This weeks readings were an introduction to Images and Image editing. I found the series of articles by Errol Morris to be very interesting (part one here). The series discusses the Resettlement Administration, later the Farms Security Administration, and their photographers division. Questions of authenticity have been raised both at the time of the F.S.A. and contemporarily. As I am not a twentieth century historian, I found the story very enlightening and interesting. At the core of the story is the issue of ethics in photography, more specifically documentary photography. I didn’t come out of the articles with a clear understanding of what is and isn’t right in photography but I understand more the breadth and depth of the topic. I would recommend reading through the articles if you have not.
I am excited to delve into image editing. This is a skill that I have wanted to improve for a long time. Reading through chapter ten of White Space is Not Your Enemy by Golombisky & Hagen really laid a good foundation to build on. I liked learning about the various image types (jpeg, gif, tiff etc.), their uses, and their limitations. Often times, I think, most people use jpeg because it has become one of the most common image file types. However, learning how gif files can handle transparency whereas jpegs cannot helped as I was editing some images and needed a transparency. I was able to save the files in the better format. Storage formats for files can be overlooked as an important facet to document preservation. When imaging documents in the archives, understanding the resolution, dpi, file type, etc. becomes important in your ability to use the files later in research, writing, and even publication.
By way of an update: After reading through last weeks material (March 2nd) on Color, I have been searching for a good color tool to have on my laptop. While I wanted the program to have the basic functionality of choosing rgb values/mixing them to create your own colors, I also wanted it to be able to identify colors off my screen. My reasoning is that often times I will come across a color or color scheme on a website that i really like and want to use it. Well, after looking around a little i found a great program and I thought I would share. It is called Color Picker (the first program listed on this site). It has a great UI and works seamlessly when switching between programs. It is also FREE, which is amazing. The downside right now is that it is only available on a Mac OS X platform (sorry PC users). At any rate, I would recommend it to everyone.