Professional Drum Scanning – What You Need to Know to Be the Smartest Person In The Room

Drum Scans

Color space is determined by the methodology used to create the colors within a file. The most popular of those are:
RGB
CMYK
LAB or a similar space such as YCC
RGB is gaining popularity in the graphics output community. RGB colors are “mixed” using values stated in levels instead of percentages. i.e. 0 to 255 rather than 0% to 100 %. This colorspace can be thought of as a “Transmissive” colorspace as RGB devices use light to image instead of pigments. As your levels increase towards 255, your values get lighter.
Black, medium grey and white in RGB are created from the following mi

BlackMedium GreyWhite
RGBRGBRGB
0 0 0127 127 127255 255 255

As you can see, the closer to white (more light) the higher the number.

RGB is a “Device Independent” colorspace, meaning that regardless of the device printed to, a given color in a file will always be made of the same color “mix.”

CMYK is a long standing “standard” but is not a device independent colorspace. This is due to the many variables in the CMYK world. GCR (Grey Component Removal) and UCR (Under Color Removal) can result in the same perceived color being reproduced with several different combinations of Cyan Magenta and Yellow, depending on the level of the Black. These mixes are determined by paper stock, press conditions, inks used, etc. One CMYK file built for a web press, can yield drastically different results when sent to a sheet-fed press, or an inkjet printer. Each of these devices prefers different levels of GCR, or UCR. Creating a CMYK file for one, does not mean it will perform as expected on the other. Because CMYK files are “calibrated” to a specific device, they are referred to as “Device Dependent”. CMYK values are measured in percentages from 0% to 100%. The higher the number, the more ink is laid on the paper during printing. Because each press and paper combination can yield different results, there is no exact formula for a rich black, middle grey, or any other color except for “paper white” which is:

White
C M Y K
0% 0% 0% 0%

There are several formulas that are used throughout the industry as approximate guidelines. These can be obtained from your printer.

Our Professional Drum Scanning is provided in a RGB colorspace file unless otherwise requested. All scanners actually see in RGB, but a CMYK scan is converted on the fly through either hardware or software algorithms. By providing you with an RGB scan, we are allowing you or your service provider to convert the file to CMYK based on their individual requirements, leading to a higher quality product

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Are Your Photos Ready to Survive Wildfires and Severe Weather?

I read a newspaper article in the Denver Post about the wildfire in BoulderHouse fully engulfed in flames Canyon, Colorado and the tragic losses the families there are suffering. The primary focus of this article concerns a couple, Barry and Kate, who lost their home once before to wildfires and may have just lost it for a second time to this fire. Kate is quoted as saying that as they fled this time they packed their ski gear, bikes and photographs. “The main thing is we got our photographs, because those can never be replaced” says Kate.

On their way out of the burning canyon, they stopped to help an elderly neighbor; Erna Means. What do you think Erna grabbed as she abandoned her house to possible total destruction? You got it, a box of photographs! Isn’t that what you hear all the time when someone asks what you would rescue as you’re running out of a house that is burning, flooding or being blown away? Photographs are always on the top of the list right after pets. That’s wonderful that people are so protective of their memories, that they feel photographs are irreplaceable, while everything else can be replaced.

If only people would be that concerned when a tragedy isn’t about to strike. You don’t hear about all the important images and memories that are lost forever, every day throughout the world when hard drives fail or CDs and thumb-drives become unreadable or cell phones and computers are lost or stolen. Anguished screams happen all the time. But it’s just not news worthy or important enough, until it happens to you or me. Backing up or archiving your memories is so easy to do but also so easy to forget and maybe a little time consuming, but oh so important. Check out my previous blogs titled “Digital Image Archiving – The Lost Generation parts 1 and 2” for ways you can protect yourself from the most probable cause of image loss, computer failure and advancements in technology.

Beautify Your Photographs While Making a Great First Impression

We were recently introduced to a new type of laminate for photographs, ink jet and poster prints we call “Crystal” for its faceted like surface. This is very different than a normal gloss or lustre coating. Being 5 ML thick with full UV protection, this laminate is extremely durable. We put it to the test for over 2 months and found it to be one of the toughest cold mount poly laminates we have seen. Our test clients loved it immediately and all but demanded we add it to our lineup of products. No doubt about it, the blacks are much richer, colors have more pop and the image has more depth and clarity. We first started offering this product strictly on our Gallery Mounts because it is tough enough to go through our edging machine and not show any scuffs or damage.

