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Question on scanning photos
Old 07-03-2018, 11:41 PM   #1
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Question on scanning photos

I know there are a good number of people here with great knowledge, so I am trying to get some...


My mom made a number of travel books over the years... most of the stuff is articles, post cards, pics cut out of whatever, but there are pictures she took of herself sprinkled throughout these books... I want to scan them so we can save them and share with family.... not that interested in her pics if she is not in them....


One of the problems is that these were put into books before acid free became a thing... so a number are faded....


My question is what is the best format to scan them into? This is just to get them into a computer.



What scan rate should be used? IOW, DPI...


What program is best to try and get them back to original as we can?


Thanks...
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:18 AM   #2
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The Epson V550 Photo scanner is what I bought. Good image quality but doesn't break the bank. Could be a different choice now. Something like Photoshop (or Elements) would help correct the colors again.
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:42 AM   #3
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Greetings Texas. I dont know about getting them back to original. But it's easy to try a free scanner app on a good quality smart phone to start with. After you snap a pic should allow you to drop it so the lines are square. Then maybe try overlaying a filtering app to sharpen it up. I used to use photos instead of scans all the time at work. No complaints. Looked great. Price is right
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:11 AM   #4
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Like Mrs Halo I would suggest at least trying a scanning app if you have decent camera on your phone. Se what you get and how you can work with it.

I am currently using photomyne and it is fast and easy. After a trial it was either 99 US cents or maybe it was 99 UK I don’t remember I was in the UK at the time and not sure which app store I used.

It is a snap to email pictures to others and at the time I was also able to set up a free family website password protected
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:37 AM   #5
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I have scanned and photographed and I have found it actually seems easier for me to just take pictures using my iPhone. I tried one of those iPhone scan apps that take multiple images and stitch them together but that was a PITA. A careful photo with iPhone with focus set on the photo to be imaged works fine. Photoshop can bring faded old photos back to life. An easy fix to try is the levels tool ( image>adjust>levels>). Auto levels often helps a lot although it can sometimes screw up your color balance. Also, for photos that have lost a lot of their original color, the neutral gray eyedropper on levels can do wonders if you can find a gray area of the image to click on. There are free alternatives to photoshop that may have similar or even simpler fixes to bring them back to life.
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:48 AM   #6
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If you still have the negatives, I would use a film scanner with Digital ICE and scan the negatives at 7200 DPI. That will get you the best results. I have slowly been converting all my photos/negatives from the early 70's through the late 90's to digital format.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:49 AM   #7
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If they are just snapshots I wouldn't bother scanning-too much work. I would just get a decent camera and rephotograph them. I've done this and it's much easier.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:47 PM   #8
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General comment: Buy a decent flat bed scanner, like a good Epson. Trying to use a smart phone will produce crooked, blurred, images that need to be cropped and rotate to square which adds to the already-considerable work you are undertaking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
... My question is what is the best format to scan them into? This is just to get them into a computer. ...
"JPG" aka jay-peg. That is an image format that all photo processing programs will work with. With a photo program you can adjust color to compensate for yellowing, enhance contrast to compensate for fading, etc. This is not magic and cannot create something out of nothing but it is the tool you need to use.

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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
...What scan rate should be used? IOW, DPI...
If you are scanning something that might be printed full-sized (not enlarged) on a laser printer, 300dpi is a good number. For decent quality printed images, 300dpi is usually considered adequate. If you are scanning something like a photo negative, much higher dpi is needed because the image will be enlarged. For example, a 24x36mm "35mm" film image scanned at 1500 dpi then enlarged to 7" wide will result in a final resolution of 1500/5 or 300dpi.

The higher the dpi the slower the scan, so when you look at scanners look at scanning speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
... What program is best to try and get them back to original as we can? ...
I use Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop Elements; these are not the easiest to learn (but not impossible) but also have more capability that you are likely to need. I'll leave it to others here to recommend less capable but easier to use programs.

Remember to use a backup system so all your hard work doesn't disappear in a hard disk crash.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:39 PM   #9
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If I can make a recommendation on software since PhotoShop is expensive: a friend suggested Affinity as an alternative. It's $50 for a one-time license. I just started using it this AM and there are some decent video tutorials. I hate tutorials (would rather read text or have more intuitive menus) but that's what you get now. My late husband used PhotoShop to rescue old family photos and slides and it was good at correcting the color deterioration. (In a cosmic joke, a year after he died I got a message saying I needed to re-register his PhotoShop, which was at least 10 years old, and it failed to re-register, of course and no longer works.) I'm hoping Affinity will do the same once I poke around in enough menus.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
I know there are a good number of people here with great knowledge, so I am trying to get some...


My mom made a number of travel books over the years... most of the stuff is articles, post cards, pics cut out of whatever, but there are pictures she took of herself sprinkled throughout these books... I want to scan them so we can save them and share with family.... not that interested in her pics if she is not in them....


One of the problems is that these were put into books before acid free became a thing... so a number are faded....


My question is what is the best format to scan them into? This is just to get them into a computer.



What scan rate should be used? IOW, DPI...


What program is best to try and get them back to original as we can?


