I'm not sure where to put this thread, so I just posted it here...
I see a number of contributors send in negative scans, instead of scanning prints. Can anyone provide a brief 'how to' on the process. I've got Photoshop 7 on the computer, but I've barely scratched the surface of its uses. Right now I'm just using it to scan and crop/resize.
It also appears that the negative scans are limited to b/w negs. Is there a reason for this?
Assuming the only reason you want to do this is to post to APUG galleries otherwise I wouldn't answer ;)
If your scanner has the ability to scan negs, the only real differences to scanning prints is the input setting (you need to pick what you're scanning, usually has options like Colour Positive, Colour Negative, B&W Negative, LineArt, Document, etc) and change the scan resolution to something suitable (higher for film, usually the native max of the scanner.. check the specs). Once you have it into PS, the usuall applies to get a file suitable for uploading.
There was a little debate about doing this in one thread, but since I do it I don't mind. You might want to get an opinion on something before heading to the darkroom.
My original intent was just to use the scan to examine my negatives, as I don't yet have a light box. But when I saw that others here were posting what appeared to be positive images from negative scans, I became curious.
From a practical sense, it affords you the opportunity to post up an image and have it critiqued before you have the image printed; thus saving money.
This would really be beneficial, if it can be done with color negatives, as prints from medium format negatives are running me $2.00 each...ouch!
It remains a matter of personal integrity to maintain only analog images posted on this site. I think the membership here are pretty much committed to this.
IMO it's a silly arguement. Scanning a print involves an interpretation of something as does the neg scan.
I scan negs the same way I would scan a print, only I usually don't grumble and frown as much when scanning a neg. I find there's less loss of detail when scanning a neg over a print. The neg scan seems to provide a more accurate representation of the image than scanning the print - without a lot of PS corrections. Though film tends to add a bit of a color cast (typcially an orange cast with the film I use). Cast or no cast I prefer the more accurate image over one that needs corrections in order to fully represent the image I shot.
Being that this isn't a competition it seems to make sense to get input before developing rather than after - unless of course you never rely on your own abilities and ask for input on every single image you decide to print.
I agree with Nige about getting an idea of what your neg looks like before heading into a darkroom. Scanning negs can be a helpful way of screening what you have before you spend time and $$ in the darkroom. But you have to know the capabilities and quirks of your scanner/monitor/printer as well.
What you see on your monitor is definitely not what you will get in silver. To get what you get on your monitor will sometimes require a lot of work, BUT the silver (and other wet process) prints are far more beautiful IMHO than any digital print that I've ever seen.