Your film archive has value as a source of income, a portfolio of your work, and as a historic and personal record. How to digitize your archive is often a source of confusion and misinformation. In this webinar event, the experts at Digital Silver Imaging visit a variety of ways to digitize your archive.
- Scanning, drum scans, and direct image capture
- Scanning/image capture do’s and don’ts
- File format choices
- Digital file storage
- Archival considerations
- Question and answer
Andrea Zocchi: That was great.
Scott Nidermaier: Awesome. PhotoWings.
Andrea Zocchi: Yeah, PhotoWings is a terrific organization. And so a VII, and The VII Photo Agency and The VII Insider Series has been really terrific. I’ve watched many of these videos, webinars. So we have a lot to cover. So why don’t we just get going, Scott. But before we go, I want to say that we’re going to do a presentation and then we’re going to have a question and answer session. If you have questions, and I’m sure they’ll come up during the q&a, too, just put them in the q&a at the bottom of your zoom screen. I assume everyone knows how to do that. You just click on q&a, and then you enter them there. I’ll try to answer q&a questions as Scott presents as we go along. But we might have to save some for the end.
I also want to let everybody know that we’re going to have a raffle. So we’re going to raffle off three free captures on our DSI instant digitization system, which Scott will show you about it’s 150-megapixel capture. They’re truly amazing. And so we’re going to do that as well. So without further ado, I want to introduce Digital Silver Imaging’s Digitization Specialist and Capture One Expert, Scott Nidermaier so why don’t you take it away, Scott.
Scott Nidermaier: Hey, good morning, everybody. Thank you so much for letting me be here with you. Thank you for taking the time this morning to come and join us. I am thrilled to be here with The VII Agency and speaking to you guys, so I appreciate that. I appreciate your time. Thank you. Like Eric, like Andre said. I called you Eric. Sorry, Andrea. Oh my god, I’m never gonna live that one down. That’s that. Now see, now I owe him a cocktail.
But I’m the Image Archive Specialist and Capture One Expert. We are not going to cover Capture One today. If you guys look at The VII Agency, we have another webinar coming up on June 3, I believe specifically on Capture One and digitizing your archive. So definitely, you know, tune back in for that come and join us again. And I’ll be going through Capture One fairly extensively that we can get done in that amount of time and going kind of from start to finish workflow. So that’ll be pretty exciting. Again, that’s coming up June 3, I believe. So definitely join that.
A couple of things, you know, housekeeping. I’m going to do a PowerPoint presentation, ask questions. I’m going to be talking about our service and what we do with our digital instant image capture. And then the relative you know, nature of how scanning has changed over the course of the last several years as technology has changed. And what we at DSI are doing to utilize this wonderful new technology and work to bring it to you guys, the photographers. So that’s what we’re going to cover. I am going to hit on some other scanning solutions. But I’m not going to go into a lot of in-depth about other things like flatbed scanners and the Nikon 9000 and stuff like that. Really just gonna kind of highlight those, and then talk about ours.
So let me get started on my PowerPoint presentation. I’m trying really hard to slow myself down. So Andre, if I get going fast, just let me know. I tell my students this I teach University as well at The College of Southern Nevada. And I’m super ADD and I get really excited and I start to go fast. And so then it’s okay for people to be like whoa, slow down, step back. Let’s do that again. It’s just cuz I’m excited about this. I like to go. So I’m gonna go ahead and share my screen here. Let me get that going. Share Screen. Wrong button. And then I’m gonna go PowerPoint. Share.
Andrea Zocchi: Looks good Scott.
Scott Nidermaier: You’re seeing it there?
Andrea Zocchi: Yep, looks great.
Scott Nidermaier: Awesome. I just want to pull it back up so I can see you guys and see the chat. Alright, so when I’m looking to the side, it’s because I’m looking at my screen and I’m gonna look back at you. And that’s not because I’m ignoring you. I’m here for you. Digitizing your film archive. What we’re going to cover: capturing, scanning methods and choices. Best practices, I’m going to highlight some best practices and things for you to consider. File format choices and this is really key because, you know, I think everybody that we’re working here we’re working with here today is a working professional, is a photographer that has an acute knowledge of files and systems. I put that one in there. Sometimes I’m having conversations with people, and they’re like, well aren’t JPEGs just the best? No, right? They’re not just the best. So I just like to highlight that. Some of this information, I’m sure you guys already know. I’m positive you guys already know this. It’s always good to hear it a second time. It’s always good to reiterate and go oh, yeah, that’s right. Let’s stick that back in my brain and remember that for future use. I’m going to highlight storage and archive considerations. And then of course, cost. What is the cost of all of this? What is the cost of archiving your collection?
And the biggest thing that I want to stress to you guys, the biggest thing, please, we all have film. I was just talking to these guys before we got started. I was shooting film at my daughter’s college graduation, and I broke my Hasselblad back. And I’m very sad about that. Because now I have to wait to get it repaired before I can shoot more. Boxes of film, we have boxes of film. We like shooting film. There’s something magnificent. There’s something elegant about it. There’s something historic. But if it’s just sitting on the shelf and doing nothing for you, it’s not useful. It’s just film in a box. Right? Click on the next screen here. There we go.
The importance of archiving, right? Monetary value. What is the monetary value? This is an image of myself with the great Elliot Erwitt. Recently, we just completed archiving his collection in New York City, it was the best of Elliott Irwin’s work. It wasn’t every piece of film he’s ever shot because any human being who takes on that task will be there for about five years, working 365 days a year, seven days a week. The man just lived with a camera in his hand. And it’s just, it’s amazing. Like, just everything, he shot everything. So we were there working on just the best of. We did about 3500 images. It took me around 19 days to complete the task. And that’s, you know, working at a pretty quick clip. But it was amazing. Elliot came into the studio. He was you know, he was very intrigued by the whole process. He sat, he watched, you know, he watched us work, he asked questions. The man’s got a mind like a steel trap. And we were pulling up an image. I don’t know if you can see it there. But it’s an image of his granddaughter that’s up on the screen. And he knew immediately when he captured the image and what was going on. And you know, he’s looking at the image on the screen. He goes, “Well, it’s flat.” I’m like, “Well, of course, it’s flat, it’s digital. Let me tweak it and show you.” And then as soon as we tweaked it and Capture One a little bit, he was like, “Okay, that looks good.” Go ahead, you know, I got the approval. Go ahead. That was pretty cool.
Click on the next one. The importance of digitizing your archive, monetary value. Now for you know, Elliott, the monetary value, you know, on this first screen here, we talked about the monetary value, click back to it. The monetary value means that your work has value. Elliot has made a career and made a living over selling books and selling images, selling prints. There are a lot of you out there, this is what you do for a living. Your film, your images have monetary value. And like I said, if it’s just a box of film on the shelf, it’s not doing any good for you. It’s not doing anything. You know, by getting it into a digital format, by taking that step to digitize it. Now all of a sudden, it has utility, and the utility, you know plays to the monetary value. If it’s sitting on my shelf, and I and I go, “Oh, there’s film over there. That’s neat. I remember when I shot that.” Again, it does nothing.
