David B. Brooks Blog

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 16, 2008 0 comments

This old saying can be taken as a blessing or a curse, and its origins may be Yiddish or ancient Chinese, but if you are into digital photography the next few years may well be interesting times. Two pieces of news today are indicative of changes ahead. One is relative to my blog post recently about being connected. Apparently the FCC chairman Kevin Martin, a lightening rod of controversy is reported to have backed down on taking a Commission vote on a dubious proposal to auction vacant airwaves to provide a “free” broadband connection capability. Now of course making broadband internet connection more widely available everyone can afford is laudable on the outset; but some of the provisions and the way the proposal was worded in detail gives great pause that public benefit really was the goal of what Martin wanted the FCC to approve.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 13, 2008 0 comments

Yesterday there was news of yet another PC hardware maker with a new model that is supposed to run the Apple Operating System, from a company called EFi-X USA you can read about in articles found at:
http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&q=efi-x+usa&aq=1&oq=EFI-X
It was not that long ago that a Florida company, Psystar, tried marketing a PC that would run the Apple OS and ran into strong legal opposition from Apple. So this begs a couple of questions, is there a market for PC hardware that will run the Apple Operating System software; and if so does this indicate a weakness in the Apple Mac computer model line-up?

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 12, 2008 0 comments

The last two days have been a bleary-eyed ordeal reading as many forum posts as I could on “prints too dark” from a Google search on that phrase, which obtains almost 2 million results. What I was looking for was as complete a picture as possible why people trying to make photo prints were getting unacceptably dark print output. I didn’t get very far into the almost 2 million results before my eyes gave out reading the forum posts, but I did find that a lot of users have discovered the cause of dark prints is an LCD display that is too bright. But confusion reigns when it comes to how to fix the problem, very often involving color management and the idea of using Photoshop’s “soft proofing”. Some forum gurus have been recommending adjusting the display brightness to match the print output, and actually that practical philosophy was used before there was such a thing as Color Management, but it largely precludes color matching using CM and a calibrated and profiled display, if in reality an LCD display can be reduced in brightness to actually match the range of print densities or the CRT monitors of the past. Some users found that instead of having their photo editing application control color, select having the printer driver control color, which with some printer drivers does provide an output print density adjustment and yields satisfactory print brightness results, but the downside is that some printer drivers will automatically adjust print density and others don’t, as well as color matching with what you see on-screen is not usually supported.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 10, 2008 0 comments

From the e-mail and forum posts I have read Apple iMac photographer users are having the most difficulty with a too bright screen, and prints too dark. Thanks to one correspondent, Pat Marchitto who alerted me to Phil Corley’s web site
(http://www.philcorley.com/articles_68520.html) a solution has been found to lower the screen brightness to calibrate and profile for better print matching.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 07, 2008 0 comments

A lot was said by the press about the possibility once in the Whitehouse Barrack Obama may lose access to his Blackberry. And more recently as some bits and pieces have leaked out about the plans to provide an economic stimulus and jobs initiative, one of the items recently was to do something about internet access. Anything could be better than what currently exists considering that among the advanced free-world nations the US is way down the list in providing broadband access to its citizens. And as Obama has suggested he will use the internet to be connected to the public to create a more open and accessible administration to Americans that hopefully could enable a greater participation in government by citizens. If nothing else this is also an education issue as it provides access to information for students, a digital highway to a library.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 05, 2008 0 comments

I don’t know if you have noticed on TV, but ads for some new flat screen TV’s are now touting mind boggling figures for contrast-ratio of a million to one. Can anyone see a million to one? Or does it matter in the definition of a talking head’s picture on screen to what the pundit is saying about his crystal ball into the future of Barack Obama’s governance after January 20? Technical specification have been a boon to imaginative marketing mavens ever since cars were described as having horsepower, and the race goes on for who can concoct the most outlandish claims.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 04, 2008 0 comments

