2016 Top Tips On Scanning For Photo Restoration

Here are some great tips on scanning for photo restoration!

Unfortunately no amount of retouching can make up for a poor scan. Most scanning software will allow you to choose the type of image to be scanned whether it is a photo, slide, document, etc. Correctly setting this option will insure the best scan possible from your scanner.

  1. I know the cheap scanners are tempting, but plan to spend more than $100 on a new scanner. You truly do get what you pay for. If you can’t take your photo to a lab to be scanned for you.
  1. If you have a lot of 35mm film or slides to scan plan on getting an actual film scanner will do a considerably better job, as this is what it is for! Flatbed scan do a rather sad job of this task.
  1. Scan your photo at an appropriate resolution. Use this calculator to find the best resolution.
    1. 300ppi (if you plan on printing your restored photo as the same size as the original, or if you plan to resize it to 72ppi for web use later).
    2. 600ppi (if you plan to restore or enlarge your photo).
  1. Turn off all automatic filters. For photo restoration these filters are the enemy. They throw away or damage good pixel information which we need for restoration. They seem like a good idea…but they’re not.
  1. Crop your preview scan so as not to include any of the background.
  1. Always scan black and white photos as 24bit RBG Color (not grayscale). This is because 24bit files have 3 times the color depth of an 8 bit grayscale file, so they capture much more of the subtle tones (If your photo is badly faded you might want to scan at 48bit).
  1. Please, keep in mind not to use photos printed on textured or embossed paper. They aren’t usually suitable for scanning. Try photographing them with a digital camera instead.
  1. Always save your scans in a lossless format such as TIFF. Only ever use JPEG as a final format to save your photo in. Never do anything to the original scans except for naming them. Save them exactly the way they were scanned, without any changes.
  1. View your scanned images at 100% when looking at them on your computer to make sure your photo scanned correctly.
  1. Right-click your scanned photo and choose Properties. Go to General and check the “Read Only” box. This is so you can’t accidentally save over them! And yes, I speak from experience…

Posted in How To..., Scanning Photos