Re: Weaving groups

Bill Koepp <bgkoe@...>

OrganizationName New Orleans Weavers Guild 
ContactName Maureen Preau 
ContactTitle Treasurer/Membership 
Address 850 Lemoyne St.
New Orleans  LA  70124 
Parish Orleans 
Region 1 
Phone1 (504) 482-3546 

Happy Shuttling ! - Bill Koepp in Central California

Digital cameras and the serial port

Robyn Spady <Robyn@...>

Hello All!

With all of the discussion about digital cameras, I thought it might be
appropriate to forward the following along.

I recently sent a message to the WeaveTech list about how the software for
my Palm Pilot blocked the serial port on my computer which made it
impossible for my computer and my PCW Fiberworks software to communicate.
This was after a frustrating few hours of thinking it was either my loom or
my software. After troubleshooting on my own and then with the assistance
of Bob at Fiberworks, we discovered the problem. Apparently, some software
applications have not been programmed to release the port when the
application is not running. Fiberworks has been programmed to release the
port (Thank you Bob and Ingrid!) . . . The software for Palm Pilots and some
peripherals have not.

Since that time, I have learned from some people that this is a common
problem with digital cameras and their docking stations. Some of them don't
automatically release the port . . . and some do. Conversely, some digital
cameras cannot communicate with the computer if another application is
occupying the port. We found this to be the case . . . we thought our
digital camera was broken because it wouldn't communicate with the computer
. . . it turned out the port was occupied by another application.

So if anyone installs the software for a digital camera, Palm Pilot, etc.
and your weaving software stops working, your port may have been overtaken.

Simple thing to correct . . . a real pain to learn about the hard way.

Robyn Spady


Nancy T Slutsky <nslutsky@...>

yes, to have an actual election you need
1. an open nomination process where (in small organizations) the nomination
committee publicly requests input and volunteers for the positions
2. a real vote, allowing for and counting write in votes.

I bet, without knowing the process that CW did the first and intended to
count write ins

the problem with not making this clear is the possibility that needed
volunteers will not know they are needed and feel the organization is
working well with a few insiders running things.

Re: Digital Cameras - Excellent Information Source

kridgley10 <kridgley10@...>

--- In WeaveTech@y..., "Bill Koepp" <bgkoe@n...> wrote:
One thing we learned that I'll pass on, is that in photographing
we were getting the wrong colors shooting indoors
When I was looking for a digital camera I found that most of the
magazine reviews and comparison charts were done by Computer people.
The result was that they were very focused on specsmanship issues
the Megapixal size, amount of memory, etc. and there was no
on whether the camera actually took good pictures!

After searching the web, I found what I believe is the best source of
digital camera information out there at:

The camera reviews are written by a photographer, not a computer
programmer and it addresses issues like white balance, colour
reproduction, ease of use and a number of other factors that are
important if you are looking for something that can properly
images. They also explain why certain things are important so you
decide if they are important to the photography you are doing. I
highly recommend anyone who is buying a camera to spend some time on
these pages. There are also comparison charts and spec listings on
site as well as comments from those who have bought each type of


Re: Cameras

Sara von Tresckow <sarav@...>

Having recently bought a new PC running Windows XP, I can really recommend
checking out the compatibility of any camera bought right now.
Nearly 2 years ago we bought a Kodak DC3400 and it works as well with the
new PC as the old one - Kodak has the new drivers on their web page ready
for download.
Some of my other hardware didn't fare so well and needed replacement. Any
cameras now "on sale" should be looked at in terms of whether they will work
with the new generation of PC's coming onto the market.
Also - get something with optical zoom as well as digital - just makes sense
that the final result will be better if "manual" adjustments are possible.
As near as we could tell when purchasing, there are few bad cameras out
there in the mid to high end range - usually its one other special features
that appeals to a person's needs.

