Q&A For Digital Photography
This column will attempt to provide solutions to problems readers may have in 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 the column. 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.
Q. What do galleries really want and what are they ready to
accept? I think most classic galleries are still very conservative and
just want paper. The effort to look at the pictures is minimal, you
can better imagine the final presentation, there is no machine required
(computer or projection equipment still has the image of being complicated
and "cold"), you can look at the pictures under any lighting
conditions, spill coffee on them (this, by the way, is why they want
laser copies). What is your opinion? Also, what can I do to make them
accept new ways of presentation? I think it might help if I could create
a CD that is easily readable on all kinds of computers (be it PC or
Mac, no matter what operating system), a CD that loads automatically,
does not install anything on their machines, contains its own viewer,
so it is not dependent on what is installed. However, I think it is
essential to find something that is as easy to handle as paper, something
that presents the photographs in a non-technical style--not thousands
of arrows and strange icons around the picture that are ugly and distract
the viewer, but a straightforward presentation that simulates the way
you would see the photographs in a modern gallery, where you can walk
around. Again, what is your opinion ?
A. I would query the galleries to which you want to
send material. I would then produce the "copies" in the
manner they prefer, and if it is digital, great. However, my guess is
most still prefer slides for this purpose.
Q. I have just purchased a Nikon 900S and am really confused
about what I gained by getting a digital camera that does 1280x960 pixels
vs. the cheaper 640x480 cameras. My confusion resulted when I made my
first attempt to print a picture. Yea gads--the 1280x960 image needed
a paper size of 17.8x13.3"!
A. What you are missing is that when you resize, you must also turn off the "re-sample" function. Then when the paper size is reduced to your printable size, the pixel dimensions remain unchanged, which will result in a higher dpi count. Apparently you have not realized that the 72dpi count times the pixel dimensions resulted in the very large paper size of 17.8x13.3" you quoted. When you resized by means of re-sampling the image at the original dpi, you threw away a significant part of the information the camera had captured. If you just change the paper size without re-sampling, the dpi count is multiplied. If you do it that way, without re-sampling, I would estimate roughly, the dpi would go up to about 120 or 130, high enough to make a decent quality 8x10" image print.
Q. Can I move the tools and command areas of Photoshop to a
dedicated second monitor?
A. The dedicated second monitor to which you refer
is based on the fact that Windows 98 supports more than one monitor,
with each running from its own graphics card. So, besides having another
monitor, you also need another graphics card and a free PCI slot in
which to install it. This feature, however, is not universally supported,
as some graphics cards are not compatible with the feature. Some of
those that are, are listed by Microsoft, otherwise you would have to
inquire of the graphics card manufacturer.
Q. Five years ago as I was preparing to retire, I thought it
would present an opportunity to digitally salvage images from deteriorating
Ektachrome slides: the years when our children were growing up. Unfortunately
it was economically prohibitive, and I pursued copying them on negative
film. Obtaining improved color prints of these locally wasn't
very feasible. One lab was willing to try a few negatives out of interest,
with mixed results; a couple showed improvement, and another none after
many tries. While I debated several options, I ignored all digital imaging
articles until yours on the HP in the January 1998 Shutterbug; then
the quest was on to determine what was needed for a system.
A. What you are describing in what your goals are,
to archive your personal library of photographs on film from the past
and put them into digital format, is something we share in common. I
put most of my spare time into the same kind of pursuit, but with a
difference: I use the tools I have on hand that I am testing and evaluating
for reports in Shutterbug.
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