Scanning Photos? The Best Scanner Settings
Everybody has a scanner for photos nowadays. We all put an old photograph or document in the scanner from time to time and kind of pray for the most optimal results. Then, here are the settings – clearly described – to get the information you want to scan from the scanner.
You’ve started the machine, and you’ve put your image down on the glass of the scanner – what do you do now?
Can you go slow down for a moment? The glass. I do not know about you; however, the glass on my scanner is covered with all sorts of dust, and it gets smears and dust on it. It is best for it to be given a little scrub using an old cloth or Windex. If you own a can of air, blow off the dust from the glass as well. Look at the picture for dust while you’re doing it (but do not use anything else you can!)
OK. The picture is on the glass, and you think this is an even bigger task than you anticipated. Relax – it’ll end in the blink of an eye. Since there’s really only one thing you should be concerned about, that’s resolution, also known as dots per inch (or “dpi”). This is vital since dpi (or PPI, which means “pixels per inch”) is the key to determining the size and quality of your photo (I am using “dpi; however, you can also say it is better to use “dpi instead of PPI”).
Resolution of scanner: 96 dpi or 300 dpi
Your scanner ought to have a setting called “resolution,” and it will provide you with a choice of either the dpi (“dots per inch”) or PPI (“pixels per inch) – for all practical purposes they’re exactly identical. The resolution you choose based on the scanner you have – will range from 50 to 10,000 dpi. It’s a bit narrower, isn’t it?
The decision you make depends on whether or not you’ll be using your images on monitors and computers or printing them. Your typical PC comes with a standard resolution of 96 dots per inch, and printing needs 300 dpi. This is why you need to make use of these settings for those applications. If you plan to send or share images, you should scan them at the resolution of 96 dots per inch. If you intend to print them, print at 300 dpi.
(Why are screen resolutions 96 dpi and 300 dpi for printing? Because of the way that computer screens are backlit, and because the standard views for computing use allow you to work with fewer dots. In essence, the larger the distance of viewing, the lower the number of dots you require. The normal reading distance is quite close, and there is no backlight; that’s why you need 300 dots to print.)
Image size: reducing from 96 to 300
Scanning at 96 and 300 is great for most scenarios. But it’s not for every situation.
What if, for instance, your photo is actually small? Let’s imagine you have a passport photo from the past, which is 1″ 1″ x 1.5″. If you decide to send it to a friend, However, you might also prefer to print it later. It’s scanned at 300, as the article suggests. There will be enough resolution for printing it. It will, however, be the exact dimensions as that of the first, very small.
If you’re looking to increase the dimensions of your photo, then increase the dpi settings in your camera. Simply do some maths to determine what the ideal setting is. If you’d like your original passport picture to measure 4″ 6 inches by 4 inches” after printing, scan it at 1200 dpi.
(Get it? Multiply the size of the original image by the resolution of the scanner to arrive at an image of the same size.)
Images to scan for video
The majority of media for TV and video employs 72 DPI. However, I’d rather ignore this fact when scanning images for a project in the video. If you’re editing images into a timeline for video editing (as I often do in my personal stories), then the software will handle any required adjustments to the resolution. Make sure to remember that the normal definition frame measures 720 pixels wide, and HD video is wide by 1920 pixels. Any image you select to create standard-definition video or HD should be at a minimum wider than the frame and even larger if you intend to zoom into it.
Resolution to scan negatives
Determine the resolution of your scanner using the same method as you would for a photograph. If you have a negative that is 35mm (around 1″ 1.5″ x 1″), you should be 1.5″). Then you’ll need to scan at a minimum of 1200 (makes the print size 4″ 6″ x 4″) or 2400 is the best (and 4000 is more efficient – however, the file size is becoming rather large by now). The larger the negative, the smaller you can go to ask yourself if the image be placed on a printer or on the computer – and take the time to calculate.
Other settings too.
Your scanner is likely to have various other widgets and things. If you’re using any editing software, it is probably best not to check them all and make your adjustments using your editing software.
If you don’t intend to make edits in a photo program, then there’s no harm in selecting the “unsharp. “unsharp” option (it actually makes the image more sharp – yay!).
An old photo is a good example.
Many old photos contain much more information than you’ll discern. In many instances, the photograph was printed in a sandwich along with its original negative. There’s often a lot of information contained in them, and it will be a great reward for a scan of a high resolution.
If you are involved in a genealogy or family history project, then you’ll have to deal with lots of old photographs. You will likely notice that a lot of these older photos – the ones which were processed and taken prior to the advent of the color revolution are quite great. I often do restoration of photos for family history and life stories video projects. I am continually amazed by the early and how effectively black and white technology was developed. It is also a surprise after the photo is meticulously restored and scanned, the amount of freshness is exposed. Sometimes, you find new faces in the image! Make sure you turn up the resolution on these old photos to look for who you can spot in the details.