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View Full Version : OT: Scanning photographs



Kyle
2006-10-19, 12:46
Is there a home printer/scanner that does a good job of scanning photographs, or do I need to go to a photo shop? How about the machines at Target or Wal-Mart? Any advice would be appreciated.

jeffluckett
2006-10-19, 12:51
I have an Epson Cx4800 Printer/Scanner/Copier, and it does a very respectable job scanning photos. It even does color correction and some basic fixes.

Of course, the quality of your final product is going to be dependent upon the quality of the original print (make sure it and the scanner glass are clean), but for all but the most finicky, I'm sure most consumer-level scanners out there today will do a fine job.

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-19, 12:56
Scanners are so cheap these days, you may want to just try one out.

I get good results using my 6-year-old Canon FB630U. I don't think they've changed all that much since then.

My advice would be to concentrate instead on the software you use to resize and retouch. A good, free, open-source alternative is GIMP, http://www.gimp.org Professional utilities like Adobe Photo Shop are also very powerful and popular, but can be expensive.

Avoid the crapware that's on the install CD, install just the drivers.

Kyle
2006-10-19, 12:57
Do you know what your scanning resolution is? Are they all about the same?

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-19, 13:03
Do you know what your scanning resolution is? Are they all about the same?

I'm no expert, but beyond a certain point, I don't think it really matters because you end up getting 5800 X 4600 images or whatever, weighing in at 60 MB, that you have to resize anyway.

Of course I scan as high as I can then reduce down. I scan at 300 dpi, which I believe is fairly high, but still workable. The maximum resolution of my scanner is 1200 dpi I believe, which is way more than I need, and keep in mind this is an old scanner. I think new ones are 2400 dpi. Massive, massive overkill.

Kyle
2006-10-19, 13:05
I use Gimp. I've done some decent Photoshop-type stuff with it. I wish I knew enough about it to take advantage of more features.

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-19, 14:42
I use Gimp. I've done some decent Photoshop-type stuff with it. I wish I knew enough about it to take advantage of more features.

All I've ever had to do with it:

- resizing. Image - Scale Image. Select "Cubic" for interpolation.

- sharpening. Filters - Enhance - Sharpen. I sharpen all my digital images 10%, sometimes 15%, and all my scanned photos 15%. The image gets softer when you resize, this brings it back.

- cropping, using the Crop tool in the main window (looks like a scalpel).

For some of my images for use on a website, I'll put my name and the date the photo was taken in text at the lower right corner. Usually it's in white, sometimes in black for a light photo. Use the text tool in the main window.

I've occasionally done more advanced things, like removing the moire pattern when scanning printed images. This was done with Filters - Blur - Gaussian Blur. However resizing from a much larger scan does the same thing.

There's a tutorial out there for removing red eye that I've used a couple of times. Involves masking the red eye then de-saturating the red channel inside the mask IIRC.

Note - you can scan your image directly from GIMP if your scanner uses a TWAIN or WIA driver. In the main window, go to File - Acquire - TWAIN.

Kyle
2006-10-19, 15:14
Thanks for the tips!