Scanning slides, negatives & prints

I have been scanning slides, negatives & prints for customers for years. When I look back at the original scanners that were available and compare it to today’s scanners I cannot believe how far technology has come. All scans done on state-of-art scanners at the highest resolution. All work done safety in Lethbridge!

A scan from a old 35mm slide, printed and framed with gallery glass.

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Printing – to custom profile or not, that is the question!

Printing

After reading many posts on various forums about printing and using color profiles (canned VS custom) it got me thinking. I decided to do some tests to see the difference between provided profiles from Epson and paper manufacturers and the profiles that I make.

Equipment:

  • Epson 3880 (x2)
  • Epson P7000
  • Colormunki Photo running the new I1 Studio software

Read morePrinting – to custom profile or not, that is the question!

Canvas Prints – another finishing option

I love canvas prints, but what I am not a huge fan of is the gallery wrap look.  There are a lot of reasons for this but it is mainly the cost to produce the print and the no frame look.  Sure they look great when first produced but after being on the wall for a while they start to look like something is missing (just my opinion) without the frame.  So for years I have recommended that instead of the wrap that people mount to foam board then frame the print.  To me this is the  best way to display a canvas and as far as cost it can be less then the wrap.

Read moreCanvas Prints – another finishing option

Is it right or is it right

Right

I love listening to people discuss things on forums but my love can easily turn to frustration when they start to argue that they are right without taking into account everything in the argument.

As an example in the RV world there is a difference between a vehicles starter battery and the RV house battery.  A starter battery is designed for high output in a short time and a RV house battery is designed for a sustained output over a long time.  In a lot of people’s worlds the two should never be mixed and they are right to an extent.  Years ago my Dad had an electric trolling motor for a boat.  He would get a good car battery and charge it up and away we would go for a day of fishing.  We had lots of fun and at the end of the day he would charge up the battery and we would be ready for the next day.  In reality the battery was not the right kind, it should have been a Marine or RV battery but for us it worked and we had fun.  Same with RV’s, I have seen people use car batteries hundreds of times and had more fun then you could imagine even with the “wrong” battery.

Read moreIs it right or is it right

Slide & Negative Scanning

Even with the dark areas this slide scanned almost perfect!
Even with the dark areas this slide scanned almost perfect and the print looks amazing!

I get many clients that come in asking about prints from slides and negatives. Many have heard that it is impossible to get quality prints without spending a fortune. They are just checking one last time before they toss their old slides and negatives. I show them some of the slides and negatives that I have scanned and printed and they are shocked at the amazing quality and how affordable it is.

Why the confusion

A Fuji slide from late 80's
A Fuji slide from late 80’s

Well first many people have heard about bulk scanning businesses and how bad they are. Some of these are run out of people’s damp basements. They do scans for $0.50 per slide or less and they are GARBAGE!!! They don’t clean the slides or negatives first. Nothing is done to fix color casts and they scan on low resolution so the final result is HORRIBLE!!

Second there are lots of photographers that like to brag about the $200 – $500 scan they had done by a professional scanning service. They tell everyone that this is the only way to scan film or negatives to digital. This scares many into thinking this is the only way to do it and nobody can afford to scan 100 slides at $200 each.

I have scanned and printed tens of thousands of slides and negatives and they look GREAT!

A slide from back in the mid 80's
A slide from back in the mid 80’s

WHAT IS BEST????

I had one local photographer that was offered a free scan of a couple of their slides by a pro scanning company in Vancouver. After that company scanned the slides I scanned them. When compared side by side on my monitor and in prints mine looked as good or better!!!

So why the difference? Many times it is the setting of the scanner, sometimes it is just taking an extra second or two to tweak the color and density or sometimes it is having to adjust the file afterwards. Many places miss this part of the process.

What to do??

If you have old slides and negatives don’t toss them. Get them scanned and preserved for the next generation!

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Color Balance – Printing

Getting that amazing shot, color balance
Secrets to getting that amazing shot

Today I want to address a little about color balance. I’m not talking about corrections that we make to our photos to make them look more natural. Or corrections that we do to enhance the colors to make them look more pleasing to the eye. Things such as warming the color of an image. I am talking about color balance as it effects the print that we hang on the wall.

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