Nathan Griffin Photographs

digital

San Antonio

The digital portion of my photography is from scanned slides. I do not work with a digital SLR camera. I do, however, own and use a small digicam, the Sony Cybershot DSC-W50. It is a great point and shoot camera to keep for those moments when I don't want to bother with the SLR.

I have a review for our old Nikon Coolpix 3200 that has since been retired.

Editing of the digital files I get from the scanner occurs in Photoshop CS2. I manage my digital files with Adobe Bride, mainly because it came free with Photoshop. I would prefer to move up to Apple Aperture when I upgrade to the full digital SLR.

I have found many easy tips for using Photoshop at the following web site:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/

This is a wonderful site for digital and film photography.

I have gained a few tricks and tools in my bag as far as photoshop operation. Learning Photoshop is a continual process. It is a beast of a program and I have learned some of these techniques over a wide variety of sources from other photography websites to books.

Generally, I take around the same approach for the post processing of most of my pictures. Listed below are some of the basic steps I take to prepare my digital photographs.

I begin with 16 bit digital files that are scanned from my Minolta Scan Elite 5400 as described on my scanning page.

The files that are output from the scanner have a black border around the edge from the slide holder or the edge of the film. I crop as close to this as I can to remove all the black at the edge. Select the crop icon from the tools menu. At the command line at the top of your screen is displayed width and height; if these are blank you can crop to any aspect ratio - this is what I start with. If you want to crop to a selected ratio, fill in the height and width to, say, 8" by 10" and the crop window will stick to this aspect ratio. I usually only crop the minimum at first and then move to color correction. The final cropping is done last and usually on a copied file to archive the original image.

NOTE - Before cropping, if the image needs to be rotated I will take care of this before I make any crop adjustments.

This step is counter productive and the only reason I do it is because I still work in Photoshop version 7. With version 7, you can't create adjustment layers (described in the next step) in 16 bit mode. To convert to 8 bit mode:

Image > Mode > 8 Bits / Channel.

Working in 16 bit mode is much preferred if your software allows it. I use adjustment layers so much I just can't justify using other methods just to hang onto 16 bit files. Remember that if you are using software that allows you to keep 16 bit and make all the adjustments necessary, then do that!

Using the Curves adjustment layer scared me to death when I first started using it. However, with some practice, I have found it to be very powerful. What Curves offers that the Color Balance command does not is the ability to carefully control your adjustments anywhere across the luminance values (from low to high) and not have to make an across the board change. This is very hard to explain and the best way to get the hang of what curves do is to open an image and start playing around.

I hope to be adding a detailed section on this technique in the future - for now, visit the following site for details on how to Edge Sharpen.

 

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