Go Back   RetouchPRO > Technique > Input/Output/Workflow
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Input/Output/Workflow Scanning, printing, color management, and discussing best practices for control and repeatability

Getting started with scanning old photos

Thread Tools
Old 01-13-2007, 12:32 PM
wellman wellman is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2
Getting started with scanning old photos

Hello, folks. This is my first post with you guys; I usually hang around the dgrin forums , and I was directed over here with this question...

I'm planning to put together a photobook (using Blurb, Picaboo, etc - haven't decided) of historical photos of my family's ancestry - basically anything my grandmother has in her attic. Step one of this process is scanning the prints in and doing a reasonable job of restoration.

So, here's my question... Given the fact that I have two purposes here (archival of the history and presentation of the final book), what DPI should I be scanning these originals to? I'd never be planning to to huge blowups of these prints, but at the same time, I want to preserve as much data as is reasonable.

My plan has been to scan at 1200dpi and sample down to 600 for archival (letting PS do the resample as opposed to the scanner software to get better quality). Is this enough? Thanks!

-Greg Wellman
Reply With Quote top
Old 01-13-2007, 02:10 PM
mistermonday's Avatar
mistermonday mistermonday is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,028
Re: Getting started with scanning old photos

Wellman, welcome to Retouch Pro!
I suggest that you consider the maximum size you will ever want to print from you archived master file, and make sure your scan has enough pixel data to print that max size at 300 ppi.
So, for example, if your max size will be 8 x 12 inches, your image size should be 2400 x 3600 pixels. If you are scanning a 4 x 6 in photo, you will need to scan @ 600 ppi to achieve that resolution. If you are scanning a 35mm slide or negative (approx 1 x 1.5 in) you will need to scan at 2400 ppi to achieve that resolution.
More resolution is always better but if it is too high you will produce very large files. Assuming that you have a modern scanner, it likely can produce 16 bit data which means your files double in size again.
Your optimun situation would be to produce enough image pixels to achieve your 300 ppi reseolution. The data should be 16 bits. Store the archive unedited scan in an uncompressed format like psd or a tiff. Always work on a copy because most likely, some day you will want to do something different with a photo and you will wish you had the original raw data from the orig scan.
Good Luck,
Regards, Murray
Reply With Quote top
Old 01-13-2007, 07:07 PM
wellman wellman is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2
Re: Getting started with scanning old photos

Thanks, Murray. I only want to go through this once, so I'll default on the side of "too much data." I don't think I'd ever want to print more than 2x the original size on these - many are blurry as it is. However, maybe I'll go for keeping 900 or 1200 dpi in my archive just in case. Disk space is cheap, and I suppose time isnt.
Thanks again!
Reply With Quote top

  RetouchPRO > Technique > Input/Output/Workflow

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Newbie....need help with scanning old photos liquid_katfish Image Help 4 07-30-2007 06:26 PM
scanning deeply cracked photos zganie Input/Output/Workflow 2 07-07-2007 06:43 PM
Scanning Heritage Photos Stella Image Help 27 01-11-2005 07:05 PM
Help scanning photos with silver in them! Pixeljockey Image Help 4 08-10-2004 08:48 PM
Cleaning photos before scanning Shoff Input/Output/Workflow 2 08-07-2004 01:23 PM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:14 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved