Q&A Digital Photography

Digital help is designed to aid you in getting the most from your digital photography, printing, scanning, and image creation. Each month, David Brooks provides solutions to problems you might encounter with matters such as color calibration and management, digital printer and scanner settings, and working with digital photographic images with many different kinds of cameras and software. All questions sent to him will be answered with the most appropriate information he can access and provide. However, not all questions and answers will appear in this department. Readers can send questions to David Brooks directly via e-mail to: goofotografx@gmail.com or editorial@shutterbug.com, or by US Mail to: David Brooks, PO Box 2830, Lompoc, CA 93438.

Help Us Out...
To aid us in making Digital Help as helpful as possible, please be specific in your query and include components, including software, that you use. David says, “Make me guess the problem and I might guess wrong.”—Editor

CD/DVDs And Archival Storage
Q. I have switched from Windows to a Mac mini with a USB SuperDrive. I am new to Apple but I like the mini a lot. I edit with Nikon’s Capture NX 2. I do not know how to burn photos from NX 2 to a CD. I am sure this is a simple enough task but your help with this would be greatly appreciated.
Thomas Bungard
via e-mail

A. If you purchased a recent Mac mini it does not come with a CD drive, so you would have to add a SuperDrive to the package you got from Apple. If you want to burn CDs and DVDs, I would suggest you go to the Apple Store and order a SuperDrive to hook onto your Mac mini. You can do this easily by going online to: store.apple.com/us and typing SuperDrive in the Search box.
If you want to store data files like photo images, and you want them to last, I would suggest buying gold-gold blank CDs. To purchase MAM-A CDs online go to: www.mediasupply.com and type in Gold Archive CD-R 700MB, 25 Pack.
Once your image is edited save it as a file to a folder. Then once you put a new blank CD into the SuperDrive, its symbol pops up on screen. Just drag the folder with images on top of the CD desktop icon and go to the (Finder) File menu and click on Burn (you can also type in a name to title the CD).

Type In 12
Q. I use Photoshop Elements 12 and when sending a description of a photo to an agency I do not want to overwrite the photo image. Using Elements, I enlarge the canvas and, using the Horizontal Type tool, try to write below the image on the canvas. I cannot get my typing to be seen on the monitor screen.
Barry E. White
via e-mail

A. Theoretically, what you described should work and you should obtain a Type cursor in the area of the extended canvas. But I would question if the Type layer is actually set and the color of the type is designated black. Unfortunately, I did not upgrade to Elements 12, but I do not suspect that the process has changed. I think you forgot to set the Type layer so it would be a part of the canvas image. So try it again—you may have just missed one step in the process in Layers so the Type layer is merged with the image layer.

Workflow Wrinkle
Q. I once used the same workflow and filing system as you: Adobe Bridge, ACR, Photoshop CS5, and any other software I would need. My troubles began or shall I say my dissatisfaction began when my fellow photographers talked me into using Lightroom as my primary editor and filing system. I enjoyed working on my photos but Lightroom has put a new wrinkle in my workflow. Do I really need it or should I go back to my old ways?
Ron Wechter
via e-mail

A. You have to photograph and process in a way that works for you. If you are not a portrait, wedding, or commercial photographer, Lightroom and Aperture were not designed to help much photographically, just to do business and keep track of clients. As I have written in this column, there are other choices that may work better for you. Apparently you do not enjoy your present workflow. I know what works best for me, but that might not be the same for you so all I can do is offer opinions and encourage people to find what’s best for them.

Multiple Use Monitor
Q. I’m looking for a monitor that can be easily switched between RGB at 80-90 CD/m2 and sRGB at 120-140 CD/m2. In the December, 2013, issue you wrote a review on the Asus PA249Q. Does this monitor have this capability? Your suggestions are welcome.
Doug Bacso
Cleveland, OH

A. Yes, the Asus PA249Q display, like many others, has a selection of operating modes, including Adobe RGB and sRGB, and it is a simple job to switch from one to another. The same thing is also provided with the Dell UltraSharp U2413 display, and some NEC pro-graphics models, including the PA242W, as well as with Eizo FlexScan SX models.
But that is not all that has to be switched when the mode is changed; you also have to do adjustment, calibration, and profiling for each mode and switch to the proper one in your computer. That is easily supported in Apple Mac computers, but not with Windows PC computers, where it is manual and more complicated. By the way, the print mode using Adobe RGB is now standardized at a white luminance of 80.0 CD/m2 and for sRGB the standard brightness is a white luminance of 160.0 CD/m2.

Display Options
Q. I am a great admirer of yours and read your column and articles whenever they appear. I kept your article from the May, 2011, issue on the Dell UltraSharp U2410 and only now can I buy a new monitor. Your latest monitor review is on the Asus PA249Q, which you gave high marks. Which one should I buy? I am using a Dell laptop with plenty of memory and a quad-core processor (64-bit) and have an Epson 3880 printer. I took a course at the Photographic Centre in West Palm Beach and realized I am going blind with my old screen.
Michael Gottlieb
via e-mail

A. I am glad that the Digital Help column continues to support what you want to do. If you need to purchase a good display that will reproduce all of the image information in your digital photo files, the two most affordable options now are the Dell UltraSharp U2413 and the new Asus PA249Q. Both are selling for about $500 at many stores and online outlets. There are also more expensive 22- to 24-inch displays you can choose from, including the NEC PA242W and the Eizo FlexScan SX2262W. Many of the newest LCD displays have LED backlight, so you also need a current display management software and hardware. The one I have tested and reported on is the X-Rite i1Display Pro, which has an RG Phosphor mode that adjusts to the differences of LED backlight to produce an accurate calibration and profile.

I am pleased to announce the latest 4.3 edition tomy eBook Digital Darkroom Resource Cd. The CD now contains 33 chapters totaling 399 pages in Adobe Acrobat .PDF format, providing easy-to-read text and large high-quality illustration. The CD is available for $20 plus $5 shipping and handling (US Mail if available). Ordering is as simple as sending a check or money order for $25 made out to me, David B. Brooks, and mailed to PO Box 2830, Lompoc, CA 93438.