Archive for May, 2011

West Canada 2002, or: The Joy of Slide Scanning

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

As I had some time on my hands recently (hint, hint), I took a deep breath and descended into our photo archive to wade through thousands of images from our 2002 trip to British Columbia and Alberta. I have not been satisfied with those scans for a very long time as I knew they were not state-of-the-art, but I could never motivate myself enough to re-scan all those slides. Until now.

So I fetched all the slides and took new, fresh, crisp scans of them. The old scans were from 2002 and 2003, from various sources and scanners, processed with lousy equipment. Now I used our trusted Minolta Dimage Scan Elite II slide scanner with the latest SilverFast scan software, the combo of Photoshop Lightroom 3.3 and Photoshop CS5, and, of course, color calibrated monitors.

Guess what? The slides look as fresh as they looked back then, but now the scans look as fresh as the slides so you can enjoy the images as they really are! While I was at it, I also decided to bump up the size of the images from 750 x 500 to 1000 x 667, so you get much larger images, almost double the size!

Here are just three examples of the visual improvement:

Canoos waiting for customers at the Moraine Lake, Alberta/Canada
Mark Zanzig

Sunwapta Falls at Jasper National Park, Alberta/Canada
Mark Zanzig

Fairmont Hotel Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta/Canada
Mark Zanzig

The most astonishing fact, however, is that those slides are still quite breathtaking. So I realized (again) that despite all the cool digital technology that supports us photographers today – shooting photos is not so much about the photography but really about the beauty of the places and the nature of the subjects. In this case, I believe that many of the spots we visited, especially the National Parks, are of timeless beauty, and will probably look as awesome today as they did back in 2002.

Please do visit the West Canada Photo Gallery and enjoy!