The Practicing Photographer

Scanning Photos


The Practicing Photographer

with Ben Long

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Video: Scanning Photos

Hi, I'm Ben Long. And this week on The Practicing Photographer, I'm hiding from my relatives. No, not really. I'm here at this family gathering. And I've started a process before I got here. Which was to begin an archiving process that I think is going to go on for a long time. My parents have a bunch of pictures. There are lots of other relatives with lots of pictures. I know that I would like to have copies of them The pictures. And I'm sure that we would all like to have copies of each others pictures. So I got here, and went out an bought a cheap scanner.
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  1. 7m 23s
    1. Understanding options for tripod heads NEW
      7m 23s
  2. 1m 35s
    1. Introducing The Practicing Photographer
      1m 35s
  3. 11h 38m
    1. Choosing a camera
      5m 27s
    2. Looking at light as a subject
      2m 22s
    3. Using a small reflector to add fill light
      5m 45s
    4. Editing photo metadata with PhotosInfo Pro for iPad
      6m 30s
    5. Let your lens reshape you
      7m 26s
    6. Compositing street photography images with Photoshop
      7m 44s
    7. Expand your filter options with step-up and step-down rings
      3m 56s
    8. Shooting without a memory card
      3m 6s
    9. Give yourself a year-long assignment
      5m 28s
    10. Working with reflections
      1m 26s
    11. Exploring mirrorless cameras
      7m 25s
    12. Batch processing photos with the Adobe Image Processor
      7m 30s
    13. Limiting yourself to a fixed-focal-length lens
      2m 13s
    14. Creating tiny worlds: Shooting technique
      4m 15s
    15. Creating tiny worlds: Post-processing techniques
      11m 41s
    16. Shooting macro shots on an iPhone
      3m 18s
    17. Using a tripod
      3m 33s
    18. Wildlife and staying present
      5m 58s
    19. Batch exposure adjustments on raw files
      6m 52s
    20. Why Shoot Polaroid
      11m 12s
    21. Seizing an opportunity
      4m 4s
    22. Four photographers do a light-as-subject exercise
      12m 24s
    23. Shooting macro bug photos with a reversed lens
      4m 54s
    24. Varnishing a photo for a painterly effect
      13m 36s
    25. Shooting wildlife
      7m 24s
    26. Discussion on how to shoot architecture
      12m 27s
    27. Using a lens hood
      4m 48s
    28. Working with themes
      2m 48s
    29. Setting up an HDR time lapse
      7m 55s
    30. Processing an HDR time lapse
      7m 55s
    31. Two perspectives on travel photography
      12m 28s
    32. Scanning Photos
      5m 37s
    33. Photo assignment: shooting an egg
      3m 13s
    34. Reviewing the egg shot images
      6m 47s
    35. Shooting in your own backyard
      4m 38s
    36. Jpeg iPad import process
      3m 17s
    37. Shooting a product shot in open shade
      9m 34s
    38. Reviewing the product shot images
      4m 5s
    39. Warming up
      3m 26s
    40. Taking a panning action shot
      10m 17s
    41. Scanning polaroid negatives and processing in Photoshop
      8m 17s
    42. Shooting a silhouette
      3m 9s
    43. Going with an ultra-light gear configuration
      5m 29s
    44. Working with masks and calculations in Photoshop
      12m 38s
    45. Working with flash for macro photography
      4m 56s
    46. Colorizing a black and white photo in Photoshop
      5m 10s
    47. Using duct tape and zip ties in the field
      4m 14s
    48. When the on camera flash is casting a shadow
      3m 4s
    49. Using Lightroom on the road
      6m 28s
    50. Listening to your camera to get good exposure
      2m 20s
    51. Shooting a successful self portrait with a phone
      7m 18s
    52. Switching to Lightroom from another application
      9m 48s
    53. Photographing animals in wildlife refuges
      6m 41s
