View Full Version : Scanning older photos for SBM
06-12-2006, 08:15 AM
I want to scan some of my older photos, both for archiving purposes, and to use in SBM. Have any of you done this, and what resolution do you scan with?
06-12-2006, 08:52 AM
I have just started (last night) to experiment with scanning my pics. I had the negatives scanned at Walmart on a few events but it was costly and they scanned everything. Needless to say I have about half that are not usable. So, I thought I would try scanning the actual pics. So far I have scanned 2 pics. One is a black & white that is nearly 50 yrs old and the other is a color pic. Both turned out okay. My experimenting is more related to the scanning software and being able to file the pics in a folder. Oh well, I am sure enjoying this!
06-12-2006, 09:09 AM
I've recently scanned some photos from my yearbook for my class reunion coming up in a couple of weeks and did some experimenting myself.
If you have a way to change the DPI (Dots Per Inch) of your scanner, I would suggest a minimum of 600, 1200 is even better. It takes a little longer and produces a larger file, but you definitely get a better image. :)
OnieRN, your "avatar" is showing up now, did you just change it?
You might be interested in a technique that I teach in my Digital Photography Workshops. Scanning is the most boring task I've ever had the misfortune to attempt so I went looking for an easier way to get it done.
This technique works well for the vast majority of your everyday photos. If you need/want the highest quality where every nuance of of detail is visible, you should have the photo professionally scanned.
Essentially, we're going to use your digital camera to take photos of your old photos. First, look up the Macro Focus Distance spec of your digital camera. You'll find it in the Specifications section of your manual (you know, that pristine book that you've never read :D) Find a translucent plastic container (aka, Tupperware) that is deep enough to exceed your Macro Distance. Cut a hole in the bottom that is big enough to fit your lens through.
Place your photo on a flat, white surface and position the container over it, upside-down. Place two desklamps on either side of the container. Stick your lens through the hole and gently press the shutter release. Do not use your flash and be sure your camera is in Macro mode. Set your White Balance to either tungsten or flourscent depending on the light source or do it outdoors in the sunlight and use Auto WB.
The translucent plastic diffuses the light to avoid "hot spots" and maintains the same distance for each shot so you can quickly digitize hundreds of photos. If your photos are old and ratty (torn, curled, creased, etc), hold them in place with a piece of glare-proof glass.
Next time, I'll tell you how you can convert hundreds of slides just as quickly.
06-12-2006, 09:24 AM
Oh, THAT pristine user's manual... I think it's still in the shrink wrap... I know it's around here in the cave somewhere... :D
Very cool ideas, Lee..., I'll give them a try... I have an entire legal box full of old photos from my Grandparents day (complete with the dates printed by Kodac on the back) that I need to do something with soon...
Great tips! You are the digital photo God! :D
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