Aperture replacement
Sep 4th, 2014 by Ken Hagler

When looking at Adobe Lightroom as a possible replacement for Aperture, I quickly discovered that it wasn’t suitable. Lightroom just can’t handle the very large files produced by scanning large-format negatives, and I have a number of such files in my photo library. Fortunately, a bit of searching turned up an alternative. Years ago I had used a product called iView Media Pro to manage my photo library, but it was bought and promptly killed by Microsoft–which led to my using Aperture.

It turns out that at some point it was rescued from Microsoft by Phase One, a company best known for digital medium format cameras, and is now available once again. That made it an easy choice to go back to Media Pro as my Aperture replacement.

Time to look elsewhere
Jun 27th, 2014 by Ken Hagler

Apple to cease development of Aperture:

Apple has announced that it is ceasing development of its Aperture photo editing application. The company will instead be focusing on the upcoming Photos for OS X software, which will be included in the next version of Mac OS X (Yosemite). Apple will ensure compatibility with the next version of OS X and will allow you to import your Aperture library into the new Photos app. This certainly bodes well for Adobe, since even more Aperture will be defecting to Lightroom.

(Via News: Digital Photography Review (

I’ve been using Aperture to manage my scanned photo library. I like its ability to easily link different versions of photos (the scan and files for various print versions, for example), and the software I had been using before was eaten by Microsoft and then killed. I guess I’ll be moving to Lightroom now.

Photographers, avoid Instagram like the plague
Dec 17th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

New Instagram Terms of Service.

The Facebook-ification is starting:

Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising
revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored
content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity
may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along
with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in
connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without
any compensation to you.

Where by “metadata”, they’re not talking about exposure and shutter speed. They’re talking about location. Just awful.

[Daring Fireball]

It’s actually much worse than that. According to the terms of service, not only Instagram may do basically anything they want with your photos, including license them out to others, they also say:

You represent and warrant that: (i) you own the Content posted by you on or through the Service or otherwise have the right to grant the rights and licenses set forth in these Terms of Use; (ii) the posting and use of your Content on or through the Service does not violate, misappropriate or infringe on the rights of any third party, including, without limitation, privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, trademark and/or other intellectual property rights; (iii) you agree to pay for all royalties, fees, and any other monies owed by reason of Content you post on or through the Service; and (iv) you have the legal right and capacity to enter into these Terms of Use in your jurisdiction.

What that means you as the photographer could easily wind up in very deep, very expensive legal trouble just because you used Instagram. Consider how this could play out: you take a photo of a random complete stranger on the street and display it freely as an example of street photography. So far, so good. However, someone in the PR department at a generic huge corporation sees the photo and pays Instagram $100,000 to sublicense your photo for a major advertising campaign. You don’t get any say, or any of the money. Now it’s not looking so good. Now we’re getting into dangerous territory, because use of a person’s image for commercial purposes requires a signed model release–which doesn’t exist.

But it gets worse! The random person on the street sees the advertisements prominently featuring their face and decides to sue. Because of the Instagram terms of service, you get hung out to dry by Instagram and the huge corporation. Congratulations, your little art photo taken with Instagram has cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Too bad your life is ruined because you didn’t read the terms of service.

This really is just like Facebook.

Kodachrome news
Mar 23rd, 2012 by Ken Hagler

Seen on a mailing list:

“On demand” could conceivably include any film that Kodak has ever manufactured. Someone in the audience asked the inevitable question: “Including Kodachrome?” [Beverly Pasterczyk of Eastman Kodak Co.’s] answer: “Yes, including Kodachrome”. She added that while small runs of Kodachrome were unlikely, it was not out of the question, since they have had numerous inquiries.

To the question “How could this be made possible?” her answer was intriguing. “Volume is the answer. Consumer groups of large numbers of individuals could petition for the return of a specific film. This would include not only large companies, but also individuals banded together such as camera clubs, especially those with a large enough base such that they could collectively join on a national or even international basis”.

The question of processing isn’t really addressed here. I seem to remember reading that Dwayne’s sold their processing equipment after they stopped processing Kodachrome. However, if that were dealt with, it occurs to me that another company could conceivably order a production run and then resell it, like the way that companies buy graphics cards from a manufacturer and then resell them with their own company name.

Strange Sign
Mar 10th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

No Babies

I came across this dumpster with a peculiar sign on it recently. I wonder if this is something that comes up often?

