This department will attempt
to provide solutions to problems readers may have getting into and using
digital cameras, scanning, and using digital photographic images with
a computer and different kinds of software. All questions sent to me
will be answered with the most appropriate information I can access
and provide. However, not all questions and answers will appear in this
department. Readers can send questions to me addressed to Shutterbug
magazine, through the Shutterbug web site, directly via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
or by US Mail to: PO Box 2830, Lompoc, CA 93438.
Digital For Publication
Q. I own a Canon PowerShot A200, which has been getting a lot of use.
I am anxiously awaiting its return from being repaired (still under
warranty). I also own an HP photosmart 7550 printer and a new Dell PC
with Windows XP Home Edition.
In view of all this, here is my question: Is it possible for me to print
my own transparencies to send with articles to various magazines for
Unless the original photograph was made on film (slide/transparency),
and your original is digital, only a very few, very antiquated publishers
would prefer a transparency. For a decade now all of my work has been
accompanied by illustrations comprised of TIFF files in high resolution
recorded on a CD-R disc.
If you have any doubts about how and in what format to submit photographs
I would suggest you specifically query the publication to obtain their
How To Learn To Scan
And Add A Logo To A Digital Photo Image
Q. I am beginning the process of changing from film to digital and would
like to take advantage of the opportunities digital photography offers.
I need to learn how to scan a logo or clip art, make the background
transparent, size and save the logo, and apply the image to a batch
of photos using Photoshop. Can you help me find information on this
subject without having to read a 500-page book that I probably won't
have asked about two rather distinct question subjects, scanning and
adding or compositing one image onto another. I have covered both topics
(relative to some scanners) in articles published in Shutterbug, some
of which can be found and recalled on our website, www.shutterbug.net.
In addition, there is quite a bit of support on various websites relative
to specific scanners and scanning software at www.epson.com, www.microtek.com,
and particularly from Lasersoft at www.silverfast.com.
Basically, the most direct way to add a logo or some other image like
a signature to a photograph is to first use Photoshop or Elements to
Select the subject using one of the several Selection tools, from the
scanned image. Then save this selected image with its "mask"
as a .PSD file for future use. Then each time you need it, just open
and use the Copy command, then with your photo open Paste the copied
logo, etc., into your photo (as a layer). A more detailed explanation
can be found in lessons that can be accessed on making a Selection at
the Adobe website at www.adobe.com/photoshop.
Converting Home Movie
Film To Digital
Q. Can you tell me where or how I can transfer my old 8mm home movie
films to DVD? I have approximately 800 ft to convert. I have a "transfer
case" that I used to convert some to videotape many years ago.
The quality was poor and cannot be improved on tape.
Some years ago there were conversion services that used high-quality
equipment to convert 8mm film to videotape, and with reasonable quality.
I have not seen an ad for this service for nearly 10 years, so don't
really know where even to look other than doing some laborious Internet
searching. And, as far as I know there is not any equipment made which
would accomplish a direct conversion from 8mm film to digital video,
although making a digital conversion from analog videotape is supported
and not that difficult to accomplish.
So what it really comes down to is finding someone still offering "professional"
conversion from 8mm film to videotape. And, as I indicated, I've
seen nothing advertised for some time. Sorry I cannot be more helpful,
but just doing a quick search on the Internet I found the following
websites you might look at:
Paint Shop Pro Color
Management Yet Again
Q. In the August Digital Help you answered a question about Paint Shop
Pro 7's color management and stated it (Paint Shop Pro 7) only
provides the sRGB color space. This is not true.
The Paint Shop Pro 7 preferences screen will show all color profiles
that have been installed in the monitor and printer color management
setup screens provided by the operating system. If no profiles have
been installed, Paint Shop Pro 7 will show only the default sRGB color
In your last paragraph you explain about monitor and printer profile
support provided by the operating system but don't make the connection
with the Paint Shop Pro 7 color management. Jasc documentation does
not explain this setup process. I had to search the Jasc support area
for references to "color management," but I now have both
sRGB and Adobe RGB as options on my Paint Shop Pro 7's color management
A. I find it interesting that you could access and assign profiles
other than sRGB in Paint Shop Pro 7. I had downloaded and installed
a trial version that did not provide a listing of the profiles in my
Color folder. Regardless, that is somewhat moot because unless a user
has installed either Photoshop or Elements they are not likely to have
Adobe RGB (1998) .ICM on their system, and I don't recommend obtaining
it otherwise because the profile is proprietary to Adobe and should
not be used unless it has been acquired as part of licensed software.
Second, the ability to assign a work space profile other than sRGB is
only a small part of an application having color management support.
That would also require the application has its own internal Color Management
Engine (CME), as Photoshop and Elements do, or as in the case of Corel
the CME is licensed from Kodak and installed as part of the application.
One of the many functions of color management support, besides providing
a universal color work space other than sRGB, is the ability to recognize
and read embedded profiles in image files, and to then provide a translation
to the application work space if the embedded profile is different,
or does not exist, or is in monitor space from an unmanaged application
on a user's system.
Another function of the application's color management support
is the ability to embed the work space profile in the file saved when
saving image files. This identifies its origin so it can be opened and
translated correctly on another computer with color managed software.
Finally, one of the more important functions of application color management
support is the support of profile to profile printing. This allows the
user to select a specific Source profile for an image that is to be
printed as well as the Printer profile, which may include custom profiles
for a particular paper/ink/printer combination.