But by giving it utility now all of a sudden, I can take it into Photoshop. I can start to tweak it. I can start to make different art pieces if I’m a multimedia artist. If I want to try some new experiment. Let’s say I want to make a book. I mean, we’ve just had a year of the pandemic, you know, we can make that year just go away. I was saying we should just call it a mulligan. It’s a bad golf stroke. Let’s you know, just let’s try again, let’s re-tee the ball. Here we go. You know, and you’ve had that year to reflect on, you know, all of the time in the past that you were out adventuring, and traveling and shooting. And now the sudden you have these images, you can give it that utility and you can really do something with it. You can create a book, you can create a story, you can find that use from your film.
And then there’s legacy. And I know I’m moving pretty quick. I want to leave time for questions. Definitely, Andrea, interrupt me if there’s something that’s urgent, you know, go ahead and jump in there. Legacy and this in particular is my grandmother’s journals. My grandmother was a schoolteacher in Montana. I’m a fourth-generation Montanan. And she journaled incessantly, like she wrote down everything, you know, life story, stories, poetry, stuff like that. And, you know, this material was sitting in my uncle’s garage in a box. And I found out about it via my mom, and I, you know, I call it my uncle, an older gentleman in California, and I said, “Hey, Uncle, you know, I’d like to digitize that. I’d like to make it available to the family. I’d like to take this family archive, this important piece of our history and make it into a format that can be shared with everyone in the family, not just sitting in a box in place.” And I think that a lot of you guys probably have stuff like that out there.
So you know, those are the things I really want you to consider like “Why would I archive? Why would I digitize my collection?” Well, A. It has value, you can make money on it. B. You’re giving it utility, you’re being able to do something with it, rather than just sitting there doing nothing, you know. And C. You’ve got that legacy. Now all of a sudden, you can get it into a format, to where you can share it with people. You can send files to people. You can go, “Hey, you know, this is this really great, you know, picture that I shot, you know, 20 years ago, and I’m, I just really loved it. It made me think about you and I just wanted to, you know, send an email to you.” You know that that picture on the right there is my grandfather, my mom’s dad when he was a kid making soapbox, you know, cars in Bozeman, Montana.
Now, there are lots of different ways to scan, there’s the low-res options, there’s tons of low-res things you can buy on Amazon, or, you know, B&H or your favorite camera store. There are low-res options out there, but really, for any working professional for anybody who’s a photographer that, you know, makes money that makes money on their collection, you need a higher-res option. And you know, just a highlight on these, you know, you have the Epson V 850, which is the current kind of go-to flatbed scanner, it’s like $1,400 bucks, right? That is an option, then you have the Imacon or the Hasselblad scanners there on the right. And you know, for a long time, like that was the scanner that kind of everybody went to. It was still very expensive, but it was affordable enough, right. And it gave you a much better file than you could get out of those flatbed scanners. It was a much better file than you could get because it actually was what we call a virtual drum scanner. And then it had a light source and it would bend the film, you know, kind of the same as drums gonna do. It bends the film and scans line by line, so you got a much higher resolution. And then you have the film toaster there. And then, of course, the Nikon 9000, which a lot of people still use and love.
The problem with the two on the right with the Imacon and the Nikon is those are legacy items. A lot of them are still running scuzzy. In as far as the Hasselblad goes, they discontinued it in 2019, you can’t get parts. I was speaking to a friend of mine, who teaches at a university in Georgia. And they have 20 or 30 of these sitting in the lab for students to use. And I, you know, I was just like, “Hey, man, what are you going to do now that Hasselblad has discontinued these?” He goes, “Oh, I bought boxes of parts.” He goes, “I should have enough parts to keep these going for another three years.” And then what? And then what happens with technology? With Apple, who constantly updates us, right? They’re updating the OS, they’re updating that technology. Now, all of a sudden, these older scanning systems, it’s a lot harder to make them work with the new operating system and technologies. So that’s just something to consider that if you have the system, and if you’re using it, yes, they are very good. But they’re going to start to go away, they’re going to start to fade away unless you have a dedicated system.
I had an Imacon P II. Left it with a friend of mine in New York named Anthony Festa, at Foto Care. And I had to have a dedicated computer to run it. It was a dedicated Sawtooth Mac that was running OS 9 still. It was crazy. And that’s just not fun trying to keep that thing alive.
Then, of course, when we go into the professional level of scanning, we have the Heidelberg and drum scans are still really very relevant. They’re, they’re a relevant scanning system, you can get some very, very, very good scans out of a drum scanner. The few caveats of any drum scanner, this is just an image I pulled off the internet, interweb you know what I mean? It looks like it’s sitting on a pallet being shipped somewhere. But the few things to consider with a drum scanner is number one, it’s a wet mount, which means that you know, to those you in the know, okay, I’m repeating this, but for those who don’t, they’re putting a liquid on the film and then mounting it to that acetate tube that then ramps up and spins at a very high rate. And there’s a couple of things there. Number one, you’re adding a foreign substance to your film, which is never really a good thing. Like we want to avoid that as much as possible. As archival as we think film is. It’s not, it’s really not that archival. It can break down. It can get damaged.
I myself, I know I in a previous presentation, I threw myself under the bus with the story. When I was a young tech in New York City, I was working for a lab in New York City and they threw me on the drum scanner showed me how to do it, and said “Go to town.” And I had a photographer bring in his eight-by-ten sheet of film, and I mounted it up to the drum scanner and I ramped that sucker up to do a scan. I didn’t tape it down correctly, and I obliterated the film. I turned it into confetti. Um, yeah. And then I had to call the photographer. And, you know, I believe in owning my mistakes and let him know that I just completely obliterated your piece of film. I thought my career was over. That was one of those career-ending moments in New York City. Like you’re done. You’re never going to work in this town again. The reality was he’s just like, “Yeah, I gave you a dupe. I’d never give you original film.” Thank you, Father. Right? But yeah, that I wasn’t living long on that drum scanner. You have to be very…
Andrea Zocchi: Isn’t that the reason too, Scott? Just to jump in.
Scott Nidermaier: What’s that?
Andrea Zocchi: Isn’t that the reason too that drum scans are not FADGI compliant, you know, the Library of Congress digitization compliance just because of all the handling and the wet mount?
Scott Nidermaier: Correct. Because of the foreign substance going onto film going onto your product and because you’re ramping that thing up at a speed and there is a higher risk of damaging the film. And that doesn’t mean that every drum scan out there is going to damage your film. Library of Congress, in particular, has created a federal agency guideline for digitization called FADGI. Google it. There’s a whole list of things that go into it. It’s not just the resolution of the system, the PPI of the lens, the resolving power of the lens, there’s all of the other things that go into it. And drum scan doesn’t meet any of those FADGI standards. Now can you get a good scan from a drum scan? Yes. But you also have all of those risks involved.
For us at DSI, we saw the need for still scanning for offering the scanning service, getting stuff digital so that people can get it into a format that can print. And we purchased the Phase One system. And it’s a, it’s a gigantic copy stand just like it looks, but it meets those FADGI standards. It’s a clean environment. It’s a dry environment. No foreign substate touches your film. We use an air duster. I normally have one on my desk. I think one of my kids stole it because they like to play with it. You know, you sit there and air dust the film off. White glove everything. That’s the whole thing with the scanning solution that we’re utilizing is that it has 151-megapixel digital back at it’s at its core, which I keep this stuff written down. I have it relatively memorized, but I keep it written down.
For my pixel peepers out there in the world that’s 14,204-by-10,652 pixels. So that’s our pixel dimensions on the inside of that sensor. So that’s giving you a really high resolution in a very clean and safe environment. And we can do it very quickly.
There’s Eric smiling at us. Eric was going to be here with us today. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it. So it’s just Andrea and I. You got us. You got the A team right here. And this is a video we created so I’d like to share that with you. Tell me if you can hear the sound make sure we can hear the sound.
Andrea Zocchi: It’s not very loud, Scott.
Scott Nidermaier’s Video: Quality, flexibility and accessibility event archive digital silver imaging,
Scott Nidermaier: How about that?
Scott Nidermaier’s Video: Digital Silver Imaging Archive Service delivers drums
Andrea Zocchi: Still not very loud. I don’t know if we can get it louder somehow, but.
Scott Nidermaier’s Video: Our service can handle anything format as well as flat prints and artwork up to 20-by-24 inches. Your film is loaded into precision-made metal holders, no oil or fluid mounting is required. At the heart of the instant image, capture service is a Phase One digital camera. The Phase One produces a best-in-class 150-megapixel capture. But a high resolution isn’t the whole story. Our system uses specially designed flat field lenses, and a series of extension tubes for proper magnification and consistent edge-to-edge sharpness.
Once the appropriate lens is mounted, the system is laser-aligned to ensure that the image sensor is parallel to the precision machined base. Lens cast calibration is used to guarantee even lighting with every length and extension to combination. The lighting we use is rated at 98 out of 100 points on the Photo Quality Index, and our touchless negative holders and archival practices make our instant image capture service compliant with the Library of Congress’s FADGI guidelines. This is a claim that cannot be made by drum scanning, or other legacy digitization method.
Amazing digital hardware needs equally amazing software and skilled technicians to process the digital files. To accomplish this task, we use the Capture One Cultural Heritage software application. A significant obstacle in the digitization process of color materials such as Kodachrome and C-41 negatives is the conversion. These processes require specialized knowledge, practical hand and a large array of custom-built profiles.
We bring knowledge and experience to creating superior digital captures of all film types, photographs, and flat artwork. Our philosophy is that every client’s needs are different, and we craft a solution to meet those needs. Our instant image capture service is ideal for photographic prints and flat artwork up to 20-by-24 inches. We start with a custom color profile for each piece of artwork using an x-ray color target. With large files, color accuracy and 16-bit reproduction required our service is unmatched. Our instant color capture service is fast and affordably priced consistently lower than most quality art reproduction services.
Once digitized, we can also make fine-art inkjet prints, also known as Giclée prints. At Digital Silver Imaging, we can also mount mat and frame your fine-art reproductions. To discuss your digitization needs, please contact us at [email protected] or by phone at 617-489-0035. Digital Silver Imaging: fine art printers, mounting, matting and framing services, digitization and print deliveries worldwide. Digital Silver Imaging: The fine art of printing in a digital world.
Scott Nidermaier: Yay, video! Oh, it wanted to go again. That video had so much fun playing it wanted to play a second time. I’m sorry about the sound if you guys couldn’t hear it, let me just highlight a couple of points. A. We’re using 151 megapixels. We can do film 35, two and a quarter, 6/17, 4/5, 8-by-10. We can do flat art up to 20-by-24. And we do work very hard to meet those Library of Congress standards, those FADGI standards. So we’re really approaching this from an archival standpoint. And from an archival standpoint, that means that you know, again, we’re going back to that first couple of slides with utility, right? You’re giving that digital file longevity. The question is often asked like, “Well, really, what’s the difference between these different scanning systems besides just the resolution?” Of course, we all know, the higher the resolution, the more latitude you have with a file, right? The more capability you have playing with that file and post-processing and pushing it and pulling it.
We’ve got a couple of examples here, where we have the Imacon. I got a thing that popped up that said setup professional audio settings, I’m gonna just make that go away. Maybe want to make that go away. I’ll just leave it alone. If you guys can’t see it, I’ll ignore it.
Here we have the Imacon versus a phase. And this is just a piece of film from a five-piece of film, we ran it through the Imacon straight up, you know out of the gates. And then we ran it through the phase one system straight up out of the gates. And you can see very quickly the dynamic range and the capability of that 151-megapixel sensor to pull in that data to pull in all of the, you know, that dynamic range, which is really key. Here we have a 35-millimeter chrome again on the Imacon versus the phase. Now, something to highlight on the virtual drum scanners or the drum scanners is if you have a chrome if you have a 35-millimeter slide, it has to be unmounted from its carrier, in order to be mounted in the holder of the Imacon to flex as it goes over that virtual drum or to be mounted on the acetate tube of the drum scanner. The beauty of this system is it can stay within that 35 carrier. It can stay within that slide carrier, which a lot of times you guys as photographers have information on there, you have information, your copyright information, you know, data details, like different, you know, different things printed on that slide, you know, that slide holder. And when we slide that into our carrier, we can actually capture that outside frame, we can get the image itself as well as the outside frame that gives you that data for reference or for the archive.
Um, I don’t know how many people have been traveling as of late given the last year, I’ve had the fortune to travel a little bit. And on my way through the Atlanta airport, it was great. I was going into the Delta sky lounge and they had all of these images on the wall from local Atlanta photographers. And there was a series of images that were 35-millimeter chromes. And rather than just the image itself, it was the whole slide. And it had the information on the slide and that artist chose to use that as part of that art piece. And I thought that was really neat. I saw that I was just like, oh, wow, you know, look, they have the whole image capture. If anybody’s traveling you’re a Delta person go through the sky lounge and you’ll see them hanging there on the wall. It’s pretty neat.
And then we have a drum scan versus the phase. And I mean at first glance, okay, you know, again, the phase has a little bit more dynamic range straight out of the gates and we have that information in the file. But the real caveat comes to when we start to zoom to 100%. Because we always judge color and sharpness at 100%. Now, if you guys are scanning yourselves, if you guys are digitizing yourselves, that’s awesome, I encourage you to keep doing it. Like I said, it’s so important for the film to have utility, it’s so important for it not just to sit on the shelf, and, and exists, you know, in nowhere man land doing nothing for you, you know. Get that box off the shelf, get to work on digitizing it, have us digitize it, you know, either way, it’s important that at least you’re doing something with it.
