Getting photos from a scanner

show more Getting photos from a scanner provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Jan Kabili as part of the Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training show less
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Getting photos from a scanner

Even if you're now shooting with a digital camera, you probably have lots of print photos from your pre-digital days. You can preserve those photos digitally by scanning them into your computer via Elements, and having Elements index them. To do that, you have to attach your scanner to your computer and then of course turn it on, and you'll have to download and install from the scanner manufacturer's website the latest scanner driver. Once that's done, go to the File menu in the Organizer, choose Get Photos And Videos from Scanner.

In the Get Photos from Scanner dialog box that opens, go to the Scanner field, and click that menu to see a list of all of the drivers that you can use with your particular scanner. If you have a choice that says TWAIN like this, that's the better choice, because a TWAIN driver usually offers more options that will help you to get a good scan. Here you can browse to the location where you want to save the scan, or you can just accept the default location as I'm going to do. Here you can choose the File Format in which you're going to save the scanned photograph.

A common format for photographs is JPEG. So, I'm going to leave Save As set to JPEG, then I'll move to the Quality slider. The higher the quality, the better that your JPEG is going to look, but the bigger it's file size will be. So, I usually compromise, and put it somewhere in the neighborhood of the quality of 10. I am going to skip the Automatically Fix Red Eyes command, because I prefer to do tasks like this in Elements where I can control it, rather than allow the scanner software to fix redeye or make other corrections to my photo. I'll click OK and that will open the manufacturer's scanner interface.

And this will look different depending what kind of scanner you have. My EPSON TWAIN interface automatically did a preview scan of the photo that I have on the scanner bed. If that doesn't happen in your scanner software then look for a button that allows you to do a preview scan. Next, I'm going to tell the scanner which portion of the scanner bed I want it to scan. In this software there is a Preview button right here and all I have to do is check that and the scanner attempts to see where that photo is on the scanner bed. If it doesn't get it right, as it didn't here, I can move my mouse over one of the corners of this dotted outline and drag to manually indicate just the area that I want to scan around this photo.

There are lots of settings here on the left and your settings may be slightly different in your scanner software, but in most scanner software, you can adjust the size and the resolution of the scan. Those are the most important fields. In this software, the size of the source photo is displayed here in inches and the size of the target photo, the one that you are scanning, is displayed here. I suggest that you scan to at least the original size as I'm doing here and I also suggest that you set the resolution, so that your file has more than enough pixels for whatever output you plan.

If you're planning to print your file, then I would set the resolution here to somewhere between 360 and 240 pixels. I'll leave it at its default of 300 pixels. If you're scanning for output to the screen or the web then it's somewhere between 72 and 96 pixels would do here. I'm going to uncheck Unsharp Mask, because as I said, I like to do all the photo corrections myself in Elements rather than have the scanner software try to do them. I'm also going to check what the image type is to make sure that I'm scanning a color photo and when I'm all done, I'm just going to click the Scan button here, and the scan begins.

When the scanning is done, I'm going to click the Close button to close the scanning software. Now back in Elements Organizer, I get this message that the only item that I can see in the main window right here is the element that I just imported, the photo that I scanned. I'll click OK and here's my scanned photograph, which has been brought into my computer through Elements and being indexed by the Elements Organizer catalog. One thing to notice about this scan is that it has today's date underneath it. That's one problem with scans, that the date is always the date on which the photo went through your scanner, rather than the date on which the photograph was actually taken in your camera.

That's okay because in a later movie, I'll show you a way that you can change the dates of photos inside of Elements Organizer. As usual I can now go back to see all of the photos that are in my catalog by clicking the Show All button here at the top of the Organizer. So that's how easy it is to use Elements to scan all your old print photos and make them digital.

Getting photos from a scanner
Video duration: 4m 36s 8h 50m Beginner


Getting photos from a scanner provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Jan Kabili as part of the Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training

Photoshop Elements
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