Now, we have make it available for any print mounted to any type of substrate. Fine art prints from wildlife and scenic’s to abstracts and commercial prints never looked richer or have had better protection. Check out our samples at the lab or if you are out of town just call us to have one sent out to you. My personal recommendation for an incredible eye catching, heart stopping, WOW kind of print is to put this laminate on Kodak Metallic paper. Although it also looks great on Fuji Crystal Archive C print paper and Fuji Flex, the Metallic is killer.

Larger and Faster Storage is on the Horizon

Larger and faster storage is on the horizon!
At the current rate at which silicon-based technology doubles – approximately every 18-24 months, it won’t be long before our cameras outgrow their present storage form-factors. Nikon, SanDisk and Sony have announced their joint effort for a new portable storage specification aimed at meeting the future needs of music playback devices, digital cameras and video capture devices in a new standardized format.

The new proposed specs show a transfer rate of 500 Megabytes per second – far exceeding the present 167 Megabyte per second of the current CompactFlash specifications. Yes, that is a full gigabyte transferred every two seconds. The maximum theoretical storage capacity for the new devices are expected to exceed two Terabytes. These new memory cards are planned to be rugged, similar in size to the existing SD form-factor and have a lower power consumption and longer battery life – thanks to integrated power scaling. With the data speeds and power savings, I suspect we will see this new technology integrated as solid state drives (SSD’s) on laptops, smart phones, and other intelligent devices in sectors like medical and transportation. A projected production date for the new cards was not announced.

Is Film Dead?

Gary Reed, General Manager for Reed Photo-Imaging has been participating in a lively discussion on Rolls of filmLinked-In regarding the supposed obituary for traditional film.

There were 120 posts with a total of 36 Linked-In members responding. Nineteen of the members either were still using film in their personal work or had moved back to using film in their professional work as a “Retro Look.” Eleven members were completely committed to digital and weren’t looking back. In a nutshell, “Film is Dead, move on.” There were six members who were non-committal and more interested in scanning and other aspects of archiving images. Most of the members who were positive as to the future of film were also nostalgic about the look and feel of film as a media. There was discussion about the effects of freezing film.

There were people who felt that you should shoot the film right away to get the maximum color effect. Some members disagreed and thought you should wait until it was partially thawed. It was not only informational but also hilarious at times. A big concern was the future of film processing and the continued manufacture of film from Kodak and Fuji. Gary Reed commented, “As a lab guy I can tell you that our film processing (E-6, C-41, B/W) are way up over the last 2 years. A large part of that is the toy camera market like Holga’s and Diana’s which we believe will help keep film alive as well as the large format people still shooting landscapes. Granted many labs did stop processing film so it tends to funnel to those of us still processing. Fuji tells us that although they discontinued color neg film this year they still have strong sales of transparency and even their B/W films worldwide. Kodak always did beat them up in the color neg arena anyway. Kodak announced some months ago a new 4×5 and 8×10 color neg film coming on-line, Ektar. Go figure. We have been predicting the demise of film for many years but any more I believe it’s going to be around for some time yet. We have also seen the overall quality of photography go down since digital became king. Mostly just sloppy shooting and “I’ll just fix it in photoshop” attitude. The best digital shooters are the people who started with film, hands down. Long live silver halide! “

Gary Reed said, “We sell Kodak neg film about 10 to 1 over Fuji and Fuji E-6 20 to 1 over Kodak’s. Fuji’s black and white never did much but they are staying with it. We figure they have a good market in Japan or somewhere to justify keeping it.

As far as scanning, color neg film generally scans very well but it’s like anything else, you need a good neg to start and a good pilot to get you there. It can be a little tougher than transparency film. When Fuji came out with their pro digital camera all the wedding portrait people loved it for skin tones and that it’s duel chip it could handle contrast like black suite and white dress better than Nikon or Canon. It is a Nikon body but the guts are Fuji. I have not heard anything about a next generation camera. They are however expanding their line of instant cameras which were a huge hit over the past couple years, go figure!“

In conclusion, members who were positive about the continued availability of film expressed the belief that the price was going to go up and that film was going to be a niche market item. Members who were negative about the future of film believed that one day it was just going to be gone due to economic factors that precluded the profitability from both the manufacturer and the labs that process the film.