When we look at a drum scan versus a phase one, we’re really looking at that edge sharpness, and that those shadow details and we can see on the image very clearly here, how the phase has little better shadow details, there’s more information in that shadow. And that also because that 151-megapixels, and we’re working in a raw format. Now, remember, we were talking about formats there in the beginning. A lot of times when you come up with another scanner, it’s going to give it to you in either JPEG or TIFF format. That’s what you’re delivered. The beauty of working in raw, as you all know, is that we have open-ended latitude over what we can do with that file. If you’re within a TIFF format, so you get a scan made and you’re within a TIFF format, you’ve already stuck that file within bookends. And yes, you can do editing in Photoshop, and you have some latitude, but it’s still existing very much within those bookends.
The beauty of a raw is that it’s open-ended, right. And all of a sudden, we have flexibility, and we have more latitude with that file before we enclose it in those bookends. And that’s the whole point to working with a system like this is that we get a digital capture, we get an image scan, we get a raw file of that piece of film, and then we have latitude. We give you the latitude, if you want the raw files delivered, I will hand the raw files over to you, you know. And then you have that flexibility with the file in order to really make it what you want in order to really make it what the vision that you had in your head when you created the image.
Now, something to keep in mind, this is a piece of film where the silver gelatins are separating, or the silver halides are separating from the gelatin layer. And I ran into a batch of film that had this going on. And I, you know, I was just like, “Whoa, I thought the film had this huge shelf life.” And in the reality is that it doesn’t. If it’s not stored correctly if it wasn’t fixed correctly, like if kind of all of these elements weren’t done in the right in the beginning, you know, it can start to break down. If it’s not stored in a good airtight environment and moisture gets to it, it will cause the film to break down. And this is one of those instances there are several. And if you do a little Google research on film breaking down, you’d be amazed at the information that you find as the film breaks down. So that’s a little scary, because if you’ve got this great legacy of work, and it’s living on a box, how do you know if it’s not breaking down? If you’re not sitting there looking at it, if you’re not pulling out of the box and going, “Oh man, I should really get this digitized.” Because the number one archival thing is a print, believe it or not. It’s more archival than the film itself.
Film has a lot of chemistry going on a good print made correctly stored correctly will have a lot longer shelf life, I think the estimate is 100 years, 100 years plus. I mean, we’re seeing I mean, look at all the wonderful go to the museum and look at all the wonderful prints hanging on the wall that were made, you know, 100 plus years ago, and how we can still appreciate them and we can still enjoy them. You know, let’s go back to the infancy and the roots of silver gelatin film, how much silver gelatin film permits infancy, you know, are we still seeing out there? Not a lot, because it starts to degrade, it starts to break down. And so that’s something to really keep in mind. You know the importance and the value of digitizing your archives.
Now, for us at DSI, I’m going to highlight us because that’s what I’m here to do, right. I’m here to encourage you to archive your collection. I’m here to encourage you to please take that film off your shelf and do something with it. If you’d like I said, if you’re doing yourself that’s awesome. Keep up the good work. If you’d like to give us a try. Give us a shot. We have a pelican vault case that’s customized for the film you can see the carriers living in there, you will send it to you you load your film into it, send it back to the lab and Belmont, Mass. We’ll digitize the archive, load the film up and send it back. Just want to highlight if you have over 50 scans if you have over 50 images that you want digitized, we’ll pay for shipping both ways. DSI will cover the shipping costs of both sending the case to you, returning it, sending the film back and getting the case back like we’ll entirely cover the cost of the bolt case to send it and retrieve it. You know that’s how much we believe in what we’re doing. And we’re also offering a really great value, you know for digitizing your film.
The next most exciting thing. This is my job in life. This is my beast. I haven’t given it a name yet. But DSI is the first to market in creating a custom van. We purchased a Dodge Ram. It’s black it looks just like this. That’s not my van but it looks just like that and completely custom-built it on the inside with a mobile archive solution. We’re the first ones in the United States to do this. Nobody has done this yet. And you know, with a pandemic happening and the world the way that it happened in the last year, you know, there was a conversation that said, “How can we continue to bring service to customers?” And that’s when Eric and Andrea came up with this crazy idea, I would like to say I came up with the idea I didn’t, I’m going to give credit where credit is due. Eric and Andre came up with this idea to build out a custom van, put this mobile archive solution in it. And we can come to you. The van is customized and tricked out. It has a computer and a scanning station 151-megapixel back. It has lithium-ion batteries in it. So I can run completely off-grid, I have generators, so I can run off-grid on fuel. And then I can also tap into shore power. So this is a mobile archive solution that can go anywhere in the United States. If you’ve got a collection, you’ve got a collection of film that is important and valuable, you don’t want to ship it, give me a call, we can give you a quote on what it would cost for me to hop in the van drive to you and archive your collection on site. I’m really excited about that because I like traveling and being on the road. So now I get to see the country and archive people’s collections, there isn’t much cooler than that, I think.
Some storage considerations that I want you to consider. You know, once you have your archive, once you have your collection archive to keep my train of thought going here, once you have that, that work digitized, you have to consider storage solutions. Now many of us are, you know, guilty of just having hard drives on hand. Right, I have my Gtex which are great hard drives. And then let’s see here, I have my Lacies, which I ran forever when I was a Digitech. And these are kind of big, and now the world is advancing forward. And we’re utilizing little Samsungs or little Sanddisks. Um, you know, just dumping it on a hard drive, that’s a solution. That’s, you know, it’s a good enough solution, get it stored, get it backed up, have it live on multiple hard drives. Now, those of us that are working professionals probably have a RAID in place, I have a RAID sitting right behind my computer so that I can, you know, either RAID zero, I can just copy data to hard drives, I can RAID five, I can RAID tenant. Of course, that is a much more secure solution.
You know, but the beauty of where we are with technology, especially in the last couple of years is that cloud solutions are becoming much more viable. Now there are lots of cloud options out there, they tend to be very slow. At the bottom there, I’m highlighting Drawbridge Digital. We’ll have another webinar coming up with the good folks at Drawbridge. They’ve created a solution that is a cloud-based as well as a hardware-based solution. So you can archive to your hardware, and then it also archives to a cloud. And it happens I wouldn’t say in real-time. But damn near real-time. It happens very, very quickly.
Andrea Zocchi: Scott, I just want to chime something in here
Scott Nidermaier: Yeah, please do.
Andrea Zocchi: That Drawbridge webinar is not a VII insider webinar. That’s a Digital Silver Imaging webinar. So I just want to make that distinction. But you’re more than welcome to it’s a free webinar. So but I don’t want to I don’t want to impinge on the VII on VII’s time here. So.
Scott Nidermaier: Absolutely. Thanks for calling me out.
Andrea Zocchi: Yeah, that’s all right.
Scott Nidermaier: Didn’t I do that the other day when I called you out on the date that the webinar was supposed to be?
Andrea Zocchi: Yeah, you did, so this is just payback.
Scott Nidermaier: It’s alright. We work together, it’s a two-way street. We’re okay with that. Um, so as far as storage solutions have a storage solution available, whether it’s just backing up to multiple hard drives, your RAID system, or finding and utilizing a cloud system.
