Old 01-14-2013, 02:19 AM   #1
Ron Flanary
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Default Bad Contrast

Now, I'll admit----I'm still a neophyte at this scanning and processing stuff, and I clearly don't know what I'm doing much of the time. This shot looks absolutely terrific when viewed on a screen. In fact, I think I used it in a show at both Summerail and Winterail several years ago. But---this could be just a crappy scan on my part. In any event, I fiddled with this image until the cows came home without any real success. I uploaded it though, knowing full well I would get a rejection (first one in weeks!).

Any of you techno-geniuses out there who can help an old guy with a bad image (but a good attitude)?

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...70&key=4369193
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:35 AM   #2
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Ron, on my screen, the lower part of the train from the front of the engines to the cars are dark and excessive contrast. It is a great image non the less. Try re-scanning and see if you get the same thing.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:18 AM   #3
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Oh my, that is bad...I messed with it a little, but it's hopeless with my limited skills.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:25 AM   #4
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Slides with dark areas sure don't scan well; that is one big black blob. If you can, scan it much brighter and then bring the exposure down, while preserving some of the detail in the trucks. I don't see anything that would blow out with a brighter scan.

I've got some slides just like this, albeit with less interesting content and composed much worse.

Should you get it to work, please despeckle the sky and then gaussian blur all those dots out of it, thanks.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:26 PM   #5
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I don't see that getting better, If its black in a slide it stays black with no detail. Overexposed slides may have a chance.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:37 PM   #6
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The bottom of the train and the track seem to be one puddle of black here on my work monitor.

If you are willing to send me the original scan, I'll glady see what I can do with it at home this evening.

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Old 01-14-2013, 02:49 PM   #7
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I suspect that slide looks great projected on the big screen. What kind of scanner are you using? My guess is that the scanning job could be better.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatchetman View Post
I suspect that slide looks great projected on the big screen. What kind of scanner are you using? My guess is that the scanning job could be better.
The slide looks great (well, it's daybreak, and the light is harsh, but it really looks cool). I can see I'll have to do another scan, or give up on it.

This is a classic case of how slide photography (particularly Kodachrome) doesn't always translate into something you can use in the digital world. Of course, I'm no expert either (as I first stated).

Thanks for the comments and suggestions.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:51 PM   #9
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Well, some guys do a great job of it (ie Mike Danneman), but you have to have one of those old Nikon Coolscans, which of course are no longer made. Or send it to a good "pro" lab, few of which exist any longer. I think a pro lab charges $2-3/per slide for a quality scan. A drum scan is going to run $40-$50. You might want to send a few away, just to see what the potential is and if it's really worth the effort.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:33 PM   #10
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Well, some guys do a great job of it (ie Mike Danneman)...
Mike was the art director for Trains Magazine for a few years (and on the staff before that), so he was on the cutting edge of using digital technology for scanning, image manipulation and "improvement." There's no substitute for knowledge and experience, and Mike has a ton of both. Most of the stunning images of his you see on RP.net were taken with conventional, old-fashioned color transparency film (various ISOs). He knows how to squeeze the best out of every shot. That's why he's one of the best in the "business."

As for me.....well, not so much (at least in the digital world). I'm still trying to learn, however.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:47 PM   #11
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I guess my point is the scanning job is going to be the limiting factor. No amount of digital manipulation is going to fix a bad scan.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Flanary View Post
Mike was the art director for Trains Magazine for a few years (and on the staff before that), so he was on the cutting edge of using digital technology for scanning, image manipulation and "improvement." There's no substitute for knowledge and experience, and Mike has a ton of both. Most of the stunning images of his you see on RP.net were taken with conventional, old-fashioned color transparency film (various ISOs). He knows how to squeeze the best out of every shot. That's why he's one of the best in the "business."

As for me.....well, not so much (at least in the digital world). I'm still trying to learn, however.
Wow, thanks for the compliments, guys! I want to correct one thing though. I was at Kalmbach from 1984-95, and Trains Art Director from 1990-95. BUT, I worked on the magazine(s) just before the art department did any Photoshop work on the images. When I was there, we still sent out our slides to an outside vendor to get drum scans and color-corrections. I WAS there for the transition from old-fashioned layout, paste-up, Rapidographs and boards to laying the magazine out with a (Mac) computer.

All of the Photoshop skills that I use were self-taught after Kalmbach, with a lot of help from some friends that are really good at it. I do notice that practice helps (What’s new; that can be said about a lot of things) and have found that slides on the lighter side scan much better than underexposed ones, even though these darker images can really look quite nice projected. Ron is correct; most of my images are scanned from color transparency film, as I was a late conformer to digital, finally switching in 2010.

…And Ron, Yes, I am still learning a lot too!

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Old 01-14-2013, 11:16 PM   #13
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Talking My thoughts.

From a historical stand point, I would like to see that image in the DB, because the place doesn't look like that now.

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 350757
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography


However, there are other photos taken from that side of the tracks such as:

Image © Gary R. Schermerhorn
PhotoID: 420554
Photograph © Gary R. Schermerhorn


And, as stated, your scan is not that great (I like the picture though, but I am admittedly biased in Cajon).

Most people don't shoot this angle because there are only about 45 days a year that the sun is that far north, and they are afraid to get on that side of the tracks from the highway because security will have kittens if they see you crossing the tracks there nowadays.

However, there are ways to get over legally and you can still shoot that angle, albeit not as close to the rails as yours (21 feet).

I will grab that for you later this Summer as one of the 2013 Solstice series.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:49 AM   #14
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Is that a pile of garbage in the background?
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:51 AM   #15
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Ron

What scanner do you have ?

I have a Nikon Coolscan V ED and everything sucked until I got Vuescan and a Kodachrome target.

PS Jm you are the only one who would ask the weird question I would think of but not say.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:56 AM   #16
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Wink Pile-o-crap.

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Is that a pile of garbage in the background?
I am sure it is.

They left all kinds of crap along the ROW out there until they put the new track in back in 06'-07' and I think the Forest Service made them clean up a lot of dump spots.

Now for the most part they just throw plastic water bottles everywhere.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:49 AM   #17
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From a historical stand point, I would like to see that image in the DB, because the place doesn't look like that now.
I've got several more shots taken at Summit around 1989 to 1994 or so that I've never scanned. They're all "good" shots that should easily make the grade at RP.net. I'll try to get to them as I can.

I haven't been back there since the "security" was installed.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:26 AM   #18
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Exclamation Cajon Security

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....I haven't been back there since the "security" was installed.
Ya well, next time you are out west and want an escort, let me know.

I am sort of on their radar.

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