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Digital photo preservation in brief 20150617

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A presentation on the transfer of analogue photograph formats to digital, preservation of digital formats and a look at Born digital formats.

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Digital photo preservation in brief 20150617

  1. 1. Photo Preservation – Digital Formats John D. Lund, Sept 27, 2012
  2. 2. Preservation
  3. 3. To Digitize or Not to Digitize? Is the goal access, making available online? Is the goal preservation?  Is digitization the best strategy?  And how should one go about digitizing their photos, negatives or slides? Digitization
  4. 4. To Digitize or Not to Digitize? Always keep in mind that you can’t simply pick up a digital image and look at it; Without a computer, without the correct software, the technology, the digital image is inaccessible; There are many long term preservation concerns. Digitization
  5. 5. Problems with Digital  Short lifespan – under ideal conditions 5 to 20 years.  Rapidly changing and obsolete technology and formats (5 ¼” floppies, 3 ½” discs, CD-R …) .  More complete and irreversible loss than non-digital formats (scratch a CD and everything is gone).  New, unproven technology – lack of standardization. Digitization
  6. 6. Positive Aspects of Digital  Potentially searchable by keyword.  Convenient and inexpensive.  Plenty of storage space.  Generational loss is minimal in non-compressed formats during transfer from one digital format to another. Digitization Img1639.psd Img1639.tiff Img1639.jpg
  7. 7. Planning on Digitizing?  Keep your original photographs and negatives  Do not throw out originals after digitization!  Back up, back up, back up! Storage is cheap.  Plan it out – standardize the process. Digitization
  8. 8. Planning on Digitizing?  Make at least two copies:  A high resolution archival copy – minimum 300dpi (ideal 600dpi), preferably in TIFF format;  A viewing copy – 72 - 96dpi is standard for the internet, jpeg format;  Grayscale – 8 bit depth, Colour – 24 bit depth.  So what the heck does all this mean?  Don’t take the easy route.  Plan for obsolescence – keep up to date with the latest technology:  How many of you have files on floppy discs that you can’t access? Digitization
  9. 9.  There are a number of file formats for images, but we will focus on the two most common formats: JPEG .jpeg, .jpg TIFF .tiff, .tif File Formats Digitization
  10. 10. JPEG: Jpeg is a compression algorithm* not a file format; Each opening and resaving of a JPEG results in cumulative losses; Image changes and quality decreases each time a JPEG is saved; Works well for realistic images, photos, etc. *An algorithm is a set of instructions (rules) that is used to perform a certain task (calculation). File Formats Digitization
  11. 11. TIFF: Currently accepted preservation format; Have the choice of saving either as a - non-compressed file or - using lossless compression (LZW compression); Metadata can be attached (descriptive information about the image) File Formats Digitization
  12. 12. Compression Data (pixels) that are duplicated are deleted or saved in a shorter form. Allows for smaller size files but data is lost. Digitization
  13. 13. When a lossy compressed image is decompressed, it is no longer the same as the original image. Information is eliminated as part of the compression. When a lossless compressed image is decompressed, it is identical to the image before it was decompressed: For example, TIFF with LZW* lossless compression. - *LZW = Lempel–Ziv–Welch (last names of the creators) Lossy Compression Digitization Lossless Compression
  14. 14. Two components to resolution to consider when scanning: Spatial Resolution – dpi, pixels per inch; Target Size (Print Size) – physical dimensions. Resolution 300dpi, Target Size (Print) 8” x 10”. Resolution Digitization
  15. 15. Digitization Scanning Software & Tech
  16. 16. Digitization Scanning Software & Tech What kind of scanner to use? Supports both Negatives and Photographs Supports a variety of negative sizes and formats, from 35mm to 8”x10” Adaptable software, custom controls Higher end, professional scanners will increase processing speed. Smart Technologies, such as, ICE? Many scanners come with software that automatically detects dirt, dust and scratches & cleans these imperfections from the image.
