Imaging's SilverFast 6.0 scanner software includes
SRD (Smart Removal of Defects) that lets you fine-tune
dust and scratch removal through its own control panel
that lets you determine defect size and intensity for
detection and correction.
Photos © 2002, Joe Farace, All Rights Reserved
"Video Killed the
Radio Star"--The first music video played on MTV
Picture this: You pick up a
client in your newly cleaned car to drive them to lunch and discuss a
big project that also means big bucks. As the client puts on her seat
belt and settles into the passenger seat, you turn on your Sony Xplod
car audio system to play her favorite CD or listen to tunes from a local
radio station. After just about the second note, she sits bolt upright
and asks, "What are those pictures on your radio?"
Yup, ladies and germs, just an arm's length from your client, all
of the very best of your portfolio images are being displayed on a small
LCD screen accompanied by music. While you nonchalantly drive to lunch,
this slide show is being broadcast from the car audio system...you
get the picture. The new Sony Xplod audio system lets you play photographs
and even video clips using a Sony Memory Stick--MagicGate only please
(see Shutterbug, January 2003)--that's inserted behind the
radio's foldout faceplate.
sets 3D-Album apart from other album software is that
it allows you to place your images within a virtual
environment that compliments and enhances the photographs.
One of my American Auto Racing
Writers and Broadcasters Association colleagues suggested I take a look
at the Pioneer AVX-P7300DVD (www.pioneerelectronics.com),
too. It provides an in-dash CD/DVD with pop-up 7" LCD screen--just
like Business Class on a 777--that lets you display images much,
much larger. Since the storage media is DVD, instead of the lower capacity
Memory Stick, you can create presentations that mix video, sound, and
your still images and be able to play them inside your car. All this
coolness is not cheap. The Sony Xplod MEX-5D1 costs just short of $1000
and the Pioneer unit is $1850.
Plug-In Of The Month
When LaserSoft Imaging (www.silverfast.com)
last updated its SilverFast scanner software, they added the useful
NegaFix function that corrected color negative film based on specific
emulsion types from Agfa, Fuji, Kodak, Konica, and other film companies.
Version 6.0 not only includes NegaFix but tosses in so many new features
it should have been called SilverFast 7.0. I tested the new plug-in
with an Epson Expression 1680 flat-bed scanner with transparency adapter
and Adobe Photoshop 7.0. Changes start with SRD (Smart Removal of Defects)
that lets you perform dust and scratch removal through its own control
panel that allows you to determine defect size and intensity for detection
and correction. By using a simple before-and-after interface, GANE (Grain
And Noise Elimination) lets you control the amount of grain in the scanned
image. The Selective Color Correction (SCC) function and ACR (Adaptive
Color Restoration) lets you bring back faded colors from old film or
prints but can also be used to control oversaturated colors.
ColorByte's ImagePrint can eliminate the yellow
pigment in Epson's UltraChrome inkset as well as
provide accurate color profiles for all the Epson media.
Its built-in Tint Picker lets you dial-in neutrality or
produce almost any tint.
Sharp-eyed readers will, by
now, have begun to notice some similarities to Applied Science Fiction's
own scanner software for controlling grain and enhancing color, and indeed
SilverFast 6.0 provides a way to add these functions to your own film
or flat-bed scanner. But wait--as they say on TV--there's
more. The plug-in, which for the first time is now a stand-alone application
(on the same disc), includes a color cast removal tool that can eliminate
problems caused by mixed light sources. There's also a selective
Color to Gray feature that lets you tweak gray scale conversion of color
images by controlling which shade of gray the color will be converted
to. You gotta see it to believe how this works. All of the old good stuff
is still there and the plug-in/application provides a three-part histogram
(CMY) that shows the 16-bit color space work being done internally so
that no scanner information is lost. LaserSoft's SilverFast 6.0
is compatible with Mac OS X (with Aqua interface), OS 9.2, and Microsoft
new Xplod audio system lets you play photographs and even
video clips from an interchangeable Sony Memory stick--"MagicGate"
only--that's inserted behind the radio's
Digital Albums With A Difference
There are many album programs available for Microsoft Windows, but the
hands-down winner for ease of use, flexibility, and style is 3D-Album
What sets this $39.95 program apart from the others is that it allows
you to place all of your images within a virtual environment that compliments
and enhances the photographs. The package includes 23 built-in album styles,
but there are more than 30 available for free download from the company's
web site. The program is so well designed that if you've ever used
a mouse you already know how to use it.
Here's all you need to
do: Select a folder that has images you want to appear in the album/presentation.
I used a folder of JPEG files that were just 400 pixels high and under
30K in size, yet viewing the presentation on a 15" LCD monitor it
looked amazingly good. The albums are built so fast you can click the
Preview button and almost instantly compile and preview the presentation.
This means it doesn't take long to compare those that work better
than others with your specific collection of photographs. You control
many of the variables within the parameters of the chosen interface, including
how long each image is displayed and the kind of musical accompaniment.
When you're satisfied with how the album looks, click Build to assemble
the final presentation. Output options make it easy to distribute the
finished album by CD or Internet upload, although some of the files with
music and lots of photos might be a bit large for non-broadband use. Nevertheless,
you can turn the finished album into HTML pages, a ZIP file, or self-expandable
AVX-P7300DVD has a 7" LCD screen that lets you display
your portfolio images much, much larger than the Sony
You'll Wonder Where
The Yellow Went
Epson's UltraChrome inkset is more neutral than their older Archival
inkset, and ink jet printers, such as the Stylus Photo 2200, make excellent
monochrome prints using all seven ink colors, producing prints with little
color crossover and just a little metamerism when changing viewing conditions.
Fine art photographers will appreciate that the longevity of these seven-color
UltraChrome prints is about 80-100 years when using Epson's Smooth
and Textured Fine Art Paper. But, and you knew there was a "but"
didn't you? The main restriction on longevity is a yellow pigment
that has 50 percent of the lightfastness of the yellow in Epson's
Archival inkset. The UltraChrome yellow was developed to provide a greater
color gamut, and experts, such as Royce Bair (www.inkjetart.com),
agree that the change was worth the longevity tradeoff.
If you want to increase longevity and make more natural prints, you can
eliminate yellow when printing gray scale images and produce an image
with the longevity that equals the original Archival ink (up to 200+ years).
eliminates the yellow pigment, provides accurate color profiles for Epson
media, and its built-in Tint Picker lets you dial-in neutrality or produce
almost any tint. When making monochrome prints, ImagePrint has the ability
to print using only the Black Photo (or Matte) and Light Black inks, or
it can print with all colors except the yellow, dark cyan, and dark magenta
(three colors that cause the most metamerism). ImagePrint works with Mac
OS 9.x and Windows computers and Inkjetart.com's price is $495 for
printers such as the Epson 2200 with higher prices for large format printers.
(ColorByte expects to have a free OS X upgrade available by the time you