The IMAGING RESOURCE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
NEWSLETTER


Volume 3, Number 23 16 November 2001

Copyright 2001, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved.

Welcome to the 59th edition of the Imaging Resource Newsletter. Tour the Adams exhibit with us, feast on the EOS-1D and see how Printroom partners with pros. Then enjoy some good customer service stories.


TOPICS

SPONSORS
This issue of The Imaging Resource News is sponsored in part by the following companies. Please tell them you saw their ad here. And now a word from our sponsors:
Maha
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Olympus
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The Camedia Brio D-100 features a high quality 1.3-megapixel CCD with a 5.5mm f2.8f11 auto focus Olympus lens, digital 2x telephoto, a super-fast shutter release time of 0.3 seconds and easy data via a standard USB connection.

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For more information visit the Coolpix 885 product page.


Are you in the digital photo business? This newsletter is read by over 43,000 readers, all with a passion for digital photography. For information on how you can reach them, contact us at editor@imaging-resource.com.

Feature: The Still Images of Ansel Adams (Part II)

Last time we promised you a tour of the centennial exhibit honoring Ansel Adams, currently at SFMOMA before it hits the road through 2003. We'll also appraise Adams' legacy for today's photographer.

THE SHOW

Adams is well represented in print, but the centennial exhibit at SFMOMA is special not only for hanging the real thing in all its glory, but for assembling a collection of images that illuminate his method more than measure his achievement. A show, that is, for photographers, not collectors.

It's documented by "Ansel Adams at 100," an extraordinary book, printed on 115 lb. French paper, in which the 114 monochromatic images are reproduced using tritones that appeared as screenless as a gravure to our naked eye. They are remarkable to see but expensive to own, the paperback going for $50 ($35 at amazon.com; $105 for the $150 hardback). John Szarkowski, director emeritus of New York MoMA's photography department and curator of the exhibit, authored the text.

If you attend the show, you can flip through the book at side tables in the Learning Center, a darkened room you enter via the last room. In the middle of the room is an island of computer stations hosting the multimedia presentation of Adams and his work (http://www.sfmoma.org/adams/index.html) that calls on reproductions of his work and QuickTime videos of his television appearances and documentaries to explain and demonstrate what he was up to. You can, for example, see "Moonrise" as a contact print and in two different prints Adams made over the years.

We can also recommend the MP3 audio tour ($5) with remarks by Szakowski and Adams himself on over two dozen items.

The show is divided into several named rooms, generally presenting his camera work chronologically. Later prints often appear alongside early ones, making it easy to compare Adams' different interpretations of his own work.

Room 1 or Crux presents images he made as he was becoming acquainted with photography. Many of his later subjects were objects of interest early in his career. Lamentably, the paper isn't identified, but images printed before 1933 may indeed by on his neighbor Dassonville's famous Charcoal Black. They appear slightly yellowed and textured.

In Room 2 or Learning you'll find albums of images Adams made during Sierra Club outings. He made 125 of these (now part of the Bancroft Collection at the University of California) primarily as catalogs. Club members would view the albums to order prints for $1 or $2.50 for a print on "parchment" (probably Charcoal Black). Adams approached the task much like a wedding photographer, though, taking multiple views of the same scene and displaying them all.

The albums might be considered an interesting record of his apprenticeship in composition. If they indeed revealed some refinement. But they primarily demonstrate his comprehensiveness and discipline.

Also in this room hang huge canvas reference prints, one labeled "telephotography" to mark the use of a telephoto lens to capture McDonnell Peak and Benningron Glacier.

Room 3 or Motive demonstrates Adams' first use of the Zone System to intentionally expose luminances in the scene to specific values on the negative. "Two Dead Trees Against Black Sky" almost seems like two arms thrown up to howl in horror. But look closely and you'll see the "white" of the dead branches are actually a much darker gray, the sky even darker.

This image also argues his interest in the cycle of nature rather than merely pretty pictures of the environment. We see not just photogenic spring blossoms, but leafless branches.

In this room you'll find a series of compositions taken at the same time of Lake McDonald Glacier in Montana. The grouping is itself of interest, as Adams moves the horizon and prints the weather, more than the geology, of the place. There are three distinct images which you may not immediately recognize as having been taken at almost exactly the same moment.

