most recent Getaway.

I agree completely with JohnInKansas's remarks (above) about film and digital photos.

For those who are looking to buy a digital camera at a good price, see Cameta on ebay. They have the lowest prices of anyone reliable I've found on the Web.

I've been using PaintShopPro, and I like it except for one thing. I can't figure out how to use layers to add part of one photo to another. Can anyone help me? Can anyone recommend any other good software which is *very* inexpensive or free? (Bill D, this is one of your specialties.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 11:19 AM

Micca has the Canon 350D SLR and is completely smitten with it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 09:18 AM

A few years back I bought a Nikon 4500 and instantly fell in love with digital photography. Nevertheless, I began to get frustrated with some of the camera's limitations - these included:

- Poor documentation and a fairly complicated menu system
- No obvious way to manually focus the lens
- Slow response

So, when I had enough spare cash, I bought a Canon 300D dSLR with a couple of extra lenses. Oh wow! What a camera! The advantages were:

- Superb documentation which actually leads me to believe that I might, one day, get beyond the beginner stage in photography
- Complete control over manual focussing
- Control over shutter speed

Of course, I'd only just got into using the 300D when the 350D came out - which looks even better. The trouble with digital cameras is that they are changing so fast that they are out of date almost before they're out of the box! Still, as I've recently lost my job (no spare cash!),the 300D will be perfectly adequate for the next few years.

I use Paint Shop Pro for editing but, although it's good for basic tweaking, getting at some of the more advanced functionality is not easy. It's a bit like the basic stuff is in a small boat over a deep ocean trench whilst the advanced stuff is at the bottom of the trench - and no-one has thought to supply the user with a bathyscape ...

Oh well, I'm sure that the problems will be sorted out eventually - but digital is definitely the way to go.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 05:10 AM

I have had a sony cyvershot for about 4 years and loved it but it had a number of drawbacks one being the time delay. This month I have treated myself to the new Olympus DSLR E500 and it's wonderful!!

I wouldn't go back to film.

We recently bought a new printer which takes the cards from the camera as well as being hooked up to the computer, the prints are wonderful!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 04:49 AM

The digital (r)evolution has me interested in photography again. I always hated darkroom work, but it was the only way to get the results I wanted.

I have a Fujifilm FinePix 4700 (3.2 megapixels) which is already obsolete. I love the convenience, but hate the small zoom ratio (3x) and slow shutter response, especially on high quality setting.

Next camera will have at least 8 or 10x zoom and that neat image stabilization feature. Hopefully an SLR, if the budget can handle it. Fuji or Nikon, so I can use my old Nikon system lenses.

I find Photoshop Elements just fine for image processing. I do uploading to the GoPro Music site for the local musicians union members, and have found it endlessly useful for tweaking the wide variety (quality-wise) of photo material I'm given. The 'levels' feature alone makes it worthwhile.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Feb 06 - 01:41 AM

One slight difference between film and digital:

With film, you can do lots of special effects and touch ups in the processing, but it's a relatively cumbersome procedure, and unless you're unusually skilled it usually involves a fair bit of trial and error. And of course you have to have your own dark room (and chem lab) to do your own processing. The tendency is to try to "take the effect" you want at the time of shooting. If you want a "fuzzed out" background, you open up the aperture to get less depth of field and focus carefully on the part you want sharp, for example.

With digital photos, processing and adding effects, and correcting defects, is relatively so easy that it's probably most efficient to use the full depth of field available and take as sharp a picture as you can get when shooting, and flip a gaussian or other blur filter onto the part you want fuzzed out when you get the image on your computer. The preference thus is to usually take the shots sharp, with as much depth of field as possible, and add the effects later.

