(Aside: Apparently the Photo of the Day has become a feature of The Daily Parker. Oh, the pressure.)
Today, another comparison between a photo I printed in a darkroom with paper and chemicals and the same photo "printed" using digital image editing tools. This is a friend from high school, photographed in March 1986 on Kodak Tri-X film, and printed on 8"x10" Ilford #3 paper:
Voilà the rescanned negative processed through Lightroom:
As with the other photo, I didn't duplicate the original print exactly. Both modern versions show more detail and a greater range of tones than the paper prints, partially because of the generation loss from scanning a print, but also because printing a photo on an easel is a sloppy process. After six or seven attempts, with a cycle time of about 20 minutes, using smelly chemicals, after school, in a darkroom in the school basement, with homework to do, I just moved on. With digital editing, if I don't like the result I can simply change it. Burned in a spot too much? In 1986, throw the print out and start over. In 2011, hit +Z.
In fact, just looking at the comparison, I see a couple more things I should do...which will take about 5 minutes. And no smelly chemicals.
Thanks to the model, Lauren Spain-Bondi, for permission to publish.
As threatened, I've gotten a public photo page at SmugMug (http://punzunltd.smugmug.com).
You can now browse the few that I've published so far, and possibly even buy one. It's not incredibly impressive right now as I don't have full-size copies of much yet. That will change, though. I'm having a lot of fun with Adobe Lightroom and its one-click integration with SmugMug, too.
Eleven-month-old German Shepherd Dog Rex watches his mom carry in the barbecued chicken yesterday in Chicago:
ISO 3200, 1/125 at f/2.5, 50mm prime
Northbrook, Ill., sometime in late April 1986:
In May 1986, I went to Boston with my school choir (all 130 of us, plus chaperons) and took about 240 photos. Here's one of them:
When I got back home, I printed the shot. This took about five hours, and some help from Mr. Sylvester, the photography teacher, because instead of Photoshop I used an actual darkroom, with an easel and Ilford #3 paper. Here's the result:
Now, in 2011, I've finally scanned the negative, and in about 20 minutes with Adobe Lightroom, produced a reasonable facsimile:
Not only did the electronic editing take less time than the paper-and-developer method, but it also smelled a lot better.
Public Garden, Boston, 10 May 1986. Kodak Tri-X 400, ISO 320, exposure unrecorded, Canon T-90.
South Pond, Lincoln Park, Chicago, 1:27pm:
Monday night I played around with one of my favorite slides from 1986. Today at lunch I rescanned the slide at 3600 dpi, after giving it a good dusting, and with the scanner's Kodachrome corrections. Here's the result:
For comparison, here's my previous attempt, using the 1200 dpi scan I made during my first pass:
The differences are much more apparent at full size, especially since the top photo's dimensions are nearly four times longer than the bottom one's.
Public Garden, Boston, 10 May 1986. Kodachrome 64. Exposure unrecorded.
As I play around with high-dynamic-range imaging, I remembered a photo I took in 1991 while driving through North Dakota. I remember taking about a bunch of bracketed shots because of the scene's wide exposure range. Last night I looked for the image and found that one of the two negative strips covering the bracket is gone. Not only gone, but I wrote a note to myself in May 1992 on the negative holder pointing out that it's gone. Without the full bracket, an HDR image won't work.
Fortunately, I have the first image in the series, which I took using the camera's recommended exposure. A quick rescan at 3600 dpi, then a few minutes in Lightroom, and voilà:
(For comparison, here's the raw image from my scanner:)
I'm still about 60 rolls behind that image in the scanning project, unfortunately, so other photos from the trip will have to wait a while.
Kodachrome 64, 20 July 1991, near Sturgis, N.D. Exposure unrecorded.
I had a few minutes before work this morning to try out HDRSoft's Photomagix software. The program takes digital photos taken at different exposures and combines them into one image, a process called high dynamic range imaging, or HDRi.
For my first attempt, I used three photos of the park near my house that were only 1 EV apart, so the result may fail to awe you:
Here's one of the three originals from Monday evening, at the "correct" exposure:
The HDR image looks better, but not that much better. In the next couple of days I'll experiment some more, now that I have a better idea what I'm looking for and how to shoot it.
Actually, I'm blegging for information. Has anyone used online photo printing services like ZenFolio, SmugMug, or Shutterfly, either as a photographer selling images or as a customer? Maybe your wedding photographer used a third-party site?
As a corollary, do you or does anyone you know buy stock photos for publication?
No, I'm not quitting my job; but with a backlog of 30,000 photos—some of them already sold as stock, some of them more than once—the wheels in my brain have started to turn. (Maybe it's the MBA.)