Digital Photographs: Lost but not Forgotten

I just can’t help it when I see articles about lost photographs. I feel the urge to expose someone Balancing act with street performerselse’s pain on to everyone and anyone who cares to listen. Last week I wrote about saving your memories (photo albums) from a natural disaster like the fires in Boulder Canyon here in Colorado. People have been rescuing their photos for many years by grabbing their “photo albums” and running for safety.

I personally have not read about anyone grabbing their computer, CD’s or whatever they have their digital photo’s on and running out of the house. It’s probably happened somewhere and I would hope people would consider their digital images to be just as valuable as their printed photo albums. Then again, we are in the digital age where people share their photos on face book and cellphones and never even consider a print as a way to show off an image.

Consider this story I read in the Denver Post just this week. A staff writer misplaced her cellphone one morning on the way to work. Was it forgotten at the gas station, left under a pile of stuff in the car or misplaced at home somewhere? Either way by the end of the article it still was not found. Several things run through a persons head when their cell phone goes missing like what about all the information I have stored in there? It’s not only a hassle to replace but time and expense too, at least for what you can replace.

This writer mentioned being distraught over several photos taken with the MIA phone that could not be replaced. Maybe not life changing images but something deemed worthy of taking and saving in the first place. The fact that so many cell phones are lost, broken or destroyed every day that contain photographs that will never see the light of day again makes me pucker, at least a little bit but probably not as much as the person that lost them but it’s still not a pleasant experience. So what’s the moral of the story here? No moral, just an observation from me about how photography has become such a disposable act anymore. People shoot like crazy because it’s fun to record images of events and people’s lives they are part of. The sad thing is that when a new cell phone/camera model comes out those images are usually not saved. As I have been told by more teens and twenty-somethings than I care to remember, “it’s no big deal, we’ll just shoot more!” I hope they all have really good photographic memories because that’s all they may have in the future.

Digital Image Archiving – The Lost Generation Part 2

So far, all the digital archiving solutions we discussed in part 1 have their pro’s and con’s. Mostly con’s. What’s left? How about a good old fashioned print! If you make a good quality print, note I said ‘quality’ print, not a cheapo inkjet that will fade faster than American Idol winners, you can be good to go with just a simple shoe box to hold all your precious memories. OK, so maybe not a real shoe box although I’m willing to bet my New Balance sneaker box full of prints will outlast any of the digital storage solutions currently available. Did you know you can buy, cheaply I might add, photo storage boxes in all variety of sizes? Most are made of archival acid free paper, have dividers and give you (or your decendants) access to actually see them whenever you want with no batteries required. How about an album? There’s nothing like a good photo album to thumb through. That tactile quality can never be replaced.

I was recently at a family reunion being held in a local park. One of the Aunt’s brought a stack of photo albums which consisted mainly of old photos of past family members and deceased pets. People were grabbing them left and right to look through the pages, laugh at their relatives and ask over and over “who this that with so and so”? It really draws a crowd and certainly helped those present feel much more connected to the family. Then I noticed a few digital cameras floating around, people taking snaps, a few videos and a lot of chimping. If you have not heard of chimping, it’s the process of looking at your photos on the camera typically right after shooting them. So called because if you really look at someone doing it they really do look like a chimpanzee all hunched over and staring with wonder at the tiny magic screen. Anyway, back to the family chimps. What I noticed is that the photo albums stopped right around when the digital age hit. There were a few awful ink jet prints made by Auntie so and so but not many. According to them, most of their recent photos were either on their computer somewhere or still in the camera. Hmmm.

Now I am not suggesting you print every shot you take, although from a lab’s perspective that would be pretty cool. Just print the important stuff. The photo’s you want to pass on to future generations, the photo’s you want to be remembered for. I also suggest you don’t hide them in the attic or basement. Leave one or two albums laying around, see what happens when family or friends come over. Bet someone picks one up and starts going through it. Makes for great conversation and reminiscing over those good times you all shared. Sure beats having everyone huddle (think chimp) around a laptop or I-pad, if that would even happen. Whatever you do, just print it, put it in an album, in a box, even in a pile but just print it. The only true way to archive your photographs and for the future all of mankind!

You will still want to keep your digital ‘originals’ somewhere but if you only share them on Facebook, flickr, e-mail’s and what-not, understand that these are all very short term options. The sooner you start thinking about a long term archiving solution the easier it’s gong to be.

Tell us what you think and what you are doing to preserve your memories. Here is a resource for archiving digital files, mostly for professionals but really it applies to anyone who shoots digital photographs and does not want to be part of the lost generation.
http://dpbestflow.org/data-storage-hardware/storage-hardware-overview

Digital Image Archiving – The Lost Generation Part 1

Are your images a ticking time-bomb?

