Digitize all your photos in 10 steps

Digitize all your photos in 10 steps

Tech August 4, 2016 12:09

- Photos or slides are vulnerable. The photos in your album in the closet, but also all those pictures in the folders that you allowed to develop at the photographer, it may wrinkle or get wet. Also pictures are much easier and always show if you have them digitally. Getting started so!

Start by collecting all the materials you want to scan and organize them. You will soon find many scan row, and the snapshots already impose a logical sequence, it is easier to find them later in a digital library and categorize. A very convenient way of organizing is vintage. Especially if you already have some of your photos have to sit in albums, this is probably the most obvious method.

When ordering, it is wise to make a rough selection of the photos would have you totally digital. Do not be too critical here: as a picture 'failed' appears, digital pictures are what operations often some polishing. Photos with a little finger on the lens for example with some carving very good save.
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Do not be too critical, does not mean that you should blindly take everything. Do you have ten photographs of a birthday, choose two or three and let the rest sit in the album. Especially if you want to transfer a whole family archive to your computer, it can be a hellish task if you want to digitize everything.

The better you prepare the scan, the easier it is later to organize your photos.

While you're busy figuring out, it can be nice to attach additional relevant documents immediately to scan postcards, maps, tickets, tickets... You might eventually want to print a physical photo album with all of these scans, and it's great to add this kind of extras to it. Help these types of documents to organize your digital albums, because they give context to your photos. Be creative here and think about how to forge possible later your photos into a story. Do you have stamps in your passport? Boarding Passes? A sugar packet that terrace in the South of France? All of these small (flat) objects are fun to scan for possible later use. If you include've already saved, they probably do all something for you, then it might be worthwhile to digitize.

Passport stamps take a photo travelogue complete.

It is not possible to digitize slides with an ordinary flatbed scanner. For that you need a special device. There are flatbed scanners for sale that do have the ability to scan several slides, but the most common is the real slide scanner. Actually, this is a converted digital camera where you slides stops and then one by one digitizes. If you want to buy one you should expect a purchase from fifty to one hundred euros. It is a good idea for you to go around in the circle of acquaintances or someone already has such a scanner at home, since you probably will not use it very often.

If you own a good digital SLR, you will also able to link a slide duplicator on. This is an adapter where you slides retracts and you then snaps into the camera lens. Then press down and you have digitized the slide. The advantage of this extension is that you can also digitize negatives with. The downside is that a slide duplicator is inconvenient for scanning large quantities of slides, because you have to change them one by one. With a slide scanner can containers of five or ten slides load time.

For ordinary photos is a flatbed scanner is the best option. These are the traditional scanners with a sheet of glass where you lay photos one by one. Some scanners have a side loader, where you put a bunch of pictures that are then automatically scanned, just like a photocopier. The disadvantage is that pictures can get stuck, and it is also difficult to scan different formats. Most scanners are capable of scanning at 300 dpi (dots per inch), which is the recommended minimum resolution is for capturing of images. Below is a bad idea, since details will be lost.

Do not try to digitize your entire photo collection by photographing your photos with a digital camera or smartphone. This does not nice result and is much more work. If you want to try it anyway, we have a useful road here.

A slide scanner can easily cost more than a hundred euros. Who knows the neighbor there already?

It's a shame if you are after scanning when finishing finds that dust or other particles disturbing your scanner or you were pictures. Although you quite a bit to do with imaging software, prevention is always better here.

Follow the instructions in the manual of your scanner to the glass plate good dust and stain free. Also check during scanning regularly come up dust and hairs on the plate. Especially when you get old albums from the closet, this is something to watch. The same goes for the photos you are scanning. Take this with a dry soft cloth such as a microfiber cloth. A canister of compressed air may also help. Pressure especially, the point is that you bring tiny hairs and dust without damaging your picture. Do not use water or detergent because that can affect the coating of the photos.

The scanner glass must be clean before you start. Check more frequently on dust particles.

Before you process the whole collection, it is wise to do some test scans to find the optimum settings of the scanner software. In most cases the software on your scanner has a number of preset settings that fine comply. Try these presets get out and see what gives the eye the best results. At this stage it is about your photos (or slides) digitizes with as many details as possible so that you can optimize it later with a photo editor.

