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Review the scanning techniques graphics professionals and photographers use, while delving into workflow considerations and the advanced image-quality controls available in most scanning software. Author Taz Tally explains the core concepts, such as how resolution and interpolation affect scans; introduces the industry-standard SilverFast scanning software; and shares the settings to achieve the best results from a scan. The course also covers keeping your scanner and its parts clean and free of dust, and includes a variety of start-to-finish scanning tasks.
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.
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