Our Movie of the week this week is a long one. I had the pleasure of chatting with my old friend Frederick Van a couple weeks ago. We talked about photography, workflow and my new book on scanning photo collections. The video podcast is embedded below.
September 13th, I’m presenting at B&H’s Event Space in NYC to share techniques from my new book Digitizing Your Photos with your Camera and Lightroom. You can come see it live if you’re in New York, or see it on the web.
I’ll be presenting material from my book on scanning photos with a digital camera. In the webinar we’ll cover:
- The camera scanning advantage
- Hardware setups for scanning prints, slides and negatives
- How to ensure top quality
- Using Lightroom for camera scans
- Tagging your images
- Publishing and sharing your scans
When: Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 1:00p – 3:00p
Skill Level: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced – Everyone will get something out of it
Location: B&H Event Space
Address: Second Floor of B&H NYC SuperStore at 420 9th Avenue, New York NY 10001
All of their events are FREE! If you want to guarantee a seat for an event, please register ASAP. Their events can fill up fast.
Can’t get to NY? The event will be streamed. Register to watch online.
Not available on the 13th? B&H will post the video on their website.
Other questions? See B&H’s FAQ for Event Space details.
After a very long wait, I can report that The DAM Book 3 is really taking shape and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve spent the last several months researching, writing new content, and reorganizing the book. I will have a publication date and table of contents to announce by the end of August.
Here’s some of the new stuff.
Connected Objects, Connected Collections – One of the greatest changes we’re seeing is the inherent connectedness of images – often from the moment of capture. Born-connected images have particular DAM challenges and opportunities. This is partly covered by the chapter on publishing and sharing, but the whole notion of connectedness will thread throughout the book, as it touches every part of DAM technology and workflow.
Publishing and Sharing – I have an entirely new chapter on the ways that you can share images out of your collection. I’ll define the difference between Exporting, Publishing, Integrating, and Embedding. Each of these methods of sharing requires different workflows and tools, and each has its own strengths.
Cloud Services – Cloud-based services are an essential part of storage and distribution for most photographers/collection managers. I’ll lay out the landscape of these, and how you should understand what each can do (and what each one cannot do). My work over the last couple of years designing Photoshelter Libris has been a tremendous opportunity to better understand how cloud fits in to your workflow.
Photography as Language – The most tectonic change in the world of photography is its transformation into a language that is now spoken by nearly everyone. This has some really important ramifications for everyone – but particularly for photographers and collection managers. DAM is now becoming an essential part of communication strategy that goes far beyond the marketing department. Photography-as-language increases the need for, and changes the nature of, DAM. I’ll lay out the case for this, and help you prepare for this increasingly important development.
Network Attached Storage – NAS was pretty immature technology when the last edition of the book was published, and since then it’s come of age. NAS devices have become quite capable for remote access to a collection, automatic offsite backup and as local media servers. I’ll help you understand if NAS addresses your needs.
Artificial Intelligence – Commercial AI is starting to become a commodity, and is showing up in enterprise DAM (such as Extensis linking with Clarifai). Of course, we’re also seeing this on the desktop with facial recognition software. I’ll help untangle what it’s good for and what it’s not good for, and how to spot important changes int he technology.
Less workflow, more ecosystem – When we started DAM Useful Publishing, our goal was to split publications into workflow and ecosystem. The DAM Book will help you understand how image and DAM technology work, and it describes some workflow theory. But the actual workflow demonstrations are now split into the DAM Book Workflow Guides. There are several reasons for this.
- It helps to keep the book to a manageable size
- It allows me to update on a more organic schedule – as technology changes, I can update a particular book
- It allows me to publish in the proper format. I believe that workflow should be taught with a combination of text and video, and the ecosystem stuff is better communicated with a traditional book format.
It will be a book, not a multimedia book. I love the multimedia ebook for workflow, but I think that this material is better presented as a traditional text-and-figures book. We’ll start with an electronic version, so that we can get it out as quickly as possible. We’ll follow that with a paper version as quickly as we can get one printed. Details to follow.
Special Offer still available – We still have our special offer in force for people who buy The DAM Book 2. If you buy it for $19.95, we’ll give you $15 off the purchase of DAM Book 3.
I’m happy to be back in the ASMP fold, doing a webinar next week on digitizing photo collections. Of course this will be based on our new book, Digitizing Your Photos, but with a special emphasis on the relevance to professional photographers.