    54. Shooting level
      2m 42s
    55. Photoshop and Automator
      8m 54s
    56. Shooting when the light is flat
      3m 23s
    57. Discussing the business of stock photography
      9m 48s
    58. Shooting tethered to a monitor
      3m 21s
    59. Making a 360 degree panorama on the iPhone
      4m 45s
    60. Understanding the three flash setup
      3m 34s
    61. Shooting a three flash portrait
      4m 6s
    62. Understanding the differences with third party lenses
      4m 43s
    63. Understanding why files look different on depending on device
      5m 25s
    64. Working with a geotagging app on the iPhone
      4m 43s
    65. Using high speed flash sync to dim ambient light
      7m 29s
    66. Using your iPad as a second monitor
      5m 46s
    67. Understanding exposure with a leaf shutter camera
      3m 28s
    68. Photography practice through mimicry
      8m 8s
    69. Canon wireless flash with built in radio control
      5m 59s
    70. Posing and shooting pairs of people
      5m 35s
    71. Shooting with a shape in mind
      3m 15s
    72. Shooting tethered to a laptop
      4m 40s
    73. Softboxes vs. umbrellas
      2m 55s
    74. Getting your project out into the world
      6m 25s
    75. Exploring how to think about shooting a new environment
      3m 56s
    76. Discussing the book "The Passionate Photographer" with Steve Simon
      6m 4s
    77. Highlighting iOS 8 updates on the iPhone5S
      10m 46s
    78. Exploring manual controls with iOS 8 and ProCamera
      5m 30s
    79. Understanding how to compose with an empty sky
      4m 54s
    80. Using an iPhone to make a print in the darkroom
      7m 16s
    81. How to use glycerin as a photography tool
      2m 16s
    82. Understanding micro focus adjustment and Lens Align
      11m 19s
    83. Working with hair in post
      3m 28s
    84. Taking a quick portrait and directing a subject
      5m 50s
    85. Getting inspired through the work of others
      11m 22s
    86. Taking a flattering portrait with flash
      4m 21s
    87. Creating an unaligned HDR image
      3m 3s
    88. Exploring how to use Bokeh
      5m 38s
    89. Shooting stills from a drone
      6m 57s
    90. Using a monitor to get a first person view of the aerial camera
      8m 0s
    91. Understanding lens profile correction
      5m 33s
    92. Working with models
      2m 40s
    93. Understanding the labels on SD cards
      10m 32s
    94. Setting up a macro time lapse of a flower
      6m 18s
    95. Taking a portrait that's tightly cropped or slightly obscured
      3m 24s
    96. Tips for shooting panoramas
      7m 16s
    97. Carrying a point-and-shoot camera
      4m 44s
    98. Adjusting the color of shadows in an image
      5m 35s
    99. Evaluating camera-strap options
      4m 42s
    100. The 100th Practicing Photographer
      3m 31s
    101. Using light-pollution maps for planning night shoots
      3m 26s
    102. Shooting a series of star shots for a stack
      8m 32s
    103. Stitching together stacks of stars
      8m 59s
    104. Understanding how to clean sensor dust
      10m 27s
    105. Dry sensor cleaning
      6m 23s
    106. Cleaning the sensor with moisture
      7m 32s
    107. Composing in the center
      2m 48s
    108. Working with an electronic shutter control
      2m 50s
    109. Understanding how to use the Wi-Fi feature in some cameras
      2m 56s
    110. Exploring the software equivalent to graduated ND (neutral density) filters
      7m 8s
    111. Don't be predictable in your framing
      10m 21s
    112. Shooting with ND filter and flash to balance subject and background exposure
      2m 42s
    113. Understanding when to go low contrast
      3m 15s
    114. Reasons for shooting images alone
      4m 5s
    115. Working with colored lens filters and converting to black and white
      14m 4s
    116. Waiting for a subject when the light is good
      5m 2s

