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Showing posts from July, 2018

Film Scanning Workflow

Introduction I wanted to make some notes and comments on scanning of film. I have been mostly self taught since I started in 2009 with my brother's archive that I wanted to create a book from. I had a basic scanner for 35mm film and slides and used the included SW and Photoshop Elements 6. I could not and still cannot justify in my own mind a full-blown Photoshop license.

I got reasonably good results. I learned the importance of cleaning dust before scanning as this saves a lot of time touching them up in Photoshop. (Some of his slides were filthy.) I scanned as TIFF files as these don't suffer losses from compression like JPG. I also tried scanning at a high resolution like 4000 DPI. I thought of myself as making archival scans as a result. The idea being to scan to capture all the information and then make modifications from that in Photoshop.

What I did not understand was the degree to which the scanner SW was making changes to make the scan 'better'. Eventually I…

Spot Metering

I am always on a quest to improve my photography. Recently I have been watching YouTube videos from the likes of Justin Lowery or Nick Carver. Young guys who cut their teeth on digital and found film; landscape photography in particular. Working in medium and large format and they put their experience and knowledge on video. The area I wanted to explore more is getting good exposures in difficult situations. Typically this involves some adaptation of Ansel Adams’ Zone System. 
This article is a summary of what I have learned in researching the topic and my limited application so far. One should not hold this as authoritative by any means but it might be a helpful resource to introduce the subject. I have attempted to synthesize some sensible summary from the various sources I have researched. At the end I list some additional resources.   Zone System Having read in the past about the Zone System as promoted by Ansel Adams it seemed inaccessible to those working with medium format film. (…

Scanning Experiments Part 2

I got back for the lab a large set of negatives from my most recent trip to the Llyn Peninsula. I was excited as I anticipated there may be a handful of decent images. I quickly set about scanning them. Since they were all taken with either my Fuji G617 or the Fuji GSW690iii I decided to scan them at 3200 dpi. (There is some debate as to the value of scanning beyond 2400 dpi on some scanners and higher resolution begets slower scanning in any case.)  I had also recently purchase a BetterScanning medium format film holder and anti-newton glass insert as part of my drive to up my game in terms of scanning and image quality.
Focus Height Before I could use my BetterScanning I decided I should make sure I had the film holder at the optimal height. There are a number of nylon screw feet that can be used to raid it from its default 1mm height. Finding a sharp image is the first challenge. I settled on my barrel cactus photo I used in the last round of experiments.

I took a series of scans a…