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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Scan your photo at an appropriate resolution. Use this calculator to find the best resolution.
- 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).
- 600ppi (if you plan to restore or enlarge your photo).
- 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.
- Crop your preview scan so as not to include any of the background.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- View your scanned images at 100% when looking at them on your computer to make sure your photo scanned correctly.
- 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…