Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

New scanner, new photos

9th July 2007

I don’t normally mention computer technology on this blog, but I encountered some trouble with my scanner while trying to add new photos to the online photo gallery. As someone who continues to use film in these digital times, a scanner remains a very useful asset. I also have a digital camera, which is how most of the photos you’ll find accompanying the trip reports on this blog have been captured, so I am keeping a foot in both camps.

With the inclement weather being visited upon us recently, my mind turned to some photo uploading, and I was staring with a few from trips to Wales. It was then that my usually reliable four-year-old Canon CanoScan 5000F played up. When I turned it on, the output returned was solid black. Re-running the thing a few times by hitting the preview button in Scangear saw the black turn to red and eventually the image came through but with a strong red or magenta cast that never quite went away. I fired off a query to Canon, but only got the usual stuff about drivers and cable connections. From that, I foresaw a few weeks of tick-tacking and was unconvinced that the conclusion was worth awaiting.

So, I picked up an Epson Perfection 4490 Photo from Dabs.com and gave it a workout with some photos from a trip to the Brecon Beacons last November. The setting up was the usual shuffle, but the software installation took an age to complete. It all works well, better than the Canon ever did, and that was a big improvement on the UMAX Astra 1220U that preceded it. A quick spot of image processing, which I always do to clean things up, was all that was required to get more than acceptable results. I was scanning prints, but negative/slide scanning is another option that I have yet to explore. Having an on/off button on the side of the scanner is a nice touch that I haven’t seen before, and may even prolong the life of the machine and save a spot of energy to boot.

Pen y Fan & Corn Ddu, Brecon, Powys, Wales


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