Photography Archives

July 13, 2006

Preview Extractor

If you use a Nikon digital SLR you are probably aware that you can have your pictures stored in memory in as .jpg files or as "RAW" files (.NEF) or as both. The NEF file format is what the data comes out of the sensor is before a processing engine either within the camera or on a computer translates it into a form which can be widely viewed or printed. Typically the NEF file takes up a lot more space than a jpg would as it is less compressed and also because they already have jpg files embedded in them.

PreviewExtractor can be useful here. Simply choose to only shoot in .NEF format and use Preview extractor to nearly instantly grab the embedded jpg's for things like emailing or posting on the web. Very quick, very simple, and free, but if you like it consider a donation to the author.

As a special bonus, PreviewExtractor is also capable of determining how many shots you have taken with a particular camera by reading a tag within the file.

June 1, 2007

Zooomr - Sooonr or Laaatr

If you haven't noticed, some of the photos on this site are hosted on the photo service Zooomr. And if you have been looking closely over the past week or two some of them may have flickered on and off. That is because Zooomr is going through a major upgrade. It really should have been done by now.

I think they missed their target date by at least a week due to both code and hardware issues. But they do have one redeeming quality - I have free use of my photos - which is important. Free is always a good thing especially when people take a liking to the photo and it gets downloaded a thousand times (what the attraction to a random orbital sander is I have no idea, but it is popular) - having on someone else's server makes this much better,

The new release has some interesting features. The most intriguing is that they are instituting some sort of mechanism by which people can sell their photographs (or probably more precisely, the rights to their photographs). How this will work I'm still not exactly sure because the new site was only up for 10 minutes - long enough for me to upload one picture and poke around a tiny bit. We just need to wait until their server is back up to figure out if this is brilliant or one of those things which "seemed like a good idea at the time".

If the site is up you can follow this link to my photos there:

February 22, 2010

How to load 4x5 sheet film holders

Loading 4x5 sheet film holders is not difficult except that you have to do it in the dark. This post shows and tells how to do it so you will not make a mistake.

4x5 Film comes in a nested set of boxes. There are three in total:


When you open them the boxes will be arranged so that the inner box is closed and then the outer box closes on top of that:


Inside that there may be either a plastic bag or a foil envelope depending on the film brand. Kodak usually uses an envelope that you have to rip open. Ilford uses a plastic bag which is folded over. Inside this the film is sandwiched between two sheets of cardboard.

When you get the bag open you can tell the orientation of the film by the notch. It should be in the upper right corner if the emulsion side is facing you.


Before loading the film holder I usually get it ready by pulling the darkslide out about two inches. This way I don't need to fumble for the darkslide and I can also easily see if I have loaded the film correctly (you'll see this in the following step). About a half inch below the edge of the film holder will be the film guides. The film fits under these guides. Design of the guides varies with the type of film holder, but open yours and take a look at them in daylight before you start loading film.


Insert the film under the guides with the emulsion side out. Note the notch in the upper right corner. After the film is inserted I bend it out slightly as shown. If the film is not in the guide correctly it will flop out. In that case, pull it back out gently and try again. It is not uncommon to get one side of the film on top of the guide so be certain that the film is inserted correctly.


The final step is to slide the darkslide all the way in. The most common convention is to have the white or silver side of the darkslide facing out when the film is unexposed and then when you expose the film you return the darkslide with the black side facing out. The darkslide itself has a series of raised bumps or other indication on the upper right light side. This way you can tell in the dark if you have them inserted the right way.


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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Stuff in the Photography category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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