IMAGING - FURTHER (NOT SECOND) THOUGHTS
Imaging is Photography! OH IS IT?
give you a little bit of history, I always said that, “having worked
on a computer all day, there was no way I wanted to spend my leisure
time using one”; I also said that “if I had got spare time, I would
rather spend it working in the darkroom”.
this latter statement is not always viable. As with taking photographs,
for working in the darkroom to be productive and successful, it requires
a proper frame of mind and a freshness of will and spirit. To work
in the darkroom, or to take photographs, when one is tired and stale,
usually results in images which just need throwing away, or nothing
at all. I can recall many occasions when I have had the time to take
photographs, or to do some printing, and have produced nothing worthwhile,
because the spark, or whatever you want to call it, was not there.
in that situation, what is one to do? If you are not going to do photography,
you can do the crossword but that should not take too long before
you finish it or give up. You do not want to always be practising
your golf, or snooker, or whatever else turns you on. Reading is a
good old faithful, which can be done at any time.
the years, however, I have gradually found extraneous influences becoming
intrusive on this. I have a hatred for most of what appears on the
“devils box” and needed to get away from it.
recent change in my work situation, meant that I had some money available
to spend. I therefore decided to get a computer for home, partially
as a way of getting me away from the “devils box” but also to investigate
for myself the viability of scanning 5”x4” negatives, which I had
produced badly, rectifying same on the computer and producing full
size negatives on transparency material, for contact printing in the
I bought a fast PC, with 256Mb of RAM, a good scanner with a transparency
head, an Epson Photo-EX printer, a CD and “Photoshop 5”. Photoshop
is an enormous success. It answers the first need of any hobby; it
is FUN. I have a great deal to learn about it, but it is very interesting,
addictive and the time flies by when using it.
have scanned some colour enprints and produced good quality enlargements;
I have also scanned 5”x4” black and white negatives and produced passable
prints from these. It is interesting that the initial scan has reasonable
contrast, but when it is inverted to become a positive, the contrast
is several steps lower & has to be brought back in the programme.
I am not sure how much, if any, degradation this causes.
finished black & white prints and then computer printing them, appears
to give the degradation of quality to be expected with any multiple
process. Similar to copying slides onto negative film & then printing
it. Interestingly, this does not seem to be the case with scanned
should this be? Is it to do with the way the brain interprets colour
images, or is it something much simpler?
is already apparent that for colour work, given a high quality original,
the output on glossy paper can be as good as a photographic print.
On matt paper, it is not.
black and white work, the results are not so good. With good negatives,
the output on the glossy paper is about equivalent to a conventionally
produced resin coated paper print. The output on what Epson are pleased
to call Photo matt paper is awful. The only transparency material
that I have seen is labelled as 360dpi, which for my needs, I think,
will be quite inadequate.
I have not yet tried this. Poor negatives produce poor results (so,
what did you expect Bruce? A magic wand? Yes, I think I did) and with
the current knowledge that I have, I am unable to get them right.
The above was written on 27/10/98. It is now 27/3/99 & the plot thickens.
to follow-up article