I’ll be demonstrating how camera scanning can allow for large-scale conversion of film and print originals to digital images, which is important for those of us who have large film archives. I’ve digitized more than 50,000 of my own images, and continue to add new images.
I’ll also be touching on business models that photographers can consider for new services for their clients. There are a lot of companies and institutions that have large collections of physical photos. I’ve been able to help some of my clients with the process, as part of my professional services. I’ll discuss some business models for adding these services.
Next Tuesday, July 25th, the National Digital Initiatives group at the Library of Congress will present the second Collections as Data symposium. This wide-ranging day looks at the way data can be extracted from – and made useful to – digital humanities collections. I went last year, and found the entire day fascinating.
The symposium is free but does require registration if you want to attend in person. It’s also available in an online stream for those who can’t attend in person. Copy from their website:
More relevant, more accessible, more visual, and more useful–these are some benefits of making digital collections available as data and ready for computational analysis. The Library of Congress is hosting a day-long event that will feature case-studies and impact stories of applying digital methods to analyzing and sharing collections. Presenters will share how using collections as data reactivates the holdings of libraries and other centers of history and art to make deeper connections to the communities they serve.
UPDATE: We have a limited number of these units for sale. Contact us at support@theDAMbook.com
- Comes with 220mm rail, slide/negative stage, arca-compatible camera mount
- Base Price $300
- Longer rail – add $50
- File out back side of film stage to improve border rendering – add $25
Some additional information:
- All units are made from Nikon PS-4 and PS-5 slide/negative copy adapters. They accept standard 35mm mounted slides and unmounted 35mm film. The Nikon units are used and may show signs of wear, including blemishes on the metal and imperfections in the bellows leather.
- The standard model I have for sale has a 220mm rail, which is suitable for use of a 60mm lens (or shorter). Longer rails available for an additional cost.
- Some models have diffusers and some do not. I suggest removing the diffuser because they can attract dust. Using a light source that is far outside the depth of field can ensure a dust free light source.
- I can also file out the back side of the negative carrier for an additional $25. This allows for a slightly better black border rendering of full frame negatives.
A lot of readers are asking how to get a rail system for 35mm slide and negative copying. I’m working on some sourcing options for this. In the meantime, we’re going to offer the units that I personally own as rental items.
The rental is for a rail, a film stage, a generic camera plate if needed, and step down ring to allow your lens to connect to the shade if needed (These units have a 52mm lens connection.)
These units have had the rounded corners filed down to show the full frame of the image. You’ll get a natural black border on standard 35mm film.
Here’s an example of a negative scanned with a rail system and turned positive with the techniques outlined in my new book. The black border is created in-camera and shows the entire frame of the image. Note that each different unit will produce a slightly different black border.
Rail System Options
We have several styles of unit, all made from Nikon slide copy adapters. Some have the rear diffusion glass, and in some the glass has been removed.
• Without diffusion – this requires that you have a nice even light source such as a softbox or lightbox. Shooting without diffusion means there is no chance of dust particles sticking to the glass and appearing in every shot.
• With diffusion – This will make it easier for some people to make a smooth and even illumination across the frame. Note that the diffuser dust can be a real problem.
I also have a Nikon Bellows unit for rent. To use this, you need a full frame small body Nikon camera (e.g. D750, D800, D810, D600, D610, D700) and a 55mm or a 60mm Nikon Macro lens.
D1, D2, D3, D4, And D5 cameras do not fit on these units.
What you need
You’ll need your own camera and macro lens, as well as a light source (strobe or LED recommended). YOUR CAMERA DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A NIKON.
Camera – Rail systems can be used with any brand or model of camera.
Lens – In order to connect the lens shade, you’ll need to use a “normal” length macro lens. This means a 50mm-60mm range for full frame DSLR and 35mm range for APS-C or micro 4/3 camera.
Digitizing Your Photos – It is strongly recommended to have a copy of my most recent book in order to get the most out of your rental. Shown below is a video from the book.
Rental is $50/week, or $150/month. You pay shipping both ways (we prefer if you can provide a Fedex or UPS account number.) When we send the unit out, we need to take a credit card deposit for $300.
If you are interested in rental, drop us a line at support@theDAMbook.com or make a Facebook comment below. Let us know whether you want a Rail or bellows system, whether you want the diffuser or not, and how soon you’re looking to get started.