To kind of wrap up here, a couple of things I want you to consider best practices. Know the native resolution of your scanner, know, the native resolution of your scanner, and this should go without saying for photographers in general, like what is the resolution of your camera? And that resolution, you know, there’s a reason that we’re all gear junkies. And, you know, as these manufacturers come out with higher and higher-res systems, we jump in on the board, and you know, “Ooo I want that.” It’s 100-megapixels, it’s 150-megapixels, what’s going to happen when they come out with 200-megapixels? You know, how many people are gonna jump on that?
It’s the same thing with your scanner, know the resolution of it, If you’re working with your own scanning system, have that in mind. And I highlight that because you don’t want to up-res. You look at the advertising for any of these scanning systems, you know, you go to your favorite camera shop’s website, and you look at the advertising and it’ll say actual resolution, optical resolution, and then the interpolated resolution, you know. It’s 600 DPI, but I can give you 2400 DPI interpolated. And realistically, when you’re archiving your film collection when you’re digitizing your work, you want it at the native resolution, whatever the native resolution is because that’s not inferring any data that’s not adding data to it. It’s exactly specifically what is here, what this system is producing. And that’s really important is to know the resolution of your scanner. And don’t interpolate. Just go with what its native resolution is because that’s going to give you a longer archival shelf-life.
You always want to scan it full-res. I actually had a conversation this week with somebody and they were like, “Well, I just, I just need JPEGs, I just need really quick JPEGs.” And it’s like, “Well, okay, we can take the time and digitize those really quick JPEGs. But what’s the point?” What happens later on when you go, “Oh, man, that’s the image that I want to print, or this is the image that needs to go in the book. Now I need to put it through retouching.” You’re better off just scanning it at the maximum resolution, you can straight from the beginning. If you start high, you can always dial backward. If you start low, you have to redo and that’s time and energy for you. That’s a cost to you. And that’s really kind of pointless. I’m a big fan of just doing it right the first time, getting it as much as I can from the very beginning. And then I can always down-res, I can always process out to other resolutions, for my different formats for my Instagram, for my social media, for the website, you know, for that PDF booklet presentation that I’m sending to a potential customer or potential client. So definitely scan at the highest resolution.
Wear lint-free gloves. There’s nothing worse than grease, right, we get grease on our fingers, you get grease on your film, If you don’t clean that film before you put it away and then it sits in that glass scene and goes back on the shelf. When you go to pull it out of the last name next time, it’ll start to stick. Now, how many of you guys have experienced this, where it sticks to the glassine? And all sudden you have that that oil breakdown in the film. So wearing gloves is really really important.
Use a bubble duster, don’t use canned air. Canned air is great for like cleaning your keyboard, cleaning the outside of your camera. But again, it’s a chemistry-based solution. And you’re you know, you’re sitting there trying to clean your film and you’re doing this and you shake up that canned air and then all sudden it sprays that chemistry on your film. And that’s just risking damage. Again, foreign substrate going on to your film is bad. We don’t want that. We want it to be as clean as possible. If the film needs to be cleaned, use a very specific cleaner for film, really gently lint-free pack pads, right, give it a wipe, use that lint-free cleaner. And then of course wear those gloves.
Make sure you have secondary storage on hand. It is a common mistake, even… I worked as a Digitech for a lot of years in New York City. You know, and it was my job and my responsibility as a Digitech to ensure that the data was backed up and that it was living in the right places. And several times I would go on set and I’d go to work for various photographers and they’d show up with just their computer. And I would say “Well, where’s our backup hard drive?” And they’d go “I’ll take care of it later.” Until something happens, that’s a great solution until something happens. And if you’re archiving your collection, many of us are already in this habit, I just want to encourage it, I want to reiterate it. As soon as you get it archived, make a backup, make two backups, make three. I’m a three backup person sometimes four. Like I want it living in multiple places straight out of the beginning until I can get it onto that cloud server until I can get it onto that RAID, and then clear out the hard drive for my next job. Because realistically, it’s just ones and zeros. And if you make a mistake, if something happens, if you know, leave your hard drive sitting in a diner, if your assistant sets the camera bag behind the suburban and it gets run over. I did not do that. But I watched it happen. It was one of those moments like it’s a good thing, it’s insured, you know, but you just don’t want to take those risks, get it backed up.
For anybody who’s using a legacy scanner, either the Imacon or even the Epson scanners, you need to let that system warm-up. And I know I’m kind of like reading these off to you. But it’s just stuff that’s good to hear again. You need to let it warm up because it’s using a bulb and the bulb needs to have energy. Realistically, a lot of times it’s like the first scan that you get, I would throw it away and then do it again. Because that system warms up, it’s going to come up to temperature, it’s going to come up to speed and it’s going to give you better results. That’s really important to understand.
Capture with the maximum data in mind, adjusting posts for prints. You don’t want to be trying to adjust straight-on the fly for print. Get a clean capture, take it into Photoshop, and do what you need.
Calibrate your monitor. I’m sure you guys saw earlier there was a webinar on calibrating your monitor with an x-ray. That one is super important. So often more than not people are like “Yeah, I’ll get to it later. Yeah, I know my monitor’s a little off, but I’ll get to it later.” And that is the number one most critical thing. I mean, here I’m working on an ISO in the van I’m working on a Ben Q monitor that is hardware-calibrated, very specific for photographic files. And that’s something that gets calibrated once a week. Some people say once a month, I like to do it once a week, especially when I’m in a busy workflow. Because the more that that monitor that that system works, the more that that is burning, those fluorescence are burning there in the background those LEDs or however that monitor is manufactured. And so you just want to ensure that it is correctly calibrated so that what you’re seeing on screen is what is supposed to be there. And even if you let that slip a little bit and all of sudden it shifts one direction, it shifts a little magenta, it’s just a little yellow that’s gonna affect your overall product. And then you send it to print you get your print back and you’re like, “That’s not right. That’s not what I was looking at.” You hold it up compared to the monitor going, “Wait a minute, maybe I should recalibrate my monitor.” Right? So that’s really important.
Don’t up-res, please. We already talked about that. And don’t use canned air already hit on that.
A couple of frequently asked questions that I get asked a lot when I’m getting ready to do you know, jobs. And when people just email me and ask me questions, I’m a resource, I love to answer questions, I love to help people. “Should I cut my negs and unmount my slides?” Well, that depends. If you’re going into a virtual scanner or a drum scanner, yeah, you have to, you know, you have to trim those down, and you have to unmount them. If you’re going into a complete flatbed scanning solution or utilizing our system our instant image captured, no, you don’t need to unmount and I can do a strip. So if you saw the film holder in the video, we have two film holders, actually. One is a magnetic strip that lays down and just touches the edge of the film. The other is a, it’s similar, it just has clamps where you slide the film in, and then you throw those clamps down and it’s clamping on the edge of the film. So that we’re only touching that film on the very edges, and getting an absolutely clean capture. So I can do a strip of film up to up to six long. If it’s a full roll of filaments are full, you know, 24, 16, 36, whatever those need to be cut down. Same as you put into a glassine into a print file, right?
