Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What is Different?

My blogger friend and photo buddy, P'taker commented on yesterday's blog image of the Potting Shed:

Pray tell, how did you treat this image differently from the first time you scanned it? Did the V700 make any difference? Or was it more experience with PS?

Okay, for those of you who are not interested in photography the rest of this may seem like technical babble but some of the rest of you might find some interest in the fast changing times of digital photography and printing.

P'taker, there are so many differences I hardly know where to start. First of all I printed this series back in 2000 in the darkroom except I did have to scan and print the images in a small format in order to be approved for a show in France. I have those digital prints and in looking at them, they were blurry.....much blurrier than my usual Holga scans. I don't remember which scanner I was using in 2000 but I was pretty sure that the Epson V700 would do a better job. It would be sharper and the thin areas of the negatives would scan better. It absolutely did a better job. Now I'm looking at some of the other "bad" negatives in this project and thinking that they might also make viable prints.

You are right I do have more experience with Photoshop but even more than that, Photoshop is about three generations better now than it was then. I struggled so with the files in Photoshop in 2000 because I just didn't have the tools that are available now. Now I can look at much more global adjustment layers and painting with light to get the image looking like I want it to.

Another difference is the printer. I think I was using the Epson 1160 with Piezo inks back in 2000. Now I'm using the Epson 4000 with the Quadtone RIP for printing black and white images. While I know that the current generation of Epson printers (printers that came after the Epson 4000) are able to print black and white images now, I'm still amazed at the long, actually almost straight curve, that the QTR has on the Epson 4000. There are separations of the tones from the very darkest to the very lightest. Wonderful prints and the ability to adjust the "color" of the black and white image from a cool to a warm tone.

While I'm currently working on the images in this project....and I'm still scanning and working....I found that what I wanted the image to look like in 2000 was still the vision I had for the image today. In the case of the potting shed image yesterday, most of the image dark but with much detail as you get with the holga, some mid-tones and with the flowers and cup very light.

So basically what I'm saying is that my pre-visualization for the image didn't change a lot but it was a lot easier to execute than it was eight years ago.


YayaOrchid said...

Nice photos. I've got to admit though, I wish I knew something about photography. The pictures I would take if I had a little more education about it.

pitchertaker said...

I kinda' figured you'd say that. Looking back on those first pieces of digital equipment we had in the late 90's and early this century, it is hard to imagine how special we thought it all was. But compared to what is common place today, it's like comparing a "throw away wedding camera" to the highest priced Canon dSLR. In 2000, I was still an avid user of PaintShop Pro (mainly because I could afford PhotoShop), and I think we were using Microtek E3 scanners that would only scan prints. We shot only film in those days. Yeah, we're better at PhotoShop, but, YA' KNOW? We're just better, period.

To: yayaorchid: What's stopping you?