A Long Night Of Scanning

Well, tonight I finally got around to something I’ve been telling myself I’d do for a couple of years now…. scan my box of pictures to a digital format. Mostly so I can keep everything together, but also so I can tweak the pictures a bit (not really needed except for a crop here or there) and turn some sets into proper panoramas. Some time in the future I’ll probably turn some of the pictures into a scrapbook printed through some online service. Until then though, it’s just nice to have everything in one format.

Of course, for now, everything is quite far away. I decided to start with my pictures from a trip to England I took in 1994. This meant that I didn’t have to decide what to scan, but instead just scan everything in the album.

I’m glad I decided to start with this album, as the paper used is the sticky stuff, and I’m having to use a plastic doo-dad to pull the pictures off. It’s not so bad that I’m damaging the prints while I’m pulling them off, but who knows what it’d be like in a couple more years. So now is as good an opportunity as every to move them all into a better photo album book as well.

So far I’m 22 pictures in πŸ™‚ Long way to go.

The process is pretty long. As I’ve mentioned before, my scanner sucks. I’m actually considering checking out a scanning service if only to see what the results are.

I ended up doing my scanning from the prints instead of the negatives, not only because the Transparent Material Adapter for my scanner is painful to use, but the colors and levels in the resulting scans aren’t nearly as close to the prints as I’d like. I figure that the guys at the developer lab knew what they were doing and I may as well use the proper corrected images they printed out for me originally 11 years ago.

So basically I pull the prints off the sticky photo album book, arrange three of them on the scanner, scan at 1200 or 2400 dpi (the last set I did at 2400 due to reading that that’s what’s required to do a 8×10 enlargement, whereas 1200 was good for 4×6). Probably over kill but hey, time is cheap πŸ™‚ After the 5 minutes it takes to scan them into photoshop I crop the images individually out of the master scan (the “crop and straighten” doesn’t seem to work in this case like it did for slides) and save them as uncompressed tiffs (about 80-100mb each).

Mental note: use compressed tiffs instead.

So I’m 7 pages into a huge ass album. See you in a week.

I’m wondering if it’d be worth it to go out and buy a real negative scanner. They are “only” about $500 US for a decent one, and $1000-2000 for a kick ass top of the line one. I would only do that if I could make my money back of course, set up a business doing negative scanning up here. I know of at least one person who expressed the same interest as I had in getting one, maybe I could rent it out for some amount a day to let people do their own scanning or something. Oh well, one more thing to ponder. Bedtime now though, the rest of the book will still be there tomorrow.

2 Comments on “A Long Night Of Scanning”

  1. What models of negative scanner would you consider good? I also have the family’s photos in slides which would be neat to get off, but /me poor πŸ™