Seeing the show in groups of images like this is one of its unique advantages. We recommend you do not peck along picture by picture, no matter how crowded it is. Step back, take a seat on one of the low benches and wait for a lull in the traffic.

In Room 4 or Responsibility we see some of his more well-known images. A series of the Geyser at Yellowstone is a testament to his patience in the field. And we even get an urban scene of Broad Street, N.Y., the "caverns" of the financial district he photographed when he become the advisor to the newly-created Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art.

But most impressive is his image of Mount Williamson from 1944, taken near the Japanese relocation camp at Manzanar, Calif. Considered a security risk after the United States entered World War II, 110,000 Japanese (70,000 American-born citizens) and a smaller number of Italian-Americans were removed from their homes and communities to be relocated to camps -- even as their children were enlisting in the armed services.

Adams went there to photograph the internment camp at the request of its director Ralph Merritt, an old Sierra Club friend, publishing "Born Free and Equal" in 1944. Adams said he was "profoundly affected" by the camp and "the remarkable adjustment these people had made." He explained, "With admirable strength of spirit, the Nisei rose above despondency and made a life for themselves, a unique macro-civilization under difficult conditions. This was the mood and character I determined to apply to the project."

One day, as a storm broke over the mountains, Adams watched it approach Mount Williamson, drove out to a field of huge boulders extending several miles before the mountain, set up his 8x10 camera on the car's rooftop platform and composed "Mount Williamson." The stones are arrayed before the mountain with the dignity of the encamped Japanese, the sunlight boldly highlighting them.

Here you'll also find his "Surf Sequence," a set of five images of a wave washing the sand beneath his tripod. Szarkowski speculates Adams was just snapping the shutter hoping to get something interesting to print and that the sequence was created in the darkroom when Adams liked several of the shots too much to dispose of any of them.

Indeed, it wouldn't work as an animated GIF. The sequence isn't about motion, but reflects the sort of abstract expressionist "series" of related images popular in the Bay area then.

Room 5 or Reconsideration has several interesting groups from the last third of Adams' life when he spent more time in the darkroom than in the field.

Among the new images are some of Yosemite's El Capitan in the winter of 1968. Its dark snow and white fog make you wonder how often Adams has cast white things gray and blue things black.

Here you'll see that moon rise over Hernandez, too (in 1941).

A print of "Aspens, Northern New Mexico" (1958) from 1958-60 and another from 1976 are hung side by side (see http://www.artic.edu/aic/exhibitions/adams.html). In the early print, the light is reserved for the leaves on the small tree, almost as if it's a first glimpse, while the latter print reveals much more of the background without losing the brightness of those leaves. A second glance? A look back?

And two images of the same tree by the Merced River, one taken in his youth ("Autumn Evening") and one in old age ("Early Morning"), are so different in tonality you don't immediately recognize that the view itself is the same. Proving his point, no doubt.

HIS LEGACY

Adams has become larger than life, suffering a backlash against his influence as well as the support of well-meaning but untutored admirers. But it would be short-sighted to discount his importance.

You can admire this self-described "hyperactive" child at the very least for his rigorous devotion to the technical requirements of his craft. Sometimes we hardly believe he could calculate the consequences of his choices of equipment, film, processing and printing. But when we remember the testing he did, we only marvel.

This mastery of craft has another side, though. More than most, he let us accompany him on his shoots and sneak into his darkroom. He wrote voluminously and well about what he was doing.

He shows would-be photographers both how to approach the intimidating technical aspect of the medium and one way to meld it with the more ephemeral lyrical aspect.

As we wrestle today with the digital medium -- the intricacies of our versatile hardware and the complexities of the software darkroom -- his example can only be illuminating.

But he also had a sense of what it's all about.

"Photographers are, in a sense, composers," he wrote in his autobiography, "and the negatives are their scores. They first perform their own works, but I see no reason why they should not be available for others to perform. I am sure that scanning techniques will be developed to achieve prints of extraordinary subtlety from the original negative scores. If I could return in twenty years or so I would hope to see astounding interpretations of my most expressive images. It is true no one could print my negatives as I did, but they might well get more out of them by electronic means. Image quality is not the product of a machine, but of the person who directs the machine and there are no limits to imagination and expression."

Consequently, he refused to destroy his work to increase their value. "I cannot accept the value of artificially produced scarcity as more important than the value of creative production."

