On 27th March 2012 the University of Glasgow’s Photographic Unit descended on Photovision 2012; the photographic trade show, this year held at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh. The event held annually and across the UK, hosted a variety of industry professional service providers, seminars and presentations.
A number of the exhibitors at Photovision are of interest to digitisation, and these companies in particular were the focus of our visit. The first was Eizo, who have recently updated their range of LCD 27” and 24” monitors, and have built in colour calibration, thus removing the need for additional monitor calibration software or devices, at least for weekly checks. While a standard consumer LCD monitor is perfectly usable for our kind of work, the more specialised products allow for a far more accurate and consistent image production, vital for the creation of files that are both a historical record and a usable everyday resource.
However, the biggest draw at the event was the Adobe presentation. Their Photoshop Lightroom 4 has gone through a major overhaul and while it now includes an enhanced video editing suite, the biggest draw for us is the expansion of tethered shooting (first included in version 3.0) and descriptive keywords. Our current image management software of choice is Adobe Bridge, and while it performs well for the task of image browsing, it is missing a few essential tools specific for digitisation. Having one program to handle both camera control and preset features like basic levels correction or lens distortion would streamline workflow and remove an extra step in the procedure, along with removing the need for the Photoshop Camera Raw plug-in. Additional features like location-based image organisation means we will be keeping an eye on Lightroom 4 as a contender to handle our day to day workflow.
With digitisation still in its infancy, it appears that we are starting to see the emergence of software that is not only specifically designed for this kind of studio work, but is also a complete package allowing the photographer to perform the entire process of shooting, editing and producing the final finished product for the client in the smoothest, most uninterrupted way possible. We will keep you updated as we continue to explore these emerging solutions.