Image compression, resolution, organization, shipping, hardware, software, Trouble shooting guide
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Under the hood of a digital image
A digital image is a collection of dots, very much like an image in a newspaper. The dots are called PIXELS, and each pixel has a position, a color, and an intensity associated with it. The resolution of the digital image is determined by the size of the pixels, and is noted as Pixels per Inch. The term “Dots per Inch” or DPI means the same thing. The dynamic range of the image is defined by how many different brightness levels each pixel has, and is reported as a ratio of lightest to darkest, like 10,000 to 1. The number of different colors in the image is reported as color count.
Digital images are data files, and have all the information about where each pixel is in the image, which color it is, and how bright the pixel is. Images with information arranged like this are called RAW images, and get big really fast. An image which is 1,000 pixels wide and 1,000 high has 1 million pixels. A typical pixel in a digital image displays 32 million different colors, and has 64,000 different brightness levels. For each pixel, the computer writes down a 4 digit vertical position, 4 digit horizontal position, 8 digit color number, and 5 digit brightness number. That’s 21 digits for each pixel, and it takes 21 million digits for that 1,000 x 1,000 image.
Moving large amounts of information around is a problem for computers, and the human race has been working on how to compress the data associated with images since the 60’s. The challenge is getting small file sizes while maintaining image quality. The culmination of this work is the JPEG Lossless Compression (ISO/IEC 14495) standard, or JPEG-LS for short. This algorithm can compress the data files associated with images, without sacrificing image quality. If fact, image files compressed in this manner blow back up to the original RAW file when they are loaded into image editing programs which follow the latest JPEG standards. (Like Photoshop CS5 and above, Corel Photo-Paint X5 and above, & iPhoto)
You no longer need a TIFF filE!
Photographers who transitioned to digital early on learned that if they wanted high quality digital images, they needed the image in a TIFF file format. This was the only way to get all the original information contained in the original digital image into photo editing software.
With the use of JPEG-LS, the TIFF files are no longer necessary. Photo editing software can now reproduce the RAW (or TIFF) data file without loss when you open the JPEG-LS file.
Typically, we name the images in a folder with the folder name followed by a serial number. For example, the first image in the Kate folder shown above would be: 1957 - Birthdays - Kate - 0001.jpg
As you can see, a folder structure will help you find images, and help people understand what the image is of. You can create as many levels as you like.
Digital Image Organization
Effective digital image organization is not very different from how you would organize the pictures in a photo album.
You know that without some sort of organization, finding a particular digital image can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. But did you know that too much organization creates the needle in a haystack problem as well?
Thoughtfully organizing your digital images into file folders can help you and others find particular images, and can preserve information about the image.
Usually, a physical photo was in a particular envelope, or had a date stamped on the back, or you remember that a particular box of photos came from Aunt May’s attic.
People use this information to figure out what the photo is about, who’s in the photo, when it might have been taken, etc. Many people have their slides or photos organized by year, or subject, or both. We can build a folder structure and name the individual images in a manner that preserves this information.
How backside scanning is done
Backside scanning is only applicable for printed photos, and the backside is scanned at the same time as the front side. From the scanner operator’s perspective, backside scanning is either on or off. This way we can assure that if we scanned a backside, the association with the front side is always correct. There is no chance for human error to creep in!
Associating the front side with the back side
The association between the front and back sides is done by making sure that the names of the two images will display together on computer file systems. The backside image name always ends with “backside”. The rest of the backside name comes from the name of the front side image. In addition, the metadata (which is sometimes used to order the image display) have identical created dates.
How to request backside scanning
Send us a note in the box, or enter a note into the notes area during the checkout process. Nobody wants scans of the backside that nobody wrote on, so when you request backside scans, we will only scan backsides with hand writing on them. If you only want copies of some of the backsides with writing on them, then please separate these photos from the rest, and label this bunch with something like “scan backsides of these only”.
However, if you want us to copy every backside regardless of writing written on it, just tell us to “scan backsides”.
