Digital Help
Q&A For 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 addressed to Shutterbug magazine, through the Shutterbug website (, directly via e-mail to: or or by US Mail to: David Brooks, PO Box 2830, Lompoc, CA 93438.

Transmitting Image Files For Publication
Q. First I wish to comment that following your advice, I purchased the Epson 1400 (was a 1280 user) and am extremely pleased with the quality. Glad I "went for it." Thanks for the great advice.
Now I have two questions: 1) I recently photographed a press conference for the Department of the Aging in New York City. I edited the photographs, and on the advice of my daughter, saved one group of about 25 photos as TIFFs. I had difficulty e-mailing them; had to do it with more than six batches. Then I had to deliver photos on discs the next day because the quality was not good enough. Everybody is e-mailing photos all the time. Can you recommend a swift and efficient way of sending photos? I may be doing more press conferences and need a less time-consuming and more successful method.
2) Now that I am retired, I am organizing a file of hundreds of photos. Both slides and negatives are in archival media stored in groups on cards in a steel card cabinet. They are cataloged in an access file. Some of these slides and negatives are more than 40 years old and are still in "great" condition. For my digital photos I followed your advice and created "proof sheets," but my slides and negatives need to be scanned on my Nikon Coolscan V. Frankly, I am not sure that I have the expertise to get the best quality, especially with the quantity needed. Are there services, at a reasonable price, that can do the scans for me? Originally I had photos on Kodak Photo CDs, however the quality is questionable.
Thanks again for your great service to photographers. Yours is the first column I turn to in Shutterbug.
Ralph Selitzer
Brooklyn, NY

I am glad to hear that the Epson 1400 printer was a good replacement for your old 1280. As to sending photo images attached to e-mail, the first thing I would consider is what level of image quality, size, and resolution the recipients of the news releases require and will accept. I acquire and use news release photos quite frequently, nearly all of them are compressed JPEG files.
You can compress photo images by saving them as .JPG (JPEG) most effectively if you use Photoshop by opening the file in Photoshop's Image Ready (which is an icon at the bottom of the toolbox). This provides a side-by-side window before and after compression so you can visually judge the effect of the JPEG compression on image quality. Second, if you open a Google Gmail account (which is free) you will find that Gmail supports sending much larger e-mail file attachments.
On the scanning question, there really is no way to digitize photo images economically with good quality without scanning them yourself. Quality scanning services are always expensive, largely because you are paying someone else for their time and expertise to do the scanning. However, to make it easier and more efficient, I would suggest getting the LaserSoft SilverFast SE software driver for your Nikon scanner. It is much easier to use, and learn, to get good scan results, and is also a more efficient scanning method. Don't worry about expertise and getting the best quality...that comes with practice.

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