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Scaning Photos to Archive

by matt02429 / March 4, 2005 1:13 PM PST

Hi, I am about to get started scanning a bunch of old family photos, and I have a few questions.
-A lot of my photos are bent and stuff, so I wanted to know if any one has a good technique of getting them level and straight when scanning them, or editing them to level them.
- Also, is 4800 dpi a good resolution (file size is no object because theyre geting burned to a dvd)
- Any other general tips or tricks on scanning quickly, efficiently, and getting good quality photos.
(i have a mac mini with iphoto and adobe photoshop so plenty of editing options)

Thanks in advance,

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Scanning Old Photos
by taboma. / March 4, 2005 3:31 PM PST

Matt, scan all you photos with a flatbed scanner using a black card on top of them and also a large, heavy book on top of them. This will flatten out the photo and you will get a good scan.
Adjust your levels also before you scan.
What kind of scanner are you using? Do you know how to set up for levels of pure black and white, or the darkest spot on the image etc? If not, there should be an auto scan button that you could click on.
Make sure you use preview so that you will get a good double scan for quality. Try to scan at 150% or 200% from the original. This will get you the best results. You can reduce the image of the file later. If you had a very small photo that you wanted to scan, than you certainly would want to scan at a higher percentage. More bang for the buck and more detail at higher percentages.
After scanning, in Photoshop, size your image for high-end use at 300 DPI. 4800 DPI is really extreme and not needed. Next, unclick the DPI button and adjust the size also to an 8"x10" image for a general size. Go to Sharpen/Unsharp Mask. Click Unsharp Mask, 100% threshold 3.5. 25%. This will restore the sharpness that you have lost while scanning.
Next in Photoshop, go to auto levels to adjust the levels whether in RGB, before converting to CMYK or B&W.
Next, If you want to lighten areas go to Curves. Generally, use the x-spot in the middle if you are unfimiliar with the curves. Slide the x diagonally at 45 degrees left or right so that the image looks good and click OK.
Save the file as black and white or RPG. Save the file and name it.
I am only suggesting simple steps to preserve your family's photos. There are many other ways to scan and manipulate the images for professional use in Photoshop.
Hope this will help you get started.


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Thanks so much
by matt02429 / March 5, 2005 12:56 AM PST
In reply to: Scanning Old Photos

Wow.. thats alot of geat info, thanks alot... I think im going to take out a book from the library about photoshop because it sounds pretty intense...When i scan, the image will come in with black around it, then theres a way to just cut out all the black, and after i do that can i just straigten the picture out on the screen? Good to know that 300dpi is enough, these are small pictures and i mostly want to start digitizing them because we have hundreds of albums collecting dust and moisture in the basement, so i want to have them incase i have to print them out again, and eventually post them to a website... my scanner is an all in one device, (the lexmark x1150)..
Thanks for all of the great info, it's really going to help get me started...

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by taboma. / March 6, 2005 11:58 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks so much

Matt, When you start scanning you should be able to define the exact area you want to scan. Thus you will not have black around the image. If you have really small photos, increase the scan image to 400%. Try to align the photo on the edge of the scanner bed.
After scanning you can straighten out any image by going to Image/Rotate Canvas/Arbitrary and straighten the image. Also, there is no end to photoshop and the learning curve. You can also get rid of dust, dirt, watermarks etc. in photoshop from your old photos.

If you want to, sign up for the CNET Photoshop courses that are offered.


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researched and found...
by matt02429 / March 7, 2005 10:05 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks

I figured out some neat tricks about leveling, just thought i'd post and let everyone know how to do it in case any one had the same question...
1)_Scan the image upside down backwards, it doesn't matter
2)_Open it in photoshop
3)_open the measure tool (looks like a rules, its right under the eyedrop tool)
4)_click the botom left hand corner and carfully move the mouse to the other end of the screen, making sure that the line that the measure tool is making is going straigt along the picture)
5) when you get the mesuare tool lined up right, click Image>rotatecanvas>rotate arbitrary
6) the rotate arbitrary box should open and your measurement should be in the box click ok... now your picture should be nice and rectangular and you can crop it ...

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by taboma. / March 7, 2005 2:19 PM PST

Matt, What version of Photoshop are you using?

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sounds like 5.5?
by funkid7 / March 16, 2005 10:14 PM PST
In reply to: Researched

I have 3 versions of PS. So, i'll try this out. It just happens to be one of the many questions, I needed answered about PS!

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Sounds like V7
by taboma. / March 18, 2005 12:52 PM PST
In reply to: sounds like 5.5?

as it turns out.
I'm on 6. Still have a lot to learn from this version before jumping to 7 & CS.
The learning curve is mind-boggling with every update
and I am not into web design, so I think that I will enjoy PS6 for the present and learn as much as I can.
Do you really want to jump to CS?


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Research Always Works
by taboma. / March 17, 2005 2:45 PM PST

Matt, Nice information. There are always new solutions.
Thanks for that one that is simple, easy to understand and works.

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photoshop 7
by matt02429 / March 18, 2005 3:24 AM PST
In reply to: Research Always Works

Im actually using photoshop 7 but may be acquiring 8.0 very soon.. I'm getting used to using it.. learning some interesting stuff to do with it...

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Photoshop CS
by taboma. / March 18, 2005 12:36 PM PST
In reply to: photoshop 7

I have 6 at the present time and have not really learned all that I want to from it.
Here is a text doc from Adobe that I copied and want to show you. I needed the info also.

From Adobe:
New version, new name

You were expecting Adobe

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Thanks so much
by matt02429 / April 2, 2005 9:51 AM PST
In reply to: Photoshop CS

i wasn't aware of that, thanks for the info..
i'm not sure what the upgrade will cost, but i think im gunna stick with 7.0 for a little while and leard the more advanced features, and then when the next version comes out i'll pick it up..

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How do you resize?
by NancyR / April 2, 2005 1:10 PM PST
In reply to: Scanning Old Photos

You said that "after scanning, in Photoshop, size your image for high-end use at 300 DPI". I have Photoshop 5.0 and can't find a way to do this. Also, when I open my scan, the crop option is grayed out....what the heck? Any ideas on either one appreciated.

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by taboma. / April 2, 2005 3:24 PM PST
In reply to: How do you resize?

Nancy, After scanning, why is the crop option grayed out on your APSV5? The scan opens in Photoshop. Something went bonkers with Photoshop? If you cannot crop an immage just re-install Adobe Photoshop from your original disk.
Adobe apps are usually very stable. Let us know.


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resizing in photoshop
by matt02429 / April 5, 2005 1:15 AM PDT
In reply to: How do you resize?

to resize the image, open the original file. then click file>save as. A menu will come up that will allow you to change the resolution, compress it to jpeg and other file formats. I copy the original 300 dpi shot on cd-r's so that i'll have them if i need to print again, then i compress the files to jpeg so that i can keep them in iphoto. Then i back up both the jpegs and 300dpi shots on an external hard drive (i'm a little bit meticulous about backing up).
Hope this helps.
Matt Smith

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