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: editorial@shut terbug.net or firstname.lastname@example.org or by US Mail to: PO Box 2830, Lompoc, CA 93438.
Of Studio Backgrounds
I'll be sure to include the information you were kind enough to
bring to my attention about backgrounds in the Digital Help department.
Image Organizer (Windows)
A. Soon you should be able to buy Adobe Photoshop Album, which promises to be an easy and effective organizer. On Windows PCs I found the organizer, Album, within the image-editing application of PhotoImpact by Ulead Systems, to be both the easiest and best in the past.
Removing Color Casts
First of all, may I recommend getting up to date with SilverFast, as
you are using a version that has been upgraded in two major revisions,
now to Version 6.0. In Version 6.0 among other tools is a slider control
at the bottom of the Histogram tool dialog to adjust the amount of color
cast removal. Without it I would suggest setting your black and white
point with the eyedropper tool, the black and white triangular split
icon to the far right at the top of the SilverFast main control window.
In other words, clean color interpretation is established first by defining
what in the image is pure white and pure black. If you have an area
in the image that should be a neutral gray, there is an "eyedropper"
in the center between the black/white triangle tool icon to use. By
selecting the eyedropper you can click on and select what should be
gray in your preview scan, and then the values are adjusted to remove
all color leaving a neutral gray for that value, thereby removing the
Adding A Color Tone
To A Gray Scale Image For Printing
A. From my own experience with the same problem, I believe the solution is to add the color by creating a new Fill Layer from the Layer menu, selecting solid color, and then Mode: Color, and selecting the desired color. Take a Color Picker reading using the Info window and measure your custom color in RGB values. Then as the Fill Layer dialog progresses it allows inputting those RGB values as the fill color.
Photo Studio Business
A. Thanks for steering me to the resource. I reviewed the material available at SuccessWare.net, and it seems OK. Considering it is little more than programming for a database application, most of which is already done in any shrink wrap business software, I believe that it is a bit pricey for the little customization that makes the programming applicable to a portrait/wedding studio. That's sure a lot more profitable than running a portrait/wedding studio! And, by the way, the software is apparently not designed for other kinds of photographic businesses. It should be explored thoroughly by anyone interested before considering it to be sure it applies to a particular model of photographic business. I appreciate your responding with the lead.
New Digital Camera
Raw File Access
A. I have the new Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw plug-in, and am working with it for a review in Shutterbug. I'll also be working with LaserSoft's new SilverFast DC-VLT, which I expect will be both more powerful and will support many more cameras than the Photoshop plug-in. Considering that a digital camera functions much like a scanner, in that it captures at greater bit depth than what is used for digital output such as printing, it makes no sense to invest in a good digital camera and then cut it short by outputting from the camera in 24-bit JPEG. In addition, that JPEG file is very often limited by some cameras to the sRGB color space. Of course, a couple of years ago, when camera memory cards were pricey, it was more difficult to use raw for capture and output.