Wednesday, 30 October 2013

LIB 121: Week 8-10 (October 29, 2013)

To the unaware observer, it may seem that I have been slacking on my blog posts but the truth is that class has been fairly one dimensional for the past three weeks. Our mid-term assignment (due during week 8) was to submit an idea for a digital program, as well as digital project proposal. I titled my digital program, “Gone Too Soon” and pitched it as a way for bereaved individuals to create a tribute to their loved ones who seemed to have died prematurely. The specific project that I will be working on for the duration of the semester is “Hearts Afire: Marie and Larry Powell’s Wedding Photographs”. My parents passed away recently, (my mother in 2010 to lung cancer, and my father in 2012 to liver disease) and I often turn to their old photographs to remind me of the good times that they were healthy and happy. I chose 25 images from their 1982 wedding album to digitize for class. My project plan included a budget for the necessary equipment, software, and staffing, as well as a timeline, file-naming conventions, and strategies for recruiting other community members to design their own digital projects. For the past two weeks, we have had ample class time to scan each photograph in a high resolution .tif file, as well as a lower resolution jpeg file. I thought that my 4GB jump drive (which was 50% full of random files) could store my digital images but I was wrong. I had to return to class the following week with a new jump drive to complete the assignment. I wound up scanning all of my .tif images at 1200 dpi in order to get at least 4000 pixels on the long side, since the original color photographs were about 4in. by 4in. in area. Even as I got into a rhythm of placing the photo on the scanner and selecting the appropriate specifications, I found that it was easy to save in the wrong folder or incorrectly name the image if I was not paying attention. Overall, the assignment was completed with plenty of time to spare, and I’m looking forward to the next phase of the project….applying metadata, AH YEAH!    

Thursday, 10 October 2013

LIB 121: Week 6-7 (October 8, 2013)

Due to mandatory professional development for the instructors at PCC, last week’s class was canceled. I went in this week to learn more information about scanner specifications and scanning procedures than I had ever hoped to grasp before. I recently purchased an inexpensive printer/scanner, and now I can read the specifications and see what my $50.00 scanner is worth. It turns out that my scanner could not produce archival quality scans, because the maximum scan resolution is only 2400 dpi. For spatial definition, I learned that we should strive for 4,000 dpi on the long side of the image for archival quality. For example, an 8”x10”, needs to be scanned at 400 dpi in order to achieve a decent resolution. All of the information that is included in a scanner’s specifications is still a little confusing to me, especially since the different aspects are measured in the same units. After we discussed specifications, we spent the second half of class scanning images at the appropriate resolution for their size, the bit depth for their color, and saving them as TIFF and JPEG files. Once again something that is very simple, which I have been doing haphazardly for years has the potential to be a much more clear and streamlined process.