Sam Allen

Our Blog.
Sam's two cents.

Our Blog. Sam's two cents.

ScanCafe CEO Sam Allen weighs in on industry events, company news, and more.

Famous Photo Quiz

While fine art photography can be traced back to the Victorian era, the fascination really developed in the early 1900s when Alfred Stieglitz introduced fine art photography into museum collections.

It’s not always easy to tell a photograph’s relative value — historical and technical relevance are often considered.

Quiz: Which of these three photographs sold for the most?

Answer: B
Kremlin of Tobolsk was taken in 2009 by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev. Tobolsk is the capital of Siberia and the kremlin is one of the last standing in all of Russia and Siberia. Taken from the air to mimic the style of old master painters, the photo collected $1,750,000 at a charity auction in 2010.

And the other two? Well they’re perhaps even more recognizable, although they sold for less.

A – Moonrise, Hernandez 1941 by Ansel Adams. Possibly one of Adams’ most recognizable photos taken in New Mexico on the way back from a day of photographing. Famously, Adams glanced the scene from his car and pulled over. Losing light, there was no time to take a proper exposure reading, so he figured out his settings based on what he knew of the relative brightness of the moon. It sold for $609,600 in 2006.

C – The Great Wave, Sete 1857 by Gustave Le Gray. One of the earliest forms of high dynamic range processing – Le Gray took two exposures and printed one picture to get a good balance between the bright sky and the dark landscape. It sold for $838,000 in 1999.

Holiday Shipping Dates at ScanCafe

Please note: customer service inquiries are answered fastest at admin@scancafe.com. We will also have special holiday customer support hours from 7am to noon, PT, on December 24th.

There are 4 kinds of holiday-related ScanCafe gifts that we can deliver by December 23, 2010, depending on when you place your order:

GIFT DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS
ScanCafe standard media scanning For orders of 5,000 standard media scans or less, holiday delivery is guaranteed if we receive your originals by November 8th. For orders of 1,000 standard media scans or less, holiday delivery is guaranteed if we receive your originals by November 17th. To ensure holiday delivery, you must also complete the review and checkout process within 24 hours of when your scans are online. Please note, orders containing non-standard media (medium format, large format, black & white negatives, etc.) may take longer and are not guaranteed for holiday delivery.

 
With Express Service, available as a small surcharge per order of 400 standard media images or less, we must receive your originals by December 13th, so that you can download your high-resolution scans by December 23rd.
ScanCafe Gift Card For physical delivery, order must be placed online by December 1. For electronic delivery, order may be placed as late as Christmas Eve!
ScanCafe Gift Box and Value Kit, complete For Gift Boxes to be completed and returned in time for December 23, we need to receive the Gift Box, filled with images, in Burlingame, CA by November 21st. For us to deliver an empty Gift Box (so it can be a present under the Christmas tree, etc.), we need to receive your order by Dec 10, if you plan on ordering it with regular UPS Ground shipping.

Halloween Costumes

This Halloween has us thinking about photos from years past — the old decorations, the treats, our first costumes! There’s something special about that very first costume, isn’t there? Whether it was lovingly handmade by a devoted parent, or excitedly chosen on a family outing, that costume will always be precious.

Tell us about your first, or most memorable Halloween costume below!

One of my first costumes for a Halloween party was as a ghoul. Mom spent days tearing up old sheets, soaking them in different dyes and stitching them back together into rags. Dad, who worked briefly as a theater stage-hand, spent hours flouring my hair and building up the most gruesomely ashen, blood-stained make up. Most of the other eight year old girls showed up as fairies and princesses and had no idea what a ghoul was. In fact my make up was so scary some of them wouldn’t even talk to me. I really stuck out, but it sure was a creepy costume!

And, pictured is our very own Amanda with her sister, Shannon. She was just six years old when this was taken, and they’re dressed as a panda and Sylvester.

Back to School, With Your Favorite Teachers

It’s back to school to time!

For many of us, school was excruciating. But nearly everybody has a favorite teacher–some kind or wise figure who helped us turn a corner of some kind, when we were a kid. Share your story below!

We’ll start:

For me, I had a few favorite teachers, but the one that stands out is my old geometry teacher, Mr. Furr. He was an acquired taste for some, with a gruff exterior, but for me he was fantastic and I never saw a twinkle missing from his eye. It wasn’t just that he was a good teacher–though let’s be clear, he was, maybe the best I’ve ever had, in high school or college or business school–but also that he just seemed to have life figured out, in a way that I could get behind. He was collecting something like three pensions in addition to his school salary, and I asked him about it one day. He said he was teaching for fun. In the same conversation, he said he’d always had a dream to drive a Mercedes roadster. I said “Geesh, Mr. Furr, you’ve got three pensions. Why wouldn’t you just go out and buy that car?” And he said, and I will never forget it, “Sure, I could do that. But then I wouldn’t have a dream, now would I?” I never thanked him sufficiently, either, and the opportunity, I’m sad to say, is long gone.

The Photo That Got Away

We talk a lot about preserving memories, but this time we want you to share the ones you never captured!

We’ve all had those moments: you grab for your camera, switch it on, take your shot, realize the lens cap is still on, and the moment is gone.

For one of us, it was driving through the Nevada desert at dusk watching a thunderstorm over the mountains. Ten minutes of the most spectacular lightning show went by before we realized we should be taking pictures. And by the time we got the camera out of the trunk–you guessed it–the show was over.

What about you?