Make sure you scan at least 300 dpi (see box). A higher dpi takes more storage space and can provide better results in some cases. Experiment this when you test scans. To see the difference, it is wise to zoom in even your scanned photos. Then you really see how much detail will eventually be lost with a lower dpi. Experience has shown that gives an excellent result a dpi of 300 to 600 for most photos.

This photograph is scanned with a too low dpi, so that the pixels are clearly visible.

It is tempting to perfect photos or slides straight on the computer. However, this is certainly not the most efficient method. It is wise to already make a rough layout of the pictures to scan. so create a separate folder in each case per year. Also make possible in this folder a Notepad file in which you take notes on the content of one or more photos. Do not dwell too long here. Especially when it comes to large numbers of the task can seem endless as you often interrupt scanning.

You do not have expensive programs like Adobe Photoshop need to optimize your collection. There are many free alternatives available that work faster and easier. Some programs work from your browser. Google Photos for example, offers a number of options to enhance photos quickly in terms of brightness, color and contrast. The same applies to Pixlr. PhotoFiltre 7 IrfanView and its user-friendly packages that you can install for free on your computer. Finally, GIMP is a pretty complex alternative to Photoshop, with many more features.

GIMP is a free alternative to Photoshop, and at least as complex.

Instagram filters has made very popular, but when editing your scanned photos is better not to use them. Filters distort the pixels so that information is lost. Some effects add noise to which more details will be overwritten. How 'cleaner' you save large collection of photos, the better. If you're a part of your photos is to share online, you can always continue editing copies of the photos and then have a filter.

In most cases, there are only three adjustments necessary to optimize a photo: color, brightness and contrast. Many editing apps have 'auto enhance button that adjusts these settings. Try it out here. The result is not very satisfactory, then it is worthwhile to color, brightness and contrast adjust manually so that hidden details visible and colors more vivid. How many details are captured with the scanning depends on the quality of your scanner.

Filters give a dramatic effect, but also lost a lot of details.

A photo collection takes up much space on the hard drive. Photo 10 by 15 cm, scanned at 600 dpi quickly takes 5 megabytes of space. Pictures saving in jpg format, they take up less space, but there is, or what information (and quality) lost. In most cases, the quality will not be very noticeable.

Anyway, it is nice to have enough space on your hard drive for full uncompressed scans, so that you can get the best results. Storage today is not more expensive. An external drive with a terabyte buy all for just over sixty euros.

An external hard drive is not expensive anymore.

Can crash a hard drive, so make sure you make a good backup of your digital images so not lost all your work. This can to a NAS, as well as a cloud service are eligible. Not only do you herewith a backup that does not depend on your own equipment, including such services often makes it easy to share with others and photo albums. The biggest cloud services Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. Apple users can store their images in iCloud.

These services all have a free option, where the space is somewhat limited. Dropbox gives 2 gigabytes free. OneDrive 5 gigabytes and Google Drive, a spacious 15GB. iCloud start with 5 GB free, but most people have already almost filled that space with the back up their iOS devices. Turn your photos with Google Photos with up to 16 megapixels per photo, you will get free unlimited storage capacity.

How much space you need for your backup, of course, all depends on the size of your collection.

Dropbox is still the most popular cloud service with 2 gigabytes of free storage.

Also note that the pages of the album well lie flat on the scanner. If this is not the case (because the album is very thick, for example) can cause distortion, it is difficult to recover.

This seems very contradictory. We just digitized photos. What should we have a physical album? But just photo albums remain the ideal way to retrieve or share memories with others occasionally popping at you. And what about an album with all the scanned slides and pictures where eg your father / mother, brother / sister or one knowledge as a gift?

The advantage of the making of a new record on the basis of all of your scanned pictures is that the quality can be very high. After all, you have the best versions of all your shots ready. Hema, Albelli and Lulu offer templates and styles so the result looks very professional. A holiday album with the best photos and scans of tickets and cards becomes a complete travelogue that can stand nicely in the closet.

A physical album remains the best way to share memories.

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