Instead, he bequeathed his negative archive to the University of Arizona's Center for Creative Photography (which now includes the archives of Edward Weston, Sonia Noskowiak, W. Eugene Smith, Wynn Bullock, Fred Sommer, Harry Callahan and others). Twenty years later his negatives are printed there under supervision by students.

Adams also created the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust, which published the show catalog. If the Center functions like a repository of musical scores, the Trust operates much like a sculptor's foundry.

So he also established tackled two important issues faced by any artist in photography: what happens to the archive of images and who prints them after the artist dies.

He began his career breaking the stranglehold of romanticism on photography, unembarrassed by the sharp detail his lens could provide or the unfaithful tonality of the print or inevitable optical distortions. And he continued it with the development of the Zone System as a method of enabling personal expression in photography. At the end, he provided for his negatives and the reproduction of his images.

Now that he has left the stage, his images stand alone in the spotlight to express his vision. Untarnished by the fashion of their day, elemental as nature, they are as fresh to new eyes today as they were when first printed.

For those who have seen them before, they continue to enchant. Beyond the beautiful crust of the earth or the complex tonalities of a print, you can feel some resonance still with the soul of that restless man who first met the world at the Golden Gate.

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Feature: Canon EOS-1D -- Don't Blink!

By DAVE ETCHELLS
(Excerpted from the full review posted at http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/EOS1D2/E1DA.HTM on the Web site.)

MANUFACTURER OVERVIEW

Now, after several apparent development delays, Canon has introduced their first "professional" digital SLR. It holds the distinction of being the fastest true digital SLR on the planet, with blazing 8 frames per second maximum frame rate. It also incorporates all the sophisticated exposure and autofocus modes of Canon's top-of-the-line EOS-1v film SLR, as well as that model's exceptional ruggedness and environmental sealing.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

One notable carryover from the EOS-1v design is the remarkably rugged and environmentally sealed magnesium alloy body. You still won't want to take it underwater without a housing, but it will certainly be able to stand up to shooting in driving rain, blizzards or dust storms.

The EOS-1D's lens mount accommodates the full line of Canon EF lenses, employing the same highly-praised 45-point Area Ellipse autofocus system used by the 35mm EOS-1v. You can also opt for One-Shot focusing or select the Al Single Servo AF, which tracks rapidly moving subjects as fast as 80 mph (based on Canon's testing). The TTL optical viewfinder uses a pentaprism design to display the full view of the lens, along with an information readout that reports aperture, shutter speed, resolution size and exposure compensation.

The 2.0-inch, TFT color LCD monitor provides both image playback and on-screen menu viewing and has a brightness adjustment. An image information display reports in-depth exposure information and includes a histogram. Additionally, a highlight feature "blinks" any blown-out highlights in the captured image.

The EOS-1D offers total exposure control, with Program AE, Aperture Priority, Depth of Field AE, Shutter Priority, Manual and Bulb exposure modes available. In Depth of Field AE, you can specify a depth of field that you'd like to maintain, while the camera finds the best exposure to achieve that goal. A Noise Reduction menu option engages Canon's very effective Noise Reduction technology for any exposures longer than 1/15 second.

The EOS-1D employs a 21-Zone Evaluative Metering system, which divides the image area into 21 zones of different sizes, with a honeycomb pattern in the central portion of the frame. Each of the 21 zones is assessed to determine exposure, using an algorithm that takes contrast and tonal distribution into account, going much further than with simple averaged metering. Other metering options include Center-Weighted, Partial, Spot, Multi-Spot, Spot AF and Flash Exposure Lock. Exposure compensation is adjustable from -3 to +3 exposure values in one-third-step increments. If you're unsure about the exposure, an Auto Exposure Bracketing feature captures three shots at different exposures. The EOS-1D also offers White Balance and ISO Auto Exposure Bracketing options (to bracket without disturbing the aperture or shutter speed settings).

Ten white balance modes are provided, including Auto, Daylight, Shade, Overcast, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash, Custom (manual setting), Color Temperature and Personal White Balance. Color Temperature covers a range of color temperatures from 2,800-10,000 degrees K in 100-degree increments and Personal White Balance allows you to download as many as three white balance settings from a host computer. The EOS-1D's extensive menu system offers a variety of Color Matrix options, for both sRGB and Adobe RGB color spaces and a Custom Functions menu so you can completely customize the user interface. A Personal Functions menu option also allows you to download image attribute settings (including a custom tonal curve) from a computer.

