Da Drugstore scan.

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by mysteryscribe, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    There has been all this talk about how good is a 1600 by 1200 scan from a drugstore. What the devil can you do with one. Well I had a reason to find out so I did.

    I got in my head that the number one problem with film was that it wasn't digital. What does digital really have going for it, that film doesn't. Not the instant gratification thing. I mean hell we aren't kids. The bottom line is the ability to manipulate the image after shooting it.

    The number one problem with digital seems to be (in my opinion for those who need a waiver. I never claimed to be an expert) is the amount of time it takes to do the manipulations. So what's a poor old scriber to do. I have a film scanner, but it takes fifteen minutes more or less to get a single image into the computer. Now I'm running headlong into the too much time problem.

    Let the firestorm begin.....

    Let someone else make the initial scan. What in the world would be the advantage in shooting film, If you are going to have a low level scan. Now I could be wrong here and probably am, but my son in law tells me digital is very very exposure sensitive.

    Well I think, again correct me if i'm wrong, film to be scanned is much more forgiving. I have made reasonable quality scans from film I shot, back in the day, with a 35mm camera and an auto strobe. Apparently the film to scan is more forgiving. That is just an assumption. I seriously doubt that I am an exceptional photographer, so I must assume it is the film process.

    So I have decided that with my eyesight an slr with a split image range finder is doable. You only look at the image with one eye so double vision should not be a factor. So what can I comfortably do with some reasonable expectation of quality. Okay I can't to 30x40 prints from a drug store scan. But I can do 5x7 prints.

    I know because I did it today. So I can go out and shoot three rolls of 36 35 mm with my handy dandy slr. have the scans made at the local one hour lab in the drug store. I go have a beer while the film is being processed and the scans made.

    Couple of hours later I have my wife (see how careful I am) drive me to pick up the cds.

    With the cd in hand I can make any really glaring edits necessary. Ie huge shadows, dust spots on the end of someone's nose, even a 10% crop. Since I have a home made high L bracket for my flash, there shouldn't be too many to repair. I cull the duplicates from the cd and combine them into one. It goes to the bride of course along with twenty four 5x7 on which I get a huge discount. I get the discount mostly because I am going to make a second cd with just those files and they run a special, print it all in 5x7 for like half a buck each.

    Why is this a time saver over just sitting down with a digital camera. Well for one thing I have to shoot them pretty good in the camera since i can't be doing a lot of cropping on so small an image. Two I'm delivering 5x7 prints so I can't be planning to sell the 10k wedding. Prints by the hack will be fine. Trust me I have sold a lot worse than these will be.

    I am also going to deliver a few 8x10 so I have one of two choices stretch the drug store scan to the max. (I haven't tested it for max yet) or rescan the negatives on my own scanner and spent the hour it takes to get four onto the computer and ready to go.

    Now I carry my cd with the files down to the local lab. I get those cheap prints made on a wet process noritsu printer. By the way i tested the prints today. They look pretty good actually.

    So who in their right mind would buy such a half reared service. Ah people who want to get a job for about half price. Because I expect to spend about half the time doing it. Also people who just would rather have the six c notes for a new video game. The second time bride who just wants a few pictures. yes there are people who can't get their uncle Harold to do it.

    Retro photography and retro prices. Okay, it might end up a pipe dream for me. but it will work. Personally I'm not greedy and do not wish to do more than one a month. So it should be reasonably doable if I can control my stumbling around like a drunk... I could wear dark glass and use a seeing eye dog. I'll figure something.

    Now for those of you who are super quality minded,this is going to sound awful. If there is anyone else around who would just like to make a few bucks while getting away from his wife on a Saturday afternoon, you might want to do your won experimenting. If you already own a dslr this won't be of any interest at all to you. But then it's in the film section what are you doing here anyway? Just kidding

    Before anyone else says it, I have already heard. I would rather watch Lucy reruns that do that kind of photography. That's cool, but I would rather shoot the two hours I plan to stay at the wedding out, than home watching a ten year old movie on Saturday afternoon. It isn't even about the money. It's about the self esteem. Before you say it, I'm one of those Johnny lunch box types. I don't require a lot of strokes to be happy just to be producing something.
     
  2. dgs

    dgs TPF Noob!

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    every now and then i encounter some long rambling which appears to be stream of consciousness but really isnt none the less interesting in a alternative sort of way that says many things about what it means to live and create and just deal with a reality that often just sucks but is the only reality we have and must be better than nonreality whatever that may be.

    And I like it. Thanks, Scribe
     
  3. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    To be honest I stole the style from Edward Weston. When Edward began keeping his day books, he would write about anything that had any tie at all to what he was doing. Mostly it made little sense at the time I read it.

    Since then I have gone back and recreated the cameras and some of the same conditions as he wrote about, AS the above shows I don't do things quite the same.

    However I was fascinated when he wrote accounts of trying to collect money from a portrait customer in New York. He was trying to collect because he had a car payment due.

    Now here is a guy who later became one of the greats of "Art" photography and he was sweating out not only a car payment, but how to get a deadbeat customer to pay. It gave me both a new perspective on photography as a combination art/business, but also a little hope for myself.

    What Edward was teaching me in his day books wasn't how to make a pictures. No he was teaching me how to think about making a picture. I'm not sure that is clearly stated but It's how the books read to me.

    His battle with the mundane things like trying to quit smoking was interesting, in that he failed miserably. That kind of thing made Weston human to me. Where as Ansil Adams never was human to me.

    When I ramble, I'm not really advocating any point of view just exposing people, I hope, to a different way of thinking. Not so much because it is the right way, but because it is the counter to the accepted way. Think about all aspects and disregard those that don't fit you. It why they have shoe stores.

    Anyway thanks for the kind words.
     
  4. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I don't know how things are out west there (get it?), but I'm 1) Scared to let Sally at Walgreens touch my negs, and 2) Retardedly picky about my scans. And I mean seriously. It takes me 45 minutes to make a single scan, which amounts to approximately 600mb for a color image (this is 6x9). Single laser (out of three for extra accuracy), and 16 passes (to pick up every detail and correct for neg movements during scanning). And no, i don't manually do sixteen scans. I just want serious archival quality.

    But more power to ya man. Convenience makes the western world go round.
     
  5. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    works for me... we go round and round about sally at eckerds all the time here. Truth is c41 is right or wrong, don't matter who does it. I am sure that if I processed the film it would be more likely to be with worn out chemical, than if eckerds does it. I have been in there many a morning, back in the day, and watched them do their test strips, which they have to send to the home office.

    As for the low quality scan, yeah i know but I figure my limited time is better spent sharing my wisdom, than scanning my crappy wedding negs. I do a little more to my own scans but not much more actually.

    I'm not much into high wedding art to be honest. I plan to tell the brides up front, Your wedding is about you, not me. I document everything that happens but I'm not going to run you all over the country shooting pictures of you. I will be more than glad to have my son in law call you, he does that kind of thing and charges about three times what I plan to charge for my out of retirement package.

    My wife thinks I'm crazy, since we have no need for the money and she remembers me always on the edge of insanity when I was running the studio. She is probably right but retirement doesn't sit well with me.

    Yeah max I know you are a down easterner lol/ Raleigh..
     

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