How to Scan your Photos
The short version:
- Please scan your photo using 600 dpi resolution (minimum). If you request photo enlargement scan the original with even larger dpi resolution (600-1200 dpi). Use this calculator to determine your best scanning resolution.
- Scan photo in color even if your original is black & white.
- Save it in JPG format, at 100% quality. This will create the largest file size.
(…that you really should read! It will make for a much better restoration)
- Check Your Photos: You would need to check your prints for any dirt, dust or other loose particles. Just softly clean dust and dirt from surface with a soft clean brush or canned air. If you wipe the photo make sure to use a lint free cloth and not a regular tissue.
- Check the Scanner Glass: Next check the scanner glass for dirt, smudges, oil and fingerprints. A lint-free wipe can also be used to thoroughly clean the glass. Household glass cleaner is also helpful in cleaning to scanner glass, but spray it on the cloth before wiping not directly on the glass surface.
- Specify the type of scan: When you select the settings for your particular scanner make sure to select color 24bit RGB (even if the print is black and white).
- Determine the best scan resolution: Selecting the correct scan resolution for the size print you would like has an enormous impact on the overall success of your restoration project. Scanning your photos at a minimum of 600dpi under the rule of a thumb ensures about good quality for improvement, as well as restoration techniques. However if you are going to be printing your photo significantly larger than the original please use thiscalculator to determine the correct scanning resolution.
- Avoid Corrections: Your scanner may offer many auto repair features like color correction or sharpening. Turn off all of these options. They are actually very destructive and remove information from the image. Our tools are much better and less destructive.
- Save: Save it in JPG or TIFF format, at 100% quality. If your software has the option to optimize the photo…DON’T. You want quality set to 100%.
When you optimize a photo to make it a smaller file size it actually throws away pixel information. To do a great restoration we need all the pixel information we can squeeze out of your scanner!
In Photoshop the maximum quality setting for a jpg looks like the image to the right.