An external flash hot-shoe and PC sync socket offer two external flash connection options. Canon recommends using its EX series of flash units, though some third-party units are compatible as well. The Flash Exposure Lock button locks the exposure for the flash and a Flash Exposure Compensation button alters the flash exposure from -3 to +3 EV in one-third-step increments. You can also alter the ambient exposure compensation without altering the flash intensity.

The EOS-1D offers Low-Speed Continuous and High-Speed Continuous shooting modes through the Drive setting. Low-Speed Continuous captures as many as 21 consecutive frames at approximately 3 fps, while High-Speed Continuous captures the same number of frames at approximately 8 fps. The 1D has a buffer capacity of 21 frames in normal JPEG mode, but only 16 shots in RAW mode and only 14 frames when the ISO is set to higher than 800, pretty small buffer sizes, particularly at high ISOs. The Drive options also include two different Self-Timer options, with delay times adjustable via the LCD menu system.

The EOS-1D captures images at either 2464x1648- or 1232x824-pixel resolution, with JPEG compression levels of Fine and Normal available for the larger images and Fine for the smaller ones. A RAW image option is also available, recording the full pixel information from the CCD without any processing. The EOS-1D includes a FireWire/IEEE-1394 cable, Canon's Solution Disk software and a copy of Adobe photocopy LE [MW]. For power, it uses an NP-E3 rechargeable NiMH battery pack or an AC adapter (both accompany the camera). A CR2025 lithium coin cell serves as backup for the camera's calendar and clock settings.

SENSOR

One of the first notable characteristics of the EOS-1D's optical system is its unusually large sensor, measuring 28.7x19.1mm. Oddly, Canon states the multiplier ratio for this sensor to be 1.3x -- relative to the full 35mm frame -- but a little math reveals that it's actually only 1.255x. So a 16-35mm wide-angle lens works about like a 20-44mm lens on a 35mm camera. This ability to shoot wider with common lenses will be welcomed by many photojournalists.

Canon's decision to go with a CCD sensor in the EOS-1D, particularly after the stunning success of the CMOS technology used in the D30, was apparently driven by Canon's design goal of 8 fps continuous shooting. A large-area CMOS sensor simply couldn't read out the image data quickly enough to keep up with such a high frame rate. Canon claims that the noise reduction technology and larger pixels of the sensor will result in images with even lower noise than those from the D30, a fact supported by direct measurements on our Davebox test target. When we compared images captured by the 1D and D30 using ISO 200, image noise from the 1D was noticeably lower.

ANTI-ALIASING FILTER

Today's digicams use "anti-aliasing" filters in front of the CCD array to reduce color aliasing in images containing high spatial frequencies (high-contrast, closely spaced lines). These filters slightly blur the image, knocking off the high spatial frequencies while leaving the lower frequencies undisturbed. The problem arises in trying to balance the need for anti-aliasing with the desire to maintain good image sharpness. Some high-end cameras leave the choice up to the user, with a removable anti-aliasing filter.

Canon has taken a different approach with the 1D, using an anti-aliasing filter with a higher cutoff frequency and relying on image processing to eliminate or reduce any aliasing.

How well does it work? It's a little tough to say, as differences in sharpness and detail can be so subtle between cameras. Compared to other 4-megapixel cameras we've tested, it delivers about as much detail and also displays an absolute lack of color artifacts and aliasing in our resolution target shots. Overall, it's quite effective.

TONALITY & CUSTOM TONAL CURVES

Canon recognizes that different pros may prefer different tonal curves and has thoughtfully provided a means to implement custom curves via the host computer. Canon's included "acquire" software (which really does much more than just acquire images) lets you create a custom tonal curve and then download it into the computer. This tonal curve then becomes available via the "Parameters" option in the LCD record menu.

While we really like the ability to custom edit the EOS-1D's tonal curves, we unfortunately can't say the same for the software interface. It's one of the most unfriendly applications we've encountered because it provides essentially no feedback on the effects of the adjustments you're making or for that matter, on the correspondence between the tonal curve controls and what part of the visible tonal range they affect.

SHUTTER LAG/CYCLE TIMES

No question about it, the EOS-1D is the fastest pro SLR we've tested to date. Every parameter is fast, from shutter lag and AF performance to shot-to-shot cycle times.

