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February 20, 2002

Photoshop Galleries

Wouldn't you know it, Photoshop 6.0 does web galleries, too. In case you're not familiar with them, they're the pages I've been linking to various places here on my weblog. For an example, click on the banner photo (limited time offer!). I did that one using Cameraid, which is an excellent all-around photo utility, but not quite the calibre of Photoshop. I also checked out a tool called TalaPhoto, which does nothing but web galleries, but only with frames.

So tonight before all my energy ran out, I ran off a sample web gallery using some of the last scans from my first run of Olympus Stylus Epic photos. As you'll notice, some are experimental in the extreme. I took a photo of Kelly at the concert and blew it up to just her face. Then I did a 'redundant' scan on the film scanner and tried blowing that one up. Result: mucho grain.

So the lesson here is that without a telephoto or zoom lens, I can't expect to get pictures at a school concert that I can use without crawling into the laps of the kids. Since that won't work, I'll continue to use the Nikon Coolpix 950, which has a 3X zoom and is digital to boot, giving quick turnaround!

My (film) photographic site of choice, Photo.net, run by Philip Greenspun, recommends using cameras only with 'prime' (fixed focus) lenses. As Phil says:

Photographic lenses in general are not very good. They only appear to be good because people very seldom enlarge or closely inspect images. Lenses are subject to many kinds of distortion, all of which are more difficult to engineer around in a zoom lens. Furthermore, zoom lenses tend to be slower (admit less light) than prime lenses. This forces the photographer into using flash and/or a tripod.

So I bought the Olympus Stylus Epic, recommended on Photo.net as a very good P&S camera. However, it is really equipped with a mildly wide-angle lens, rather than a telephoto. So as you can see by the samples, even a cheap zoom on a 2 megapixel digital camera can give better results than a (wide angle) prime on a film camera, under less than ideal conditions (which life usually hands you).

Posted by dpwakefield at February 20, 2002 09:55 PM