Scanning and enhancing a B&W photo to read date

outspoken1June 3, 2008

Dear Kind Folks:

I am working on my parents (in their mid-70's) genealogy as a Christmas present. I have found some old, but clearish B&W photos taken in the 1920s-30s of a monument (tombstone) that has the name of my great-grandfather or great-grandmother in Nancy, France. I can make out the last name using a 10x magnifying glass, in part because I know the last name. I can't make out the rest, though.

So, my plan is to scan in and using Paint Shop Pro X2 to enhance somehow to read the text (hopefully).

Question 1. What DPI should I use to scan in the photo?

Question 2. I own PSP X2, but only use about 2% of its capabilities. If someone gives me detailed directions, I can use filters (and I know how to change the settings on filters) or other features to help me read this photo.

Question 3. Is there a better-easier way I am totally missing to accomplish my goal?

OR... if someone tells me the way (DPI, etc.) the photo should be scanned and uploaded to this forum, I would be happy to do so. OR... I would be happy to email the scan(s).

I am getting some more photos tomorrow to look through, so I may find more treasures that need enhancing for information. Please consider this a treasure hunt of my French relatives who fought in WWI and in the French Resistance during WWII. I am trying to see if any of my other relatives even survived WWII. My grandparents and (eventually) mother emigrated in 1946, so they don't really know about any remaining family. (I thought this request would make more sense if I explained the background.)

Thanking you in advance for your kindness,


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Hi Sandra,
I own an Epson 4490 Photo scanner and just place my photo on the bed and when my warm up light stops blinking, I push the button, it then opens my program. Then I choose Photogragh and click on preview to scan so my picture appears so I can do my cropping (see the dotted frame around pic) and what other adjustments if needed. Then I click on Scan for my final.
I pick Printer so it scans LARGE for easier editing and print outs and I can make it smaller after, if I choose to send in e-mail or post on a forum.
I shall upload a screen shot with further descriptions hoping it makes sense to help in any way.
By choosing Printer, the cropped picture went from 2550x3509 pixels to 900x1183 cause you do NOT want to scan the bed along with your photo making the photo tiny and all in all a humongous file.
If I chose screen/web, the picture would be 297x373 pixels which is WAY TOO small to be of value.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 11:24AM
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Hope this helps in some way:

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 11:53AM
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