We encountered some very interesting behavior when we tested the 1D's performance with fast (Lexar 256-MB 12x) and slow (Kingston 64-MB) memory cards. With the Kingston, the buffer took about 34 seconds to empty vs. 20 for the Lexar.

But when we shot in RAW or RAW/L modes (which saves a RAW and large JPEG file at the same time), the 1D captured 8 frames in RAW mode or 4 in RAW/L mode with the Kingston when set to either motor drive speed! With the Lexar, we got the full 16 frames advertised. Memory card speed thus appears to be a very important consideration when using the 1D in motor-drive mode! (You heard it here first.)

A little less startling was the dependence of maximum run length on card speed in low-speed motor drive mode. Since the camera can write data to the memory card even while it's capturing new images, a fast memory card can extend run lengths considerably. In high-speed mode, there's little effect, but at the 3-fps motor drive speed, we found that the Lexar delivered run lengths of 30 shots, to the Kingston's 22.

USER INTERFACE

The EOS-1D's user interface is certainly one of the most complex we've encountered, with extensive external camera controls that have multiple functions and duplicate controls for vertical shooting. We had to refer to the manual on a number of occasions to fully understand what each control did. However, once we became familiar with the layout and began to memorize each button's function(s), camera operation was straightforward and quite efficient. This is definitely not a camera for a casual user, but professional shooters will find it very fast and flexible to operate.

CONCLUSION

The EOS-1D is not only the fastest pro digital SLR, but arguably the most rugged and most configurable. Color and resolution both look very good, very much up to the standard we'd expect from Canon. We have a few quibbles over its overly-contrasty tone curve, but Canon has thoughtfully provided the capability to adjust it to your preferences.

Other very welcome aspects of the camera are the ability to use both RAW and JPEG files with no disruption in workflow. We really like the concept of having a JPEG "finished file" available immediately, with a RAW-format "digital negative" available as backup in the event of exposure slips or second-guessing on color matrix settings.

Priced competitively, it won't deliver quite the shock to the market the earlier EOS-D30 did, but certainly answers the demands professional Canon shooters have been making.

How does its 4-megapixel sensor compare to the 6-megapixel Nikon D1x and the 5-megapixel Olympus E-20N? It's hard to have "too much" resolution but four megapixels will be fine for Canon's target market of photojournalists and sports shooters. We think Canon's going to be able to sell every EOS-1D they can produce. All in all, a great showing from Canon in the pro digital SLR market!

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Feature: Printroom's Pro Studio

By DAVE ETCHELLS

While we've been touting their great enlargement deal, our friends at Printroom have come up with an innovative service for pros who shoot events, school photos, team sports, weddings, corporate functions -- any event with a large number of prospective customers. The concept combines the best of secure Web-based photo-sharing with a unique back-end fulfillment program that lets customers order prints at prices you set. Fulfillment is entirely automated.

Here's how it works. You upload images from an event to Printroom's site. You set prices for various print sizes or packages, then distribute the URL to the event's participants or guests. Each person orders prints they want directly from the online album. Printroom collects the money, prints the photos and ships them to your customer. At the end of the month, they send you a check for the difference between what you're charging for the photos and what Printroom charges for them plus a nominal fee for processing the orders.

It normally costs $398 to sign up for the Pro Studio service for a year. Which includes an online studio you can customize with your own business identity, up to 300-MB of online storage and a password to check your sales reports.

But I've arranged a special $200 discount for our subscribers. Here's how to get it:

  1. Visit http://www.printroom.com/proFeatureBenefit.asp

  2. Click the "Sign up for a Pro Studio account" button at the bottom.

  3. Enter your billing information.

  4. Type "Detchells" in the "Discount Code" field and hit "Recalculate with discount" to remove $200 from the total.

  5. Click the "Sign up for a Pro account" link and customize your own Pro Studio.

You aren't just offloading the burden of order fulfillment and billing, you're automating it. So you can get back to doing what you most enjoy: Photography.
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New on the Site

At http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEW1.HTM you can keep track of what's new on our main site. Among the highlights since the last issue:

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In the Forums

Visit the Imaging Resource discussion forums at http://www.photo-forums.com to find out what people are saying about the latest digicams, hard-to-find accessories, friendly suppliers, clever techniques, you name it! Recent hot topics include:

View comments about the Canon PowerShot S30 at http://www.photo-forums.com/WebX?50@@.ee87265