  17. 17. Digitization Scanning Software & Tech Smart Technologies Are a nice feature to have but don’t use them: - They may make unintended changes to the image; - You want to scan all your photographs or negatives using the exact same controlled procedures; - If something does go wrong with a scan then the error will be traceable if the procedures are standardized; - The original digitized image file should be preserved for your archives as is; - Corrections and cleaning may be done to a copy of the original scan.
  18. 18. Digitization Scanning Software & Tech What kind of scanner to use? Don’t use negative scanners that mechanically feed in the film. They can cause stress on the film.  What do you do if your 35mm neg strip is curled? Not any old scanner will do, check reviews  e.g. http://www.imaging-resource.com/SCAN1.HTM
  19. 19. Digitization Scanning Software & Tech Grayscale – 8 bit depth, Colour – 24 bit depth The term "bit depth" is used to describe the number of bits used to store information about each pixel of an image. The higher the depth, the more colors that are available for storage. The bit depth of an image will determine how many levels of gray (or color) can be generated. 8 bit = 2 8 = 256 colours 24 bit = 224 = 16777216 colours
  20. 20. Digitization Scanning Software & Tech Premium Solution Cost effective solution External Hardrives To start two 2 terabyte drives, $260 1 Terabyte hard drive, $75 Adobe Photoshop / Lightroom CC ... Complete Suite (CC) US $49.99/month per license Annual: US $599.88 Subscription Based US $9.99/month Annual: US $119.88 Photoshop Elements 10.0 Alternative to Photoshop - CAN $119.99 Scanner, Epson V850 or V800 V850 – CAN $1,139.99 V800 – CAN $889.99 Photo Printer, Epson R3000 Epson notes as out of stock but can find through Amazon $899.99 Photo Printer Epson Pro4900/Pro3880 Pro 4900 – CAN $2,394.99 Pro 3880 - $1,555 Computer Est $1000 Est $500 TOTAL $5394.86 $3139.87
  21. 21. Digitization Scanning Software & Tech Adobe CC Products are now available on a subscription basis  Photography Program includes full version of Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, Bridge CC and Lightroom mobile where you can install it on your ipad or iphone as well.  While Adobe is pushing its cloud base services, the software is loaded locally and one may choose to store files only locally.  Photoshop Elements remains a desktop application.
  22. 22. Digitization Storage There are no guarantees! Files stored on brand name CD-Rs have been found not to open after less than a year. Despite our digital era the best means of preserving your most important images is to print them out!
  23. 23. Digitization Storage The best means of long term storage is to store image files on a server or an external hard drive: Your computer, a USB stick, or CD-R are more susceptible to failure and loss of photos A One Terabyte hard drive (1 TB) cost about $75 It can store over 52,000 high quality photos (20MB each);
  24. 24. Digitization Storage Back up, back up, back up: Keys to good back up: - Automatic – whether you do it manually or have an automated system back ups need to be second nature; - Local – first backup is easy and fast to restore, such as, an external hard drive; - Remote – in case of disaster, may store at work, at a relatives or in the cloud (should be secure – encrypted);
  25. 25. Digitization Storage Back up, back up, back up: Instead of buying a 3 or 5 TB hard drive you may want to buy two 1 TB hard drives in order to provide for a secondary back-up as previously described. Cozy home Bank your memories
  26. 26. Digitization Storage – CD-Rs While CD-Rs are not recommended for long term storage, if required Gold CD-Rs are preferred.* *See handout DVD-Rs are designed with a short shelf life  They are not reliable  Less standardized (HD vrs Blu-ray)
  27. 27. CBC Spark Episode 35 - Start at 11:30, End 13:03. Interlude Digital Legacy
  28. 28. Digital Camera Photographs Aka – Born Digital Image Files
  29. 29. To understand photographs created by a digital camera we need to know about RAW files. A RAW file is the unprocessed information gathered by a camera’s sensor when a picture is taken. Digital Camera Photos RAW
  30. 30. RAW is not one single thing, rather it’s a general term for a variety of proprietary file formats, including, Canon’s CRW & CR2, Panasonic Lumix’s RW2, Nikon’s NEF. Digital Camera Photos RAW
