Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Want to digitise your photographs? Here’s my Scanning Guide

Digitising photographs is becoming more and more popular as people become aware of not only what can be done with a digital image, but also the importance of recording all those memories which could so easily get lost or damaged.

Digital photo frames are great to invest in if you are thinking about digitising some of your photographs. They display beautiful colour images and can be set to display in a certain order or randomly, a different photograph every few minutes! See below a link to reviews of some of the best ones.

Ok, so lets get onto the scanning.

Many people assume you need a really ‘high tech’ scanner in order to digitise photographs, but actually, if you have a colour scanner, then chances are we can get you some really good quality scans. (However, I do recommend for very old, damaged, small or very detailed pictures that you send them to an professional company for scanning and restoration.

Step 1) Make sure you scanner glass is clean. Use a damp lint-free cloth and gently wipe the glass, DO NOT use glass cleaner or any other cleaning product as they can damage the surface and leave permanent marks. Carefully dry the glass with a dry lint-free cloth and blow away any dust.

Step 2) Make sure your photographs are as dust free as possible and have no hairs or other particles across them, I do recommend buying a KenAir Air Duster kit (CFC free) or something similar to blow off dust from your photographs and scanner glass.

Step 3) Place your first photograph face down onto the scanner glass, making sure its within the markers on the edges and as straight as possible, and close the scanner lid carefully.

Step 4) Open the software you should have received when you bought your scanner, and you should find a preview screen and preview button. This tells the scanner to produce a preview of the image on your computer screen. After clicking the preview button you will then be able to drag-draw a box around the image, or the part of the image that you would like to scan.

Step 5) After drawing you scan box, you need to set the resolution. Usually, with most home scanners, the highest resolution would be 600DPI. Set the resolution to its highest setting, 600DPI is fine, and at home you wont need any higher than 1200DPI. You also need to set the colour format, RGB is fine for home scanning and use with digital photo frames, websites and emails, but if you intend to print and/or enlarge the scans then set as CMYK. (If you are scanning as .tiff, the CMYK should be the default colour mode).

Step 6) You now need to choose a destination and format for the scanner to send the image to. I would advise you to make a new folder on your desktop for your scans as sometimes they will be sent to somewhere obscure unless you specify. You can then choose this folder as your destination folder. The format you should ideally be saving the images as is .tiff, but .jpeg is ok too.

Step 7) You can now type in a file name for your scan, each one being different from the last otherwise they will get over-written, and click the ‘Scan’ button. It may take a couple of minutes if you have a large picture and/or have set the resolution to above 600DPI. I always advise to go to your folder and open up the first image to check before continuing with the others.

Congratulations! You should now have a set of scanned images in your folder! My next blogs will talk you though how to resize images, basic retouching, colour balance, how to use the images for emails and digital frames, and good printing techniques.

1 comment:

Pete said...

Good tips and info. Thks