Compare camera prices for over 140 digicams at http://www.photo-forums.com/WebX?13@@.ee86028

Debra asks about the best format for saving photos at http://www.photo-forums.com/WebX?50@@.ee87cf9

Michael asks about Digital DOF at http://www.photo-forums.com/WebX?128@@.ee87b03

Visit the Buying and Selling Forum at http://www.photo-forums.com/WebX?14@@.ee6b2ac

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Just for Fun: A Nobel for Customer Service

Our Nobel may be Ersatz but Customer Service is a real prize judging from your nominations for our Ersatz Nobel Prize for Extraordinary Customer Service in Digital Imaging. In the absence of any compelling bribes, we hereby divide the award among the following winners:

"In this day and age, connecting via the telephone with someone who can help you is almost a miracle!" wrote Paul Castenholz in nominating Tinh Lam at SanDisk. "Not only is this a real person, but a very helpful person, who also was prompt in response and clear in her answers and instructions.

"I believe that Trinh Lam should start a company of her own and with her attitude about how to treat customers, it would become an overnight success!! It would not even make much difference what products her company produced."

Happy endings are wonderful but Clarence Jones nominated Lexar even though his problem hasn't been solved.

"When I bought my first digicam (Olympus E-10) a year ago, I also bought a Lexar USB film reader and a 64-MB Lexar CompactFlash card. There were no problems of any kind until I bought a 128-MB Lexar CompactFlash card. Files shot on this card were OK in the camera. But when downloaded through the Lexar film reader, no program could open them. TIFF files downloaded through the reader were OK. The JPEG files were OK if downloaded from the camera through a USB cable or through Lexar's Jumpshot cable or through a PCMCIA adapter into my laptop."

After installing the latest driver and even having his camera tested and upgraded by Olympus, Clarence was still stymied.

"So I called Lexar. I got to tech support with almost no waiting on hold (although I had to pay for the call). There was nothing in their database about this particular problem. But they replaced the 128-MB card. No difference. Then they replaced the USB reader. No difference. The replacements were shipped overnight, at their expense. Tech support was very helpful in suggesting things to solve the puzzle that I had not tried. But when none of this worked, about a week ago, Demaris Williams at Lexar tech support offered to trade out the 128-MB card for two 64-MB cards."

But Clarence really wanted the capacity of the larger card, so Lexar agreed to work on it a little longer. A partnership of patience that inspires us to nominate Clarence for Consumer of the Year.

We had worried out loud about the dearth of nominations, but Jim Hunt shed some light on the situation. "I was so busy taking advantage of the Printroom.com deal and telling all my friends about it, that I didn't pay much attention to Your Nobel Prize nomination request last week." Excellent excuse!

"In April, Staples had a Visioneer scanner for $9.94 (after rebate). Since my old scanner had hung up a time or two, I figured I couldn't go wrong, at that price, to get a spare. So I went to the local (Columbia-Harbison, S.C.) store but they were sold out. I asked for the manager and requested a rain check or substitute. He said I was just out of luck, he couldn't do anything for me. So I asked to speak with his boss. His boss was in a meeting, but I was able to speak with the District Office Coordinator, Tina Williams.

"She said they were in business to sell products, not to tell the customer why they couldn't sell them. She located a scanner at a Staples store in another town, shipped it to me with no shipping charge and mailed me the rebate forms and a $5 store coupon along with a letter of apology. She also indicated that the store manager would be properly instructed by his boss."

Walt Morris got a charge out of Thomas Distributing, "I had bought a charger and 12 NiMH batteries and a few months later one of the batteries was dead (0 volts, no hope of rejuvenation). I called them and they sent out a complete new set of four batteries to replace the one that went bad!"

And Sheila Barr wanted to acknowledge an extraordinary camera shop. "I nominate Kingstown Camera (http://www.kingstowncamera.com), owned by Norman and Deedra Durocher in Wakefield, R.I. Scott Durocher runs the digital operations. An ex-Marine came into their store Sept. 12 with a photo he had taken of the World Trade Center. Scott enhanced the photo. The customer and the camera store donated all their time and materials to produce a $25 product that has raised over $35,000, all of which goes to the firefighters and policemen of NYC. On Oct. 28, the organization of ex-Marines made Deedra an honorary Marine." Semper fi.