In other words, just the ability to choose a particular color work space
profile for an application is only a small fraction of what color management
support should include. In fact, if full support, as is the case with
Adobe's Photoshop and Elements as well as Corel's PhotoPaint/DRAW,
is not available I would not advise using a universal work space profile
like Adobe RGB (1998). I would instead use a calibrated monitor profile
and work in monitor color space with an application like Jasc's
Paint Shop Pro 7.
An Animated Panorama
Q. I am looking for a program that is sort of a reverse panorama. I
have a friend who is a true master of ice sculpture, and would like
a way for someone logging in on his site to be able to see the sculpture
by rotating it 360Þ. I have built a translucent 24" turntable
that I have marked off in 24 equal segments around the edge so I can
accurately rotate the ice as I take digital stills. I have seen the
effect on websites. Can you suggest possible sources for a program that
would allow me to stitch them together?
The effect you have seen on websites is probably either digital video
or animation. Stitching 24 stills together will not obtain the effect
of the piece revolving in one place. You could however achieve this
to some degree using stills to make a digital video using a video-editing
program, or even a simple GIF animation capability.
But to be candid, I have not been involved directly with this kind of
graphics computing for several years, so am not really up on what to
advise as the best way to accomplish what you want to do. However, for
a website I would seriously look into just shooting the revolution of
the sculpture with a digital video camera, even just one of the inexpensive
videocams you can hook to a computer, and then just embed the video
clip into the website.
You can explore the program/application possibilities by doing searches
New To Photography
Q. I recently purchased a Nikon Coolpix 4300. I am extremely satisfied
with the camera. My problem is Adobe's Elements 2.0. Actually,
I think that I am the problem. What do you feel is the best way to become
familiar with this software? I have tried to contact a local user's
group but haven't received any response. I am open to any and
Adobe's Photoshop Elements has the most built-in and company-sponsored
support of just about any software sold. If you have not explored all
of the Help and Tutorials installed with Elements, as well as Hints
and Recipes included in Elements, you can obtain further and copious
information on how to use Photoshop and Elements from the Adobe website
at the two following URLs: http://studio.adobe.com/expertcenter/photoshop/main.html
I would be pleased to be more specific myself if you ask a specific
question about how to do this or that. In other words, what specifically
do you want to do, and what specifically is it that you don't
know how to accomplish with Elements?
Reader Tip On Scanning
And Printing Black And White
Q. I have been working in Photoshop since Version 3.0 and through a
lot of trial and error have come up with a few tips for making black
and white ink jet prints without having a dedicated printer or having
to change ink sets.
First of all, I scan everything as an RGB file then I desaturate the
file. You get more digital information and a greater bit depth than
scanning the image as gray scale. Then, I manipulate the desaturated
image in any number of ways. But my favorite way is to go to Image>Adjust>Selective
Color. In the "colors" drop-down menu (you will see a red
square showing) bring up the color range that can be adjusted. At the
bottom of the color choices, you will see white, gray, and black squares.
Select a tone and judiciously adjust the sliders, adding or subtracting
the value for each one--don't overdo it. Blacks will get
"chunky" looking and whites will lose their punch, or blow
out all together. But, you can really fine-tune an image this way. You
can also use the channel mixer method by clicking the monochrome box
and adjusting the RGB sliders. I usually do about 60 percent red, 25
percent green, and 15 percent blue...trying to make the numbers
equal 100 percent.
When I was printing in the darkroom, I always selenium toned my prints,
not only for its archival properties, but I liked the slight tone that
the process imparted on my prints. You can do the same thing in Photoshop.
Go to Image>Adjust>Color Balance. Play with the cyan and blue
sliders to create a cool tone or, play with the yellow and red sliders
to create a warm tone. You can use the duotone or tritone method with
the Pantone colors if you like, in the Image>Adjust>Hue/Saturation
slider to take some of the color intensity out. A little goes a long
way! Plus or minus 2 or 3 percent for each value can be plenty. If you
give your color printer (I use an Epson 820) some color information
to print, the whole monochrome printing process becomes less frustrating
and the images have the appearance of a selenium-toned print.
for your e-mail with included tips. I believe I pretty well covered
much of what you described in a Shutterbug article published in the
December 2001 issue titled, "Digital In Black And White--Ink
Jet Printing Problems And Solutions." I also covered an advanced
black and white scanning technique in a more recent article (September
2002 issue) titled, "B&W Negative Scanning--A Step By
Step, Easy Way To Quality Images."
I think that scanning black and white film as color to produce an RGB
file for processing in Photoshop may not be so much an advantage with
many of the scanners that have come out recently. And, if cleaner data,
which has any scan noise eliminated as the goal, another effective and
possibly more efficient method with scanners and software that support
it, is to use multi-sampling.
As for printing using all colors of ink available with a dye-ink printer,
it is a practice I used myself for several years. However, many of those
earlier prints have shifted in the color tone of the gray values due
to the inherent instability of dye inks. So with more recent Epson printers
like the Photo 960 I found I can obtain as good or better black and
white quality printing with black ink only, even compared to prints
made with a dedicated QuadBlack ink printer. And, because black dye
inks are inherently more stable than a mix of CMY color inks, I have
confidence the print tone will remain neutral and provide a longer print