We’re excited about the release of our new multimedia ebook, Digitizing Your Photos. It presents a comprehensive method for scanning photos with a digital camera, and managing the process with Lightroom.
The book is written for professional photographers, family historians, corporate collection managers, and cultural heritage institutions. We know that great collections of slides, prints and negatives are everywhere, and we want to help preserve and make use of them.
The book runs for 248 pages, and includes 90 workflow videos for a total of 9 hours of comprehensive instruction.
Here’s the first video from the book, which outlines the entire process.
And here’s the product page.
I have the pleasure of interviewing photographer Aaron Huey at the as part of the NatGeo Further base camp at SXSW tomorrow (Saturday March 11, 2017). Aaron is known for his passionate photography, and his ability to leverage his work to raise awareness and funds for causes he believes in. We’ll discuss how he walks the line between non-partisan journalism and advocacy.
See you there.
Inquiring readers are asking, “What’s up with The DAM Book 3?” Wasn’t that supposed to be published by the end of 2016? As John Lennon famously sang (borrowing a phrase), Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. In the case of 2016, family obligations once again took me in an unexpected direction. We had some significant health challenges (that seem to be successfully met) as well as some other significant family milestones.
One of those milestones has reprioritized my writing schedule. We moved my dad out of his house of 55 years, and this has left me in possession of a massive family photo archive to manage. There are tens of thousands of photos in all formats – from daguerreotypes to glass plates, to vintage and modern prints, many thousands of slides, negatives, framed prints, scrapbooks and more. There are more than 10,000 images sitting on this cart, and that’s just a part of the archive.
There is some real urgency here. First, I need to get this stuff sorted and put away so I get my studio back. But more importantly, I need to get my dad to help me tag these images. He’s the only one left who can identify a large percentage of the people shown. Here is a small selection of the framed prints we copied.
A new DAM Book Guide
Working with my daughter Josie, we’ve been able to sort, triage, digitize, annotate and curate a growing share of this collection. And we’re making a book from the experience, Digitizing your Photos. It’s a multimedia volume that will give you a step-by-step cookbook for managing this entire process, using a digital camera to scan and Lightroom to control the optimization and management.
We expect to be shipping digital versions in April. The manuscript is essentially complete and I’m currently shooting photos and videos. I’m really pleased with the results of our scanning and with the comprehensiveness and clarity of the book. Stay tuned for more info as release nears.
Okay, so what about The DAM Book 3?
Our plan is to make 2017 the year of the book. I’m fully committed to getting TDB3 out the door this year (along with one other book as well). The DAM Book is a lynchpin to our entire publishing effort, and I feel a deep commitment to modernizing it. So, yes, barring some other curveball, I’m looking forward to pick it back up well before the solstice.
I’m headed out to Austin for SXSW again (now, with more Obama.) This year, I’ll be presenting with Dennis Keeley, the Photography chair at Art Center in Pasadena. I first met Dennis at the Palm Springs Photo Festival faculty dinner, and we quickly found out we have a lot of common interests.
The Faculty dinner at PSPF – I met 2 people I’ve brought to SXSW here.
Dennis is intensely interested in the future of imaging and visual communication. We found that we see these opportunities in some very similar ways. The conversation that started 4 years ago has continued as each of us has pursued this future in different ways. I’m delighted that we can take this time to make this conversation public.
Here is a description of our program. I’ll work on expanding on some of these topics, and we’re hoping to have a recording of the program available.
If you’re going to be in Austin, and can come by the Hilton Friday at 3:45, I’d love to say hello. If you’re in town but can’t make the program, I’ll be around until Tuesday evening.
Presented by Peter Krogh and Dennis Keeley
As the need to visually communicate explodes, organizations of all shapes and sizes face the need for a new kind of staff, new tools and more nimble mindsets. This goes far beyond an Instagram account manager, or a person who works in IT. It looks into the heart of an organization’s mission, brand, legacy and value. But in most cases, the approach to visual narrative is ad hoc, at best.
Solving this problem will require an integrated approach that is grounded in education, technology, business needs, and an understanding of visual semiotics. Dennis Keeley has been addressing this from the education side, while Peter Krogh has been working on technical development. They will discuss the new role of the professional visual strategist and the opportunities it presents… as well as what education, skills and experience will be needed.