Many people have switched to digital photography and have a number of photographs in old print or in slide / negative format. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to transfer those photos to the digital domain. There are two main ways to do this: with a scanner, or a digital camera. In this guide we will cover how to do it with a scanner.
Step 1. Decide which method is best for you
Flatbed scanners are very cheap (you can buy them for under $ 100) and most have the ability to scan photos and slides. If you're interested in scanning slides, look for one that has a slide-scanning accessory.
Step 2. Make sure the scanner works with your PC
If you are using a Mac, make sure it is compatible with the Mac; as well as if you are running a PC make sure it is compatible with Windows or Linux.
Step 3. If the scanner comes with software, then you should be able to scan it quickly, otherwise you will need to download software to scan
One of the best, and reasonably priced, is VueScan (for Windows and Mac).
Step 4. Before you start scanning, take the time to calibrate the scanner
Most scanners come with a calibration sheet, if not, you can buy it at a reasonable price. Although they are not absolutely necessary, calibrating your screen and the scanner will give a much more accurate result. Especially if the originals are damaged.
Step 5. Do some practice with the scanner
Use black and white images to make sure you get the best range, and that the blacks are black and not gray, and that the whites are actually white.
Step 6. Now the moment you've been waiting for
The scan. Organization is important here. Create a directory where you will put all the scanned images. By thinking about this first before you begin, you can ensure that you can easily locate the image. How you organize it is up to you, you can organize them by year, by theme, or whatever else you want.
Step 7. When you go to scan the image you will need to set some basic parameters to tell the scanner what type of image you are scanning
The most important thing about this is to choose if you want it in black / white, in color, and at what resolution you want it to be scanned. Color or B / W is very obvious - You won't get any benefit from scanning a B / W color image. It will work, but it results in a very heavy image. It is better to choose a grayscale scanner. With color images, the options are more complicated and are based on the amount of color detail you are looking to preserve. Many scanners have the ability to scan millions of colors. In practice, the eye struggles to differentiate more than a thousand levels of colors, but as a general rule, the more the better. What's wrong with using more colors? The size of the. The more colors, the heavier.
Step 8. After you have scanned the image it is time to save it to your hard drive
This is where you have to make another decision, as there are a large number of different formats in which the image can be stored on disk. The two main types are lossy and lossless. No losses is what it implies. Image information is stored exactly as it was scanned, nothing is altered or lost. If you reload the image from disk it will be exactly as it was scanned. The other lossy method will store the image but reload it will not be exactly as scanned. Why would you do this? Well the answer is to save disk space. By compressing the image, it is possible to exchange a little (or a lot) of the image detail for a smaller size. This means that you can have more images on the disk compressed than if they were not. The most common compression file is JPEG (or JPG) which achieves phenomenal amounts of compression without losing much detail.