David B. Brooks Blog

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Mar 24, 2010 0 comments

Recently I have reported on products I have tested and used. If a product works for me I will recommend it as I assume if I can make it work, others should also be able to do so. This may involve hardware and software used together, one being supported by the other, and may include additional products designed to be used with the primary product. Some of these products are designed to be proprietary, to work only with the recommended additions as advertised. I am usually strict and limited about my recommendations and do not include options for substitutions.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 04, 2008 0 comments

When I began this blog the last thing I had in mind was commenting on other blogs, but in ZDnet.com’s Mary-Jo Foley blog, her plea to Microsoft programmers to NOT make the next Windows too Mac-like, had me laughing and fuming at the same time. (http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1747&tag=nl.e539) Especially today after reading in the New York Times David Pogue page with a section on Maintaining The Mac, (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/technology/personaltech/04askk-002.htm...) which amounted to almost nothing unless one is paranoid by disposition. I switched from Windows to Apple Mac almost a decade ago and have had virtually no maintenance that needed to be done in that period of intense computer work, compared to it being an almost constant chore before with Windows. But what really got me was what Mary-Jo put in her wish list “fewer UAC prompts, simpler backup and restore, better peripheral handling” which are all current included features of the Apple OS!

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Aug 11, 2010 0 comments

Logically, some would think because digital cameras are now so popular and have replaced the use of film to a great extent, that film scanning would decline proportionally. But the reality is that there are enormous personal collections of film images people have created over much of the last century. Most realize these film images will decay and deteriorate in time, but the history they tell should be preserved if for no other reason than preserving the history of their making.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Jan 13, 2009 0 comments

The “prints too dark” problem inadvertently involves almost every aspect of computer image processing, displays, printers and their drivers, color management, and of course image editing. Yet it is just a single issue of prints that don’t match the screen in density/brightness. The explanation of why the problem seems insoluble is that all of these separate but involved functions are the domains of companies which compete with one another in a marketplace that discourages standards. For instance the driver interface for each brand of printer is different, as are the on-screen controls of each brand of LCD display. And of course the people who run these companies and the technical people who design the products do not see reality from the same perspective as users, who of course are an even more diverse population.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Dec 16, 2010 0 comments

It is what you see on-screen that allows you to perceptually adjust and change a digital photograph. I have said what I believe to be true, if you can’t see it, you cannot control it. So I have thought of all things computer, the display is the most important part for digital photographers. However, some think I make too much of it, but then the display gets me more questions in my mail than any other subject.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Mar 27, 2009 0 comments

Before digital I spent a lot of time in my darkroom often experimenting, trying different kinds of chemistry, modified techniques, something old, something new, and often learning just how limited the silver halide photographic process is. Since Photoshop and image editing I found digital photography to be pliable to an almost boundless extent. Of course the abandon you have to change the values of pixels has a different kind of limit by producing images that have no redeeming qualities what so ever. From that experience of course one should learn just because you can do something does not mean you should.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: May 21, 2011 4 comments

What does the quoted title of this blog mean to you? Does it mean you as a photographer don’t really want to do photographs digitally, but do? Does it mean photographers using digital photography don’t understand what digital means? Or does it mean you need to buy a product that makes digital photography look like film photography?

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Jul 04, 2009 0 comments

Three generations ago when I was a public school student Charles Dickens “Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe” was one of his novels that was required reading. And in those days a young pupil’s curiosity was encouraged by teachers. Today I think if a student is too curious it may be reason to be prescribed Ritalin; our schools are not preparing young minds to be critical thinkers, but passive, obedient worker bees for corporate employment at some mindless task.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Feb 02, 2010 0 comments

