I had finished my second article on “prints too dark” with information identifying the cause and how it can be eliminated from the workflow. But it is in the works and I have no idea when it will be published. So, I continue to get e-mail from photographers whose digital prints are too dark.
Converge: to gradually change so as to become similar or develop something in common, is the usual meaning of what convergence is as it has been the topic of much contemporary writing about the media. But that coming together between computers and television, for instance, has been spotty, incomplete and often contentious from a business and government perspective. The partnership between AOL and Time-Warner although touted as having a goal of melding content and internet delivery was never achieved and Time-Warner and AOL have now gone their separate ways again.
My e-mail inbox often contains some photo related promo piece, most of which I have learned are only worth ignoring and trashing. But Workhouse Publicity sent me a piece about Photographers Limited Editions describing it as a showcase for some of the world's best contemporary shooters and the press release was about featuring the work of Howard Schartz currently. However I recognized a lot of the names of photographers that I know are published in the slickest media today, so I decided to take a look, and was entranced in this website gallery for some time looking at the collection of images on display.
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.
I try to be as aware of as many reviews of digital cameras as are published, particularly on the web. That is natural as it is a significant aspect of what my work as a digital photo writer involves. A recent imbroglio with a photographer about dSLR image quality got me thinking that most of what is written in reviews of camera is largely subjective, or comparative, one camera against another regarding image quality performance. But that is not all that helpful to anyone, so is there a way to measure dSLR image quality performance objectively? I think so if we can first agree on a definition of what photographic image quality is. What I believe would concern most photographer is how accurately a digital camera capture represents reality. In other words what degree of color fidelity to the subject is there in a dSR created image file?
Over the holiday season the mass media’s pundits, columnists, and political soothsayers dusted off their crystal balls and polished their moral compasses to spin their usual self-serving conventional wisdoms while obfuscating carefully not to embarrass any of their benefactors. The same exercise as any New Year brings out, but this 2008 to 2009 passage involved factors that deserved much more insight and candor, but apparently the courage and fortitude of journalistic celebrities remains tempered by the fact the mass media is the mouthpiece of corporate America and it is never wise to bite the hand that feeds one. I don’t get paid enough by a long shot to be restrained in the same manner, but at the same time I have not risen to a level of celebrity that induces an audacity to think I can see into the future.
Thanks to a remark made by Ansel Adams in the late 80’s to an interviewer, regarding his overseeing the printing of one of his books of photographs that was reproduced by scans of his images, Ansel stated he was impressed that digital editing could accomplish adjustments to images he could not make in his own darkroom. For me that was handwriting on the wall, that the future of photography was in digital imaging. During 1989 I began my shift from analogue film photography to digital. It went slowly and haltingly, there weren’t many products that supported digital imaging with computers. But little by little more and more scanners became available, as well as software to edit images with a computer. So I learned mostly from personal experience using scanners and software and talking with a few colleagues on internet forums about how a scanner worked and the beginnings of image editing with a computer.
Today was the first one that the Apple iPad was delivered to customers. That was interesting considering there were long lines at every Apple store of people who had pre-ordered an iPad. They could just as well stayed home and their new iPad would have been delivered to them. So why stand in-line? There were also reams of commentary in my news gathering this morning, mostly vacant observations of course. But there was one telling insight of the fact unlike computers which are used to work and create stuff, the iPad is designed as a consumer of stuff. My computers are used mostly to do research, process and edit images and write articles and blogs. But I must admit I just bought another iMac, this time to replace my cable box to download entertainment, and that is consumption.
That the one piece of equipment I dream of is an ideal LCD display should not be a surprise. It is what I have been most concerned with of late. And it is also what I look at most to see my photographic images.
I have been preoccupied now and for some time by the challenge of defining an affordable platform for inputting digital photographs and then printing them with matched color and density to an LCD display image. There are quite a few LCD display choices at $1,500 and up which support both color and density print matching with a color managed workflow. But an affordable consumer LCD display ($300) has been the elusive goal of a lot of searching. And from what I have heard from industry insiders is that the major display manufacturers in the immediate future are cutting back on their support for high-end, niche pro-graphics market displays.