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Saturday, 22 July 2017

Scanning and photography

The past few weeks we have been busy with different project formats. We have a negative tranparency restoration project which is quite involved but great fun too! There were slides to scan and a vhs video restoration and transfer.
It never ceases to amaze me how many photographs and slides people have tucked away and its great that they are coming out and being restored to view on TV and computer. I feel honoured to be a part of that process and really appreciate the feedback we get.
Anyway with all this going on we needed to get a short break and take some photos👍

We drove down to Mumbles. The weather was overcast but warm with a fairly gentle breeze. I had taken the Nikon D7100, one of my favourite 'heavies'. It was armed with a 55-200 dx lens and vr. My objective was to see how the lens was performing in my hands under these conditions. I am in two minds whether to take this lens with me on a camping holiday or not. If you have any thoughts I would appreciate your feedback.

Mumbles pier


Barnacles and seaweed

And er what exactly are these....?

It was good to get out and get some fresh air. Our trip to Mumbles was fun and I intend to go back with my Rolleicord to Oystermouth Castle, when the weather is a little brighter.

Till next time, David.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

We have had some good weather here in South Wales the past few days and, at last, I was inspired to get the cameras out and have some fun. I have written about the projects on our website blog.

It was good to be out and about with the cameras again. The sun was shining and there were some good picture opportunities.

My daughter took this picture of me as we were cat chasing in the garden. I had been struggling to get 'that picture' because the cats would not stay still long enough!

Jan has been busy with the shop 'Neath Valley Wools' in Glynneath. So I took some pictures there too!

A small selection from Jans massive range of quality wools.

Almost a 'selfie'  - The shop window display with heaps of reflection.

My new profile picture.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

I still photograph using 35mm film

The other day one of my customers asked if I could still get hold of 35mm film and can I get it processed. I replied that indeed I can and do! I have a Nikon F-601 which I use for my 35mm photography and I love it to bits. Anyway I supplied Gareth with some Velvia film and he has gone over to France to visit some war graves. When he comes back he will give me the film and I will get it processed along with some of mine. For my part I use the 35mm largely for portrait photography though I do take the camera on location too using a wide range telephoto lens. When I get the film back I scan the images so they can be viewed on computer or tv - but for the real thrill I will use one of my projectors to throw the picture on to a wall in a darkened room  and have a family show.

The point of this post is that 35mm is still out there and I wish to promote it! If any of you readers are after film and processing please contact me and I will sort out supplies and processing for you.

If there is enough interest I will start a new page on the website for 35mm film so please get back to me with your feedback.

A couple of weekends back my daughter and I went plane spotting in Yeovilton and a great day out it was too. Below are some pics.

All pictures are the copyright of Saturn-Films 1969.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Flat bed and quality of scans

I am a lover of the flat bed scanners by Epson and Canon ( -the v700, v750 and 9000f ) for photo scanning.
These are great scanners but they suffer from one huge drawback - scratches.
When I get a scratch on the glass that area is covered and that part of the scanner will not be used for scanning again. This is an irritating process but necessary to maintain image quality.
So how do we get the scratches ? I use a velvet LP cleaning cloth to remove dust. This is effective but if there is a bit of grit carried on a photo it can potentially  damage the glass surface. It is a balance between removing dust and the danger of harming the scanner. Blowing the surface with an air duster is useful but not totally effective in removing particles. At Saturn Films 1969 we use a positive pressure cabinet to keep dust out of the working area and this helps reduce the need to physically clean the scanners. At the end of the day though there will always be a bit of dust carried that will result in scratching the glass surface. We have to be alert for this and to take action when it happens. Even when it means junking a scanner!

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Being competitive in a tight market

Slide scanning is a specialist subject. Yes - anyone can do it....and lots of people are, and offering their services at increasingly lower prices. Those of us that have been around for a while (are you reading this you guy's in Farnborough and Warrington?) are being squeezed to offer lower prices but retaining our high standards. This is difficult when the staffing and equipment overheads are so high, scanners are not cheap!
The market is getting smaller as more people have their images scanned, this reduces the potential work available. If we produce an excellent product there is no need for the customer to come back, unless they have other pictures to scan of course!
At Saturn Films (1969) we have diversified to include 8mm and 16mm film scanning so you can have your old film footage transferred to DVD. We have taken on more negative and photograph scanning. We have invested in better equipment for VHS, Hi-8 and digital 8 transfer to DVD. We replaced our Reel to Reel tape recorders with upgraded machines. In collaboration with Mr J Bibby we are offering unique canvas prints of crystals.
And of course our prices. We have reduced our prices to remain competitive, but we have kept our standards and indeed improved them wherever we can.
Saturn Films (1969) aim to be here for some time to come but like so  many other small businesses at the moment we are feeling the squeeze and have had to respond. I hope we have achieved the right response.

Cwmgwrach, 30-04-11

Monday, 28 February 2011

Mouldy old slides

One of the hardest jobs I have done has just been finished. Several hundred heavily contaminated slides were cleaned and scanned. The results were better than I expected but not brilliant. I began restoring the pictures individually then realised I could spend months on them. In future in cases like this I will think long and hard before providing a quote for the task. Our current price list is available here

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Slide images from the fifties and sixties. How well have they survived?

The other day I received a pack of 35mm slide transparencies which were well packed and clearly well looked after. All of the images were from the fifties and sixties. I scanned the slides at high resolution and was surprised by the dust and mould that became visible. I use a blower to remove the dust but it does not remove all, the software I use removes some of the effect but again, not all. In the end the best results were achieved by a combination plus manual editing of the images.
Another effect of  age on the film is colour change. The blue being stronger in Kodak film and the reds predominating in the Agfa product. These colour changes are usually quite simple to correct  but with the oldest slides the task becomes more difficult.
I am sure we will see this more and more as the older slides emerge for scanning and preservation and the challenge for us is to keep the picture as close to the original as possible. Our picture of the month is a Supermarine Scimitar F1 and is an example of  a slide scan image from the sixties which has been restored. The resolution on the web obviously does not compare with the original image, but gives you a good idea of how well images can be scanned, restored and preserved for transfer to disc.
For further information on image scanning and to see examples visit  our website  Saturn Films 1969

David J Sack