Each person will, of course, have personal preferences about which approach works best, but some thought about what can be done differently with digital photos vs film photos may help one to converge on a personal best method. With digital photos, the program you use to "process" your shots is very much a part of the picture making process, so it is necessary to learn as much as possible about what can be done on your computer in order to know what kind(s) of pictures you should try to get into the camera.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: number 6
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 11:36 PM

I appreciate everyone for posting ... great info and ideas have been expressed!

as mentioned I haven't really tried out my new D70s, but from what I've seen with it and the ones who posted and have one, I'm sure I will not be disappointed with it.

again thanks,
sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: ragdall
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 11:21 PM

From: number 6 - PM Date: 18 Feb 06 - 10:07 AM

Digitals certainly have their advantage. One benefit is that I now have a grandson who will be 1 year this week ... the way he moves it's hard to get a good shot, with digital ya just keep taking them unitl ya got it.


My digital camera (Canon S1 IS) has a video setting, which I thought I'd never use, but I've found it is perfect for taking pictures of moving children. A simple editor that came with our scanner will convert the video to individual frames, suitable for printing, or sending to unsuspecting friends and relatives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: frogprince
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 10:58 PM

Another luddite here, shooting with an Olympus OM-4. But I'm seeing enough digital stuff (like Pauline's) to tempt me, and make me wish a good digital SLR would be a little less of a strain on the budget.
But, Pauline, good image quality to me is when you can see all the bug bites on the leaves and petals, unless you retouch them or soften the focus deliberately. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: number 6
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 10:45 PM

Pauline ... I prefer to take landscape shots also. Plenty of spots here in N.B for that. My favourtes being DeerIs. and Campobello. As mentioned I haven't really had a chance to try my D70s out yet. I agree Nikon software certainly has it's faults, but I have been using Photoshop for some tiem now. Belwo are some pics I did with my old Nikon 5700. It was the most user unfriendly camera I have ever used, I was actually quite pleased when my hound chewed it as eventually I would of thrown it out the window.

I'm greatly impressed with your photos!! Thanks for the link.

   Nikon 5700

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Pauline L
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 08:08 PM

In a previous life, I spent a lot of time outdoors in the countryside. I would walk for hours, up and down hills and through the woods, with my camera around my neck. People used to tease me and say that the camera was attached to me. They were almost right. I love doing nature photography.

In recent years, I've used a digital camera. Digital cameras have some advantages. They're lightweight, small, and easy to carry around. You don't have to pay for film and developing. You can post your photos on the Internet and invite people to see them. You can touch up your photos on your computer, so you don't need a photographic darkroom. There are disadvantages, too. With the digital camera, my close-ups had the fish-eye look, and the flash made all the colors look flat. The zoom was only 4x, and I couldn't get close enough to my subjects. I've missed my "real camera." I could take better pictures with it. I could adjust the camera settings for best results. Most important, I could use my lenses. Even something as simple as a polarizing lens makes a very big difference in outdoor photography, and a macro lens gives far better close-ups than I could get with my digital camera. I especially missed using my macro lens. For a long time, I've wanted a digital SLR camera, mainly so I could use my lenses. However, with a cost of several thousand dollars, I simply couldn't afford to buy one.

In December, I decided to buy a digital camera with more zoom (10x). Fortunately for me, Cameta, the camera store with good prices, had sold out of them. I got brave enough to check the prices of the digital SLRs, and I found that Nikon's entry level digital SLR, the D50, costs about as much as the digital camera with the 10x zoom. I bought the Nikon D50, and I'm very happy with it.

When I received the camera, I was so excited that I stayed up half the night photographing things in my home. I knew that I would be able to use my old lenses but I would have to focus manually. I used to do this with my film camera, and I don't mind doing it again. At first, the new camera felt big and bulky in my hands, but I got used to that quickly, too. Since I enjoy taking close-ups so much, I photographed my violin and my poinsettia plant, and I noticed something important. If I used the camera's auto-everything setting, the close-ups were often slightly out of focus because the camera was taking readings in several parts of the visual field. When I set the camera to its close-up setting, shown by the icon of a flower, I could do spot focusing, and the results were much better. Of course, when you take close-ups with the lens wide open, you lose a lot of depth of field. When I used spot focusing, I focused on the foreground and let the background go soft. Foreground and background in this situation would be one leaf on my poinsettia and one leaf just behind it or the bridge of my violin and the body of my violin. I don't know how close I got to my subject, but I know that the lens was almost touching the poinsettia, and the photos looked good. Actually, "good" is a matter of interpretation. My photos showed some of the small flaws on the poinsettia leaves, but I like it this way.

