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In Photoshop Elements 9: Scanning and Restoring Photos, professional photo restorer Janine Smith shows how to bring new life to old photos. The course begins with a look at the types of photos that may require restoration, including slides, negatives, prints, and newspaper photos, and options for scanning them. She discusses the types of scanners that are available, from flatbed to film, and the best settings to use for originals. The course then delves into Photoshop Elements tools and techniques to help restore clarity to faded photos and fix problems such as dust, scratches, and tears. Exercise files are included with the course.
There are few tools you might need to get started. If you have framed or delicate pictures, you might need a camera. Otherwise, you'll need a scanner. For negatives or slides, you'll need a scanner with a transparency adapter, which I'll be going over in a later video. So let's talk about scanners. Scanners come in many shapes, sizes, types, and price ranges. The difficult part is deciding, which scanner will do the best job for you. If you just need a scanner to digitize your family photo collection, you need to be able to capture a very good high-resolution image.
An inexpensive scanner that adds unwanted lines or graininess to an image won't preserve a high enough quality copy and will only add more work to a restoration. Use a flatbed scanner. It's the safest for your photos, especially the older ones. Look for a scanner with a dedicated transparency adapter, if you have any film at all. Most of these are only for standard sizes, but there are some workarounds, especially when the adapter isn't built into the top of the scanner.
Also, look for a scanner that has settings for newspaper, magazines, and film for the most versatility. Even though there are a lot of scanners to choose from, look for the one that will fit your budget, and will do the best job for you. Invest in a better quality scanner if you have a lot of photos, or see scanning as a long-term project. Before you begin scanning your family photos, always handle them with care. Since our hands contain acid, which burns through photographs over time, wash your hands and avoid touching the image itself with your fingers.
Also, be very careful where you actually hold the photo, keeping to the back and the outside edges only. If you feel overwhelmed by scanning your images yourself, you might consider using a scanning service. If you decide to go that route, I recommend you find a trustworthy local service. Think twice about mailing your images, because if they get lost or damaged, those items are gone forever. One final suggestion, it's easier for most people to use a digital drawing pad to do restoration work.
It's definitely something to consider investing in. There are very good inexpensive models available.
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