Photography is an art of many facets, it always has been. In the early days of photography one would have to become proficient at exposure and composition to make the initial image on film and then master the art of development followed up by darkroom printing. I won’t even touch on the extending arts of framing and presentation. A master photographer had to be a master of many arts, it was never as simple as pointing a camera and releasing a shutter.
As technology pressed forth, photography has changed. Not that any of the traditional techniques have died, I do them all still. However, the traditional film techniques have become niche, with digital taking the lime light in the photographic world. With the need for exposure, even those still devoted to film must digitize their images, so they must scan. For a modern film photographer scanning is the modern equivalent to printing in the darkroom. You take your original slide or negative and generate a digital image to manipulate.
Many photographer have the idea that scanning is simply a process needed to digitize their work. Some view it as a simple process, others as a necessary evil. I agree with neither concept, I believe that scanning is an art in its own right. Much like the initial capture and the post processing, scanning requires knowledge, flexibility and an eye for quality. It is insane to over look this aspect of a modern film workflow as a simple process. Proper preparation and practice will help you make the most of the digitization process and will increase the quality of you final image and require less work in post-processing.
So over the coming months, I will be adding articles, reviews and tutorials regarding the art of Scanning. I have a litany of topics to cover; from reviews of the scanners I use every day, to post-processing techniques for scanned images and even Lightroom presets and Photoshop actions to aide you in the processing of scanned images. With today’s post a new category has been added to the sidebar of LIDF, entitled Scanning. All articles pertaining to this arcane art will be filed under this header.
This is part of my effort to diversify LifeInDigitalFilm, and to more accurately reflect my interests in photography. I will still be having articles on Digital techniques and workflow and I will still be the source of film emulation presets for Lightroom. But film is coming back, slowly but surely, and setting up a firm niche in the photographic community. I am a part of that niche and my work here will reflect that.
No matter where you are in the film world, I will have articles of interest for you.
- Looking for a scanner? I’ll fill you in on the ones I possess and use daily, as well as some I have used and loved.
- Don’t want to scan yourself? Let me tell you about ScanCafe, they are the next best thing to doing scanning yourself.
- Don’t like your scanning software? We’ll look at you options together… you will choose VueScan though.
- Quality Issues? I’ll share my scanning workflow with you, perhaps you will find it works for you as well.
- Post Processing problems? We will get you going in Lightroom, Photoshop or the GIMP, its all about how you set up the scanning software.
In the mean time, if you are want to see a bit about scanning now, I have a two part article on X-Equals coving the topic. The posts are Lightroom-centric, scanning using OEM software, but it can get you going while you await my future articles.
+Film to Digital – Scanning Essentials 101 – Part 1 of 2 – coving the scanning process
+Film to Digital – Scanning Essentials 101 – Part 2 of 2 – covering processing of scans in Lightroom
Hopefully this gets you interested in the upcoming articles on LIDF, it is time for me to expand a bit and get into some new subject matter here.
If you don’t already, please consider shooting some film. There are still advantages to film digital has not quite reached. In turn digital has advantages that film can’t touch. But you can make an HDR from a single frame of negative film, with a exposure spread of 5 stops on a well expoed frame. You can only pull about 2 stops of useable dynamic range from a RAW file. Just food for thought!
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