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Cleaning your images

From: Scanning Techniques for Photography, Art, and Design

Video: Cleaning your images

Let's discuss care for and prep up your images for scanning. Just a quick review about why this is important, is this all about improved image with quality and better and more efficient workflow? Dust and dirt and scratches are all magnified during the scanning process, during enlargement and particularly during Unsharp Mask. All right, and that requires an awful lot of retouching. After the scan it's going to slow you down. It's going to reduce your image quality. So given that we know we are going to have to do this, let's talk about some of the tools that we are going to use for keeping our image clean and for cleaning our images.

Cleaning your images

Let's discuss care for and prep up your images for scanning. Just a quick review about why this is important, is this all about improved image with quality and better and more efficient workflow? Dust and dirt and scratches are all magnified during the scanning process, during enlargement and particularly during Unsharp Mask. All right, and that requires an awful lot of retouching. After the scan it's going to slow you down. It's going to reduce your image quality. So given that we know we are going to have to do this, let's talk about some of the tools that we are going to use for keeping our image clean and for cleaning our images.

First, location, location, location. Just like real estate, all right. Keep your scanner in a dust-free environment with no dirt and no moving air, and that's going to be the best thing that you can do. Now how about some tool for handling images? Well, number one, we are back to the old lint-free gloves again, I know I am a broken record, but they're so darn important. Remember my suggestion about putting a pair of your clean lint-free gloves right on the top of your scanner to remind you to put on before you even open your scanner, good idea. The other thing that you want to do is, you want to keep your images in a dust-free storage environment. It's so important.

Actually so many images is just kind of laying out on the table, collecting dust for days and sometimes weeks at a time. Keep them in here until you're ready to scan them. For the moment you create them, for the moment you print them, keep them in a dust-free environment. And the other thing of course is remember oil from your fingers is so problematic, wear your gloves all the time, very, very important. You are going to get much better results with your scan, you are going to have less cleaning to do. Remember, higher quality gloves, and for those of you who don't know remember, gloves-online.com, great place to get gloves.

These are the all-day gloves and they are reusable and washable, and of very high-quality, very nice. Okay, so some other things we've got here is little blaster, for blowing air, off of particularly your film, it's handy. It is a lot of varieties of these things and here's one with a little bit of a brush bristles on the end of it and typically those don't actually move much air but this one does so I'd like to have both of these. And some emulsion cleaners, it's going to be very important for cleaning a dirty film, very important, make sure that the emulsion cleaners that you have works with the film that you have got.

Most of the emulsion cleaners that you have today that are available with easy access today are for cleaning the hard emulsion. If you have some of the older film that has the albumen, the softer emulsion, you have to get a specific cleaner for that. And then some very tightly woven lint-free swabs are good. And then I do use canned air, I probably use this more on the film than I actually do on the scanner. And then for mounting purpose, particularly for reflective art, there is a little bend to it. I used to really low tack, low stick film.

So there are my tools. Now, let's talk about the actual cleaning of the actual pieces. Well, let's first discuss this right here and that is a reflective art. When we are going to clean reflective art, first of all handle it with your gloves and sometimes you can just use your gloves, all right, to wipe off some of the reflective art. That works pretty well. The other thing you can use is a little bit of canned air on your image or you can use a little bit of air-blaster, but do you notice what I am doing? I am blowing this not towards my scanner, this is the last thing that you want to do.

Get your scanner open, oh yeah, we will blow the dust right off the image onto the scanner. Believe me, I have seen it more than once. So if you are going to use some sort of the air movement device, do it away from your scanner. And if you have handled your images and you have kept in the dust-free environment, you may probably don't have to do much more than that. You can use emulsion cleaner on some of these like this, but honestly I have very few problems. Now one thing I should mention again, it was about talking while you're mounting your images and cleaning them, don't, like how I'm doing now because I am probably spitting, in fact, I can see it right there, I am spitting on my image which is not a good thing.

So, wait you are cleaning and mounting. Then for mounting these images, you typically want to -- and particularly with line art that is vertical and horizontal edges, you want to make sure you mount these images right along the edge of the scanner so that good, parallel and perpendicular to the direction of the scanner. So that's basically what you have to do for most of your reflective images, most important thing to do is keep them clean to begin with. The surface of reflective prints like this, photographs, tend not to attract as much dust or dirt as film does anyway.

Film tends to be the real challenge. So let's talk about film, and I use a piece of negative here. And keeping these first and foremost in a dust-free environment is important. Don't take them out until you are absolutely ready to scan. Don't leave them out there and go to lunch. Only take them out when you are ready to scan. You can look at them, the nice thing about these is you can get a little of reflected light off them to see if there is any stains on there and this is when I like to use this or my little brush, very, very fine brush for cleaning those off, again no talking because we definitely spit on these.

