Friday, October 9, 2009
As I really like to maintain copies of my original artwork, I usually photograph them with my Canon PowerShot SD 1000 7 megapixel Digital Elph. While I have been doing this for quite a while, I can never seem to get it right. (On a consistent basis) This top image was taken in full sunlight. I try auto mode, manual mode, macro mode and several different white balance settings and this is what I often end up with. This image is completely unedited and unusable as is.
When I got my new computer, I decided to forgo installing the resource hog that is Photoshop and started editing everything with Picasa - Google's free image editor. Usually it works out pretty well for me, but in this case, it's not. My usual routine is to balance the image by using the neutral color picker by clicking on a white area in the image, then use the auto contrast function, then add a bit of sharpness. In the above image, all I used was the auto contrast. Further tweaking with the Fill Light, Highlights, and Shadows sliders couldn't do the image justice. It still looks dull & flat. Unusable.
For grins, I try the "I'm feeling lucky" button. Um.... No. As far as I'm concerned, I can't get a usable version of this print so I will need to try photographing it with late afternoon sun to see if it will come out any better. What irks me is that the images always look good in the viewfinder - even when I zoom. It's not until I put them onscreen that I see how horrible they are.
This time I try scanning it with my Canon D660U scanner - but I already know what's going to happen. It's going to blow out. White paper always seems to create a blown out image such as this and I have tried & tried to adjust any and all settings in relation to my scanner & it's software & this is what I get. This is an unedited 180spi scan. Unusable.
I give Picasa's Auto Contrast button a go and no way... Completely oversaturated with no detail on the rough surface of the watercolor paper. No manual tweaking can better this image.
Once again, I hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button and no better. Still oversaturated & blown out.
I feel like I'm missing something obvious. Is it the camera that just can't handle the white paper in bright light? Is the white paper going to always make my scanner go bonkers?
Any suggestions? I've already decided to pick my "favorite" images and have them (high-res) scanned at a local camera shop but I wish there was a way I could do this by myself with consistent results.