Tips on scanning photos

You will want to scan photos not only for this project but for safe keeping.  I will give you some tips that will help get the most out of you scanning and avoid much of the frustration that many inexperienced people experience when first starting out.

First you will need a have way decent color scanner.  You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars.  If you are doing mostly photos I would get a flatbed.  if you are getting photos and a lot of documents I would get a flatbed with document feeder.  However, if your documents are important you should know that the document feeder sometimes jams and then you have lost your document.  I would stick with a flatbed and you can pick one up for under $100.00.  Her is an example of one:  Canon CanoScan LiDE210 Color Image Scanner.

Quality Photo Scanning steps:

  • Clean the scanner glass.  Just plain water and a paper towel works or a mild window cleaner with a micro fiber cloth.  I use Monster Screen Clean Mini Screen Cleaner.  You can get this from Wal-Mart for about 10 bucks and use it on your TV screen, computer monitor, etc. and comes with a micro cloth.
  • Scan in color even if you have black and white photos…this will give you the most depth and pull the most from your photos.  The black and white setting is for documents.
  • JPEG is fine unless you plan on enlarging the photo then you will want to scan to a TIF.  TIF files will not degrade as a result of re-saving and you will get a sharper image with anything over a 4″x6″.
  • Scan at least 600dpi.  If you have room on your hard drive I would say a minimum of 1200dpi.  Some people would argue that this is not necessary.  But I have seen way to many pictures fall apart at lower resolutions.  Then by the time we say stretch, shrink add to a book and make a million copies we will want to start with a good image.
  • Always, always pre-scan and crop the image before you scan.  This may seem like extra work and an unnecessary step, but trust me it will make a world of difference.  If your images get to me and they are of poor quality we may not be able to use them.
  • Leave your file original that you send me.  If you want to make enhancements then make a copy for yourself.  In fact it is always a good idea to make a copy and work for your copy whenever you are trying to “fix” a photo.  But when you send me a photo, don’t try and lighten it, darken it or get the specks out,etc.  I work directly with a professional photographer that will do this for us if need be.
  • Now, your files make be too large to send email or even pack on a CD or DVD.  You can download and zip them up for free.
  • Please call or email be with any questions.




2 Responses to Tips on scanning photos

  1. Pingback: Welcome friends & family of Fritz & Amelia Reese! | Fritz & Amelia Reese Family

  2. Cassiana says:

    i really enjoyed reading this. thanks for the post.

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