How do you get your prints on-screen?
I hope that this is regarded as an "ok" topic here, rather than needing to be on DPUG, as I believe it is primarily specific to the use of darkroom wet prints - anyway, here goes...
How do you get a reasonable representation of your darkroom b/w wet prints digitised?
I ask this because I would like to share some prints in the gallery here but when I flatbed scan the prints there is a fair amount of work to be done on the file to make it look *similar* to the print and a degree of "blooming" is evident where a very light patch on the print meets a dark patch - results not good and a lot of *faffing* work!
Is there an easy way/easier way of digitising b/w prints?
Is there workflow techniques that may be helpful in this?
I understand the difficulties with having no control over the viewing screen i.e. colour management but would like what I post to be a fair representation of what was printed, without having to go through a lengthy and time consuming process tweaking the files!
Any thoughts, workflows, hints, helps etc will be gratefully received - p.m.'s welcome if one doesn't want to post about the digital side of life here.
Apologies if this is treading off-the-path for APUG, but I hope it will be seen in the light of promoting darkroom work in a digital forum. Please move post if required.
Flat beds (good ones) work fine, but, yes, it may take some work to make the scan look like the print.
Also, you'll have to become a subscriber to post in the galleries.
My scanner, just an old Epson, does a pretty good job of scanning prints. Sometimes I have to adjust the brightness or contrast, or even the color of toned prints to make them look like the print. I just make them as close as possible.
I don't think anyone will complain if it took a little PS to make it look it like the original.
It helps if both your scanner and monitor are calibrated.
I use an Epson V700 flatbed. It's tough to scan 16x20" prints, but I do that in four sections and then I stitch them together.
Since I don't own a digital camera this is what I do. It works, but scanning flat art sucks. It's so difficult to get it to look like the print, particularly toned ones are hard. You change something in the highlights and the mid-tones look all wonky all of a sudden. Often I will convert the scan to grayscale and then back to RGB and tone it digitally to look like the print.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
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It is probably worthwhile to pay some attention to the digital manipulations (e.g. curves, black point, white point) that work well for one print, and then try to replicate them on the next.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
It can be a lot of work to scan B/W prints, particularly fiber, but obtaining an adequate representation should not be difficult. I scan 8"x10" fine art "proofs" to fit on on simple flat bed scanners. These proofs are smaller fine art prints (my smallest normally being 11"x14"), printed after an edition is done, solely for the purpose of attaining a digitized representation. The work comes in repairing/healing multitudes of white specs made visible by the scanning process at high resolution. But there is almost never, to the best of my recollection, much need for anything but very small touches to the curves to get transmissive representations to be reasonable facsimiles of the actual reflective print. That is the result of scanning the basic truth of the finished print, not a managed negative.
Originally Posted by Sim2
I scan some of my smaller prints with a flatbed, but for larger ones, I shoot with a d!git@l camera. No matter how one goes about it, some tweaking is generally necessary. I think we all, or at least most of us, realize that images we post here or on our web sites are "representations" of the actual piece.
I mean, I know my prints look wa-a-a-ay better in person!
You don't scan PRINTS. You scan the negative or transparency and provide an accurate description of the media to which it is/will be printed.
That is usually quite sufficient for prospective clients. If more is required, visit them or have them visit you to view the work on the media it is printed to. Relying on scanners to do this for you is foolish and unrealistic — the representation in any shade of "accurate" is not going to come through.
First of all, if you are getting blooming, your scanner glass is probably dirty. Clean that first. The mirrors maybe dirty too. Look up a tutorial to clean them.
There are complicated ways to make scanning simple, but the simplest way to make scanning simple is to scan a target with the image. I use a Gretag mini color checker because I have one. Since the values on the target don't change, a few clicks with the eyedropper and a levels layer in Photoshop make it simple to color balance the image. I have sophisticated profiling software, but profiling doesn't account for drift, so I just use the target (which never changes).
Here is what a scan looks like.