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Thread: Not new but have not logged on in many years

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2022
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    Not new but have not logged on in many years

    My Name is Brent, was the Chief photographer for one of General Dynamics facilities for about a third of my career then same job for one of NASA's Calif. facilities then retired and became the art department chair for a local college. I enjoy using almost any camera, I personally use anything from my beloved Minox B to my 1930's Deardorff V8. I shoot mainly film as I spent over 50 years doing my best to master the art and technique, still learning; not to mention I prefer the look of analog prints to digital prints. Don't get me wrong, I have spent a fortune on digital equipment, just don't enjoy using digital. The difference between digital and analog - I will never need to update my analog equipment. I still use equipment and lenses over 100 years old.

    I do have a question, I was once involved in the Leaf Scanner user group, the group moved from one platform to another and have lost track of them. I understand there is a Leaf Scanner Forum/user group on Yahoo. Can anyone send me a link to the Leaf Scanner user group.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    St. Simons Island, Georgia
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    804

    Re: Not new but have not logged on in many years

    Welcome. Post often. I thought Yahoo got rid of all their groups a few years ago.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Purcellville, VA
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    1,499

    Re: Not new but have not logged on in many years

    Welcome, Brent. This is a good place to be for us filmies.
    Philip Ulanowsky

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2022
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    Re: Not new but have not logged on in many years

    Yes they did close their groups that is when I lost track of the group.

  5. #5
    Embdude's Avatar
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    Mar 2018
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    Re: Not new but have not logged on in many years

    Welcome back. Sounds like a dream of a career to me! I was not able to follow my college dreams of professional aerospace photography and journalism.

    You must have some amazing aerospace photos.

    If you don't mind my asking, at what point professionally did the change over from to digital take place, and was it very gradual or overnight?

  6. #6

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    Dec 2022
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    Re: Not new but have not logged on in many years

    In 1985 I was with General Dynamics, chief photographer and manager of photography, photographic lab and the micro photo department. I was only in charge of the micro photo department as I knew film, the scientists were the ones doing the actual work. Back in those days micro chips started as hand drawn and hand cut film at 40 inches in size. Then with great accuracy the 40 inches eventually resulted in a photographic tool to image to chips that were made by hand one layer at a time. I knew and understood temperature and humidity effects on film. The photographic tools were made in one lab and had to be made into microchips in another lab. 1 micron is huge in micro chips. Film tools created and measured at one temperature must create micro chips at another temperature and humidity, fun stuff.

    As to digital, while I was at General Dynamics I walked up stairs to the art department, there I saw a Macintosh SE black and white computer creating artwork, I was stunned. I walked downstairs and called my scientists at Kodak and asked a simple but complex question - what is coming in digital photography and when is it coming? I was invited to Rochester N.Y. to see what Kodak was doing. It was at that point I knew I needed to get my department ready for what was coming. My knowledge of photography would help me understand what was coming but knew I wasn't prepared for relearning everything I knew about my craft.

    Kodak missed their mark for one of their first offerings, a digital camera hooked up to a 10 pound box that we were to be carrying around. Photojournalists tuned this idea down, doctors in operating rooms picked up the $30,000 dollar camera; I think it was 1.5 megapixels. Because of the file sizes required for true photography, cameras and computers were going to take time to catch up with what was possible on paper. At General Dynamics I purchased 4 Leaf 45s scanners, 25K a pop, one operator could keep up with 4 scanners. A chair was hooked up to a rail so they could slide between the scanners.

    Moved to NASA and was asked by the Director of NASA to start imaging all Space shuttle landings at Edwards Air Force Base to digital. I had to hold my lafter as this was 1990. Once the space shuttle landed we created 1.5 to 2 million photographs, we then needed to create 10 - 8x10 photographs per negative. That is a minimum of 15 million 8x10's in two weeks. To say the least my flow chart caused the Director to sink in his chair. I left NASA in 1995, they were still using film to create that volume of images.

    To answer you question directly, industry wanted digital to move much faster than the technology to move it had the ability to move. I was always been asked when are you going to be completely digital. In 1995 a Kodak DCS 460 was 30,000 dollars each, the first 6 million pixel camera. Once the dollar cost and labor cost was shown things slowed down. We as a department moved to digital when computers and networks were able to move huge amounts of data. In 1993 I crashed NASA's entire nation wide network by sending hundreds of 20 megapixel images from our Apple 8500 computers to our printers. Hundreds of files per day were going over thinnet, pre ethernet, and down everything went. Digital moved slowly. First we needed to train ourselves, then find ways where digital made sense, then budgets. Scanning first, then a couple of 30,000 dollars digital cameras to be able, in an emergency, photograph in California and transmit to Washington. Film is still faster if millions of photographs are required, When the shuttle program ended NASA still used RA-4 to create those millions of images.

    Hope this answers your question. Things moved slow but much faster than we as photographers wanted it to move.

    Best

  7. #7
    Embdude's Avatar
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    Mar 2018
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    Re: Not new but have not logged on in many years

    Wow Brent great info thanks! Must have been great to be on the cutting edge of technology of film and digital.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Canyon Country, California
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    158

    Re: Not new but have not logged on in many years

    A number of the Yahoo groups moved over to groups.io.

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