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Thread: Idea for a thread on sharing image scans

  1. #1
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Idea for a thread on sharing image scans

    What if we created a thread where someone would post up there scanned image in final form, but provided zero details about the scan itself. Ie, do not mention scanner type, resolution/dpi, etc. Just here is my final image from a scan, then, everyone try to figure if it was flatbed, drum, etc. And when choosing said method determine make/model of scanner and method, wet/dry and so forth.

    Also provide comments on image in general.

  2. #2

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    Re: Interesting idea

    Just here is my final image from a scan, then, everyone try to...
    ...appreciate the image for what it is, perhaps?

    I wouldn't want to rain on anyone's parade and everyone's entitled to a little puzzle if they like. But the thing with photo forums is that they tend to focus so much on the technicalities and so little on the artistic side of the matter. I personally find that a bit of a pity, even though I certainly like to get lost in technical details, I have to admit.

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    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting idea

    Some years ago I started a thread with the ideal of images only and specifically asked for no words or discussion

    The idea being images responding to images like a game of 'whisper telephone' where we start with one word and see what happens...

    Your idea is different of course!
    sin eater

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    Re: Interesting idea

    Back in early 2000s we would take a digital image and play photoshop tennis with it , altering the image for several rounds adding or removing details, until the final digital image had no resemblance to the original. I sometimes feel the "scanned" and adjusted negatives do the same thing vs seeing a silver print in person. We don't subject the digitization of a painting to the same scrutiny. I love technical details even if I never get to use them.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  5. #5
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting idea

    I was thinking about the exact things mentioned here. We get so focused on things like advertised optical capability vs "actual" or usable resolution, y dpi vs x dpi, wet scanned/dry scanned, lumicon, Epson, Howtek, Tango, Flex, Nikon, Dslr, etc, how was it converted, lens, etc. Now I am not saying those are not valid questions and such, but when one posts up an image with all of these details to provide the details of how the image was made, most are suddenly caught up in the technicalities and lose sight of the image itself. What I am suggesting is to see how many here can actually tell you scan A was made with Scanner B, etc. I suspect there would be very little if any replies because, in the end you can't. The image is good or bad and the questions of technique of capture, scan, etc are a different topic. We need to get back to appreciating the art and the effort someone puts into it. Let's face, analog LF is not as easy as it seems, darkroom printing and hybrid flow are not as easy as a youtube video makes it out to be.

  6. #6
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Idea for a thread on sharing image scans

    Steve I don;t think it would work because there are so many variables. You could post the same original film shot scanned on the same scanner and you'll get different results based on who edited it. Even I have made different final results based on my feeling at the moment. Color, saturation, sharpening, etc. All these will give different results. I think the two key areas between scanners however is resolution and dMax to get through the shadow areas. Beyond that, the final look is up to the operator.

  7. #7
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Idea for a thread on sharing image scans

    Most of my prints are 16x20, and my wife's office scanner is only 8x11" So I'd have to photograph the work to post it here. In that case, viewers could guess at the copy camera lens personality and EXIF data I guess.

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    Re: Idea for a thread on sharing image scans

    I get it now Steven, I misinterpreted your idea initially. Yeah, I think you're right - we'll probably not be able to concistently guess correctly how a result was arrived at exactly. I for one wouldn't, and neither would it bother me. I'd still muse about it, but not knowing it for sure is something I probably prefer over being aware of all the details.

  9. #9
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting idea

    Exactly. We spend so much time wanting to know how someone did something we lose sight of the art. The beauty of it all, or as has been stated so often, we can't see the forest for the trees.

  10. #10
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: Idea for a thread on sharing image scans

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Steve I don;t think it would work because there are so many variables. You could post the same original film shot scanned on the same scanner and you'll get different results based on who edited it. Even I have made different final results based on my feeling at the moment. Color, saturation, sharpening, etc. All these will give different results. I think the two key areas between scanners however is resolution and dMax to get through the shadow areas. Beyond that, the final look is up to the operator.
    That is precisely what you would not do. Post the same image up using different digitizing techniques. The idea is regardless of your technique to post up without those details. Have people try to figure out how you digitized it. What you will find is that with a 99% reliability 99% of the people would get it wrong. Statistically speaking that would be a better number just based on the statistical math of people guessing. If enough guess, you would find something like 33% of the time someone would get it right simply from the probability curve of it happening.

    The idea is to show how this is not important, and to focus on the art (not the technique, etc)

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