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  1. #1
    Daniel Lawton's Avatar
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    Not really a darkroom question but...

    I didn't see a forum specific to this question so I thought I would ask it here. I was wondering what everyone's impression on the quality of scanned prints. I'd enjoy sending some prints to family members via e-mail and posting the occasional one on the internet but most of the time my scans look pretty bad compared to the actual print. After spending hours in the darkroom it would be nice to see something on my monitor that somewhat resembles the quality of the print itself. Does anyone have any tips or possibly a link that touches on the subject. I don't have photoshop or anything like it so I'm limited in that respect and my computer skills are average at best. I've seen some good looking scanned prints on this site so I know its possible.

  2. #2
    Robert Hall's Avatar
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    I have found it to be an entirely new skill out side of the darkroom to be able to get a print to resemble on screen what it looks like off, but only resemble.

    It takes a combination of hardware, software, and skill to get what you are looking for.
    Robert Hall
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    Technology is not a panacea. It alone will not move your art forward. Only through developing your own aesthetic - free from the tools that create it - can you find new dimension to your work.

  3. #3

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    When I have done this, I have had to make the image smaller: a scanned 20x30cm darkroom print, can make a good 12x18cm scanned and digitally printed version (300dpi). I have not tried with different sizes. Generally the contrast increases a little - but you can fix that in with software (scanner, PS or freeware). I am not skilled at this. I know people that scan their prints in order to upscale them, but I have not been able to do that just yet. For viewing on the screen, size should not matter (screen resolution is so low). I have set my monitor gamma to 2.5 - but I guess that depends on your monitor.

  4. #4
    rbarker's Avatar
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    I agree that scanning is a different skill set from creating the print in the first place. Additionally, there's the "social" issue of getting the image file down to a size that won't choke their inbox and that people will be willing to open - all while trying to preserve some sense of the quality of the image.

    There's a short article on my site that discribes the methods I use. You might find some of that info helpful.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
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  5. #5

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    I typically scan the negative... Warning: I am going to use a bad word... I photoshop to try to match what I printed in the darkroom... I'm not a master so I can't capture everything identically, but the scan quality is much better....

  6. #6
    Daniel Lawton's Avatar
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    Thanks for everyones help. Your link was helpful Ralph. I have a basic jist of it now but can't seem to get my flatbed scans large enough while not going over the filesize limit of Apug. I did as your link says and started out at 300 dpi for an output size of 11x14in and then downsized. Even when I try lowering the resolution, I can't get a decent size web display without going over 150Kb. Other scans on the site are large and have high resolution but I'm not able to achieve both and still stay within the upload requirements of APUG.

  7. #7
    roteague's Avatar
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    Here is an additional article: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/em.htm
    Robert M. Teague
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    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  8. #8
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Lawton
    Thanks for everyones help. Your link was helpful Ralph. I have a basic jist of it now but can't seem to get my flatbed scans large enough while not going over the filesize limit of Apug. I did as your link says and started out at 300 dpi for an output size of 11x14in and then downsized. Even when I try lowering the resolution, I can't get a decent size web display without going over 150Kb. Other scans on the site are large and have high resolution but I'm not able to achieve both and still stay within the upload requirements of APUG.
    For display here and on other fora, a size of around 500 pixels on the long side usually works well for most viewer's monitor settings. Assuming a 500x400 pixel image, and moderate JPEG compression, the file size should drop to 65-75KB, or so. If you're using Photoshop, the JPEG compression comes into play when you "Save as" JPEG, or "Save for Web". For most of my stuff, a setting of around 8 in the Photoshop JPEG window works well, retaining good image quality but with file sizes of the range I mentioned. If you're using some other image editor, the JPEG compression value may be different.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  9. #9
    Bruce Osgood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roteague
    Here is an additional article: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/em.htm
    I just (10 minutes ago) tried this site and my entire computer froze up. Nothing would work to get out of kenrockwell.com.

    Learn at your own risk.

    I hope no else experiences this.
    Bruce Osgood
    Chinese proverb
    "Print with #3.5 and burn with #1.5." B.J. Confucius
    [url]https://www.flickr.com/photos/128244094@N02/?/[url]

  10. #10
    clogz's Avatar
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    Bruce, are you sure this is not Free Icecream Day today?

    Hans
    Digital is best taken with a grain of silver.

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