Our final nomination came from skholmes who very much appreciates Midwest Photo Exchange (http://www.midwestphoto.com). "Well they have now expanded into the digital market with their usual gusto and verve and deal they will. I traded up to a new Nikon 990 some time ago and the deal was sweet. Makes the photography stuff on eBay look like war profiteering."

Reader skholmes had a special request, "Recently I have begun to make all different size negatives with my Epson printer and use them for contact printing. Check out http://www.danburkholder.com -- it's his wonderful idea. Can I nominate Dan Burkholder too, for a 'special' Ersatz Nobel?"

Sure, why not? When it comes to Extraordinary Customer Service, everyone is a real winner.

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Dave's Deals

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We Have Mail

You can email us at editor@imaging-resource.com.

RE: Dassonville

I have enjoyed reading your newsletters for some time now. Today's issue, especially the article on Ansel Adams, really caught my eye. When you mentioned the name Dassonville I had just looked at some old booklets I have kept in a storage cabinet. And on top of the pile is one titled "Enlarged Paper Negative Making with Type F Charcoal Black Charcoal Ember."

It was many years ago that I started trying to make enlargements with paper negatives. I imagine not many people now know what a paper negative is, but it was a way to make some lovely pictures. I see that at the time of this leaflet 1936?, the Dassonville Co. was located in Newton, N.J. I will put this back now with some other booklets such as Color Printing with Eastman Wash-Off Relief Film, The Velox Book, etc. They all belong with some beautiful, very old memories.

-- Fred Kronstat

(Dassonville sold his paper business in 1941 to an East Coast firm. In fact, he went there to resolve a production problem, actually processing his emulsion, coating paper and developing sheets in his hotel room to isolate the problem to fumes in the new plant -- which had been a chemical factory! Not only was the paper beautiful stuff, but Dassonville himself took some wonderful images that saved in a two large trunks kept by his son. Fortunately, they were recently published by Carl Mautz Publishing in "Dassonville" (ISBN 1-887694-15-3) which includes what we know of his life story. -- Editor)

RE: Learning Photoshop Elements

Until there is a good text out for the "Elements," you might get a great deal of help by downloading the "Photoshop LE, Classroom in a Book" from Adobe. This fine set of lessons is free (except for the time, printer ink and 221 pages of paper that Denise will use).

A slightly faster but more costly interim solution would be to buy the "Photoshop 6.0 Classroom in a Book" from B&N at 30 percent off the $45 price (waiting of course for the usual free shipping offer). This book has a few goodies that are not included in the Elements program, however could be a very useful tool to get started.

-- Paul Castenholz

(Thanks, Paul. In fact, we just got a copy of Sybex's "Photoshop Elements Solutions" by Mikkel Aaland (which includes a 30-day trial of Elements). Haven't done much but flip through it, but it does look intriguing. -- Editor)

RE: Continuous Inks

I purchased an Epson 1280 and am very satisfied with it except for the (very small) amount of ink in the OEM cartridges (and relative high cost). Plus, not all the ink is available because of the 'chip' control.

Have looked into the various continuous ink supply systems available online which has only led to confusion. Can you recommend any source of information on the various systems to help in making a wise decision?

-- Dan

(I've personally been a bit leery of those systems, but have heard good things about the stuff from MediaStreet. I actually have one of their bulk-ink setups here to test, am hoping to get around to it after I get back from Comdex. It sounds like they've got some good ink formulations and you sure can't beat the cost for the bulk system, if you're doing lots of printing. -- Dave)

RE: Your Support

I have gotten into a nasty habit of getting up early Saturday morning, making a pot of coffee, snuggling up to my computer screen and reading the latest installment of your digital newsletter. The latest one, requesting support by purchasing Shoot & Share, frankly caught me off guard.

What would life be like without Imaging Resource I pondered? I "shutter" to think. So, consider it done, you have a great Web site and newsletter!

-- Kevin

(Thanks so much for your support! We love doing the newsletter but in the current climate, we need to get a little creative about supporting the effort. I was really happy to find such a great deal for our readers ($10 for 25 free enlargements at http://www.imaging-resource.com/cgi-bin/pl/pl.cgi?prnl) and one that would help us so much, too. It genuinely is the best deal I've come across since I've been running the site. -- Editor)

Howz about providing an option for me to pay for a subscription to your pub? I don't really need another image viewer (I must have tried a dozen before finding one that was stable on my system), but I understand your hesitation about asking for contributions and Mike's fondness for hot meals.

