Speedlinks 6/10/09

  • If you’ve been in the business for a while, or if you’re trying to break in and wonder why the veterans in the biz all seem so, well, shell shocked, Austin-based people photographer Kirk Tuck gives a cogent analysis and some uplifting advice here.
  • So if you’ve been in the business for a while, and have, say, 100,000 slides to scan, but not $700,000 to have them drummed, check out Slide Scanning Pros . Based in the Pacific Northwest, they use the Nikon Coolscan, and they are damned good at it, and they charge $.26 a slide and that includes rotating, cropping that annoying black border and removing blemishes and dust with Digital Ice. They do the scanning in country, and are very pleasant and efficient to deal with. The Slide Scanning Pros are inordinately fond of the PNG format, so if you want your stuff returned as Tiffs, make sure you specify that in your order.
  • So, let’s keep up with this “you’ve been in the business for a while” theme and let’s say you’re sick of reading all this how-to and would like to be reminded of why you travel and make photographs, then by all means pick up Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision by Canadian shooter David duChemin. David shoots for a lot of humanitarian organizations so his travel photography is done with a purpose, and his thoughtful analysis of the craft concentrates more on the bigger questions and less on the nuts and bolts. It’s a refreshing read, it dovetails nicely with Kirk Tuck’s article above, and it’s filled with excellent imagery.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. I second the recommendation of David’s Book. Inspirational!

  2. John Owens in the 12/07 issue of PopPhoto tried out India-based ScanCafe.com’s Coolscan 5000 ED scanning. They charge(d) 19 cents per negative and 24 cents per slide. “JPEGs averaging 2700KB, they were at least as good as I would have done. And the dust and dirt that marred some of the original slides were gone in the files…. So now, when Allen says his operation can do pro-caliber work (make 4000-dpi scans of slides and negs, serve up TIFFs), scan prints at 600 dpi for 27 cents (1200 dpi for a little more), clean up b&w negatives (typically a challenge for Digital ICE), and guarantee that my pictures will make it back from India, I don’t doubt him.”

  3. The ONION piece reminds me of an interview with Thomas Roma, where he listed the subjects his photography students were forbidden to photograph: “I actually give a list of things not to photograph because they’re traps and they’re just a waste of time: no mimes, no cats, no bicycle wheels in the sun casting a shadow, no fire hydrants with snow on top of them, no babies, no old people, don’t go to Chinatown and photograph fish or ducks hanging in the window. And I ask people to be sensitive to certain racial and ethnic things, to not photograph the Other. This is not a safari where you’re going around looking for the exotic. I find that it’s much richer to point the camera within the world you occupy.” Quote came from this link:


  4. Will check out Slide Scanning Pros. How do they compare to Calypso Imaging, which you recommended in the past?

    I’m working to process all my images – RAW or scanned film – with Photoshop CS4’s RAW processor (Scott Kelby came up with this tip in his CS 4 book.) I’m trying to get it down to 15 minutes per image (ha!).

    So – maybe Slide Scanning Pros can help with the workflow (and the pocketbook!).


    1. They (SlidescanningPros) use a Nikon Coolscan, while the Calypso folks use an Imacon, which is more like a drumscan. You’ll get more out of the Imacon, but what you have to assess is how much do you need? For a big inkjet print, the drum scan is probably the way to go. For most stock and editorial uses, a good Coolscan will be fine in most cases.Keep in mind there is a substantial price difference…the Imacon scans are about 6x or more as expensive.

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