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best settings for scanning old photos?

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  • best settings for scanning old photos?

    A photographer client shot a portrait of a man and the man died soon after. The man was not wearing his glasses in the portrait and his family now wants his glasses added to the portrait so it is more like how they remember him. The photographer has obtained some old photographs of the man wearing his glasses, scanned them and it is my job to add them to his portrait. The scans I was supplied with are low res jpeg files.

    I don't know much about scanning and am trying to give the photographer some guidance so she can supply me with better scanned images to work with. I am hoping someone can tell me what settings are best for professional quality scans.

    This is all I know about scanning:
    1. Scan at the highest resolution possible, 1200 dpi or greater.
    2. Turn unsharp mask off as it is better to sharpen in photoshop later.
    3. Output as a tif file rather than a jpeg.

    Should scans from old photos be done in 24 bit color or 48? I'm confused about this. I will retouch the portrait image in either an 8 or 16 bit RGB workspace.

    I've attached a screenshot of my scanner settings which I will send to the photographer as a guide to help her. Do any settings need to be changed?

    Thanks so much.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Caravaggio; 11-08-2014, 05:12 PM. Reason: clarity

  • #2
    Re: best settings for scanning old photos?

    You left out the important part. The condition of the source image to be scanned. is it mat? gloss? is it clean, scratched. sharp or faded.

    You are better off attaching copy of the source image for us to be able to help. the scanner settings do not mean much without seeing the source image.

    You don't need 24 bit by the way, 8 or 16 bit is fine - you want to match the bit depth of the scanned image to the one that the photographer gave you. As close as you can.

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    • #3
      Re: best settings for scanning old photos?

      Thank you Aladdin, I can't really post the image out of respect for his family. The scan I was given was so bad that it is hard to infer much about the original photo from it which I have not seen. I'm kind of guessing that the original may have been taken with a point and shoot camera and was poorly processed as all the colors are badly shifted in the scan!

      The photographer has the deceased man's glasses and I think I may end up asking her to photograph someone wearing the glasses in the same position and using the glasses from that image.

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      • #4
        Re: best settings for scanning old photos?

        This will be you best bet.

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