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Scanning damaged photo

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  • Scanning damaged photo

    I have recently come across a photo that is very special to me, I thought I lost it in our house fire five years ago. It has smoke and soot damage and I would like to scan it before I take it anywhere to have it proffesionally cleaned or restored in case something happens to it there. I read somewhere that damaged photos should be stored with minimal light until they can be restored. If this is true, would the light from the scanner further damage the photo? Has anyone else heard this before? I dont know what to do, I would hate to lose this photo, again.

  • #2
    Re: Scanning damaged photo

    You can safely ignore this for doing a scan IMO. Unless it is sooooo faint that it is nearly entirely washed out maybe.

    The problem with discoloring comes from UV rays which are an invisible component of sunlight and I am not sure a whether a scanner emits any UV rays.


    • #3
      Re: Scanning damaged photo

      Scanning should be fine. Be sure to scan in color, even if it is a black & white photo.

      Another option is to photograph it. You can have it done by someone with a pro level digital SLR. Or, you can do it with a good consumer level digital. It would be nice if the consumer level camera is 6MB or greater, allows manual adjustment of exposure offsets, use a small tripod for stability, and take 5 or more shots at various exposures. Avoid glare by using light from multiple angles, or get near a large window that lets in even amounts of generous indirect light.

      At that point you have a high resolution archive that can be used to reproduce the image at any time in the future. You can also use the image to send to prospective restorers and get an estimate for their time, discuss options, etc.

      Good luck !


      • #4
        Re: Scanning damaged photo

        i'll add one extra comment to tommy's excellent advice. handle this image by the edges only and preferably using cotton or lintless gloves.


        • #5
          Re: Scanning damaged photo

          Since it was damaged in a fire, you may look into chemical restoration somewhere...


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