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.
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.
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.
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.
A friend recently forwarded a link to a web site that had a detailed listing of some 40 on-line photo magazines. Many if not most of them were as well done as any paper magazines of the recent past when the internet was still an idea for the future. Like in days of the past some are largely focused on the tools of the trade, cameras lenses and now software for computes, other were about images, and some about photographers and what they do, like photojournalism. Exploring many of the 40 was interesting and occassionally enlightening, particularly for an old-timer like me, that todays photographers make images distinctly unlike what previous generations. I think part of the reason is that so much of the world and what is in it has already been made familiar by iconic images made by the great photographers of the past. A young contemporary photographer, to grab attention and become recognized has to create images that are unfamiliar, that stop the viewer and holds their attention, and photographs of subjects already familiar can’t do that, as soon as the image is recognized as familiar the viewer moves on. You aren’t likely to see a portfolio of photographs of Yosemite in any web photo-zine, unless it is a retrospective of the work of a long dead lensman.
I have to admit I borrowed this word from a MacWorld writer commenting on the tech bloggers of the day, it’s a good word. But I want to use it in reference to so many photographers for not researching and understanding the basics of digital technology based pixel imaging. It’s not that personal computer digital imaging is all that new, I’ve been working with it for 20 years. But the average photographer of the past, and used to film, have been led to believe it is just another kind of photography, much like film photography, and the same mind-set works as well with digital. Well it does for the camera companies, but not for their customers, because they are being encouraged to buy what they may not need and are not demanding more of what digital can provide, and they could use if available.
One of the most positive attributes of digital over film, the cost of film and processing disappears as an inhibitor to making photographs. I notice photo enthusiasts who write to me are taking large quantities of pictures at an occasion, especially recently since large memory cards have gotten very affordable. Like Joe Sixpack with his new Model XX dSLR shot 150 exposures of his 12 year old son's football game. So now what does he do, as he asks can he batch process all these files because he was told to set his camera on Raw to get the best quality images. And, color correcting and adjusting each image individually and manually is very time consuming whether using the software that came with the camera, or even if saved as a batch conversion to high-bit TIIF files and then color correcting and adjusting each image individually in a photo editor.
Fobsun is a Chinese manufacturer of LED lighting with a wide selection of products listed on their website www.fobsun.com. I took interest in Fobsun because they sent me a news item about a downlight they make that has standard lamp socket as used in America and white light output near 6500K color temperature. This lamp is also about as bright as a 40 watt incandescent lamp. To me its color temperature close to that of an LCD computer display and moderate brightness makes it an ideal candidate as an illumination source for environmental lighting where computer digital photography is done and prints are being made, in a light source matching the computer screen. It is a Fobsun Horizon Down Lights Adopting SMD LEDs, FLB-E27-90W-H, E27 base SMD bulb,38*160mm, 90LEDs,7W,100-260VAC, white color, 6000-6500k，630lm US $16.98
Quite a few weeks ago I was invited to contribute my prognostications for photography in 2009, an annual feature in Shutterbug I usually participate in. In early fall of 2008 what I was seeing of the world, I was loath to say what the next day would bring much less the next year, so I declined to participate as usual. Today with 2009 just a few days hence, I am no more inclined to participate in prognostication of what the future next year will bring. Although I would like to indulge in the hope change could produce, but every time I turn on the TV news or read the newspapers I hear the same prayers to the ideological economic gods that have been worshipped for the last 30 years and brought us to where we are today. Being a poor relation of the media myself, and although I try to serve a useful mission to the community of readers I serve, all but a few magazines today are the communities of people they once were, and now just cogs in a corporate conglomerate wheel that turns only to grind out a bottom line profit. For most whether on-line, on the tube or still on the newsstand, those who are still speaking continue to voice the ideas of the past, and to me it reflects a lost generation in time since 1980, that thankfully came to an end in this last election and economic crash of 2008. To me the question is will the old-fashioned ideal of an editorial purpose be renewed to make what is espoused by those in the media again serve the community of people who are the listeners, the readership of a magazine or will there only principle remain the number at the bottom line of a corporate ledger.
Many of you have mentioned printer profiles as a part of your digital photo workflow. Sometimes it is a problem that you find you have to work around. And most of you have a computer with a calibrated and profiled display, as well as often one of the many flatbed scanners I have reported on in recent years. You may even have Lasersoft Silverfast software to run your scanner. That’s all to the positive side towards getting a way to profile your printer, you are part way there already. That includes the Epson Perfection photo scanners, the Canon Canoscan photo scanners and all the recent Microtek photo scanners as well as the Artixscan M1.