The next day, after getting some sleep, I went outside with my new camera. At first, I doubted that I would find anything worth photographing near the sidewalk or the parking lot near my home. I was wrong. One of the reasons I love photographing things is that it makes me see things better. I took some photos of the dreary winter day with mist in the air and snow almost completely melted, thinking, "This isn't a good white Xmas." Then I remembered how much I used to enjoy photographing things on the forest floor, so I looked down at the ground, and I saw some things to go with my photos of the drab and foggy Xmas: some pine needles which had fallen on top of the ice water slush. I also took a close-up of a fallen pine cone nearby.

Nikon is justifiably well known for their cameras and lenses. They are not well known for their software. The software I got with the D50 is pretty crummy, much less user friendly than their older software, which I had to uninstall before installing the newer software. I just use other software packages for viewing, rotating, cropping, resizing, and compressing my images.

I'm passiopnate about this. If you're interested in talking some more, please PM me. You can see some photos I took with the new camera here. I took all the photos except those from the 2003 Smithsonian Folklife Festival with my Nikon D50.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Bert
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 06:22 PM

A year ago I started into digital and have a Minolta Dimage s414. I just love it as it can be set completely manual if you like and used like a real camera.

It's a bit slower than using film and the resolution is not as good of course but I use it a lot. Funny thing is I don't use it at it's full resolution capacity most of the time but it still gives me acceptable snapshots.

I prefer Paint Shop Pro to Photoshop having tried both.

My Mamiya 645 just died on me and I'm going to have to take it apart and fix it one day. Meanwhile I'll have to dig out an old Zeiss Icon 120 folding camera from my collection for my medium format needs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 05:42 PM

I have two Olympus OM-2s, with multiple lenses, flashes, closeup attachments...etc.. About 6 years ago, I got a 2.1mg digital, thinking it would be a nice, light support camera....


...and since then, I have not pushed the button on the film cameras. My wife & I do crafts, and document our work, plus documenting the FSGW Getaway and other folk events. We need prints of maybe 1 out of 200 of our shots, and we have a nice printer that can do that...after we crop, color balance, remove red-eye, etc....stuff that would cost a fortune on prints or slides.

   Recently, Rita got an unexpected windfall in her crafts business, and got a 5mg digital that cost less than half what the 2.1 did 6 years ago. Now I see that Nikon is ceasing production on all but two film cameras. Maybe some day, I'll have the $$$ to get a fancy camera and set of lenses like on the old OM-2s, but digital does many on the tricks that expensive accessories used to do, so it probably won't make much difference. (I know...it's important for some)

I'm glad I lived to see this particular adcance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 04:38 PM

#6, you should be happy with your D70s.

I have a F80, and got a D70 a year ago. The DSLR is a wonderful bit of kit. It pays for itself so quickly with the savings on film etc, it's amazing. Put a good lens on it, and the image quality is very imprssive indeed.


As for Photoshop, get it, but you don't need to get the full version. Photoshop elements ( the stripped down version ) does almost everything, and does it just as well as the full version. The only difference virtually any non-professional user will notice is the price tag.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: number 6
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 02:18 PM

A friend of mine shoots slide film ... the scanning results are pretty significant in the image they produce in digital.

Amos ... my daughter has one of those Casios ... not a bad camera at all.

