Photo scanning/ editting

kashka_katJanuary 25, 2011

Looking for some good advice on scanning old photos � I inherited a bunch of old photos, some 100+ yrs. and having been something of an artist in the past I�m thinking I want to get into photo editing/ retouching/ creatively manipulating images in a BIG way and put it all up on flickr. I�m as fired up about this as I�ve ever been - fun!!!!!!!!!!!

Did a search of this forum and only found 1 post from 4 years ago�. Wondering if theres anything new and good out there you can recommend as far as� hardware � what scanner? Software � Adobe CS5 or what?

The old thread had something about how the home scanners don�t do as good a job as the professional � is that still the case? Why should that be � seems to me if you have the proper dpi and specs, should be just as good, no?

Re: editting. How realistic is it to think I could crop parts out of photos, enlarge, make them clearer/sharper, remove spots & splotches? What are the limits to how good you can make something look?

Finally, are there copyright issues to consider when putting stuff online? I brought this up to a guy in a copy once and he laughed at me saying, "no one is going to steal your family photos." Well, I beg to differ�. I see old vintage/ historic images on line all the time that people apparently have claimed as their own, charging a fee for them etc. and yes, I think some of mine are every bit as good and interesting as anything I�ve seen. It would infuriate me to see someone charging for MY images.

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There are many good free downloads for editing, even removal of unwanted objects, 2 I use are "photoscape" and "photo wipe"

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 11:16AM
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I wouldn't think you'd have to spend at the CS5 level to do what you want. Here's just one example of many books on photo restoration that have been written for Photoshop Elements, which costs a fraction of CS5. The current version is Elements 9.

If you look at some decent Canon scanners, for instance (also on Amazon), you'll see that some of the models automatically remove dust, etc., from negatives. I have a $400 Canon scanner that I use to scan my dad's negatives from the 1930s and 40s.

As for protecting your images, you can use your editing program to write a copyright message across the version that you post online. You'll resize that version, too, and this will make it difficult for people to do anything with them.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 8:55PM
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I can get a good employee discount for cs5 - I want the capability to do more professional level artsy stuff.

Unless anyone has any other suggestions I guess I'll just look at the higher rated scanners on Amazon - Canons seem to get good ratings. Is it correct to say that the higher the number of dots per inch, the sharper and more detailed the image? I just don't want to spend hundreds of dollars and then find I'm not satisfied!

Are converting photos to digital bound to suffer a loss of quality no matter what? The reason I ask is when I've had a few photos scanned professionally, you could see the dots and the breaking of the image into dots lessens the sharpness/clarity.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 2:49PM
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Realize that CS5 is a full suite of products, mostly geared towards graphics and publication. Within CS5, Photoshop is the same...really geared towards graphics, but good for photo manipulation too.

But if you can get it for a decent price, then have at it. I use Photoshop (via CS4) quite a bit, yet again, for photos you'll barely scratch the surface of the what the software can do. Good news is that there are plenty of tutorials both on Adobe's website as well as other websites, even YouTube has an extensive collection of PS tips to get you started.

Scnners, it depends on what you'll be scanning. Just prints, or negatives, or slides? I have an Epson V700, about $500. Excellent for all three.

Scanning while using the scanners dust/scratch auto removing functions can really slow a scan down. By a factor of...many! Seriously, it might take 20 seconds for a "regular" scan, but then use the built-in correcting software and it can take several minutes. That's true with every scanner.

You might find that the correction software actually softens the scan a bit when trying to do dust removal, etc, so sometimes I just scan a straight file and use photoshop.

If you will be scanning hundreds or thousands of prints/slides, there are scanners that can to batch processing. Set and forget, come back in a half hour, reload and let it run again.

When shopping, keep an eye on the dpi rating. Some are "true" dpi counts, other scanners have "interpolated" dpi. In my opinion, interpolated doesn't really do you much good in the real world scheme of things.

While this may sound frilly, consider wearing white cotton gloves, especially if doing negatives or slide scanning. It helps prevent you from getting body oil on any film or on the scanner glass. Sounds silly, but when doing good scans these things show up, and they are the last thing you want to see after waiting 30 minutes for a batch scan to finish.

Be wary of Amazon, There prices are fine and all, but their packing for shipping is just atrocious. I'll order all sorts of stuff from them, but I'm hesitant when it comes to delicate stuff. Check out B and H, good company and excellent packaging.

Lastly...not sure what you have for a computer, but when getting into high end scanning, file manipulation (Photoshop) and printing, try to calibrate your monitor. That way what you see on your monitor (pixel coloration) is what will come out of the printer.

Sorry to drone on, best of luck! It's enjoyable to resurrect old photos.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 12:41AM
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No, not droning! Great intro to the topic - thanks!!!!

Could you tell me - what about photos that are washed out, and weren't that great in the first place. Can you add depth/contrast? Can you add color? This is going to be fun!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 10:30AM
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One more question (mongoct) is it your opinion that the $500 scanner produces a qualitatively better image than say a $200 model - what exactly are you getting with the more expensive model?

If I have to do it to get good images I will, but on the other hand - don't need a lot of extraneous bells/whistles. As you suggested, I could do the image corrections with the photoshop.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 11:46AM
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Price differences can be based upon how the scanner scans; a single pass or multiple passes.

They can be based upon the size and type of media that can be scanned; negatives, slides, prints, etc, and the quality of the bracket or device that holds the media (slides, negatives, etc).

Single scan or batch?

Included software?

So the scanner will get you the digital file. Then you can do file manipulation in PS; dust/scratch removal, add contrast, saturation, hue, etc, etc. There is a limit as to what you can do with a file, but if the original scan is decent, then you can bring it back to life.

If you have PS, then sure, as a hobbyist start with a basic flatbed scanner. That would be perfectly appropriate.

Below is the first hit I got on youtube:

Repairing an old photo

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 1:53PM
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    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 1:02PM
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