  31. 31. A RAW file is a record of the data captured by a camera’s sensor. The sensors simply count photons – they produce a charge that is directly proportional to the amount of light that strikes them. Not unlike a traditional negative (film camera) Digital Camera Photos RAWcont’d
  32. 32. Not unlike a traditional negative (film camera) Digital Camera Photos RAWcont’d
  33. 33. Well it is a little more complicated ... If you are interested in more detail, please see the handout, Understanding Digital Raw Capture. Digital Camera Photos RAWcont’d
  34. 34. Metadata is data about data A tag identifying a person in a photograph is a form of metadata, it is information about the content of the photograph. A caption/description in a family album is a form of metadata Digital Camera Photos Metadata
  35. 35. RAW files not only contain the visual information (pixels) but also the image metadata; For example, both RAW and JPEG captures contain EXIF (Exchangeable Image Format) metadata, http://www.exif.org/; EXIF records shooting data such as camera model, serial number, shutter speed, aperture and date. Digital Camera Photos RAWcont’d
  36. 36. Descriptive (Technical) metadata describes technical features, such as, the shutter speed at which a photograph was shot; Example of metadata on Flickr www.flickr.com Example from flickr Digital Camera Photos Technical Metadata
  37. 37. Digital Camera Photos Technical Metadata
  38. 38. Additive metadata is information that can be added to an image file, such as, keywords (tags) and copyright information. It is assigned to an image rather than auto- generated. Adobe Bridge (bridge btwn creative suite software) Adobe Lightroom (workflow) Digital Camera Photos Additive Metadata
  39. 39. Digital Print Stability Preservation Considerations when printing your Digital Photos
  40. 40. Photo inkjet prints Inkjet Prints: Most photo-quality printers use inkjet technology where very small droplets of ink are deposited onto paper. Inkjet prints vary widely in composition of colorants, paper and stability. Inkjet images may be composed of either dyes (vegetable based) or pigments (mineral based). Pigments tend to be more stable than dyes. Digital Print Stability
  41. 41. Uncoated Paper tends to absorb the ink causing a blurred image and loss of colour intensity. Coated Paperprevents the ink from bleediing into the paper and results in brighter, more saturated colour and greater image detail. Coated and Uncoated Paper Digital Print Stability
  42. 42. Swellable Paper, the surface of the paper swells in the presence of the moisture in the water-based ink. This allows the colorants to penetrate the top layers. Maximizes image brightness and to some degree protects against atmospheric pollutants. Images may require significant amount of drying time. Coated Paper Digital Print Stability
  43. 43. Porous Paper, the surface is coated with tiny, inert particles, which create numerous little cavities in which the ink is deposited. The particles prevent the ink from spreading Paper has a higher resistance to moisture & humidity Paper dries quickly and can be handled immediately There is no protective polymer layer thus susceptible to atmospheric pollutants Porous paper is preferred when pigment inks are used. Coated Paper Digital Print Stability
  44. 44. There are a wide range of choices and manufactures and retailers seldom provide information on ink type or paper type. How do you know what you are buying? Digital Print Stability
  45. 45. Swellable papers generally have higher gloss than porous papers. Papers advertised as having short dry times usually porous. Most porous papers feel slightly sticky; swellable papers generally feel smooth A drop of water rubbed across the surface of swellable paper will “melt” the surface layer and form a slippery layer. How do you know what you are buying? Digital Print Stability
  46. 46. A drop of water on porous paper will be absorbed causing little change. Prints made with pigment inks often display an obvious difference in surface gloss between areas with high ink density and areas where no ink is present. Pigment based inkjet prints will be water-resistent even if printed on plain paper, while dye-based prints will not. How do you know what you are buying? Digital Print Stability
  47. 47. Take any claims by manufacturers with a liberal portion of salt. Image Permanence Institute http://www.imagepermanenceinstitute.org/sht ml_sub/consumerguide.pdf Life Expectancy of Digital Prints Digital Print Stability
  48. 48. Digital Photography Review http://www.dpreview.com/ The Cloud
  49. 49. Questions?

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