Author Adam Dachis recommends using a flatbed scanner rather than a sheet-feed scanner because, “Some sheet-fed scanners can cause artifacts in photos…” Scanning at 300 dpi is a minimum acceptable level but 600 dpi “is generally the sweet spot for photo scans.” Dachis says, “...but, if you are scanning low resolution photos a higher DPI setting isn't going to make a difference. If you scan several photos in a flatbed scanner you'll need to separate each photos.” After scanning you may need to correct for color and image orientation using PhotoShop or other editing software. A separate Life Hacker article offers the Top10 Photo Fixing and Image Editing Tricks.
Flatbed scanners with transparency adapters will generally work for scanning slides and negatives. Dachis offers two suggestions for doing this type of scanning:
- Because scanning negatives and slides involves enlarging a tiny image, dust can become a big problem. You don't want to actually touch the negative or slide, but you can remove dust using a can of compressed air. You'll also want to clean off the scanner bed each time you scan to avoid dust as well. Compressed air will work here as well, but dust wipes are also very effective.
- When performing the actual scanning, the software included with your scanner may be your best option. You'll want to select specifically what you're scanning, as you're not necessarily looking to scan the negative but rather the positive reproduction of the negative.
Tomorrow we’ll look at digitizing audio recordings.
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