Sara von Tresckow
Fond du Lac, WI

Visit our Web Site - Free Temple Plans & FLAXCAM

Re: Cameras

Louisa Chadwick <damselfly@...>

I also have a Nikon CoolPix but it's a 990 (a bit newer than Lynn's). It's a
great camera, fairly simple to use with a lot of flexibility. Expensive
though! Unfortunately, I've had one big problem that neither my DH and I nor
Nikon has been able to solve -- I can't get the pictures off onto my PC
using the camera's USB cable. The software won't work with my computer
(crashed it good!) and my USB port. All the dealer will say is that Nikon's
specs are non-standard and they won't fix the problem. They let slip that
lots of people have the same problem but not everybody. Their attitude was
"Too bad". Phooey! Luckily we're a 2-computer household so we have a
"workaround". My DH takes the CompactFlash card out of the camera and
inserts it in his Mac laptop, removes the pictures onto his hard drive,
saves them to Zip disk and passes me the Zip so I can load the pictures onto
my computer. Whew! Sounds complicated but it actually only takes a few
minutes. Of course not everybody will have the option to do this so I would
test that the camera works with your computer system. Make sure you have the
option to return it if it doesn't! To be fair, I haven't heard that any
other brand has had this problem.

One last comment on digital cameras: mine goes through NiMH AA batteries
like crazy. Get rechargable ones -- they're expensive and need a special
recharger but they're worth it. And keep a spare set or 2 on hand and fully
charged. We also have a spare CompactFlash card (like having another roll of
film!) in the camera case.

Louisa (who likes being able to delete lousy shots, play with the pictures,
and keep developing chemicals out of the environment!)

Re: Dig. cameras

Murphy, Alice <amurphy@...>

Could someone name a few of these magazines, I want to do some research!
Alice in MO

"Weavers get warped, Spinners get a twist, Dulcimer players fret but Librarians get booked!"

Re: cameras

Murphy, Alice <amurphy@...>

Just saw Yahoo internet life, has a section on digital cameras, websites and information on their use and printers to use as well.
Alice in MO

"Weavers get warped, Spinners get a twist, Dulcimer players fret but Librarians get booked!"


Bill Koepp <bgkoe@...>

Overall the digital camera ( as we now know it, it'll be cheaper/ better in
the future ) is a real advance. We can pick up our Canon, snap a photo ,
plug a cord into the iMac USB port, download the photos in about 15 seconds,
unplug the camera and email the photos. In the time it takes to remove a
normal roll of film from a our old camera, the new digital photos are
already on their way across the U.S. and we don't pay any developing costs.
Downside ? No hard copies unless we print them ourselves.
As to quality, I never worried very much about professional grade results
with our 35 mm, so why start now ? We don't exhibit or sell. It's just a
handy tool.

Happy Shuttling ! - Bill Koepp in Central California


Georgean Curran <Georgean@...>

We have been looking at digital cameras too. Saw Lynn's at the Seattle
Textile Computer User's group last year and the pictures were really
amazing. Especially the one of a flower that she didn't know was full of
aphids till she printed it out. :>).
I would suggest in getting a couple of the new digital camera magazines
that are out there now and check them out. They give some really good info
and comparisons both in price and features. And since they aren't put out
by any one camera maker, you get a pretty unbiased opinion of what they
are, not the glossy praise that comes with the individual camera
Georgean Curran

Re: Digital cameras

Murphy, Alice <amurphy@...>

Thank you, this info gets kept. Haven't gone digital yet, but now have a computer that can handle it, so expect one is in my near future!
Alice in MO

"Weavers get warped, Spinners get a twist, Dulcimer players fret but Librarians get booked!"

Re: Digital cameras

Garth Fletcher

In response to some recent questions on the list about digital cameras and
textiles I'm appending some relevant notes I had sent back in December.

I would also add that newer cameras are capable of higher resolution so
image storage capacity has become more of an issue. Many are now supporting
128 MB storage chips (SmartMedia or CompactFlash), much larger than could ever
fit on a floppy (1.4 MB).