“Can I wet mount on a flatbed scanner?” Yes, you can. It’s messy. And the problem with wet mounting anything is the moment that you get one done, you have to clean everything before you do it again. It’s not like you wet mount at once, then you pick up the film, set it aside and drop another one on top. And so that slows down the process exponentially. It becomes a much longer process to mount and to clean and then to do it over again. Yes, you can wet mount on an Epson scanner, there are products available for that, it will give you a better result because it closes the air gap between the film and the scanning surface, but it’s very messy. If you mess up and you squish everything out, then you make a gigantic mess, you got to clean it, you run the risk of getting streaks. Unless you are a very dedicated and astute person, I would just avoid it. I mean, why bother with that? Why bother with that headache? You know, call me instead I’ll do the work.
“What monitors should I use?” Realistically, any monitor that is a monitor that you can calibrate. Now there are lots of options out there. The $100, you know, $120 monitor from Walmart is not going to be the best thing ever, especially when working with images. And we all know this, right? I mean, many of you are probably running BenQs, the NECs, the really good Dells, ISO monitors. You know, you get what you pay for. A monitor is very specific for viewing images. And for editing these images, it’s gonna it’s going to have a better refresh rate. And we’re going to get better results out of our images that we’re editing and scanning and stuff like that. So realistically, just do your homework. If anybody has questions, feel free to email me, I’ll share with you, you know my opinion. And that’s what it’s worth. It’s just my opinion on my work experience. Yes, calibrate your monitor.
“How long is this going to take?” If you’re working with us to do the instant image capture, we’re capturing it a 60th of a second. I can crank out 100, 200 pieces of film in a couple of hours, realistically. I was having a conversation with Mio who’s the studio manager at Elliot Hurwitz when we did that 3,500 piece collection. And we were sitting there having a cup of coffee and just chatting. And it’s like, let’s imagine now 3,500 pieces of film being drum scans, and it takes roughly an hour per image to scan it, that’s just to scan it, that’s to mount it up to run the scan to unmount. We’re looking at an hour per image. So 3,500 pieces of film, times 60 minutes per piece of film. That’s a considerable amount of time. And that’s a lot of energy. And that’s the beauty of, you know, the instant capture system is that the film gets loaded in once it’s focused and calibrated, and I do NLCC I can sit there and crank out pieces of film, as fast as the shutter is capturing. I load a piece of film in, make a capture, check it on the monitor, I’m in focus, everything is clean, I don’t have any dust on it, if I do, I just “sh sh sh,” and then I recapture. I take the film out, I load the next one. I make a capture, look at it on the screen. We’re moving very, very quickly. So it’s really dependent upon the system that you’re using. Again, that’s the beauty of our system. That’s the beauty of what we’re doing is that it is very fast. It is very rapid.
How you deliver files and in what format that’s a conversation upfront. If you work with us, if you want the raw files, I’ll deliver the raw files. A lot of photographers in particular and this is the beauty of working with photographers is they’re intelligent, creative people. They know how to work with their own raw files. And you know, we had a conversation about it in the beginning in the past everything was delivered TIFF, 16-bit high-res TIFF as flat as possible. If a customer doesn’t know what they want, if you don’t know what you want, that’s what you’re going to get. We’re going to give you a full-res TIFF. However, if, you know, you know the raw file, you have Capture One Pro you’re like “Yes, give me the raw files.” My job is just to scan the film and get you a really clean capture. And then you can take that into Capture One post-process it, take it into Photoshop and post-process it. So really, that’s a conversation upfront.
Archiving is a little overwhelming. Again, I had another conversation with someone this week and it was just like “Oh my god. I got this got all this film, its legacy, its family, it has monetary value. But I don’t know where to begin.” We have a really great blog post that Andrea wrote up on, you know, the steps and things to consider. I just took the highlight of the four base steps, and I just wanted to say, “Make a schedule with deadlines.” Number one, if this is feeling overwhelming, because okay, “I’m excited. Now I’ve got this film, and I want to archive it, where do I start?” Number one, make a schedule. For those of you who are familiar with Parkinson’s Law, what is it work expands to fill the time allotted. That’s from The Economist in 1955. I read that in an article this morning, and I went, you know, “That’s perfect for my webinar today.” So I’m pilfering it for the webinar. Um, you know, work expands to fill the time allotted. If you give yourself a deadline, I am going to work on this, you know, for three days, and I’m going to get it all organized, and I’m going to choose the best work. You give yourself a deadline, you give yourself a work direction, and then you choose the best work you guys know your best work.
You know, as a photographer, as somebody who’s worked as a photographer, I understand that when you’re looking through, when you’re looking through the shutter, you’re looking through the lens, you’re looking through that camera, you know, whether you’re shooting an SLR, you’re shooting your Hasselblad. your Rolleiflux or you’re shooting digital. When you push the trigger, you know when you’ve got it, as you see it, you see it, and you capture it, and you know it and you feel it and you go, “I got it. That’s the one.” But then you shoot a couple more just in case, right, you get a couple more frames. But you know, when you got it, you know your best work. So that’s a great place to start. If you’re sitting there questioning yourself, like “I’ve got this legacy of film, where do I begin?” Start with your best work. Give yourself a timetable. This week I’m going to get this done. By Friday afternoon, I’m going to have 100 images that I want digitized. And then I’m gonna start with my best work, what are the ones that I am really proud of? What are the ones that I would love to send to my mom and have her hanging on the fridge? Now I just say that for the benefit of my mom, because she always goes back and watches these. But that’s kind of in my head like, what am I proud to share? You know, what, what have I sent to a magazine? What got published in an ad? What is something that is a piece of work that, you know, I’m really thrilled with? And I, you know, I want to utilize that, again, I want to take that piece of film and utilize it again.
Series and stories are the next thing that I want to look at, you know, my best work and then the next thing like, “Okay, I have my 25 best images that I think that I created in that year. And then what are the series? What are the stories?” A lot of those bodies work together. You know, it’s a nominal expense, really, just to take that kind of body of work, get it digitized, get it on the screen and start to play with layouts. You know, it’s a lot easier to play with layouts on the computer than it was in the olden days when you were staring at a light table with chrome’s and like doing this with them. And you guys know what I’m talking about? Right? “How am I going to make this look good together?” You don’t need to archive everything. Some people, of course, they’re gonna go “Yeah, I want the entire roll of film archived.” That’s awesome. Happy to do that for you. But realistically, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, again, just go backwards a little bit, choose your best work, choose a series and stories start there. Because chances are, once you get that, and you have that material, and you start looking at it on your computer screen, you’re gonna go “You know, what would work really well with this? You know, what would look good in this book? Hm? Where’s that image that I shot, you know, in 1992? Yeah, there it is. Okay, let’s digitize that one.” It will grow itself. And that’s something to keep in mind.
