Religious Orders

Last Week's Trip

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:47am

Religious Order: Photos

I had business up in Ashburn last week. I took advantage to re-visit the Air and Space Museum, Udvar-Hazy Center, out near Dulles. In case you've never been there, it's basically some big-ass hangars filled with planes and space stuff. Of course, I took pictures, including a 3D shot and a couple of panoramics.

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Hawaii Photos

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:47am

Religious Order: Photos

My wife and I went to Hawaii last January. We had a wonderful time and took over 6000 photos. I've finally put a decent number of them on Flickr.

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Photos Photos Photos!

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:47am

Religious Order: Photos

I've started putting some of our photos from Norway up on my Flickr account.

So far, it's mainly panoramas. I've been stitching together pieces of them all week.

I also have a goodly number of 3D ones to upload, so dig out your red/blue glasses! (One is up right now. At least 26 more still to upload.)

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More Scans

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:47am

Religious Order: Photos

Another ScanCafe order arrived today. As usual, I upload a few to my Flickr account.

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Photo Extremes

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:47am

Religious Order: Photos

Take a look at this guy's close-up photos of bugs. He does space shots, too. Wow! Just, wow!

I guess he's into the very big or the very small.

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ScanCafe Away!

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:47am

Religious Order: Photos

I heard about a great scanning service recently. It's called ScanCafe. They scan all sorts of stuff: slides, negatives, photos.

They have a neat process. Once they've scanned your stuff, they put them on a web site for you to view. And then you can reject up to half of them. And you don't pay for the ones you reject. (And you can reject for whatever reason you want, even if it's just because Aunt Mildred's eyes were shut.) Then they send you a DVD with all the scans you kept. (And your negatives, of course.)

I've read that their quality is really good, much better than consumer negative scanners can do. And the prices are way low, only 19 cents per photo from negative, which is where my interest lies. You see, we like to take photos. So we have tons and tons of old negatives around the house. In particular, we spent a really nice week touring parts of Europe one summer, before digital cameras were any good. And we took photos, about 400 or so. I've always wanted these in a digital format. So we're trying out these guys with the European trip as a test.

They can also scan APS/Advantix film. Remember that stuff? Anyway, we have a few rolls of it from Europe as well. They were shot in panorama mode. Scanning those costs more than twice as much per photo, because it's a pain with which to work. But some of the photos are really nice, so we bit the bullet. (Okay, actually, I sent them in before I realized they cost more.)

They actually do the scanning manually, rotating and color-correcting things by hand. So, how do they keep their costs down? By doing the actual scanning in India, land of really smart people. (Honestly, I've never know anyone of Indian ancestry who wasn't really smart, starting with Ruma, my old debate partner.)

So, therein lies the sole drawback. You ship your negatives to California. They repackage orders in a big bundle and send them to India. India scans them. Then the negatives get sent back to California and then back to you.

The whole process can take two months. Is that a problem? Not at all. Those negatives have been sitting in a closet for years. (This probably isn't the way to go if you need things back quickly, though.)

So, we sent ours out and they arrived in California this morning. In two months, we should have some great scans. I'll report back then.

(If it all works out, we have loads of negatives from a two week stint in Norway.)

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Motherlode

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:47am

Religious Order: Photos

I mentioned earlier that I had found the rest of our photos from our big trip to Europe. (It's in the comments.)

Today, we packed them up, along with some rolls from a trip I took to Hungary earlier in that same year. And then we threw in a few other rolls we found.

The order just tops 800 negatives.

But, there are so many other photos missing. There are all the photos taken during three weeks in Norway. There are the early trips we took together, including Glacier National Park, Las Vegas, and Orlando.

Plus, all those photos taken just living life. Where are the photos of our wedding? And photos from Kari's family trips to Norway? And all those Xmas gatherings? Where are all those negatives?

