31 July, 2010
During the week I managed to get over to see Tim Parkin and have a look at his new Drum Scanner. My V700 is fine for everyday use but there are certain transparencies I have made that I can't come close to doing justice to in a flatbed scan.
Tim gave me the challenge of finding some transparencies that would really test the capabilities of his drum scanner.
I knew just the two to throw at it. The first is the most remarkable colour transparency I have seen - the 'rivers of light' image I made in the Yorkshire Dales a couple of years ago. I have never been able to come close to scanning it with accurate colour rendition. Tim managed it!
'Rivers of Light Re-Mastered'
He used the projected transparency to balance the colours very precisely, though the file straight out of the scanner was pretty close. The detail and range of colours in the digital file of this image is simply astonishing.
Here is an unsharpened segment from the image that I think demonstrates the point:
'Rivers - Segment'
I can't wait to print this image at 24x30.
The second image was a test for the ability to dig out shadow detail from Velvia images. I made this image a few weeks back in the Wolds. I shot a Provia and Velvia image. The provia image had the dynamic range to make the image work, but at a heavy cost - provia can not come close to the quality of greens that Velvia reproduces. The velvia image had wonderful greens but was completely black in the shadows.
Using the drum scan, Tim managed to dig out the detail from the Velvia slide in a way I couldn't with my V700, even on Multi Scan.
'Birch Trees in the Wolds'
For everyday use, the V700 is fine, certainly up to about A3. Thereafter, I suspect there is a lot more detail in the transparency to be revealed by the drum scanner. Tim is planning to do some scanning test comparisons so I await his results with interest.
But for those special transparencies I shall be handing them over to the expert care of Tim from now on.
Thirdly a simple indulgence. The image from last weeks blog, scanned as it should be. Yes the colours really are like this on the transparency.
'Grasses and Fireweed'
And a quick peek into the image - a tiny segment from the bottom right where you can see every detail in the rye grass, which grass head was moving when I made the image and which was grass head was still. This is scanned at 1/2 the potential resolution - when I get going I shall ask tim to scan at maximum resolution i.e. about 4000 DPI.
If anybody was wondering why, in the digital age, us 5x4 nutters shoot film with a camera who's essentials were designed about circa 1890, here is the reason why.
Finally, a very old friend got a re-master. This was one of the first strong images I made with Large Format. A sublime morning on Skye that taught me all about the importance of light.
'The Quiraing at Dawn'
Tim is launching a scanning service shortly. As soon as I have the link, I will post it here.