The feature that attracted me to the D70S was that I can use my existing Nikkor lenses on it. The ISO (film speed) feature is another benefit, especially with the digital SLR's.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: Amos
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 12:49 PM

Casio makes a 7.2MP shirt-pocket camera which uses focal length to emulate wide-angle and telephoto; not the same thing, I know, but it has a huge list of features in a small package and looks like a really good all-around camera, easy to handle ands fit for all but the most discriminating tasks.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 12:34 PM

i've genuinely forgotten more than most people ever knew about the subject..

I've forgotten more than I ever knew about the subject.

I still have my old Canon A-1, but use it very rarely. The cost of film and developing if I take enough shots to justify getting it out is a major reason for not using it more often. There is no question that I can get much better pictures with it than with the cheap digital I've got, but I haven't found it too constraining to go pretty much all digital.

I'm currently stuck with an old 2.1 MP Fujitsu digital that was the best I could find that was only a little over my budget four or five years ago. The main objections, after the low resolution, are the lack of interchangeable (or real zoom) lenses and the completely inadequate flash power. Newer digitals in the same "shirt pocket(?)" size are up to the 5 MP or better range, but probably still have much the same limited lens versatilty and inadequate flash, although if sensors have improved they may allow a little better ASA-equivalent speed.

I'd love to have one of the newer digital SLRs, but there's that cursed budget thing...

Once I more or less "got digital" I found that many of my old film prints had begun to show some fading, so I've pretty much scanned them all to digital files and simply shredded the original prints. (There were a lot of them, and storage space was becoming a problem.)

After considerable experimenting, I settled on 300 dpi (color) scans as "sufficient" for my purposes, and with reasonable file size saved as "minimally compressed .jpg." That really is good enough to print at the 13 x 19 inch maximum I can get out of my inkjet printer, or to make reasonable crops for enlargement back to 8x10 or so. For "professional" grade archiving one might want to use a somewhat higher resolution scan, but file sizes do go up rapidly.

My 8 or 9 year old Epson flatbed will scan at a true 1200 dpi, but balks at a full-bed 8.5 x 14 inch color scan at that resolution due to filesize limits. The 1200 dpi color limit appears to be something like 8 x 9.5 inches, but I haven't really tried to pin it down. It "pretends" to scan at higher resolutions, limited to small areas, but I'm not sure I really believe the numbers above about 1200 dpi.

I will note that, ancient as it is, the dedicated flatbed scanner is a whole lot nicer to work with than the scanner in "her" mutlipurpose printer/scanner, although the maximum resolution for the multipupose is probably good enough for most purposes.

I use Photoshop Elements (2.0) exclusively, and it's reportedly preferred for photo work by some who have both it and the full Photoshop. About the only thing you can't do with "Elements" is work in CMYK color or make color separations for printing. Since few people have printers capable of printing color seps, it's not often a problem unless you work with a commercial publisher. Since Adobe created the new "CS" suite, Elements is not a cheap as it once was, but you can still - to some extent - get just the pieces of the CS suite that you need.

As a side note, I find 150 dpi scans more than adequate (probably a bit excessive) for archiving paper records like old income tax returns, and am in the process of scanning and shredding all my old paper archives.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Photography
From: number 6
Date: 18 Feb 06 - 11:39 AM

Punk and Raptor ... my wife worked for a commercial photography and graphics firm when we lived in Toronto ... I heard all about mundane and unglamerous the work can be. The latest home flatbed scanners are basically crap.Film Nikons have devalued incredibly in the last while .. my F80 is peanuts now, and what my son payed for that F3 in Japan was less than $100 and it is in mint condition.

I do beleive the phot0 quality of film is somewhat better .. but technology in the digital area is moving in fast. As Punk working in a dark room processing film leaves much to be desired .. digitral and Photoshop certainly make the work more pleasant.

Michell .. rather than me spewing the specs on the D70s Ill post the link below. I'm extremely happy with it. It doesn't shoot in BW or sepia which most point and shoot digis do, but I just convert them to BW with Photoshop regardless.

Nikon D70s

sIx


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