Photographs are physical evidence of all the beautiful moments in our lives. When you look at one of the photos you took several years ago, it can only take you back to that time and evoke many beautiful memories. Don’t we all want to remember beautiful moments? To preserve old photos, you need to store them well and protect them from all physical damage, and few people have time for that.
Digitize Your Photos
The best way to save your old photos is to digitize them. So if you have pictures in the attic or basement that you’ve forgotten about, digitize them and keep them from being forgotten.
You are probably angry at the very thought of how many old analogue photos you have and want to save them. Images fade. If you don’t want to lose memories of grandparents or some significant events, the best way is to digitize them with a scanner.
These photo scanners are very easy to use, and you just need a little free time and patience. Here are some tips on how to do it right.
Clean Photos and Scanner
Gently clean the photo of dust and dirt with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth. You shouldn’t make much effort to remove very sticky dirt – this can damage the original. If the dirt is difficult to clean, scan the photo as it is.
If the old photo is printed on printed paper or has surface damage in the form of cracks or creases, it’s best not to wipe it or clean it too much. On the other hand, scanner glass must be clean and clear. Remove stains with a dry cloth or special cleaner.
If the scanner glass is damaged, move the photo a few inches and make another copy.
All photos, including black and white, are best scanned in colour, whether you want to get a colour or a black and white image. Scan old pictures with stains and occasionally yellowed only in colour, and the result when renovating and restoring will be the best.
When scanning colour images, set the maximum colour depth of the hardware supported by the scanner, preferably 24 bits or more. Experts recommend that you scan the image with a resolution of at least 600 dpi. If the photo is small, you can set the resolution to 1200 dpi. Large images are scanned with a resolution of at least 300 dpi.
Don’t correct or enhance the image using a scanning program – leave the work to a special graphics program. It is unnecessary to crop the image, but this will reduce the scanner’s time and file size.
It’s better to leave a little blank area around the photo than to remove part of it.
Always Set a Higher Resolution
The way photographs were printed until the mid-20th century provided good clarity. That’s why when scanning in high resolution, small details appear in the photos that are not visible to the naked eye: elements of jewellery, awards, clothes.
Facial features will also be more prominent in a photo with good resolution. Although 300 dpi is enough to print pictures without magnification, it’s better to scan old photos with a resolution of at least 600 dpi. Then, when you enlarge the image electronically, you can see the details better.
A digital image consists of pixels – individual dots of different colours and brightness. A resolution of 300 dpi means that one inch consists of 300 pixels. When zoomed in, the digital image resembles a mosaic, and the pixels resemble its fragments – the more “pieces” of mosaics, the more details in the picture.
Make Sure You’re Using Your Scanner Properly
Lastly and most importantly, learn how to use your scanner properly. If you know the basics of scanning, this will be easy for you. Before inserting an image into the scanner, look at how damaged it is – you’ll need to carefully and patiently correct all the photo edges.
If it’s wrinkled in some way, then straighten it well before scanning. Always try to set the image flat and keep it firmly fixed in the scanner. You may sometimes need to fix the image yourself because it can move due to vibration and turn out blurry. You can do this with plain transparent adhesive tape.
Place the image you want to scan on the scanner glass and close the lid. The cover must be closed for the evenness of the background in the photos because if you do not do that, some parts of the photo will be darker and some lighter. Do all the other settings before that, and you’re good to go.
When photographs were taken with cameras that used film, and images were developed in special studios, people worked harder to capture the perfect picture. Digitization is one of the processes by which you can save these photos forever. Just insert the images into the scanner, click scan, and wait a few minutes. With the tips we’ve given you, digitizing your photos will be a breeze.