The amount of storage needed for each image depends on:
the camera's resolution
the compression, which reduces image size, but also reduces quality
none - highest image quality, but huge files
1:3 - "high quality", degradation hardly noticeable
1:8 - "standard quality", pretty darn good, but some loss of detail

Just to give you an idea, here are some approximate capacities
capacity (shots)
image size compr size 32 MB 128 MB
=========== ====== ==== ===== ======
2560 x 1920 none 15 2 8
2560 x 1920 1:3 3.9 8 32
2560 x 1920 1:8 1.5 21 84
1280 x 960 none 3.7 8 34
1280 x 960 1:3 0.9 35 142
1280 x 960 1:8 0.3 99 400

Garth Fletcher, President, JacqCAD International
288 Marcel Road, Mason, NH 03048-4704
(603) 878-4749 fax: (603) 878-0547
JacqCAD MASTER website:

Some personal thoughts about digital cameras and textiles...

Digital cameras are clearly coming of age and provide some definite
advantages and opportunities. However,like any tool, have their share
of quirks and limitations - the topic of this discussion.

Great emphasis has been placed on "point and shoot" use; in other words,
to have the camera automatically set the:
* color balance
* exposure
* focus

This works nicely for "average" scenes, but tends to be a problem when
photographing textile samples.

Fancier models allow the user to override the automatic settings when
necessary and this is the key to successful textile photography.

-- Color balance --

Color balance adjustment is the digital equivalent of choosing "indoor"
versus "outdoor" color film to match the lighting conditions.

In automatic mode the camera "looks" at the whole scene and tries to
deduce whether the lighting is "warm" (incandescent lamps) or "cool"
(sunlight, fluorescents). It then adjusts its color sensitivity to try
to produce a "balanced" rendition. Rather than only providing "indoor"
and "outdoor" films, the digital camera provides a whole range of

This works remarkably well with "average" scenes which includes a wide
range of colors. It is often disastrous when the scene contains just a
few dominant colors, as is so often the case for textiles.

For example, if your fabric is strong on reds and oranges the camera
will deduce that you must be photographing an "average" scene under very
"warm" lighting. It will helpfully reduce its red sensitivity and boost
its blue sensitivity to compensate. The result is not good.

I have taken pictures with an expensive but early digital camera whose
colors changed dramatically depending on whether the picture contained
only the fabric, or the fabric plus some neutral background. The small
bit of background provided just enough added information for the camera
to deduce a very different color balance. One memorable fabric changed
from silvery to a quite vivid blue depending on what sort of "surround",
if any, was included in the shot.

The only solution is to use a camera which allows you to override its
automatic color balancing. Some simply allow you to select a specific
"color temperature", normally from 3000K (warm incandescent) to 6500K
(cool northern skylight). The best also allow you to measure the actual
lighting conditions - you place a pure white card just in front of your
fabric, focus on it and lock in the color balance, then remove the card,
refocus, and take the picture.

-- Exposure --

With automatic exposure control the camera again assumes that you are
shooting an "average" scene and adjusts its exposure accordingly.

This will produce an incorrect exposure when you are shooting fabric
that is darker or lighter than average. It will lighten up a dark
fabric, and darken a light fabric - not what you usually want.

Manual exposure control, when provided, comes in two flavors - fully
manual setting of the aperture and exposure time, or being able to
"lock" the settings the camera calculates while it is viewing a test

In the latter case you use a photographic "gray card" (available at any
camera store) to set exposure before taking the final shot. A camera
sets its automatic exposure to create an overall average brightness
corresponding to an 18% gray; since the gray card matches this, the
exposure set for the card is set to correctly reproduce the full tonal
range of the actual target.

I use a Kodak Gray Card as follows. First I place it with its pure
white side showing and lock in the color balance, then I flip it so the
18% gray side is showing and lock in the exposure, finally I photograph
the fabric. In a setting where the lighting is controlled the first two
steps only need to be done once after which different fabrics can be put
in place and photographed one after the other.

