3.391 digitizing photos (83)

Thu, 24 Aug 89 18:36:42 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 391. Thursday, 24 Aug 1989.

(1) Date: Thu, 24 Aug 89 06:59:38 EDT (30 lines)
From: David Megginson <MEGGIN@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: On reproducing photographs (137)

(2) Date: Thu, 24 Aug 89 09:46:55 EDT (33 lines)
From: Michael Stairs <STAIRS@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: digitized photographs

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 89 06:59:38 EDT
From: David Megginson <MEGGIN@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: On reproducing photographs (137)

I have heard this same request from other scholars, so I will answer
directly to Humanist.

The techology for reproducing a photograph on a computer is cheap and
simple. My wife uses an Atari mega to produce an 8-page supplement
to the United Church Observer, and we are experimenting with generating
our half-tone repros from the computer rather than pasting on PMTs.

The trick is to use a normal, cheap 400dpi (dots per inch) scanner on
a large photograph, then shrink the image so that the effective
resolution becomes 800 - 1200+ dpi.

You will have a few problems with your project. First, even a semi-
detailed 600dpi representation of an 8.5" x 11" page will occupy
at least 4mb of computer memory. Secondly, there is no computer monitor
that I have ever heard of which could display more than a tiny fraction
of that page at once.

Multiply 4,000,000 bytes by the number of pages that you want to
reproduce, and let's hope for a small text or a large computer.

Of course, in five years when personal computers have 64mb of RAM
and gigabytes of disk storage, and most humanities scholars are still
using MeSsyDOS, this message will seem quaint.

David Megginson
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------37----
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 89 09:46:55 EDT
From: Michael Stairs <STAIRS@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: digitized photographs


Roy asks if anyone is familiar with the state of digitization today. It is
interesting that he should ask, as I attended a talk on exactly that topic last
week. The talk was given by a firm who will sell you the camera, write the
interface and place the final product on CD-ROM. All you have to do is take
the pictures, and decide what you want to keep. What I discovered under all
the commercial hype was that the technology though adequate for reproducing
fine quality photographs of stills on the screen is not good enough to produce
readable text on the screen, let alone water stains etc. It would be adequate
for reproduction of maps though the names of cities would be fuzzy. The colours
reproduced are brilliant but the resolution just isn't fine enough to discern
small characters. The demo took place on an AT with EGA, Multisync monitor and
a propriatory board that enhanced the crispness of the pixels. The company we
talked to was not prepared to use the Mac II, with much higher resolution, as
a platform. My impression is that with higher resolution all our dreams could
become a reality, but not overnight. An interesting question just popped into
my head: maybe the reason for their use of EGA over higher resolution video
adapters was to hide the fact that the digitization process was not capable of
higher resolutions using their camera. To sum, I regret to say that we may
have to wait a little longer before the image on the screen is identical to
that on the page. You can start planning for the day though...

Michael Stairs
Site Coordinator
Centre for Computing in the Humanities
University of Toronto