Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ScanCafe Takes a Dive!

Hey Gang,

UPS just dropped off my recent 35mm scans from ScanCafe. The scans were made from my most valuable underwater slides. (For 20 years, I photographed in most of the world's oceans; I even dived in Lake Baikal, Siberia.)

I popped the CD into my computer and true to form, the scans looked exactly like my slides – the good ones and even the ones that were poorly exposed. I'll blame those photo faux pas images on the nitrogen build-up in my brain :-)

Anyway, the image on the left brings back a great memory from Sting Ray City in Grand Cayman. But as you can see, the original slide is more than a stop underexposed. HDR to rescue.

"What?" you ask. "How did you created an HDR image from a 20-year-old slide?" Easy, in Photoshop, I went to Mode and changed the 8 bit image to a 16 bit image, and then used Photomatix to create a pseudo HDR image . . . in less time than it takes to make a safety stop before surfacing.

If you have some photographs that you or your parents took during the days of "Sea Hunt," don't lock them away in Davy Jones' locker. Send them to ScanCafe and set your sails for the creative horizons that await you in the digital darkroom.

Hey, if anyone out there would like to see more posts about underwater photography, give me the OK sign.

And speaking of HDR and ScanCafe, click here to win some free scans.

Explore the Light,
P.S. You can get a discount on Photomatix and other plug-ins on the Plug-in Experience.


Paul said...

Hi Rick,

I just got a bunch of scans back from ScanCafe - old family photos. They did a great job. Any flaws in the images were in the slides to begin with. Any tips for post-processing images with film grain in them? Would it be worthwhile to run filters like NoiseNinja or Dfine on them? I don't hate the grain, but I am curious to see what can be achieved with these old snapshots.


Paul St.Amand
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

Rick Sammon said...

Hi Paul

I like nik's Dfine.. does a good job of reducing the noise!


dusanmal said...

Suggestion for ScanCafe (if you like it and tell them, I doubt they'll listen to ordinary customer):
Offer "HDR scanning". 3 or 5 images intentionally scanned stops off the "ideal". User than can recombine them into "HDR" recovering some info film kept...

David said...

Is that 8->16 bit technique only going to work if you had your images scanned to TIFF? I was intending to scan a bunch of my old slides with their standard 3000 DPI JPEG scanning, not the TIFF. I'm not that fluent with Photoshop, so I wasn't sure.

David McCormick
Acton, MA

Rick Sammon said...

dusanmai.. yes! i do it all the time. as you can see, cool results!