moderated Case Study: Panama 1978

Dan Margulis

While discussion continues of the Colosseum, I’ve posted the next case study, again due Monday. Find it in our Photos section, labeled Case Study: Panama 1978. The original is a cheap desktop scan.

This is the only case study in our projected series of ten that does not originate from a digital camera. It represents a type of work that we run into every once in a while: an old print of importance to a family, considerably faded by the ravages of time, and often brought into the modern world by a cheap scanner. Often these images haven't deteriorated uniformly, as for example when one corner is faded in a way not matched in the rest of the image.

If this exercise has such a problem, it's minor, but to make up for it there's a nice moiré-like pattern caused by the finishing process.

Instructions and a thumbnail follow.

*Background: This photo dates from summer 1978. A treaty had recently been ratified giving the Republic of Panama eventual control over the Panama Canal. Relations between the two countries were therefore improved, and Panama began to invest in facilities to cater to American tourists.

Among other things. this enabled a complete renovation of the Hotel El Panama, the country's best at the time, including the installation of a large casino. Reports that the local management was not quite as up-to-date as that found in Las Vegas prompted me to make three visits. For a while I was so welcome that the put me up on the Presidential floor, right next to the Presidential suite, which was occupied not by the president (because the republic did not have one at the time) but by the "Maximum Leader," General Torrijos. who had his own particular reason for maintaining a residence in the hotel as well as in his official offices.

On one of these trips I ditched the official guide and wandered through Panama City on my own, where I encountered the family in the picture. That thing on my lap is a three-toed sloth, which is native to those parts, and which, according to my wife, is closely related to me with respect to work habits. 

In working on this, therefore, assume it’s to be a keepsake, a 1970s equivalent of our Niagara Spray exercise.

*You can use whatever methods you like to improve the picture, including unsharp mask.

*Please keep clear records of what you did for discussion. List members find these very valuable.

*In the Photos section, Case Study: Panama 1978, I have uploaded the original JPEG scan of the cheap desktop variety. No raw capture is available.

*The designated size of this exercise is the original, 2888 x 1964 pixels. Do not crop, rotate, or alter the sizing, and don't delete any objects, because any of these things will make it impossible to use your version as part of a par assembly.

*Your final file is to be sRGB with a proper tag. If you work in a different RGB you must Edit: Convert to Profile>sRGB before submitting the file.

*When finished, save in JPEG form, quality level 9. E-mail it to me, dmargulis (at), with a brief explanation of how you produced it, DO NOT POST IMAGES TO THE LIST.

*Remember that some e-mail clients default to downsizing image attachments. Make sure you’re sending it to me at the original size.

*Entries close Monday morning, 29 June, at 06:00 Eastern/1100Z/12:00 ora italiana.

*Rather than confirm every entrant I've received, I will periodically post the initials of everyone whose file I have.

*As soon as convenient after the deadline, I'll post all the entrants in a random order. Names will not be revealed except for those entrants that I or somebody else has declared to be particularly good, which will come later.

*A discussion will follow within a few days after posting the final files. 

Dan Margulis

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