The Travel Section

posted by : Jon Kroupa on 02/09/2011

I've decided to include all my travel photos on this site. Usually I try to write funny little blurbs about the signs. Everything else is often just commentary on the actual photograph.

I recently pulled out my original Europe trip from 2001. Since everything was in film I had to get it converted to digital to display on the site (my site does not support the viewing of 35mm film). I took the photos to the local Smith's which once was a Fred-Meyer, so it is a full department store. I asked them if they could convert film into digital images on a CD. They said yes. I failed to ask them what resolution and dpi they would capture them at. This was a terrible terrible mistake. Each picture is only 640 x 432, and is at 72 dpi.

To put that in perspective, a 1.2 megapixel camera will produce an image at 1280 x 960. This digital scan is the equivalent of a 0.27 megapixel camera. In theory these pictures are good enough for a 4" x 6" print, but the incredibly low dpi means they won't hold up under a close inspection.

Granted, it was only $10 to do 117 pictures. A reputable photo center in the area charges $0.85 per photo. roughly 8 times what I paid, but I have no doubt this shop would have also given me images at least 8 times better than what I received from Smith's.

I hadn't looked at these photos in probably eight years. Looking at them now I can see I had no idea what I should have taken pictures of. I borrowed a film camera for that trip, every other time I've used a digital camera. I've been looking at digital pictures for so many years the film grain on these old photos almost seems oppressive (the low resolution of the conversion possibly amplified the grain). I clearly didn't know (or care) what the viewfinder saw relative to the lens, because a lot of pictures are poorly framed. And due to the low resolution there isn't much room to crop photos and maintain detail.

I am missing a roll of film, but I still only did around 140 photos in 10 days. Because film is expensive people are generally more conservative on their shots. I've found with my digital cameras I can take a lot of shots, and many of them aren't good (many of my film ones aren't good either) but through sheer volume of pictures I am able to find some good shots.

Looking through photos from other trips that weren't included in my selection I've noticed I skipped a lot of great shots, probably due to space limitations on other servers. Now that I have unlimited space I will probably be revisiting each destination and augmenting the selection with additional interesting pictures.