Sunday, 10 November 2013

LIB 121: Week 11 (November 5, 2013)

The subject of this week’s lecture addressed the question of “how do we ensure that the images that we are scanning are of the highest quality?” We had a detailed review of sample digitization workflow which included the assignment of identifiers to each item, bench marking, equipment calibration, quality review and returning the originals to the archives. Most of the steps were very intuitive, essentially checking in periodically to make sure that some egregious mistake was not incorporated into the whole project, but the equipment calibration component was brand new to me. We discussed hardware (Spyder 4 pro) and software applications that can create a color profile for the monitor in order to assess if it is displaying the accurate depictions of the scanned item. We can also test spatial resolution, and purchase color targets to measure the monitor’s display and make any necessary adjustments. Many people think that these tactics are unnecessary because Photoshop allows for color correction and editing, but Photoshop can introduces its own bias, for the archival .tif file, we should endeavor to get the most representative  depiction possible. We also discussed how we can use the “d-screen” option on Epson software to correct the moire effect, which looks like wavy discolored lines in the image and results from scanning a glossy page. As we review the quality of the scanned images, we should check 10% of our images for their resolutions, tonal values, any noise (lines) or interference, also checking the file names and directories. More information on edge detection can be found in Cornell University’s Computer Science website. Sometimes it helps to have a second pair of eyes take a look at your work, a photographer is a great candidate because they usually have a good idea for these details. At the end of class we were tasked with calibrating the monitors on our personal computers. I followed the directions from Windows 7 on my HP Pavilion laptop, and adjusted the gamma, the brightness, and the color balance of my screen. At the end of the process, I was asked to compare my old settings to my new, and there is no question that the quality was improved, everyone should do it.

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