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Saturday, March 1, 2008

In Focus: March 2008

Convert old negatives and slides into digital files using ScanCafe, a Website that offers affordable photo, negative and slide scanning services, along with photo restoration. They scan 35mm negatives and slides at 3000 dpi and photos at 600 dpi. To get started, you send them the photos via UPS. They scan and post the images to their Website. You go through and make your selections, paying only for the images you want to keep. ScanCafe returns the originals and ships a DVD/CD of your images and originals. List Price: $0.19/negative (3000 dpi); $0.24/slide (3000 dpi); $0.27/photo (600 dpi). Contact: ScanCafe, (866) 745-0392, www.scancafe.com.

Lyson Cave Paint R24 is a replacement inkset for Epson’s pro printers. Developed as a substitute for inksets like Epson UltraChrome K3, the ink uses advanced resin technology to deliver eye-popping colors and rich blacks that resist fading and bronzing. The R24 inkset includes photo-black and matte-black inks. It’s sold in individual cartridges and refillable cartridge kits. Estimated Street Price: Varies. Contact: Ink2Image, (800) 443-9508, www.ink2image.com.
Lyson Cave Paint

Quickly restore old photos and touch up new work with seamless results using Alien Skin Image Doctor 2. Using the Smart Fill feature, unwanted objects are removed and replaced automatically with an intelligent sampling of the nearby background pattern. Or you can specify where you want the samples to be taken from. Using the JPEG Repair tool, you can spruce up poor-quality JPEGs by smoothing out blocky areas and ragged edges, either selectively or over an entire image. List Price: $199 (upgrade $99). Contact: Alien Skin Software, (888) 921-SKIN, www.alienskin.com.
Alien Skin Image Doctor

Books and Such

The Earth As Art: Views from Heaven by Klaus D. Francke (Bucher, 2007; ISBN: 978-3-7658-1628-4). At first glance, Francke’s aerial photos look more like paintings. They depict the unique beauty of a primeval, almost uninhabited Earth and the traces left on it by humans. Literary quotations by Alexander Smoltczyk accompany the images.

Black & White Photography: A Practical Guide by Steve Mulligan (Photographers’ Institute Press, 2007; ISBN: 1-86108-428-5). Master the camera and darkroom techniques needed to create monochrome prints using this richly illustrated guide, which explores exposure, development, composition and printing.

Macro Photography Photo Workshop by Haje Jan Kamps (Wiley, 2007; ISBN: 978-0-470-11876-4). Learn special techniques for creating unique, artistic close-up images. The book explores the challenges of macro work, including depth of field, focus and exposure. Readers learn by doing, with the book offering plenty of examples and instructions.

The Artist’s Guide to GIMP Effects: Creative Techniques for Photographers, Artists, and Designers by Michael J. Hammel (No Starch Press, 2007; ISBN: 978-1-59327-121-3). Create impressive photo effects by learning the ins and outs of GIMP. With in-depth, step-by-step tutorials, you’ll learn the program’s core tools and more.

Visions of Elk Country: A Celebration of the Rockies in Word and Image by Lance Schelvan (The Lyons Press, 2007; ISBN: 978-1-59921-207-4). The photographer has spent 40 years capturing the Rockies, from British Columbia to Mexico. Color photographs of the terrain and wildlife explore thousands of miles of elk country.

Share your landscapes on a bigger scale using the Epson PowerLite 1715c projector. With 2700 lumens of brightness, XGA (1024 x 768) resolution and high-speed wireless connectivity, the projector works in almost any setting. Plus, it weighs less than four pounds, making it easy to transport. You can adjust the hue and saturation of an image along six different axes for total control over the look of your work. Slideshows can be projected directly from a camera, USB Memory Stick or external hard drive. Estimated Street Price: $1,599. Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.
Epson PowerLite 1715c projector

Turn your stills into a slick-looking slideshow and ready them for viewing on the web, an iPod, a Blackberry or an Xbox with ProShow Gold 3.2 or ProShow Producer 3.2. The software lets you easily export images in more than 40 formats, including DVD, CD and HD video, and play them back on a variety of viewing devices. Geared for enthusiasts, Gold 3.2 has a nice range of easy-to-use creative features, while Producer 3.2 is designed for pros wanting to make more sophisticated presentations. List Price: $69 (Gold); $249 (Producer). Contact: Photodex Corporation,
(800) 37-PHOTO, www.photodex.com.
Photodex ProShow Gold and ProShow Producer

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