My son’s college costs went way up this year. His next semester alone will drain my bank account. And his brother will head off to college next fall! I’m feeling big stress figuring out how to pay for is all. An obvious thing to do is tighten the belt. I don’t live a luxury life; I have no big expenses to cut. So all I can do is tightly control everyday spending.
Costs for my photography surely add up. I’ll bet I spent $1,000 this year on cameras, film, and processing and scanning. Fortunately, those costs haven’t come off my bottom line. I’ve been slowly selling cameras I won’t use anymore (eBay page here!), and those funds have paid for almost all of it.
Seeking to economize even more, when I sent in some film for processing recently I skipped having them scanned. I decided I’d try doing it myself. I have an Epson V300 scanner and Silverfast scanning software on my computer.
Scanning these negatives myself saved me a bundle, but cost me a lot of time. I figure it took me six hours to do three rolls of film. Half of that time was spent fiddling with and cursing at Silverfast until I learned how to use it and found settings that yielded pleasing results. Now that I have that down, I figure that it’s going to take me about an hour to scan a roll of 35mm film. Fortunately, the settings I’ve found cut the amount of Photoshopping I routinely do on my images, so the net is probably 30 or 45 minutes per roll. Still, there’s no joy in scanning. It’s just a chore.
Yet I got some stunning results on these first rolls. The photo above is from a Canon EOS A2e I bought recently; review forthcoming. I went over to the Episcopal church on Meridian Street, a favorite place to test old cameras, and found these autumn leaves resting on an iron bench. This image is almost exactly how it came off the scanner; I only tweaked contrast a smidge in Photoshop. When I uploaded it to Flickr last week, it was chosen for the daily Explore feature. That always feels good!