Category Archives: How to

Using Expression Media to sort out scans

This short movie (3:34) shows how the View Options in Expression Media can be used to help sort between different versions of image files. You have the choice of lots of different metadata to show under a thumbnail, such as file size, pixel dimensions, color space and modification dates.

When you couple that with the “Sort” command, it’s easy to find the version of the file you are looking for.

Sorting Scans with Expression Media 2 from Peter Krogh on Vimeo.

For the month of October, get a free copy of Expression Media when you buy The DAM Book from us here.

Using AVCHD files on a Mac

Recently, I answered a question about how to use AVCHD files from a consumer video camera on a Mac. It can be really frustrating since these files are not native to the Mac.  If you have the Leopard or Snow Leopard operating system and you use iMovie or Final Cut or Adobe Premier Pro, you can read the files natively.

But what about playing them with Quicktime, or cataloging with Expression Media?  In these cases, you need to do some kind of conversion of the files.  There are two basic ways to do it – transcode or rewrap.

When you transcode, you take the bundle of JPEGs that make up the movie and you actually remake them. This is a destructive process that degrades the image as the individual frame images are remade. (That’s an oversimplification, but you get the point).

In general, whenever you transcode, you want to keep the original as well as the converted files. Not only is transcoding destructive, but there is the possibility of some kind of transcoding error, where frames might get dropped, or some other glitch introduced to the sequence.  This means you’ll be really increasing the storage needs, since you’ll need to save (and backup) both the original and the transcoded versions.

When you rewrap, you are basically taking all the JPEGs inside the movie file and putting a new wrapper around them (kind of like what a DNG does with raw file data). Since the individual images for each frame are not remade, there is no loss of visual quality. This also greatly reduces the possibility of any kind of dropped frames, etc.

Clipwrap ($50) can turn those pesky AVCHD files into quicktime-native files quickly and easily. If it reports a successful wrap, you’re pretty safe in tossing the original files. (Of course, to be safest, you’d want to watch the entire clip before tossing the original.)

Thanks to Richard Harrington who first talked me through this issue when I was dealing with my own camera.

Updating Laserwriter 8500 for OS 10.6

When I updated my Mac OS to 10.6, I lost the use of my trusty Laserwriter 8500, since Snow Leopard does not support the AppleTalk protocol that I’ve been using with the printer. That’s a real shame, since the 8500 is a real workhorse, and at a good price. I’ve printed more than 36,000 pages on the printer and I’m only on my third (I think) toner cartridge.  The printers themselves can be bought used for as little as $100.

The 8500 is a great document printer.  It’s made to handle the work of an entire floor of office cubicles, and can even handle large paper (11×17). It can connect directly to an Ethernet network.

Fortunately, updating the printer to work with Snow Leopard was possible, athough I did have to dig out some old hardware. Here are the steps.

Continue reading Updating Laserwriter 8500 for OS 10.6

Choosing Camera Scanning Hardware

The movie linked below is from the dpBestflow.org website describing the camera scanning process. In this movie, the several types of hardware that you can use for the process are outlined, along with considerations about how to set up and work with them.

These include a bench system, rail system, bellows system, lens-attached system, and copystand system.

The entire best practice page can be found here.

Camera Scanning Devices from ASMP dpBestflow on Vimeo.

New Camera Scan Tutorials on dpBestflow

We’ve added quite a bit of material n the dpBestflow website describing the process of Camera Scanning (using a digital camera as a scanner for film originals). There are two pages that have been created. the first is a Best Practice page that outlines what the choices are for hardware, as well as the software for image manipulation.

The second page is in the Workflow section, and describes a case study from Richard Anderson’s studio.  He worked with his production assistant Matthew Yake to digitize more than 50,000 images from 20 years of work for Center Stage in Baltimore. the page describes the project approach and details.

Still to Motion – Richard Harrington’s new book

It seems that nearly every photographer is at least dabbling with creating motion imagery, and they often ask the same questions. Richard Harrington has produced (yet again) an essential resource for this group.  Still to Motion is written for the still photographer moving into this new discipline, and explores a unbelievably large number of topics. You’ll get a perspective on storytelling and project approach, camera, lighting, support and computer equipment, and so much more.

The book tracks several different projects, and helps to illuminate the different approaches needed between a music video and a documentary.  The book included a DVD with finished examples of the case studies that the book tracks, and includes a lot of demo and project files for you to pluy with.

If you are a still photographer even considering working with motion, you will find this to be an essential resource. Buy it at Amazon.

As a bonus, the subject of the documentary and music video is Luke Brindley, one of our favorite up-and-coming singer songwriters in the DC area.