And notice that you've got two surfaces to clean here. Unlike the reflective art where you only have one surface, you've got two here and you need to understand that most film has a little bit of a curve to it, you can see that probably. The concave surfaces where the emulsion is, that's the surface you have to be very careful about. The outside, the backing surface is usually just straight plastic, I mean you don't want to mistreat it, but the inside surface where the actual image is, that's the one you have to be most careful about. So make sure, if you do use a brush, it's very, very likely, and if you do use canned air, make sure that that canned air is not too close to it, back it off a little bit and just a little bit of canned air to blow that off, because you really can damage that surface.

And that's true for both slides and for filmstrip negatives like this, they both have an emulsion surface. So that's cleaning those and if you do need to use your emulsion cleaner, typically what you want to do, take a little swab like this one here, and I'll put a little bit of the cleaner on the swab itself, and then I'll use that to actually clean my images. Notice I am never touching these images except for, with my gloves on. There you go.

Nice and light, not too hard. And if you use a good emulsion cleaner, it will evaporate in just a matter of 30 seconds usually. It won't leave a motion behind, any surface behind. So there we go. Then finally about mounting these particular images, remember, you've got two surfaces, and typically unless you're using oil, which we'll talk about, oil mounting a little bit later, most scanners, even the flatbed scanners but particularly the film scanners are set up to accommodate that natural film bin that you have.

You want to make very sure that you mount the film in the proper direction because if your scanner is set up so that it expects the concave image down and you put the concave surface up, then only one very narrow area of the image is going to be in focus. So make sure that you direct emulsion side in the proper direction. And you can refer to your scanner's manual and you will be very clear about what direction that's supposed to be. Usually on most film scanners, like the one we have been using, it's emulsion side down, and then you put it in the holder, and then make sure that that clicks like that positively, and then put it right inside your scanner and you're ready to rock and roll.

So there's our cleaning and mounting of both reflective art and film, both negatives and positives. Remember about that film emulsion, treat it very, very carefully. And there we go, there's cleaning and mounting your images.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Scanning Techniques for Photography, Art, and Design
Scanning Techniques for Photography, Art, and Design

58 video lessons · 8469 viewers

Taz Tally
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 6m 48s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      3m 54s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 43s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Scanners and digital cameras
      3m 6s
    2. Types of scanners
      5m 2s
    3. Scanner location
      3m 19s
    4. What scanners and digital cameras create
      7m 22s
    5. Understanding grayscale values and channels
      3m 19s
    6. Understanding pixels and vectors
      4m 1s
    7. Choosing pixels or vectors
      2m 27s
    8. Resolving resolution
      6m 32s
    9. Working with interpolation
      3m 31s
    10. Understanding the effects of compression
      2m 4s
    11. Evaluating and correcting images with histograms
      8m 26s
    12. Saving to different file formats
      7m 4s
    13. Color management
      4m 23s
  3. 33m 22s
    1. Cleaning your scanner
      7m 31s
    2. Cleaning your images
      7m 47s
    3. Calibrating your scanner
      9m 13s
    4. Creating and applying a color management profile
      8m 51s
  4. 20m 55s
    1. Evaluating your scan challenges
      9m 46s
    2. Reproducing vs. assigning colors
      6m 20s
    3. Recognizing continuous tone (contone) vs. dot pattern images
      4m 49s
  5. 36m 32s
    1. Understanding bit depth
      8m 49s
    2. Selecting a scan mode
      8m 20s
    3. Sharpening and its effects
      10m 40s
    4. Creating and assigning color management profiles
      8m 43s
  6. 2h 25m
    1. Taking the Tazmanian Oath!
      3m 38s
    2. Choosing your weapon
      4m 2s
    3. Setting up your scanning preferences
      12m 14s
    4. Performing a prescan
      2m 53s
    5. Assigning a scan frame
      5m 40s
    6. Determining scan resolution
      7m 57s
    7. Choosing a scan mode and bit depth
      5m 53s
    8. Naming images
      1m 49s
    9. Scanning simple logos and line art
      12m 21s
    10. Scanning complex line art
      7m 33s
    11. Scanning grayscale contones
      13m 22s
    12. Scanning color contones
      13m 54s
    13. Sharpening
      9m 39s
    14. Scanning printed/screened or patterned images
      7m 1s
    15. Scanning positive transparency film
      12m 33s
    16. Scanning negative transparency film
      9m 11s
    17. Capturing high dynamic range (HDR) scans
      1m 47s
    18. Setting up wet scans
      14m 29s
  7. 1h 48m
    1. Scanning, converting, and using simple line art
      5m 32s
    2. Scanning and using detailed line art
      10m 52s
    3. Scanning landscapes
      15m 50s
    4. Scanning product shots
      11m 58s
    5. Scanning combo/complex images
      9m 3s
    6. Adjusting distressed images
      11m 12s
    7. Scanning images with no neutrals
      11m 57s
    8. Post-scan touch-ups
      2m 7s
    9. Scanning images for multiple uses
      10m 44s
    10. Automatic scanning
      10m 40s
    11. Streamlining big jobs with batch scanning
      5m 22s
    12. Using your manufacturer's scanning software
      3m 14s
  8. 27s
    1. Goodbye
      27s

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