Computers are highly important for genealogists but there are a few things to consider when you scan old images or documents. A 300-dpi scan set at 100% size will do just fine for a regular-size picture. If you scan it just to send it by e-mail or to post it online, a 100-dpi at 100% size would be more suitable for uploading and downloading. You can store large pictures on CD-ROMs or external hard drives, to avoid running out of space on your working hard drive. When it comes to formats, you should go for .bmp, .tiff or .jpeg file formats.
Digitizing the photos allows all members of the family to enjoy and preserve them. You can either copy them with a digital camera or using a scanner. The camera should have a tripod and proper lighting. It has to be stable and parallel, offering quality when it comes to important factors such as size (largest), ISO (low or Auto), depth of field,
exposure (bracket your shots) of edge distortion (minimized). Turn the macro setting for close subjects. The scanner works best for slides. The most economical one is the flatbed scanner. You'll also need proper software such as Vuescan. If this is complicated, just go to a local photo shop. Ready to get started? Click Scan Share can help you preserve you photos to dvd.
Very old photos can be digitized and restored with tools such as histogram for restoring contrast and the Clone Tool that fixes damages. After you scan it, you can use Black & White Points. Often it's easier to repair stains in color mode. Clip the tail of pixels off and experiment with contrast to make washed out colors look original
and bright again. You can also lighten up the image and include some details. Be careful as the surrounding areas of black can affect the histogram. The Clone Tool will handle tear damage and spots. You'll find nice tools in PhotoDeluxe, PhotoImpact, Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop.
When you scan pictures, you should be aware of their large size. It's better to compress the images and to cut up the text before using OCR. Don't manipulate it while scanning. Use the "descreen" function. You don't have to be a professional. You can retouch it just by adjusting contrast, brightness and sharpness. Don't save black and white photos as color and use various resolutions for each purpose. CD-Rs are the best way to save hard disk space and to spare money. You can also make traditional prints using the special paper and advanced color printers.
We find and summarize the best articles around the web for you to learn more about your photo and film collection, photo scanning, and film transfer.
Interested in photo scanning, film transfer, or photo restoration. Ask us!