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Setting your scanner

From: Photoshop Elements 9: Scanning and Restoring Photos

Video: Setting your scanner

There are certain settings that should be the minimum for scanning photos when archiving your photographs digitally, or for digital photo restoration. If you're making an archival copy of your photographs to capture them in their current state of decay for future preservation, you should get the best possible image in the highest resolution you can manage. Resolution is referred to as either DPI or PPI. DPI or Dots Per Inch refers to the printer and print resolution, or how many dots of ink is printed per inch.

Setting your scanner

There are certain settings that should be the minimum for scanning photos when archiving your photographs digitally, or for digital photo restoration. If you're making an archival copy of your photographs to capture them in their current state of decay for future preservation, you should get the best possible image in the highest resolution you can manage. Resolution is referred to as either DPI or PPI. DPI or Dots Per Inch refers to the printer and print resolution, or how many dots of ink is printed per inch.

PPI or Pixels Per Inch refers to how many actual pixels are present per inch. This is directly related to scanning. If you scan an image as 72 PPI, the traditional standard for the web, the image will have 72 pixels in each inch of the, let's say, 4x5 image. If you scan at 600 PPI, there will be 600 pixels per inch in the same size image. Obviously, the higher resolution will be clearer, sharper, and easier to enlarge.

Although some scanners scan up to 9600 pixels per inch or PPI, that's probably overkill. Run a test scan as high as 1200 PPI to see the clarity you get. Some photos don't scan well at this higher resolution. Go down in increments of 300 PPI. In other words, run a 900 PPI scan next, then a 600 PPI. Save the archival scan as a non-compressed TIFF image. JPEGs lose a little of their information each time they're opened, resulting in a loss of quality over time.

TIFF images are lossless, meaning they will remain the quality at which they're scanned. High-resolution TIFF images will take up a lot of hard drive space. If you're archiving your family photo collection, consider storing the files on an external hard drive. The resolution doesn't need to be quite as high for photo restoration projects, but still should be at least 300 PPI, if at all possible to be able to have the most clarity when working close-up, for general image quality, and to have the potential of enlargement in the future.

Always scan your photos in color, even if the photo you're scanning is black and white. I can't stress enough how important this is. If a photo is scanned in color, it will have color channels. In this case, RGB color channels. Even if the photo is black and white, there will be information in each of these three; Red, Green, and Blue channels. Usually one channel, most likely the red, will be lighter, the green a little darker, and the blue darker still.

But most importantly, it will allow you options you won't have if the photo is scanned in black and white, which it flattens into one channel. Photoshop Elements doesn't have color channels as a separate entity, but it does have color channels and levels, and you will use them. Another option you won't be able to take advantage of if you scan in black and white, are the midtone adjustments such as midtone sliders, and eyedropper's in Levels Adjustments. Scanning your photos, weather for restoration purposes or for digital archiving, should be done with certain minimum settings in mind to ensure the best quality image for the intended purpose.

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Image for Photoshop Elements 9: Scanning and Restoring Photos
Photoshop Elements 9: Scanning and Restoring Photos

40 video lessons · 6064 viewers

Janine Smith
Author

 
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  1. 1m 40s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      39s
  2. 13m 20s
    1. Identifying your media
      2m 45s
    2. Determining your equipment needs
      2m 24s
    3. Setting your scanner
      3m 26s
    4. Scanning negatives, slides, and film
      1m 11s
    5. Digitizing damaged and delicate photos
      3m 34s
  3. 10m 51s
    1. Importing photos into the Organizer
      3m 34s
    2. Adding captions and notes
      2m 47s
    3. Adding keyword and smart tags
      4m 30s
  4. 25m 11s
    1. Using Levels
      4m 7s
    2. Fixing fades with Threshold
      3m 22s
    3. Adjusting contrast using Color Curves
      4m 18s
    4. Darkening images with blend modes
      2m 12s
    5. Adjusting brightness and contrast
      2m 2s
    6. Using Quick Fix for lighting
      4m 12s
    7. Fixing automatically with Guided Edit
      4m 58s
  5. 18m 59s
    1. Using Levels to fix color
      3m 29s
    2. Correcting color automatically with Enhance
      3m 39s
    3. Correcting color with complementary colors
      5m 19s
    4. Using Color Variations
      3m 28s
    5. Using Quick Fix for color
      3m 4s
  6. 22m 37s
    1. Using the Clone Stamp tool
      5m 24s
    2. Using the Healing Brush
      5m 5s
    3. Working with newspaper and magazine images
      3m 12s
    4. Softening paper texture
      4m 40s
    5. Taming fingerprints
      4m 16s
  7. 42m 52s
    1. Repairing small rips and creases
      4m 22s
    2. Repairing large tears
      8m 22s
    3. Filling in missing pieces
      5m 36s
    4. Reassembling a photo from pieces
      10m 12s
    5. Fixing and replacing backgrounds
      5m 0s
    6. Using Photomerge with panoramas
      3m 59s
    7. Repairing documents
      5m 21s
  8. 22m 48s
    1. Creating a photo book
      6m 1s
    2. Making a calendar
      3m 52s
    3. Creating a personalized greeting card
      4m 26s
    4. Making a slideshow (Windows only)
      4m 22s
    5. Creating a flyer
      4m 7s
  9. 25s
    1. Final thoughts
      25s

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