Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Going digital after decades of analogue work

Many agencies are making the switch to digital. In doing so, they are declaring a "zero date" for the switch over - everything after a certain date shall be shot in digital format ... But what about the older stuff? What about the old negatives? 

Scanning negatives and slides is a bit of an art form. So is moving from the negative/slide to a clarified positive image. Thankfully, Sascha Steinhoff's new book, Scanning Negatives and Slides is here to help.

There's so much to this book it's hard to know where to start. From a detailed discussion on the basics of the process, to differences between lower density and higher density scanners, to a harsh look at Scanhancer, and everything in between. 

Sascha takes you through many of the popular scanners and associated software. There's tons of comparison images and helpful notes on appropriate settings. And, of course, there's a lot of info on using ACR and Photoshop (plus some helpful plug-ins). But wait, there's more ... the book also includes a CD chocked full of goodies and samples. (mac users rejoice, there's sample software for us too)

In all, it's an outstanding reference that should be in every lab. As such, I highly recommend it.


Glennsp said...

I looked this book up on Amazon UK and it had two very bad reviews and yet you praise it highly which leads me to suspect that the two reviewers in question have maybe missed the point of the book.
Could you please comment, thanks

God Bless


Jim Hoerricks said...

It's a book on scanning ... not a book on clarifying images. When you want to clarify images, you'll want my book. :-)

Seriously, I read the reviews on both the US and the UK Amazon site at your suggestion. It seems that it was reviewed higher in the US by people who were buying it for the scanning tips and comparisons and lower by people who already "knew everything that there is to know about scanning" and were "looking for something more." Some people are just hard to please, I guess.

As for the one comment on the artistic quality of the images, I would say that the images seem to have been chosen for their quality as an exemplar for a particular function - polar bear's fur, butterfly's markings, bird's feathers, and so forth - and not for the composition of the image itself.

When I review a book or a product, I review it with my reader in mind. As such, I believe that my readers, and those with little experience scanning negatives or selecting a scanner on objective standards will enjoy this book. I stand by my recommendation.

Thanks for the comment,


Glennsp said...

Oh, I would take your recommendation over the questionable (sometimes) reviews on Amazon any day