There has been a lot of chatter between the photo labs and digital imaging professionals the past few years. We all fully expect many digital photographers including pros, amateurs and even the family archivist who we affectionately call Digital Debbies, to completely loose a whole generation of images. Gone, Adiós, Sayonara, Bub bye! Why you ask? If not you should be. It used to be fairly simple to store and archive your film images whether you used archival pages, slide boxes or just printed them. Some people went as far as to store them off site or in fire proof safes and for the most important of images, you could have duplicates made. Either way, you could actually see them whenever you wanted. It’s easy to reproduce film, always will be. Now in the digital age we can shoot like crazy onto huge memory cards because it’s inexpensive, practically free in fact. Well, now what do you do with all of these shots? I hear of people who burn them off to CD/DVD’s, store them on external hard drives or even just use the memory cards as a storage device. Heck, many people of a certain age group don’t store or keep their photos at all, they just shoot for instant gratification and move on, but that’s another story we’ll investigate later. With the cost of storage so inexpensive all of these are viable solutions except for one detail. None of these are anywhere near as secure as film storage for several reasons. First, CD/DVD disks can and do fail, even the finest ‘gold’ disks. Hard drives fail all the time and with the mammoth size of current models you could be putting thousands of images at risk and all on one device. Now let’s assume for the moment that your CD/DVD or HD does not fail. So far so good. Imagine 10, 20 or even 50 years into the future. What’s the chance you or whoever has possession of your images will have access to a device to read any of these disks. I can promise you that CD/DVD readers will not be around that long and very possibly they will have no way to connect that external HD to a computer because USB is long gone. Will new cameras or card readers still be compatible with SD, CF and other current memory cards? There is a good chance all these images, possibly 100’s of thousands will not be accessible.

OK so maybe now you realize that you will become that Grandpa or Grandma with zillions of images in your attic and your relatives will climb up there to discover this treasure trove of personal and family history and possibly even your professional career’s cache of photos. Now what? Can’t see em, can’t read the disks, can’t reminisce over all the beautiful photos you took over your digital lifetime. Bummer, now there dumpster fodder! Maybe someone will take the time, effort and expense to find a guy who can recover these images, maybe not. So what’s a digital photographer to do? Well, you could keep copying all your images from device to device to keep them stored on current technology. Can you even imagine how exponentially labor intensive this will get, even in just a few years! No way!! No one is going to go through all that hassle. Option 2, store everything with a cloud based operation or with one of the off site storage companies that currently offer this service for a monthly fee. Some even have redundant storage for extra security. Not a bad idea, sounds easy anyway except for the horror stories we have heard when one of these guys goes out of business and with a flick of the switch your photos are gone. Yes, many people have been able to retrieve their images but your still back in the same boat as before.

We also are told many people actually use facebook, flickr and the like to store/archive all their images. How long do you really expect them to be around? They may be here for some time but free storage of all your photographs for life is not something anyone should count on. How many people realize that facebook automatically downsizes your files when uploaded? Forget any large files let alone Raw, PSD, etc. Any designer out there working in Illustrator, Quark, Corel, or CS whatever also needs to pay attention. All of your work both personal and professional is at risk. So what’s the solution? I am interested in hearing what anyone else thinks and what they are currently doing.

Next post look for part 2 of Digital Image Archiving: The Lost Generation

Larger and Faster Storage is on the Horizon

At the current rate at which silicon-based technology doubles – approximately every 18-24 months, it won’t be long before our cameras outgrow their present storage form-factors. Nikon, SanDisk and Sony have announced their joint effort for a new portable storage specification aimed at meeting the future needs of music playback devices, digital cameras and video capture devices in a new standardized format. The new proposed specs show a transfer rate of 500 Megabytes per second – far exceeding the present 167 Megabyte per second of the current CompactFlash specifications. Yes, that is a full gigabyte transferred every two seconds. The maximum theoretical storage capacity for the new devices are expected to exceed two Terabytes. These new memory cards are planned to be rugged, similar in size to the existing SD form-factor and have a lower power consumption and longer battery life – thanks to integrated power scaling. With the data speeds and power savings, I suspect we will see this new technology integrated as solid state drives (SSD’s) on laptops, smart phones, and other intelligent devices in sectors like medical and transportation. A projected production date for the new cards was not announced.