Some publications are worth paying for and I look forward to seeing yours in the inbox.

-- Roger Steen

(Duh! I was so fixated on this wonderful deal that I completely forgot about offering the option to donate. We've been amazed by the dozens of generous subscribers who asked for just that! We actually have a URL on our site (http://www.imaging-resource.com/buynow.htm) designed to quickly get to all our current advertisers, but there's an option at the bottom to donate something if you're not buying from one of our partners. Just use one of those PayPal "donate" buttons to help support the newsletter. And thanks very much! -- Dave)
(Thanks, Roger, for the very kind and encouraging words. But we like doing this so much, we'd even eat cold meals -- if they have twist-off caps. -- Editor)

More than happy to help but the order seems to be only for Windows. Is there a Mac version?

-- David

(Shoot & Share is Windows only but you don't need the program to get the enlargements, which you simply order over the Web with your unique code. You get both by mail when you sign up for $10, the software on a CD suitable for "holiday decorating" with the code tucked in on a little piece of paper. When I first read the offer, I thought it was a Windows only deal, too. But it's really a generous deal on enlargements for any platform. -- Editor)

RE: Mike's Holiday Recipe Book

Hey, I already bought Shoot & Share. Now I want Mike's Holiday Recipe Book -- signed, NO Less! Come on, Mike. You have lots of spare time to slap one of those dudes together!

-- Judith

(OK, as soon as we get FDA approval and this digital signature thing worked out, we'll put it together. It's just one recipe (like the title says) but no one's ever gotten sick. Yet. -- Editor)
Return to Topics.

Editor's Notes

If you missed Imaging Resource's live coverage of the annual Comdex Fall trade show in Las Vegas, read the daily reports (http://www.imaging-resource.com/NPICS1/COMDEX_1_L.JPG).


Last week Imaging Resource wasn't just reporting the news, we were the news. After a mention in the Wall Street Journal, Dave gave a four-minute digital imaging primer to 65 public radio stations on Future Tense (http://news.mpr.org/programs/futuretense/). Listen to the Real Audio feed from the 11/08/01 show.


Pictographics (http://www.picto.com) has released the Windows version of inCamera Professional [MW], its $495 ICC-compatible digicam and display monitor profiling software. And they've published the first issue of Pictoscript (http://www.picto.com/email/pictoscript.html).


Apple released Mac OS X 10.1.1 via Software Update which includes support for "additional digital cameras and overall improvements to CD and DVD burning."


Vuescan 7.2.5 (http://www.hamrick.com) supports the Epson 2450 using FireWire and Epson Japanese scanners.


Astronomers (http://www.skypub.com/news/special/leonids2001.html) expect "anywhere from several hundred to 1,000 or 2,000 meteors per hour" during the annual Leonid meteor event.


Sapphire Innovations (http://www.sapphire-innovations.com) has released Shapes Volume 9, 400 warped custom shapes for Photoshop 6/Elements.


Jan Esmann (http://www.powerretouche.com) has released an update to his Photoshop plug-ins [W] to correct lens distortion, exposure, sharpness, contrast, color, colorstitch, contrast, saturation and improve scanned images.


Electric Fish (http://www.electricfish.com/products/photopress) has released PhotoGrid [M] for Mac OS 8.6 or later and Mac OS 10.0.4 or later to drag and drop images to layout templates for easy gang printing.

Return to Topics.

One Liners

For just $150 an insertion you can list your URL or 800 number here (up to a maximum of 70 text characters).

Get PhotoGenetics at http://www.qbeo.com/?dlink=/php3/pgenspl.php3?pcode=223

Lockergnome's Free Digital Media Newsletter: http://www.lockergnome.com

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Signoff

That's it for now, but between issues visit our site for the latest news, reviews, or to have your questions answered in our free discussion forum. Here are the links to our most popular pages:

Daily News: http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEWS.HTM
New on Site: http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEW1.HTM
Digicam index: http://www.imaging-resource.com/DIGCAM01.HTM
Q&A Forum: http://www.imaging-resource.com/FORUM.HTM
Newsletter Forum: http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a.tcl?topic=irnews
Tips: http://www.imaging-resource.com/TIPS.HTM

Happy snapping!

Mike Pasini, Editor
editor@imaging-resource.com
Dave Etchells, Publisher
web@imaging-resource.com

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