This is a great graphic that we just wanted to throw up there. You guys take a screengrab of it, you know, shift command four. This video will be available to watch later. And it’s just a comparison chart. You know, there’s always questions about like, “Well, how does your system compare? Well, what if I want to do this? What if I want to do that?” And so really take a good look at this because it’s a great comparison chart that Andrea drew up. When we pulled information there at the bottom DSLR Film digitization system refers to hardware devices utilizing a DSLR camera to digitize film. Prices determine high and low prices from three reputable professional labs across the country. As Andrea was pulling the sheet together, you know, little Google research, you go and you look at labs in the East Coast, you look at labs in the center of the country. And then you look at you know, labs and services on the Left Coast and try and draw an average number between those. And so all of the numbers that we put in there is an average number of pulled from multiple locations across the country. So it’s just a great resource to consider and to look at, please take a look at that.
Andrea Zocchi: Yeah, it’s also Scott. It’s also on our digitization page on our website. So…
Scott Nidermaier: Awesome.
Andrea Zocchi: It’s there as well.
Scott Nidermaier: Digitalsilverimaging.com go to digitization. And then just to wrap up as I’m you know, as I’m getting like 15 minutes in here, and I know I’ve been talking at you guys, I want to allow time to answer questions. So here’s the moment where you get to bring questions to me. You know, reach out to us with questions. I really want to be a resource. I am an educator as well. You know, in the past, I taught at Parsons in New York City. Like I said, I’m teaching at the College of Southern Nevada part-time, and I like sharing information. I like being a member of the community. I think that’s one of the beauties of the VII agency, right? Is what it is. It is a community of photographers. And I think that that’s so important. I think we’ve really learned that in this last year with the way that our world has shifted and changed. The way that our business has changed is that community has value. So I want to be a part of your community, I want to be a resource for you. Feel free to reach out to me, email me, call me. That’s my phone number there. It’s my cell phone, it goes to me. So you call that number you’ll get me. If I don’t answer leave me a voicemail. I’ll call you back. Yeah, and please check out Digital Silver Imaging, go to our website, look at our print service. You know, we offer some amazing for those of you that watch the other webinar on you know, our value print on our giclee prints, inkjet prints. And as well as our unique silver halide prints, where it’s an actual silver image print from a digital file, which is another reason to archive. Come on, take your film, get it digital, edit it in Photoshop, send it to us for prints, we’d love it. Questions?
Andrea Zocchi: Questions? We’ve got some questions. And I want to get into those. I also want to say that, you know, I want to announce the winner of our raffle.
Scott Nidermaier: Our random number generator.
Andrea Zocchi: Yep, I used the random number generator, and I sent that number off to Gianna, and she basically counted down in numeric order. And the winner is John Nelson. So John…
Scott Nidermaier: Congratulations John!
Andrea Zocchi: John won three free image captures from Digital Silver Imaging. And John, you can either reach me, Andrea, at digitalsilverimaging.com. I also have your email. So if you don’t hear from me, I will definitely reach out to you. So the only thing that we ask John is if you don’t, you know, if you don’t want to take advantage of this, you’re doing your own image capture scanning, just put a note in the chat, and we’ll pick the next person in line. So that’s our raffle winner. So but let’s get on to the questions. And let’s see. So, we have a question from Sian, who asks, “How do you deal with scratches and other defects on the film surface?”
Scott Nidermaier: So it depends on the system that you’re scanning with. Um, Nikon has a really awesome thing called Digital ICE, which was an amazing piece of technology. That’s one of the things that made that scanner great is that it had that ICE technology to map that out. Epson has a very similar technology, I don’t think so strong or as good as Nikon’s was. For any kind of wet mounting, the wet mounting tends to fill in those scratches just a little bit. For our system, it comes down to retouching. So we’re giving you the most information possible, no foreign substrates on the film, and then it gets retouched in Photoshop. So we’re giving you a super clean capture with no dust, any of those scratches or images will have to be restored in post-processing.
Andrea Zocchi: Great. So Mark said that we answered this question, but I kind of want to elaborate on it because I think it’s a really good question. So Mark said, “I’m planning to create digital contact sheets with my negatives, and outsource scanning of my high priority images.” Which I think is a really smart way of doing it. So he asked, “What resolution would you recommend the contact sheets be scanned at?”
Scott Nidermaier: Um, again, it goes on the system, if you’re doing a flatbed scanner, whatever the optical resolution is. Yeah, it’s going to be larger than you necessarily need for those contact sheets because really, you’re just using them as a reference point, but you can always downsize. And it’s kind of nice, you know, when we capture with ours, so that’s comparing like the Epson when we captured ours, we don’t down-res the files. We captured a full 151 megapixels. And then if you want JPEGs delivered will deliver JPEGs to you at 72, 150, or 300 DPI, whatever. It’s just processed out in Capture One, we have that flexibility. But it’s kind of nice when you take your contact sheet and it’s a little bit higher res. A. If you go to print that contact sheet. I did that myself where I took all of my contact sheets for my film. I scanned the contact sheet, converted it and then I attached it in my binder with my film sheets so I can look at the contact sheet and then open it up and then see. The other nice thing is that if I have it in a digital format, and I really want to zoom in on a file, let’s say I’m looking at the contact sheet and I go “You know what, let me pull this up on the computer.” I can zoom in much closer if I have the resolution in the file to see is that the image that I really want? Are the details there that I need for this project that I’m working on? So I would say you know if you’re doing it yourself, like on an Epson scanner, whatever. Whatever the optical resolution is, store that file you can always down-res it, you know, for processing or for whatever. Oops, I hit my, I slammed my mic here hopefully didn’t go “Wong!” on your guys’ end.
Andrea Zocchi: No. So I just want to keep moving Scott just because we’re running low on time and I want to keep going through these questions. I also wanted to mention that with our system, we can actually create a whole contact sheet for you. We can put the actual negative centerpiece of anti-noon glass and capture those all in one foul swoop if you don’t want to do it yourself. So I have two questions that are kind of along the same vein, which is, “How do I find out the native resolution of my flatbed scanner?” Because I know that they advertise a lot of people mentioned they advertise up to which is a lot of times an interpolated resolution. So is there any simple answer to that question?
Scott Nidermaier: Google is a great place to start. I mean, if you don’t have the box anymore, it’ll stay right on the box in the material.
Andrea Zocchi: On it will say usually say optical resolution.
Scott Nidermaier: Optical resolution, and then maximum resolution. Optical is going to be the native resolution of that scanner. A quick Google search, “What is the what is the optical resolution of my, you know, wherever scanning system you’re using?” I, you know, I don’t know on because a lot of times on Apple, if you go to the Apple and you go to System Preferences, and About I don’t know if on a flatbed scanner it’s listed there. I’m gonna have to look up to plug one in and look.
Andrea Zocchi: So John asked that I’m going to answer this question, Scott if you don’t mind. But “Do you need to calibrate your monitor for scanning black and white film? And if so why?” The answer is absolutely positive. And the response to that is, because when you calibrate you’re not only calibrating for color, but you’re calibrating for contrast. So, you know, if you have a super-contrasty monitor, especially like a laptop, or something like that, or an iMac, and you’re not calibrating, you’re really not getting a true idea of what you’re capturing. So it’s imperative that you do that. I also want to add that if you’re doing your own image capture scanning, you should be doing it in RGB, not in grayscale mode, because you’re getting much more information out of the film when you’re using all the channels. So…
Scott Nidermaier: Yeah, convert, convert after.
