Scanning the Horizon

Great Shunner Fell and Abbotside, drawn last week from a picnic table at the Wensleydale Creamery, Hawes; my first scan using SilverFast SE Plus software.

It’s that time of year again: Apple have updated their operating system – from Sierra to High Sierra – which is great except that my scanner, a CanoScan 8800F, won’t work with the new system, not surprisingly because it’s four years since Canon updated the driver. Luckily, I’ve come up with a solution . . .

SilverFast SE Plus

At first the SilverFast interface looks rather intimidating but by watching the tutorial videos I soon found my way around essentials like the levels graph.

SilverFast 8 SE Plus is a scanning program which has been updated for High Sierra (provided I set it to run in 32 bit mode).

Scanning watercolours can be tricky, as washes often fade out into the white of the paper but I’m pleased with the way the scan has picked up the textures in my sketch of Great Shunner Fell.

Slide Scanning

Mickletown, December 1975, from a Agfacolor slide by Richard Brook.
Richard was meticulous in recording the locations and dates of his photographs.

I’ve got hundreds of colour slides that I’d like to scan, including a unique photographic archive of potential wildlife sites in post-industrial West Yorkshire as they were in the 1970s and 1980s, photographed by Richard Brook, for many years the conservation officer of Wakefield Naturalists’ Society, who died earlier this year.

Here SilverFast Plus has the advantage of an option to take multiple scans of each slide, to bring out detail in both light and dark areas. This is especially useful for Kodachrome slides, where the darker areas can be almost opaque.

I find the process of touching out scratches and blemishes rather therapeutic but, with so many slides to scan, I’m glad that SilverFast offers a number of options to semi-automate the process.



CanoScan flatbed scanners

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