Q&A For Digital Photography
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: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or by US Mail to: PO Box 2830, Lompoc, CA 93438.
Once Again, The Perenial
Windows Vs. Mac Question
A. In the 1980s Apple was first used professionally for desktop publishing and thereby established the platform as the one used by professionals for all aspects of reproduction and communication, including graphic arts, design, publishing, and of course photography. So it is the most important and serious segment of the Apple customer base, and therefore Apple develops their products to be sure that all kinds of graphics, publishing, design, and photography users are well served. For photographers, one of the chief advantages is a highly developed color management system called ColorSync, which is now utilized by 80 percent of the publishing industry.
Minimizing Grain In
What I would suggest, using Photoshop, is to first reduce some of the
graininess by selecting from the "Noise" filters the Despeckle
filter. You can apply this filter more than once depending on how much
fine detail is in the image and how much the Despeckle filter softens
that fine detail. Then to sharpen the subject's edges in the image
I would suggest using the Unsharp Mask sharpening filter with careful
adjustment of its three sliders to keep the Amount low, under 50, and
increase the pixel Radius count to 3.0 or higher. Then if grain starts
to become apparent you can try increasing the Threshold value to find
a balance between sharpening the edges and not so much the grain.
Printing With Third-Party
It does not matter what papers you want to use to print with the 2200.
It can't hurt the printer, just be careful with thick ones to use
the manual paper feed. However, you do need to have custom profiles for
any non-Epson paper if you want correct color. This means either having
the profiles supplied by the paper manufacturer, customized by a service
bureau, or investing in a spectrometer and software to make your own profiles,
such as what is available most affordably from ColorVision.
Raw Digital Camera
Mode Change From 16 To 8 Bit
The standard computer bit depth for color images is 24-bit RGB. Capture
devices have greater bit depth, which provides room to adjust the characteristics
of the image. Some loss of some data occurs as part of the adjustment,
so when the image is translated to 24-bit RGB for use in printing, the
information fills the gamut so all of the values in the image are fully
represented. If you take a raw, unadjusted 24-bit image and color correct
it, and then open the Histogram in Photoshop, you will find there are
usually lots of vertical white lines. This represents parts of the file
space with the data dropped out.
Digital Camera Storage
With all of the changes in airport security it is hard to know what is
being used for surveillance and what affect it may have. And, I have not
flown in years (as I don't like to be tortured) so don't know
if hand inspection is still an option. But if it is, I would see if you
can avoid subjecting your camera and cards to the x-ray machine.
A. Yes, I, too, have seen a mention there is software to recover files deleted from a memory card. But, I am afraid I don't have a specific reference to identify the name of the application or the publisher. What I would suggest is going on the web to www.versiontracker.com and doing a search, possibly beginning with the search word "recovery."
New Minolta DiMAGE
Scan Elite 5400
A. You'll find my report on the Minolta DiMAGE Scan Elite on page 106 in this issue. As usual Minolta has produced a fine piece of equipment. A full resolution scan from it is well over 100MB in file size, and a raw scan at full bit depth well over 200MB per scan! Anyone contemplating this scanner should have a relatively new computer with gobs of RAM.
Camera Raw Plug-In
and raw are file format standards. The TIFF standard supports up to 48-bit
depth image files, also supported by the Photoshop Save function as well
as several other applications. Therefore it is entirely the discretion
of a digital camera manufacturer whether they want to save in TIFF at
a sensor's greater than 24-bit depth or not. There are over 400
models of digital cameras out there and I for one have not reviewed the
specifications of every one, so how could I say none save in TIFF at the
sensor's bit depth? The TIFF file format supports all bit depths
so it is a possibility that one or more cameras do save in TIFF at the
sensor's bit depth. But I would not say otherwise without reviewing
the specifications of every digital camera in existence.
Digital For Publication
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 is accompanied
by illustrations comprised of TIFF files in high resolution recorded on
a CD-R disc.