Cost of backside scanning
The cost of the backside scan is the same as whatever you pay for the front side, so with backside scanning the price per photo is double. Volume discounts apply. The front and back sides of a photo both count towards total volume! For example, if you sent us 200 photos and you wanted all of the backs scanned, then your total volume would be 400 photos. The volume discount would take you from $0.25 per photo to $0.20 per photo, the more we scan the more you save!
how to access your images on dropbox
Trouble Shooting Guide
These are the most frequent symptoms we hear about, and how to fix them.
My computer is taking a long time to open my images
If you're trying to look at the images while they are on the optical disk, it takes a long time to move the image data into your computer. We suggest you copy the images from the optical disk(s) onto the hard disk of your computer prior to viewing the images.
The DVD won’t play on my TV
We make two types of DVDs- one intended for your computer, and one intended for your DVD player. The computer disk won’t play in your DVD player. For more info see the package insert.
The movie won’t play on my computer
We make two types of DVDs- one intended for your computer, and one intended for your DVD player. The movie disk will play on your computer, but requires special software. If the movie disk did not start playing automatically, you might need to install software: Windows 10 Movie
The computer is asking if I want to merge these folders
Sometimes, you order spans several disks. We write the data onto the disks in a manner that allows the data to re assemble itself into the folders where it belongs. This is called “Merging the folders”. Answer “yes” to the popup, and your computer will put all the images where they belong.
Some of my images are all red
This happens when the blue and yellow colors have faded away. Our policy is not to attempt additional color corrections, as it requires the artist to guess what colors were there.
All my images look slightly blue or red
We have adjusted the color in your images to appear correct on screens set to view photographs. Perhaps your screen is set to view text (makes our images look a little blue) or movies (makes our images look a little red).
All my images look washed out
This can occur when the device you are viewing your digital images is set to be really bright and\or have a very low contrast. DpsDave images are adjusted to appear just a little dark, as most people have their monitors set a little too bright, as too bright makes reading easier.
I found an upside down or sideways image
If you are using your computer to view individual images, you can rotate an image by hovering over it and right clicking the mouse. This will bring up a menu with “Rotate Left” or “Rotate Right” among the options.
If you are viewing your images as a movie, please contact DpsDave, and we will correct the error and make you a new movie.
I found a backwards image
If you are using your computer to view individual images, you can rotate an image by hovering over it and right clicking the mouse. This will bring up a menu with “Edit” as one of the options. Left click on “Edit”, and your image will be put into you default photo editor program. Locate the “Rotate” icon in the menu bar, and click the down arrow. One of the options that shows up in the dropdown menu is “Flip Horizontal”. Click on “Flip Horizontal” and the image will make a mirror of itself.
See what magic our digitizing technicians can work!
How to order from DpsDave!
Step 1: Place Your order
There is no payment upfront, and this makes it even easier!
step 3: we get to work
when the box arrives, we log it into our database, and an email will be sent automatically.
It's nice to know the package arrived safely, but more importantly we're taking this opportunity to check the return address one more time, and to let you know when the digital photos are schedules to ship back to you.
step 4: we ship it back
The UPS truck shows up at our back door at 3:30
Our job is done, and the photos begin their trip back to you. In a couple of days, the UPS driver will arrive at your door with your box. Inside, you'll find your originals and a DVD or USB stick with your digital images.
During the 60’s and 70’s, I was an avid photographer, using a 35mm camera my father gave me. I didn’t have much money, and since slides were cheaper than prints, I always had my pictures developed as slides. I intended to print the good ones someday, but someday never came. Forty years later, with thousands of good slides and no prints, I noticed that the color on my slides had begun to fade! Darn.
As it turns out, it is a good thing that I never got around to making those prints! Prints also fade, and making all those prints would have been a waste. Still an avid photographer, I had made the switch to digital years ago. I could see that my good old slides weren’t going to last much longer, so I investigated commercially available slide scanners, and was not satisfied with the quality of the output. Eventually, I created my own slide scanners, and that was the beginning of this company in 2009.