I posted a Blog on December 16, 2010 titled What Is Display Calibration & Profiling? There were a number of comments posted and several were questions. So I asked our blog expert if there was any practical way for me to obtain copies of the comments and the address of the comment source. The answer was no.
Each year starts off these times with the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the city of sad faces. Last year even CES was sad faces feeling the aftermath of recession and no one buying much of anything. But in 2011 after Apple dropped some bombs of super sales of iPhones and their new iPad, the rest of the flock was flapping their wings to catch up. But new 3D and what have you TV’s were still languishing, maybe everyone who can afford a big flat-screen TV already has one, and with TV getting worse every year with dumber and dumber ridicule and more ads....
The holiday season this time provided me with some time to concentrate on personal photographs that have been on my mind, but only as ideas. This year I have not had any article projects pending or new products to investigate, so once in a very long time I am doing my own thing. And that has been digging out old film images and making new scans. The goal is to approach the image in ways that correct for weaknesses and frustrations in what the photo was as a film image. Primarily it is much more than just physically scanning the film, but rethinking the image, applying a different sensitivity to what it is, and hopefully producing something both different and the same, but better than the picture I first saw in the viewfinder, and then as an image on film. The final step in this process is to make a test print to see if my on-screen editing actually results in a print that matches my expectations.
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.
Most of the dream cameras I have read about concentrate on mechanical attributes of the camera itself. Actually in that vein, I want something very practical, not dreamy.These days of course digital and with a large image sensor, but not quite fill-frame. A 3:4 aspect ratio would suite me better. As for a lens, I would be happy with a modest, fixed (not interchangeable) modest speed zoom with a focal length range equivalent to a 35mm camera a 24 to 150mm range, but with a true macro focus capability at about the equivalence of 80mm. Auto-focus is now quite reliable, so my desire would be to have an efficient and comfortable zoom, optical viewfinder. And even an LCD viewer on the back of the camera I find is not needed if it is replaced with a plug in 7 inch tablet screen. Of course this plug-in screen should be made with a built in folding shade, and has its own separate battery power.
I just received one of many statements from photographers that the current digital technology is complex and confusing, so it’s hard to understand. I could assume from that many think digital follows what analog film photography established. But that also assumes that the photographic process was understood as it has been for over a century, but sadly both assumptions are mixed up by many mythical and fantastic ideas and beliefs that have confused many if not most for as long as the 50 some years I’ve been a photographer. And it has not been helped by an industry and technology that now uses terms like resolution, which on film meant how fine the detail was resolved sharply, to its digital meaning that defines the size of an image in pixels.
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.
Up until now software products have been dominated by elephantine applications like Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Photoshop. Software companies have made them huge, full of functions and features one individual may never need or want; but to get the essential core you need you have to buy an expensive package. I need some of both of these huge applications but never use more than a fraction of what they contain, and of course have to buy the whole to get just the part I need. This is an advantage to the companies that own these monopolies, but not to the individual users.
For too long there have been few LCD displays available that fully support a digital photographic color managed workflow. Now LaCie has added another, their 324i with desirable specifications in a P-IPS 10-bit 24 inch LCD display. The screen image should be sharp and detailed too with a 1920x1200 pixel resolution. Most important of course is its color range that is specified at 98% of Adobe RGB. But these days with ultra-lite and flimsy un-adjustable home-office LCD displays in the box stores, the LaCie 324i has a solid, full-featured stand and supports portrait orientation. Like any good, current LCD display the LaCie has a wide range of input connector options like Display Port, DVI and HDMI.,BR.
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.