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: Fotografx@csi.com or by US Mail to: PO Box 2830, Lompoc, CA 93438.
Q. Not knowing of
anyone with more knowledge than you on the subject, I would most appreciate
your advice on what I would need in going from the conventional darkroom
production of color (Ilfochrome) and black and white prints to digital.
I would be starting with conventional 35mm slides (mostly Kodachromes)
and negatives. My basic criterion is that the resulting prints must
be at least as good as can be produced in the darkroom.
are asking for a tall order with an awesome responsibility attached.
But after spending the better part of the last week looking at all of
the newest digital photography hardware and software available, I feel
as prepared for the challenge as I ever should be.
Q. I recently bought
an Olympus D-400Z and stumbled onto one of digital photography's
dirty little secrets. I photographed a lovely little violet flower and
it came out blue. I did some investigating at local photo stores with
a purple piece of paper and most of them did the same. The Agfa did
better than the rest, but Kodak and Casio showed blue, the same as mine.
Nowhere on the web have I seen mention of this, even on the sites that
show comparison pictures. No salesperson mentioned it, not that I expected
them to, until I mentioned it. Then they all agreed that digital had
a problem. So what's the problem, why won't most digital
cameras do violet? Thanks.
I'm sorry I have to disappoint you in your "discovery,"
but the phenomenon you are describing is also shared by film. I ran
into this almost 40 years ago photographing flowers for LA Home magazine,
and taking pictures of California Lupin, which is a violet colored flower.
What I found, with the aid of a horticulturist, is that flowers in the
blue to violet color range have components in them which behave a little
like fluoro-brighteners that are put into some fabrics, and to a more
obvious extent into Day-Glo paints and inks. When illuminated by sunlight
they generate a kind of light frequency modulation sending out more
than just a simple reflection of the light illuminating them. Normal
human sight is sensitive to these effects, but film and CCD sensors
with UV cutoff limits apparently come into play, lessening sensitivity
to capturing the perceived color. In addition, compared to fluorescent
brightened fabrics and Day-Glo inks and paints, photographic reproduction
materials, including computer monitors and digital printer media, do
not have the ability to replicate that enhanced floral effect.
Q. I desperately
want a quality 35mm negative scanner that can do five or six frame negative
strips to the computer in one load. Even multiple strips would be nice.
are correct, both models of the Nikon CoolScan, as well as the Minolta
Dimâge utilize a film strip holder in their 35mm scanners. In
addition, this feature is common to nearly all 35mm film scanners also
including Microtek, Canon CanoScan 2700, all Polaroid SprintScan models
including the new 4000 which also features batch mounted slide scanning,
as well as the new S-20 model of the HP PhotoSmart just announced. Each
of these models varies one from another in their software support of
batch scanning, however. And without a more detailed understanding of
what your requirements and expectations are for batch processing it
is difficult to say which is the best choice.