Re: Constructive Criticism/Unsolicited Advice?

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Posted by DiverD on June 15, 2005 at 22:36:57:

In Reply to: Treefish scan with the 5000 and thanks for the feedback posted by Elaine on June 15, 2005 at 00:52:21:

I've been studying the tree fish scan and the first scans. I really like the quality of your new scanner more then your previous one. More than likely there's a difference in how the software for the two scanners think. The previous scanner seems to be taking its black point reading mainly from the black boarder area of unexposed film around the image whereas your new, "smarter" scanner software ignores the film around the image and picks the blackest black from within the image. That would be fine except in this case the blue cast from the ocean affects the blackest black of the treefish and causes the scanner to clip the image making the scans tonality much flatter and artificial looking than from the previous scanner. The previous scanner took it's balance from the black around the image, the unexposed portion of the film, which is the densest part of the film possible, and so by definition is balanced (if it is fresh! Not so in 25 year old slides). This clips the overall tonality of the image a bit but keeps the true interaction of the natural light and the lighting of your strobe, making a nicer image just by balancing the initial scan. Most intermediate photoshop users know how the adjust black and white points to improve an image's color balance. But even advanced photoshop users don't know that these very moves should be applied in the scanning software before scanning the image, not afterwards in photoshop. I marked the darkest DMax area on your treefish image, which was in the lower left corner of his eye, then found an area on the unexposed area of the film that had the same DMax as my spot on the eye and also marked that. Then I set the black point in a curves adjustment layer to the point I marked in the unexposed portion of film. This setting changed the color balance beautifully, you could see the interactions of light between your strobe and the natural lighting. This is how I would have scanned the image. Scanning it this way would have caused the scanner to spread it's full tonality range over all the full tonality range of your image when capturing it, resulting in a scan with the richest possible histogram and the best possible balance to begin. The more information you have to begin with, the more information you can throw away in photoshop while "tweaking an image" and still come out with extra information to burn.

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