So, I ventured forth into the storage room. It's actually the third bedroom. The room is literally packed full of boxes. Some of those boxes were packed in Minnesota in 1993. And, many of them are still sitting there, never unpacked. (And we've moved locally twice since that initial big move out to Williamsburg.)

I slowly worked my way to the back of the room, where the oldest boxes dwell. Searched a bunch of 'em. Found a bunch of crap I ought to dump on eBay. As I worked my way back out, I ran into a box chock full of envelopes of photos and negatives! Sweet! Heavy, too.

Then, as I finally reached the door with my box-o-goodness, I spied a smaller box with the single word "negatives" scrawled across it. Indeed, it was full of negatives. It had the Norway ones for which we've been pining. (Pining for the fjords. Get it? The Norwegian Blue? C'mon!) It had our wedding photos. It had all the negatives we had ever sent out for reprints or enlargements. It had old, old photos of Geirangerfjord. It simply had everything!

So, the plan is to work our way through all this, sending off ScanCafe orders weekly. By the time we send off the last order, the first one should be returning.

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Scanning Services

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:47am

Religious Order: Photos

Lars left a comment regarding scanning services back in June, while I was in Norway. I meant to put it into a post, but plumb forgot until just now. He's compiled a list of scanning services and has made it available to all: Lars' Matrix-o-Scanning.

(I will note that Lars may be affiliated with the top service listed, based on the contact email at the bottom of the spreadsheet.)

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Scans Are Here!

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:47am

Religious Order: Photos

We received our first big order from ScanCafe. We had done a small test order earlier, but this was our first large order.

I've been uploading a few of the scans to my Flickr account. Feel free to take a look. They include my very favorite photo of my wife, taken during our wedding.

There's a second large order on its way to use. Should be here within a week. And we have a huge (1200+) order winging its way to India.

Guess it's time to get another order ready!

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Scans Arrived!

Posted: Friday August 15 2008 @ 7:47am

Religious Order: Photos

Two months ago, we sent off a load of negatives to ScanCafe. (I mentioned it earlier.) The scans arrived today!

Two months is about what we expected for the turnaround, so it was pretty much right on time. Our order took a little longer than normal because I included some APS film. And, as luck would have it, their balky APS film loaders broke down. (They warn about this on the site.) ScanCafe did ask whether we wanted to wait an additional two weeks while the loaders were fixed or just get our order without the APS shots. So we chose to skip the APS shots. Unfortunately, it seems my reply was lost somewhere. A little over a week later, I re-sent the reply and the scanning was finished the next day. So, without the APS film, it would have taken about 6 weeks total.

The scans look great. The exact size varies, but the final images are about 4200 x 2700 pixels. The ScanCafe folks also rotate portrait shots, which is really nice. (One problem in our household is that my wife and I turn the camera in opposite directions when we shoot portraits. So, rotating them later is a pain. Can't just select them all and turn them.)

ScanCafe also does some clean-up and color correction. These negatives should have been in good shape, so it's hard to judge the clean-up. But, the bottom line is that the scans look good. Really good!

The odd thing is how photography has changed due to digital cameras. These photos cover a week in Hungary, followed by another week spread over Austria, Switzerland, France, and England. Not including the APS photos, is was 276 photos total.

That's all? Hell, I take more photos than that in a single day with a digital camera. Lots more! But, in the old days, each photo was an additional cost.

Overall, I take better photos in the digital world. We have some amazing photos from Alaska and Hawaii, because we could literally take dozens of shots of the same thing and just pick the best one. You just can't do that with real film, unless money is no object.

On the other hand, it seems like there's something missing with digital images. Some sense of warmth? I dunno. Maybe it's the same thing that vinyl aficionados miss with analog albums. (I'm old enough to have bought my share of records. But I started on CDs early on and never looked back. And, yes, even those very early CDs still play fine. I've had only 2-3 CDs actually go bad in, oh, 20 years.)

Anyway, the final verdict is that ScanCafe rocks. If won't work if you need the scans next week. But if waiting two months for the scans is doable, then it's a great service.

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