Clawing Back From A Disaster

One week ago the unthinkable happened. My computer, the center of my editing/blogging/web surfing/community interaction, activities decided it had had enough and let out the magical blue smoke. I was absolutely crushed. Not having a darkroom where I can print the negatives that I develop, my first emotion was one of deep sadness that my hobby may be put on hold for quite a while. The web surfing and email I could do from an older laptop I have which has Ubuntu Linux as it’s operating system. Unfortunately my scanner (Epson V600) and scanning software (Silverfast) don’t play nice with Ubuntu.

At that point the only option I could think of was to try scanning using my phone (I know, I know) to try to get anything even close to passable, all the while trying my best to get the V600 and Ubuntu to make a gentleman’s agreement and work together. As expected, the 35mm was impossible to scan with the phone. For me, they are too small for the phones camera to capture any sort of detail whatsoever. That knocked out shooting 35mm for a while. 120, on the other hand, would scan and I could make edits but they just weren’t up to my standard. Maybe I was being too picky, but I know what I like and I know what I want to release into the wild as representative as my photographic abilities.

So most of this week was spent scouring Linux forums in a desperate search for the answer on how to get the V600 and Ubuntu to hold hands and sing Kumbaya. Without going into what would be for most a very boring read, I will say that I finally found a video (very old video) that explained how to get an older version of Ubuntu and a V300 to work together. At this point, after exhausting all other “solutions”, I decided to give it a try. I downloaded the driver packages the man in the video did and made sure that I installed them in exactly the order in which he did, pausing the video to make sure I finished each step satisfactorily until moving on to the next. Lo and behold the scanner actually came to life!

This all happened last Friday. Since that time I have been laboriously working to find a satisfactory workflow for my scanning needs. At first the scans were no better, or worse, than the phone scans. This, however, was not the fault of the scanner, software, or Ubuntu. It was a testament to the learning curve I was up against with the new setup. Yesterday though, things started coming together and I was learning how this setup liked to be manipulated. As of this writing, I believe I have an acceptable workflow that will allow me to scan my negatives and not be ashamed to release them results.

If you follow me on Instagram (@tonygrisier) and have seen the results of the new workflow. For those of you that don’t I will include a couple in this post.

God Bless and happy Shooting!

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