Andrea Zocchi: Convert after. And John also asked, “Will the PowerPoint be available after the webinar?” And I think we can make it available if anybody wants it. I would just send an email to Scott and Digital Silver Imaging, and he can send it on to you. That’s no problem do you think, Scott?
Scott Nidermaier: Yeah, no problem.
Andrea Zocchi: Let’s see. So oh, yeah. So John also asked, “How do you deal with scratches and damage from dust from processing the film?”
Scott Nidermaier: Post-processing. Photoshop.
Andrea Zocchi: Photoshop.
Scott Nidermaier: Doing that Photoshop restoration? I mean, that’s, that’s part of the challenge, is that you know, film can get damaged. Film does get damaged. And realistically, in the darkroom, you know, we’d get all kinds of creative with dodging and burning. And, you know, I mean, when I was a printer working on the Noritsu, in the egg machines, it was a little, little nose grease on the film. Terrible thing, but it would fill in those scratches and then I get a clean file. You know, the absolute no, no, but it worked. The beauty of digital is that now we can go into Photoshop. And we can use a heel brush and create a heel layer, little J brush in there. If it is super damaged, and you’re not comfortable, then it comes down to hiring a proper retoucher. Because there you know, there there are people out there that are so talented in Photoshop, they can fix that thing quickly.
Andrea Zocchi: Yeah, great. So let’s see, I love some of these. So Ellie asks, “How how long can a scanned photo be stored?” And I think that I actually, I’m going to plug the VII insider series again. Allison Nordstrom and Hillary, who I just forgot Hillary’s name, did an excellent three-part series on basically, on archives and storing, you know, archived collections. And a comment was made during that that said, there are two kinds of hard drives, hard drives that are about to fail and hard drives that have failed.
Scott Nidermaier: It’s not if it’s when.
Andrea Zocchi: So that’s why you always need to have multiple backups. But you know, given that the technology is supported, a scanned photo can last indefinitely. That image really shouldn’t degrade. I mean, it’s just ones and zeros. So. And I also love this too, when our participants basically give helpful hints. But Fawn says “On an iPhone, you can use for the film Lab App.” Which is a very cool app. I have to add that, “To take a photo of your contact sheet on a light table. It’s super quick and convenient for color negs, and it inverts them.” So that’s a good tip. It’s a good way to get through your archive quickly so you can decide which scans deserve to be high-res.
Scott Nidermaier: What’s that called?
Andrea Zocchi: It’s called film lab.
Scott Nidermaier: I don’t know if I’ve ever played with it.
Andrea Zocchi: Yeah, it’s a cool app. I think it was started through crowdsourcing through a Kickstarter campaign.
Scott Nidermaier: Totally going to check that out.
Andrea Zocchi: So CeeCee asked, “Is PNG, considered as raw?”
Scott Nidermaier: PNG, or a DNG?
Andrea Zocchi: So it’s I think, I think CeeCee said “PNG,” but I think DNG may have been what was meant.
Scott Nidermaier: DNG is an encapsulated raw that was created by Adobe several years ago with the anticipation that it would have shelflife as iterations of hardware and software changed. There are different schools of thought on the DNG as far as what it is. Realistically, it’s still whatever proprietary RAW file came out of that digital sensor, and then it’s put into a DNG format. It’s encapsulated raw. For my Leica shooters out there, they output DNG It’s built-in native to their sensor and their technology. I have opinions on it. I personally am not in love with DNG. I think that whatever your Camera RAW system is, just leave it alone leave it that. When we get into the capture one webinar coming up on June 3, I’ll go more into that. But realistically, as technology changes, as our computers and our operating system and our software changes, if you’ve just left your RAW file alone, you can take that RAW file from five years ago and process it in a modern version of the software, and you’re going to get better results. Because it’s the capability of the software reading those ones and zeros.
I think the thing that people don’t realize, I mean, the first digital file was created in 1953, 53 or 55. You know, way back when. So we’ve been working with this technology for quite a while now and it’s been developing and growing. And the biggest part about any digital file is the capability of the software to read it. The software is getting better and better and better. At a, you know, I would say at a really good rate. But it’s amazing how you can take a file from an older camera, you know, from a Canon 5D Mark I, reprocess it in the new version of the software. And you’ll actually get more detail out of the file. It’s kind of its kind of crazy. But.
Andrea Zocchi: So I think we have time for about one more question. And this one also comes from Sian and I don’t know the answer to this question, Scott. And I don’t know if you do so we might not be able to answer this question. And the question is, “Does it make sense to use one of these cameras with pixel shift?”
Scott Nidermaier: The you mean, like the Sony or the Hasselblad?
Andrea Zocchi: Sony? Yeah, I don’t know anything about.
Scott Nidermaier: Um, the um. Yes, they’re amazing. I’ll just say that. The Hasselblad has a cultural heritage camera themselves that uses pixel strips. So it’s a 100-megapixel sensor that then becomes 400-megapixels. It is one that is used in a few museums globally. The biggest thing with any system that uses pixels shift is ensuring that you are beyond stable. Your environment that you’re existing within, you know, that’s the problem with some of the older buildings in New York City or elsewhere in the world, is the floor can wobble a little somebody walks hard the floor wobbles. If you’re utilizing a pixel shift system, everything has to be super stable, because any movement at all is going to throw that off. Because it’s literally it’s happening internally, but it’s shifting pixels across the board and overlapping them. You can get some incredible results out of it, but make sure you’re stable.
Andrea Zocchi: Right. So uhm…
Scott Nidermaier: So it takes time, it’s not when you’re doing a pixel shift capture. It’s if you consider it in terms of a scan, it takes a few seconds to happen. So you go to capture an image like you say you’re happening at a 30th of a second, let’s just say it’s not happening at a 30th of a second, it’s happening over the course of three seconds, because it’s doing a 30th of a second, 30th of a second, 30th of a second, 30th of a second you know you following me? So it’s like everything has to be completely stable, that takes time in order to do that.
Andrea Zocchi: Right. So you need to really industrial kind of setup there.
Scott Nidermaier: Yes.
Andrea Zocchi: Right. So you need to really industrial kind of setup there. Yes. Make sure you have no camera movement whatsoever. And I also want to, you know, finally, give a final just commentary about Digital Silver Imaging, you know, we’re a fine art print lab and we’re doing this instant image capture service. So if you’re curious about that the instant image capture service, we give drum scan quality at a very affordable price in quantity, we can go sub $20 per capture. So, you know, especially if you have an archive that needs to be you know, a big archive or if you have a small archive, you know, or just five or 10 images. Please check in with us. We’re also a great addition to if you’re doing your own archiving and you want some really high drum scan quality digital files we can do that. And Scott’s available to talk to you just email him at [email protected]. That was also posted in the chat. And I want to thank VII Insider and John, especially for you know, for helping us out and hosting today and all the participants for hanging in there. We really appreciate it. And we appreciate VII and PhotoWings. So many thanks.
Scott Nidermaier: Awesome. Thank you so much for joining us guys. Thanks for letting us be a part of your day.