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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Resolution Vs. Sharpness

Crowded Pixels • Extender Percentages • Shedding Light On Adobe Lightroom • Protection • Laminates • Storage Is In The Cards

Labels: How-ToColumnTech Tips
Q A friend of mine recently showed me some prints he had made and then sent out to be laminated. The impact of the modern lamination process was impressive and gave the prints a greater feeling of depth. Have you used lamination?
D. Blackburn
Via the Internet

A I use laminates on large panorama prints that are too unwieldy for traditional glass framing, but they can be used only on glossy or semi-gloss media. Canvas and watercolor papers can’t be laminated. The laminate protects the print from fingerprints, dust and moisture, and is far less expensive (and much lighter) than glass would be for such large pieces.

Most laminators offer three coating varieties. A glossy finish typically is unsuitable for photographs because of its highly reflective surface. The matte finish obscures the detail in the image and kills the contrast and color. A satin or semi-gloss laminate typically works well because it matches the surface of the print media, cuts some glare and doesn’t obscure the detail or color. Laminating a print takes it out of the realm of archival fine art, so this may not be an option for expensive gallery sales. Done properly, a laminated print will last a long time without yellowing or bubbling—so far, my longest test is 15 years.

Storage Is In The Cards
Q Because CF cards have greatly increased in capacity, why not use them on long trips to store my photos, eliminating the need to carry my laptop and hard drive on board airliners? I generally take around 800 shots on a two-week trip, all done in RAW.
R. Dandridge
Summerville, S.C.

A We hear you. Carrying equipment on airliners gets tougher all the time. As of this writing, you can get 16 gigabyte cards for as little as $100, but a really good, reliable, extremely fast card such as the Hoodman UDMA RAW will cost more. Taking extra cards along and leaving your images on the capture media until you get home isn’t a bad idea, except that you have no backup.

When I’m working in the field, I get my images into two locations as soon as I can, typically each evening. The evening review isn’t just about storage; it also gives me an idea of how well my equipment is working and how successful my photographic decisions have been for the day’s shoot, and allows me to consider adjustments that need to be made for the next day.

If you don’t want to carry your laptop along to perform these functions, the next best option is an external viewing and storage device; good units are sold by a number of companies, including Epson, HyperDrive, Jobo and others. The price varies based on storage capacity and the quality and features of the viewer. With my two-location rule, in this scenario I’d use the viewer for my primary storage and save the cards for backup—and carry them home in separate places. Consider it an insurance policy; when you go on a once-in-a-lifetime photo trip, you want to come back with your pictures.

For information about upcoming seminars and digital-imaging workshops, visit www.georgelepp.com. If you have any tips or questions, address them to: OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHER, Dept. TT, George Lepp, 12121 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90025-1176 or online at www.georgelepp.com.


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