My computer never felt slow until...The Scanner


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Aug 27, 2007
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St. Louis, Missouri, USofA
Can others edit my Photos
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Well I'm sure I have quite under estimated this task!

The Back Story: earlier this year my grandparents were both tragically killed by a drunk driver. The driver hit them as they were walking across a residential street on their way to church.

The Plan: scan 100-150 of my grandparents photos and have press printed type photo books made as Christmas presents for my parents, aunts, and uncle.

The progress: Scanning.

Fitting about 4-6 photos at a time on the flatbed and scanning at 600dpi in TIFF ,the files are about 100mb each. the plan is to "cut " them apart in Photo Shop and arrange them over some backgrounds/borders that my sister is designing. I am really tempted to put 3 gigs of ram on my credit card!

The scanning seems to be turning out very well on color photos, but the old B&Ws from around 1940 are a bit tricky, the scanner is having trouble with blowing out things like a white wedding dress, and still keeping darker details. I think If it comes down to it I could scan them twice, one exposed for the light colors on one for the dark areas then do and HDR. what do you think?

Its just a few that are an issue most of the other ones are so detailed that you can see the texture of the paper. Just going to be a lot of work trimming and rotating and re-saving all of the picture individually, and then putting them back into other files when I format the pages.

If anyone has any suggestions for any way to speed up my work flow let me know.

Thanks, Ryan

edit: well this I intended this topic to be about scanning, but I got a bit off track, so sorry if this is not the best location for this topic.
I'm sorry to hear about your family's tragedy, I'm sure your work on this project will be greatly appreciated.

As for your problem...On one hand, I might consider reducing the quality of your scans, in order to quicken the workflow. Do you really need 100MB files for the print size that you will end up with? I know that an ideal workflow uses the highest quality until it's necessary to downsize...but sometimes you need to compromise...and besides, the photos are about the memories, not the image quality.

As for the B&W images...I'm not sure. I'd just set the exposure of the scan so that the faces look good and go with that.
If you are scanning prints and then printing as same size or smaller than the original print, then try scanning at about 200 dpi. This should work out ok and speed things up a bit. Save yourself some more work by scanning only one image per scan, less time in cut and paste.

To scan a print for eventual printing at a larger size usually requires a lot of extra post processing.

I've had more success scanning negs and slides than scanning prints.
Yeah I'm using The Scanner program, seems the fastest, I probably could reduce the dpi for this project, but a few on the pictures just looked much better at 600dpi, and I thought as long as I was doing the work, I would want the best I could just so If I decide to do anything else with them in the future or If anyone in my family wants a specific print I could use that file to start with for post processing.

I think that I will also, give a CD of jpegs, with numbers corresponding to each page, so they can use them for their computer desktop or whatever, and I can do a bit more work on specific files If anyone wanted some prints.

For the Black and whites, I just scanned for the faces like you mentioned Mike, I just loose some of the very light details like in wedding dresses, but all things considered I think the quality is good.

Thanks everyone,
And a Merry Winter to all!

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