Important Decisions To Make When Scanning Family Photos

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As you begin digitizing your personal records so they can be better-protected and more easily stored, you may find that some of your scans are not at the level of quality you were expecting. This may be a problem with the scanner, the scanner's settings or how you are scanning the photo.

Choosing The Scanner

The good news is that scanners that are available are able to scan photos at a resolution that is higher than the resoution that the naked eye will usually notice. A 1,200 DPI scanner is usually good enough unless you intend to blow the image up to a much greater size or you intend to zoom into a specific section of the photo. However, very cheap scanners that scan at a lower DPI will have a lower resolution and may fail to pick up fine details.

The three types of scanners are the wand scanner, the film scanner and the flatbed scanner. You will likely need the flatbed scanner, which will be easier to use and will produce the results you are looking for. The wand scanner requires that you hold the handle properly to get a good scan. The film scanner is only useful if you have old slides and negatives.

Scanning At The Right Resolution

Even though you have a scanner that scans at 1,200 DPI, it may not be necessary to scan at the highest resolution to achieve the results you want. If you are restoring a photo, you may want to scan the image at multiple resolutions and even combine the different resolutions in a photo editing program, erasing the less optimum sections until you achieve the desired result. However, if you are simply scanning a large number of family photos, you will want to strike a balance between the resolution you are satisfied with and the amount of time you are willing to wait for your images to scan. The higher the resolution, the longer it will take to scan each image. It can take anywhere from a couple seconds to a couple minutes to finish the scan.

Choosing Between Greyscale And Black-And-White

If you need to scan the images so they are in black-and-white, for whatever reason, you shouldn't actually scan them in black-and-white. Instead, choose greyscale. Black-and-white is a single color option that will cause the edges of the image to appear jagged and less appealing, unless this is the desire you want.