For some fabrics you will want to change the exposure away from this
average setting - for example to intentionally darken an entirely white
fabric to bring out subtle gradations and textures. Many cameras allow
you to adjust the actual exposure relative to the calculated one - for
example 1/2 stop darker - and this is an especially important feature
when using the gray card "measure and lock" approach.

Also bear in mind that the "dynamic range" of digital cameras is much
less than that of film. Real film shows a "S curve" response while
digital cameras have a "straight line" response. What this means is
that real film tends to preserve more information in the highlights and
in the shadows because it compresses its response at these extremes.
With a digital camera you suddenly hit a solid white at the bright end
and a solid black at the dark end. If your exposure is too short, real
film will still show some detail in the shadows, although with less
contrast that in the scene, while a digital camera will produce a solid
black without any hint of detail. Similar effects occur at the high

Correct exposure is really important if you are going to preserve
details across the entire range with a digital camera. Real film is
more forgiving of inaccurate exposure.

-- Focus --

Manual focus is less of an issue than manual control of color balance or
exposure, but can be crucial under some circumstances. Automatic focus
adjusts the lens for sharp focus in a small area in the center of the
target, perfect for straight-on photographs of flat textile samples.
However, if you will be photographing 3-dimensional objects you will
often want to adjust the focus to balance the sharpness of closer versus
farther away parts; in other words, you need to be able to have the
center not be the focus point.

Many cameras allow you to focus on a desired spot and then lock the
focus, usually by holding the button half-way down, so you can
reposition the camera's view. Others provide complete manual control of

-- Lenses and macro capability --

Many cameras come with zoom lenses; some include a "macro" setting which
allows you to focus up close. A macro capability is crucial if you
intend to take close-up shots to show the texture of your fabric. A
common arrangement is for the normal setting to focus from infinity down
to perhaps 24" while the macro setting changes this to 24" to 10" or

Regarding zoom - some manufacturers play "specmanship" games with
"optical zoom", "digital zoom" and "total zoom"; don't be mislead. The
only one that counts is "optical zoom" which adjusts the lens to change
the area being captured. Digital zoom is what you get when you scale up
an image, for example in Photoshop; it doesn't add any detail, just
makes the pixels bigger and blockier.

It is useful to have screw threads at the end of the lens - so you can
screw in filters or "close up" lenses.

-- Flash --

Many cameras include flash, but only a smaller number make it easy to
connect external flash units. The built-in flash is, of course,
"straight on" (in line with the camera), hence tends to produce quite
"flat" images. If you will depend on flash, look for a camera which
will let you plug in external flash units so you can position them to
the side to bring up the texture when desired.

Also, be aware that some cameras flash twice - once to measure the color
balance and exposure and a second time to take the real picture. Slave
flashes which work by detecting the camera's flash won't work in this
case (there are some specially designed slave flashes which ignore the
first flash and trigger on the second...)

-- Downloading the picture --

There are several approaches to downloading the images from the camera.
Serial connection USB connection Medial readers

Serial connections were used in a number of the earlier cameras. My own
experience with an Olympus D500 was that the serial connection was not
very reliable - I ended up using a media reader.

USB has become the standard and is quite reliable and convenient. It
does require a computer and OS which support USB.

Media readers for Smart Media and Compact Flash are readily available,
though most are USB based. I've been very pleased with the Microtech
CameraMate - it provides a USB interfaced device into which you can plug
either Smart Media cards or Compact Flash cards. Current cost is around
$50. One advantage is that you can use several media cards to quickly
"reload" the camera during a busy shooting session and then read them

Finally, keep your expectations reasonable. The resolution of
"obsolete" 35 mm film is still quite high by digital standards; only
the high end digital cameras come close to capturing the same amount of
detail and I don't believe any will yet capture as wide a tonal range.

