So you have your brand-new Canon flatbed scanner, and you’re happily converting all your old photos away without a care in the world, right? Maybe you’ve noticed that your pictures aren’t exactly in the best of conditions, and it shows up on your screen. Pfft, you say. You can Photoshop out the flaws later anyway. Well, there’s an easier way so you don’t need to do some major editing on your photos later on. Follow my tips, and you are going to save yourself some time.
This will sound really weird, but if you still have the negatives of your photos around, you are better off scanning them instead. The 35mm negative has surprisingly more resolution and better dynamic range than your typical photo – even if you scanned the largest possible print out there. And imagine if you’re working with a low quality print – the flaws of the photo will just become more visible. When you’re done, just invert the colors with your favorite photo editing equipment, and there you go!
Don’t go crazy on the resolution – you probably don’t need around 1200 pixels to scan your photo. You’re most likely good enough with the standard resolution provided by the scanner. If you need to blow up the photo to a higher resolution, just divide the short side of the original size and divide by the shorter side of the output size, then multiply it by 300. You’d get the needed resolution for your photos with that formula. So if you have a 4×6 inch photo and you need that to be an 8×10, just divide 8 by 4, then multiply by 300 – you’d get 600 dpi as the resolution.
It doesn’t matter if you have a high end A3 flatbed scanner or any other mid-range consumer scanner – using these tips to scan your pictures smart will lead to a better output!