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Watch the Online Video Course The Practicing Photographer
11h 47m Appropriate for all May 16, 2013 Updated Jul 23, 2015

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In The Practicing Photographer, photographer and teacher Ben Long shares a weekly serving of photographic instruction and inspiration. Each installment focuses on a photographic shooting scenario, a piece of gear, or a software technique. Each installment concludes with a call to action designed to inspire you to pick up your camera (or your mouse or smartphone) to try the technique for yourself.

Ben Long

Scanning Photos

Hi, I'm Ben Long. And this week on The Practicing Photographer, I'm hiding from my relatives. No, not really. I'm here at this family gathering. And I've started a process before I got here. Which was to begin an archiving process that I think is going to go on for a long time. My parents have a bunch of pictures. There are lots of other relatives with lots of pictures. I know that I would like to have copies of them The pictures. And I'm sure that we would all like to have copies of each others pictures. So I got here, and went out an bought a cheap scanner.

I didn't bring it with me. You can get scanners for under $50 now. So I just went and got one and had it setup. But before I came, I asked all the relatives I could get a hold of to start bringing photo albums, prints, not slides. That's a whole, other question. So, I've got this big mess of, of prints here that I want to start scanning. This is a great kind of a long-term project to do around holidays. Or any time you're going to have a bunch of relatives all in one place. So, I'm not going after great high quality scans here with this cheapo scanner.

The thing is, most of the prints that I'm scanning were shot with cheap cameras a long time ago, by relatives who honestly, didn't know what they were doing. So a $30 to $50 scanner's going to give me all of the quality that I need to get a nice archive of this huge mess of photos that's around. And I'm sure this just the tip of the iceberg. One of the nice things about working with a flatbed scanner like this on a, on this kind of project, is I can just throw a whole bunch of' em on the scanner. Start it scanning, and get an entire sheet of images that I can then cut apart later.

Some scanners will do that for you. And when you're out scanner shopping, you may want to think about a few different options here. This scanner is actually more than the cheapo $50 dollar scanner. This is like a $99 scanner. But it offers a couple of other work flows that I'm curious to try. This scanner can work as an entirely stand alone unit. You can put a SD card in it, and from the front panel just hit a single button that will scan directly to the SD card. So I'm thinking of taking this out later, and just leaving it set up somewhere. And letting all the relatives know that when they get a chance just come by, throw their images on, hit this button, they'll all end up on an SD card.

So I could get them to do a lot of the work for me. Another thing that I'm doing here is as, once I got started scanning, I noticed that there's a lot of text on the back. dates, locations, people's names. So after I do each scan, I'm just flipping them over and scanning the back also. Because there's some really handy information there. This is a totally brainless activity. It's great, I can just sit here and mindlessly shovel images on. And as I do, be gathering all this information. So this is a really nice thing to try. Again over the long term, I feel like I'm really going to be able to build up a big archive. The images are going to need a little correction.

And I"m going to show you a couple of quick things you can do to get color back in whack. If the colors out of whack on your images. The only thing this gives me, is a really nice way of once my images are, are digitized, I can easily get them out to all those relatives. It won't be up to me to actually go and have prints made. Thanks to photo sharing sites I can just take all this stuff, upload it to a photo sharing site. Send out an email address to all the relatives, and they can go take care of ordering whatever prints they want. Or coffee mugs or cookies or all sorts of things with these images on them.

So, I'm just going to quickly open up one of these scans that I've made. Now, some fancier scanners will automatically cut the images apart for you. They will detect separate images, and create separate documents for each one. This scanner that I have, is not doing that. So I have to just go into Photoshop here on my own. There are a lot of different ways of, of doing this. I'm just going to use the Marquee tool to select an image, copy it, create a new document. And when I do, it will automatically create a document of the correct size to hold that image.

And I can just hit paste. So, I need to refine my crop here. I added a little border that it doesn't need. This image has yellowed over time. That's not, of course and unusual thing. And different types of film will change color more quickly in, than others. Polaroids for example, will fade faster than Kodachrome prints. What's happening is some of the inks or some of the dyes, some of the photographic chemicals that make up. It's not really ink, but some of the pigments that make up this image, fade faster than others. And so you get a shift in one direction or another. It's a very easy thing to fix in Photoshop. I'm just going to add a levels adjustment layer.

I could also do this simply with the levels command, that would be a more destructive edit. I'm going to grab this middle eye dropper. And ideally, I would click it on something in the image that was supposed to be gray. I usually find that the catchlight in a person's eye when it's actually pure white, works really well. I don't have anything like that here. I'm going to just try that. That's too blue. But it still looks more natural than, than this overly yellow cast did. That's pretty good. I'm just mostly watching his flesh tones, that's the part that I care about.

I'm not going to get the color back to color perfection. I would just like it to not have that terrible color cast. I can very quickly then go through here. Eye dropper on all these things to get the color right back to where I need it to be. Save these out and I'm ready to go. When I'm done. I could try and lug this scanner back home. But I don't think I'm going to. I'm just going to find a relative who wants it and give it to them. It's affordable enough that I don't need to be carrying this around. And I've got a nice scanner at home.

So I think I'm just going to leave this with someone else. Maybe it'll end up being like, you know, the fruitcake that gets passed around every holiday season. It'll be up to somebody to bring the scanner to the next event. So that we can continue this project.

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