In short, digital cameras provide a very useful tool as long as you buy
the necessary features, but are not a panacea.

digital cameras

julieannemcdonald <redgables@...>

Hi Marge,

My family heard my pleas for a digital camera and our son had had
great expereince with the Nikon coolpix 950. I studied it and was/am
delighted with the newer model 995. I haven't mastered all its many
facets, but its selling point, for me, was the capability to take
macro shots of textiles. has good reviews of all
digital cameras. Good luck.
Julie-Anne McDonald

Re: Dig. cameras

Bill Koepp <bgkoe@...>

I would suggest in getting a couple of the new digital camera magazines
that are out there now and check them out.
This is good advice ! We use Macintosh computers, so we looked at a dig.
camera comparison chart in a Mac magazine and our Canon was one of the two
models rated at the top, for a 2.1 or more mpxl. It was also the featured
editors choice. I figured that they knew more than we did.

Happy Shuttling ! - Bill Koepp in Central California

Digital Cameras

Bill Koepp <bgkoe@...>

One thing we learned that I'll pass on, is that in photographing glassware
we were getting the wrong colors shooting indoors; the glassware was the old
stuff with an iridescent look. I tried flash, no flash, slave flash, special
bulbs, still bad colors yet any other item looked great. We took the
glassware outside to shoot and Taa Daa ! The right colors !
This was using the auto ( dummy ) setting......

Happy Shuttling ! - Bill Koepp in Central California

Re: Woolhouse Looms

Chris <jprcto@...>

Hi: just looking at an ad in the Ponderssa Guild in Kelowna BC and the ad lists the email address for Woolhouse Tools is no website is given.

Chris Tomaschuk

At 19:52 02/03/12 -0500, you wrote:
Is there a website for Woolhouse Looms. I have tried a search through Yahoo,
but don't usually get satisfactory results - and in this case nothing that
led me to a website.

Lynn Danvers - Evergreen CO

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Re: Woolhouse Looms

Laura Fry <laurafry@...>

No Web Site, just their email:

I expect that they will be in the vendor area at Convergence,
although I don't know that for sure.


Laura Fry

Re: Cameras


Marge, I have a Sony Mavica Model 87, which I got for Christmas. I just
love it for taking close ups of my work. If you like, I will send you a
picture of my latest placemats via e-mail, which I took with the camera.
I'm not much of a camera buff, so needed one that was simple to operate.

I take pictures using a regular floppy disc. Then, I print out the
picture and put it with my weaving notes so I have a record of what my
project looked like. (This gives me a good excuse to practice with
the camera) Hope this information is of some help....Joanne in

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digital cameras

Ruth Blau <ruthblau@...>

My digital (a Kodak) is now about 2 years old. The biggest beef I have about it is that you cannot go click, click, click in rapid succession, as you can with 35mm cameras, even rather inexpensive point-and-shoot cameras. It seems to take my camera forever to lay down the bits & bytes onto the disk. Perhaps this is a function of the amt of memory in the camera; perhaps digital cameras are inherently slow; perhaps some of them are faster now. I can say only that it annoys me in my camera.

Some of the early cameras used a std-sized computer disk. They tended to be heavier & larger than cameras that use the flash card. I don't know if they make cameras that take a std floppy any more, but if so, I'd stay away from them. Readers for the flash card are available & inexpensive.


ADMIN: Yahoo off line this weekend?

Ruth Blau <ruthblau@...>

A number of people from this list and others have written to Amy and me to say that they have received announcements that Yahoo will be off line this weekend. Amy and I have received no official notice from Yahoo. Amy did some poking around earlier in the week and came to the conclusion that this applied only to those in the UK. However, nothing is very clear, so we thought we let you know that if you don't get any WeaveTech mail over the weekend, it may be b/c Yahoo has taken the system down (again).

Ruth & Amy
co-admin, WeaveTech