QA is hard to escape
Jan 29th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

Wine Bbar

Despite having been out of Quality Assurance for almost ten years, I still found myself writing two bug reports at the same time as my film scanner was scanning this photo.

Poor filming choices
Dec 6th, 2011 by Ken Hagler

When a character in a movie says, “We’ll ride out at first light,” the scene when they ride out should probably not be shot at around noon. Just because Hollywood executives are too stupid to tell the difference doesn’t mean everybody is.

Good turnaround time
Feb 27th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

The frame counter reset on my Leica MP recently broke, so I took it to Samy’s Camera, the store I bought it from. I was afraid they’d tell me I had to send it back to Leica for repair (the last time I dealt with Leica it took them six months to repair a damaged lens), but fortunately they told me it could be repaired in the store. To my surprise, it took only four days for them to finish the work!

Aperture 3 finally works
Feb 14th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

Aperture 3 adds Faces, Places, and improved local adjustment.

After a long wait, Apple has released the next major update to its pro-class photo workflow application, Aperture 3. The new version boasts over 200 new features, including the addition of the successful facial recognition and geotagging features, Faces and Places, that were introduced with iPhoto ’09. Version 3 also adds edge-detecting adjustment brushes for non-destructive localized editing and touch-ups. Along with numerous UI and performance improvements, Aperture 3 adds full 64-bit support on supported systems running Snow Leopard.

Aperture has always had a focus on the workflow of professional photographers, but Apple also markets it for amateurs that want to move beyond the simplicity of iPhoto. Aperture 3 takes that even further, seemingly melding more power and advanced management with the features and ease of use of iPhoto.

Read the rest of this article...

[Ars Technica]

I’d been interested in Aperture since version two as a replacement for iView MediaPro, which was bought out and abandoned by Microsoft years ago. However, earlier versions of Aperture couldn’t handle the very large files produced by scanning 4×5 film (a slide produces a file around 1.25 GB) and would crash if you tried to add one. That problem has been fixed in version three–probably due to a combination of 64-bit support in Snow Leopard, and the fact that my Photoshop system has 24 GB of RAM.

Kodachrome cancellation
Jun 22nd, 2009 by Ken Hagler

Kodachrome Ends 74-Year Run.

HaasroseBy Ernst Haas

Eastman Kodak announced this morning that it will cease the manufacture of Kodachrome this year.

Celebrated in song (literally!) and story, Kodachrome is the oldest film in production and the longest-lived film product in the entire history of photography. Developed by Leopold Godowsky and Leopold Mannes (known as “God and Man” within Kodak) in 1935, Kodachrome had exceptionally low contrast (a good thing in a transparency film) and an inimitably rich, beautiful color palette. For decades it was by far the best color material extant. Among other things, for many years around mid-century it relegated families to long sessions in darkened rooms with a slide projector and a screen, the best way people had of showing each other their vacation and birthday party pictures. Many leading photographers even today, including Sam Abell, William Albert Allard, and Steve McCurry, did much of their important early work on Kodachrome.

However, it is inherently slow and very difficult to manufacture, and devilishly intricate to process. Only one lab in the world is currently processing it—Dwayne’s in Kansas, USA. The best article about Kodachrome was published in Popular Photography and reprinted in the book The Best of Popular Photography. (I should be able to provide issue and page number, but I can’t seem to put my hands on it.) Many film users—including avowed Kodachrome fans—have moved away from it in recent years. It currently accounts for less than 1% of Kodak’s shrinking film sales.

It might have been ’97 or ’98 that I first wrote about the coming demise of Kodachrome, in the pages of Photo Techniques, at the time Kodak suspended in-house processing services. If memory serves, however, Kodak promised back then to continue manufacturing the film for at least ten more years. It kept that promise.

GodandmanGod and Man, inventors of Kodachrome. I own a large dye transfer print of this picture, but I’ve never been sure who was who. I think Godowsky is at the piano. (Thanks to Helen Bach.)

This end was inevitable, but it was certainly a fine long run! Not for nothing is the press around the world this morning calling Kodachrome “one of the iconic products of the 20th century.”

Bravo to God, Man, Kodachrome, Kodak, and “those nice, bright colors.” R.I.P.


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[The Online Photographer]

Kodachrome is my favorite color film. The patent for it has to be long-expired by now, so maybe we’ll get lucky and someone else will start making it (under a different name), the way that Fuji makes Polaroid film.

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