Thanks...
1) Use a lossless format to scan originals. When you modify these (like in PS) save a copy.
2) This article explains DPI, etc. It depends on how pictures will be used. More pixels, mean more resolution that can go into your output.
http://www.ideastraining.com/PDFs/Un...Resolution.pdf
3) I use Photoshop. But there are many more apps that can probably do a good job of correcting photos with one click. Photoshop Elements is much cheaper.

Be prepared to learn a lot, meaning put a lot of time into this.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by target2019 View Post
1) Use a lossless format to scan originals. ...
@target2019 I think you'll need to explain this a little more for the OP.

JPG is a lossy format but IMO its ubiquity and more compact file sizes outweighs its shortcomings, particularly for the OP's project. Life's a tradeoff.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldShooter View Post
@target2019 I think you'll need to explain this a little more for the OP.

JPG is a lossy format but IMO its ubiquity and more compact file sizes outweighs its shortcomings, particularly for the OP's project. Life's a tradeoff.
https://www.howtogeek.com/142174/wha...y-to-lossless/
That article explains very well.
For color correction like OP wants to do, lossless is better, IMO.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:08 PM   #13
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For old snapshots I'd scan and store in jpeg format. Jpeg is a compressed format, which means some photo detail is lost in order to reduce the storage size of its digital file. Better photo editing software permits you to adjust the level of compression. Many digital cameras save in Jpeg format with minimal compression.

If you wish, you can probably save each photo in multiple formats. Librarians and archivists often use tiff because it is lossless. Tiff files can easily be 10x or more the file size of jpegs, so lots of photos can take lots of space to store in tiff. To compare for yourself, visit the Library of Congress site which usually offers a given photo in a both jpeg and tiff formats.

The most vexing issue can be scan quality. Surface dust and dirt from the original will scan into its digital image. Some software can automatically minimize the appearance of dust but it does so by smoothing the image, making it appear less sharp. With a photo editor you can instead fix the dust by manually copying similar-color small, non-dusty sections of the photo over the dust particles. That's a tedious, time-consuming effort.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:17 PM   #14
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As for dpi, I typically scan at 600 dpi, or 1200 for a small or special photo. My photo editor scans directly, which means the scanner data comes directly into the photo editor without loss. If the photo needs it I'll correct fading by adjusting contrast. Then I resize the image down to an effective 300 dpi (so if the scan was at 600 dpi, that's a resize to 50%), sharpen it, then save it.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:34 PM   #15
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If the photos are important to you, check in your local area for a shop/professional that will do it. They already own all the professional equipment and software, can advise on the best format, will clean them up for you digitally, and can give it back to you on CD, DVD, USB key, etc.

It may cost a little to do it this way. However, letting a professional do it will get it right the first time, will save you the time/effort, and likely get you the best results.

If the cost is more than you expect or are willing to spend, there's plenty of other advice already given for DIY. But definitely get a couple of quotes - there's no cost for that, maybe just some time to investigate.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:50 PM   #16
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I think everyone needs to realize that the op wants digital versions of snapshots, cut out pics, print articles, post cards etc.
Consider the original sources. They are not the sharpest nor do they need a huge color range gamut.

Taking each page and scanning it will be clumsy and slow. All these suggestions are overkill for what they need it for. Not to mention scanning rates and file sizes are way more than op needs.
Why scan at 600 dpi? Postcards are printed at a much lower PPI. That's why I recommend just using a digital camera and rephotographing each page.

An 8 x 10 page at 600 dpi is going to be a 86 mb file. A snapshot photo is limited in color range and detail.
It's like telling the op that want a car to get around town that he needs a 600 hp corvette. It's just overkill for the need.
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Old 07-04-2018, 03:42 PM   #17
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Think to the future, when the photos and cards are no longer retrievable.
More will be better.
1 TB can hold 10,000 100-MB scans.
4.6 GB DVD can hold 46 100-MB scans.
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Old 07-04-2018, 03:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aslowdodge View Post
... All these suggestions are overkill for what they need it for. ... That's why I recommend just using a digital camera and rephotographing each page. ...
OP gets to decide.

I come at it from a slightly different angle. These photos are valuable to the OP and, in the end, he will spend far more time and effort on them than he expects.

So why not start with a decent quality input? Digital camera images will inevitably be slightly keystoned, slightly rotated, possibly with some motion blur, and at somewhat random reproduction ratios. (That's before we start talking about color temperature inconsistencies.) All this can be dealt with, possibly even tolerated, but why? Starting with 300dpi jpg images from a real scanner will result in less work and a higher quality final product. I would not go farther, but my argument can also be used to point the OP to TIFFs and higher resolutions. He/she decides.
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:04 PM   #19
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I vote for a decent scanner like the Epson V5xx (I have the V500.) The scanner software itself will surprise you at the improvement it can make in old faded photos. Of course you can do more with software like Photoshop but there are other quite suitable alternatives. Indeed, Photoshop is only available I believe as a subscription. Photoshop Elements is less capable but will suffice for almost any amateur and it frequently goes on sale.
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:24 PM   #20
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Thanks for the info... I guess I should have looked at my scanner.... the only options I have for color pics are BMP, JPEG/Exif and TIFF...





Update... It wants me to say which program the JPEG file will go.... do not remember doing this before.... or I might have only scanned PDF...


Doing a scan of one pic to see how well it does...
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