In my last post I mentioned that I had just purchased a Sigma DP1s that has just been released to the market. Don Ellis informed me that Version 5.6 of Adobe Camera Raw, I had not yet installed, had support for this odd camera with a Foveon 3 sensor chip - that’s fast and indicates Sigma’s use of the Foveon is catching on even in a camera design that is not the usual but with a fixed focal length lens. I tried using Adobe Camera Raw with some DP1s files and had to agree with Don Ellis, that like most 3rd party convertors, it falls short of the camera manufacturer’s software.. But that does not fully satisfy me so I went to Lasersoft and they were interested in providing support for the camera with their SilverFast DC and HDR, so I did what I could to help them with the project.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 28, 2008 1 comments

Last night after Thanksgiving I tuned into the news and caught an ad that really grabbed me. A local retailer was offering a major brand 8 megapixel point and shoot digital camera for $88, that’s $11 a megapixel! That really lowers the bar for anyone who wants a digital camera.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Jul 10, 2010 0 comments

Not long ago I wrote a blog about the new Mac Mini just announced. The improvements Apple made were encouraging that the Mini would now be an even better mainstream option for computer users. But I had no plans to get one myself when I wrote that blog. But a bit of bad luck changed the situation. My relatively old office Mac Mini was knocked out of business by a “mini” external hard drive, one of several brands designed for convenience with the same lateral dimensions as a Mini and intended to sit under a Mac Mini. For some reason my little “mini” external hard drive failed and got very hot, and that damaged the Mac Mini sitting above. That was the second time I had one of these “mini” external hard drives involved in a problem with a Mac Mini. So a lesson finally learned. Convenience sometimes has a price. Oh! well, the new Mac Mini is a larger shape, so those old “mini” external hard drives are a thing of the past, and that will be a matter of deliberate choice in my case.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Jan 07, 2009 0 comments

Some months ago a photographer posting in the Shutterbug Forum mentioned he had purchased a Kodak Kodachrome K3 IT-8 profiling target slide from B&H. I must confess I did not know Kodachrome IT-8 target slides existed only those made on Ektachrome for calibrating and profiling a scanner. I thought I had kept up with Kodak Color Management, but maybe the company never catalogued or made public the existence of Kodachrome IT-8 target slides, but on the internet in the Kodak FTP site I did find an Index File to enable using the Kodachrome K3 IT-8 I purchased from B&H, And then after borrowing a Color Management suite from X-Rite containing software to make input profiles I was able to use the Kodachrome IT-8 to profile my scanners and run some tests.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Nov 15, 2010 0 comments

Usually I do not write about things I read in others writing I receive in RSS feeds. But a blooming new creativity interest using flatbed scanners is something I could not resist. It is called scanography, using a flatbed scanner as if it were a digital camera to take digital pictures of 3D objects. So considering a lot of photographers have flatbed scanners these days, how about getting more use out of it to create photographs when it is too cold and nasty to go and shoot your camera outdoors? You can easily take a look at what others are doing with their scanners by visiting a web site all about it at: http://www.scannography.org. In this new web site you will find there is a Scannography.org .PDF file you can download that provides a detailed look at the work of many people using scanners as cameras with lots of fascinating examples of their images.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: Mar 10, 2009 0 comments

From what the blogosphere reflected from Las Vegas Photo Marketing Association show was as discouraging as what most of the news media has been about of late. Fewer people on the floor of the show and a dearth of new higher-end dSLR camera models. Many of the point-and-shoot cameras offered had already been introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show. In other words there did not seem to be much confidence expressed by either the vendors or the press on hand. But really with retail camera stores becoming fewer year after year undercut by Walmart and other box stores, and even chain giants like Circuit City closing its doors, what purpose do “closed to the public” sales shows like PMA serve any more? Other than to keep a tradition going and have an excuse to schmooze with old friends, I don’t get it.

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David B. Brooks Blog Posted: May 03, 2011 32 comments

Almost every day I see announcements of new stuff, and I just pass along because it’s not anything I need. Better quality and more efficient printing of my images will stop me in my tracks. Specially when this new Epson R2000 is an improvement on the Epson R1900 the printer I use most.

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