When I began this blog the last thing I had in mind was commenting on other blogs, but in ZDnet.com’s Mary-Jo Foley blog, her plea to Microsoft programmers to NOT make the next Windows too Mac-like, had me laughing and fuming at the same time. (http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1747&tag=nl.e539) Especially today after reading in the New York Times David Pogue page with a section on Maintaining The Mac, (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/technology/personaltech/04askk-002.htm...) which amounted to almost nothing unless one is paranoid by disposition. I switched from Windows to Apple Mac almost a decade ago and have had virtually no maintenance that needed to be done in that period of intense computer work, compared to it being an almost constant chore before with Windows. But what really got me was what Mary-Jo put in her wish list “fewer UAC prompts, simpler backup and restore, better peripheral handling” which are all current included features of the Apple OS!

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 03, 2008 0 comments

This last month my e-mail in-box has been rather full of messages in response to my article about Print matching on page 68 of the December issue of Shutterbug. The article seemed to hit a raw nerve, and my curiosity as to how extensive the problem is, was more than satisfied when I ran a Google search on “Prints Too Dark”, which elicited 1,930,000 results.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 01, 2008 0 comments

I would guess the casual consumer when confronted with images displayed on computer screens probably assumes there is some color standard involved that regulates what red, blue or yellow should look like that governs the manufacture of these displays. But that is an incorrect assumption as all color reproduction devices are what the industry calls “device independent”. In other words it is a “free market” and a maker of display screens, as well as printers and scanners, in fact any device that reproduces color information, is not held to any standard in terms of the observed color reproduced as the result to the specific RGB computer data sent to or received from the device.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 28, 2008 1 comments

Last night after Thanksgiving I tuned into the news and caught an ad that really grabbed me. A local retailer was offering a major brand 8 megapixel point and shoot digital camera for $88, that’s $11 a megapixel! That really lowers the bar for anyone who wants a digital camera.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 27, 2008 0 comments

If you are buying yourself a Christmas present or someone is that needs some guidance, a new LCD display for digital photography selection is getting better and more affordable this season. Among the prime manufacturers NEC is sporting a new, high performance “P” Series, with the new 22 inch Multicynch P221W model. It is designed for professional graphics users and is built on the success of the highly rated 90 series NEC displays. This new model is sold with a kit including a calibration and profiling sensor based on the the X-Rite i! Dispaly 2 hardware and software. The NEC Multisynch P221W LCD display is slated to be available in store in December 20008 at a street price of $636.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 27, 2008 0 comments

I am thankful for three days of gentle rain here in southern California ending a wildfire season that has been one of the worst.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 25, 2008 0 comments

One of the most positive attributes of digital over film, the cost of film and processing disappears as an inhibitor to making photographs. I notice photo enthusiasts who write to me are taking large quantities of pictures at an occasion, especially recently since large memory cards have gotten very affordable. Like Joe Sixpack with his new Model XX dSLR shot 150 exposures of his 12 year old son's football game. So now what does he do, as he asks can he batch process all these files because he was told to set his camera on Raw to get the best quality images. And, color correcting and adjusting each image individually and manually is very time consuming whether using the software that came with the camera, or even if saved as a batch conversion to high-bit TIIF files and then color correcting and adjusting each image individually in a photo editor.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 23, 2008 0 comments

I am not thinking of a series of movies and time machines, but this week’s address by Barack Obama announcing his plans and intentions to put millions of Americans back to work. Of course newspaper columnists and TV pundits have already harkened back to the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the new Deal and its WPA organization to get people working during the Depression. But for me it recalled a very small part of the WPA that produced a lasting memorial to those times by a small team of photographers including Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange. Their photographs, many of which have become well known are now in the Library of Congress and anyone can order prints for a very nominal fee. Considering what an Ansel Adams print fom the same era would cost today, in many respects what the WPA photographers and the Library of Congress catalogue of images has provided the American public, I believe is really more “American”.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 21, 2008 0 comments

A well established name in scanners, Microtek will no longer have an independent American Company representing its products in the US. Their offices in California are scheduled to be closed on December 12 of this year. However in compliance with US law warranties, repair and parts will be available for Microtek owners and users through a website portal at:
http://support.microtek.com

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