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Photograph Scanning Help

Since the onset of digital cameras the need to look into your old photo box and get some classic photos scanned into your computer, becomes more and more important. Many people find this quite daunting and don't even bother, but we know it can be straightforward and with bit of perseverance really worthwhile because you can do so much with the old photos when they are digital images. For example you can make a canvas print, photo montage or any other variety of photo gifts.

Often your original photos will be 6”x4” photo prints, passport sized or even square shapes from the old days. It makes no difference to the scanner what shape or format the photo is as long as it fits on the scanner bed which usually is up to A4. You can scan photos from a photo album even if they are stuck in - you just have to get the album on top of the glass. You can even do this with an old photo frame or one that has been given to you. You can scan these images and save them on your computer in a digital file ready for other uses.

All that’s needed is a computer and a scanner. 

The following instructions may vary according to different scanner and computer manufacturers, if in doubt you should refer to the guidebook that came with your scanner machine or contact the manufacturer. 

Some scanners/software may not be able to support high resolution scanning and may not be able to scan at some of the resolutions mentioned in this guide.

flat bed scanner machine

In case you are wondering, resolution is how many dots per inch (D.P.I) there are in the resulting scan.

Scanning Instructions:

1. Turn on the scanner ensuring the glass surface is clean (no dust, dirt, fingerprints or smudges) and then place your image in the corner anchor point ensuring it is straight. 

2. Open the software used to scan images on your computer.

3. One of the scanner settings in the software will be resolution or DPI. Change the scanning resolution (D.P.I) for the output to what is required, for example, "300" dpi is good for a photo print or an A4 print onto paper. 100 dpi is adequate for a draft print or document. (This could be under advanced, configure, professional mode or something similar if on PC.) 

Scan the photo at its original size (100%). Use the bounding box to identify the outer area – it’s a boundary line. Everything inside line will be scanned and the outside ignored.

4. If possible, preview the scan. There is usually a button that says ‘preview’ to see photo. If it’s what you want then....

5. Press scan button to scan your image. Scanner should light up and start whirring! If so you are in progress.

6. Save your photo as a JPEG in a folder. 'My pictures' or make a new folder.

There, hopefully that means you have a way to access all your old photos digitally now. So next step is to do something useful with them and get them out in the open for all to see. Have think about the walls in your home. 

Canvas prints from your old photos are an excellent use of the photos on the wall, and then you can think about collages too. With today's technology personalised photo gifts can also be made using your photos in exciting ways on a wide variety of products e.g. deckchairs, duvet covers, luggage, fabric, tins, trays and much, much more. Your family will be forever thankful to see their history out in the open.

By Adriano Denyer from Contrado Imaging Ltd.,


triptych photo canvas




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