Scanning Prints/Negatives for Web Display

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Jim Moore, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    Once again I seek advice from the knowledgable APUG community members.

    My next project will be to develop a Web site (www.jimmoore.us) where I can showcase some of my work.

    I am having a heck of a time getting scans of my prints to ACTUALLY LOOK like my prints.

    I am using Adobe Photoshop CS and my scanner is an Epson 2450. So far I have only been scanning my prints. My scanner will scan negatives, but the negative holder is packed away in a box somewhere in the garage.

    Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

    Jim
     
  2. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    So how are you scanning the prints? Greyscale or RGB?
     
  3. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Scanning prints is always a problem. Scanning negs can be a problem for B&W, but works really well for normal c41 film.

    For Colour:
    I scan at approximately 2 to 4x the final res. CC (I use the curve tool opposed to the cc or variations tool -- less crossover) spot at 100 to 200% and then resize in 3 to 4 steps. If the image is 2000 pixels and I need it to be 500 pixels I will do the following:
    1. Resize 2000 down to ~1400, unsharp mask 30 to 40%, 2-3 pixels and 1-5 levels

    2 Resize 1400 down to ~ 1000, unsharp mask 30% 1.5 -2 pixels, and 3-7 levels

    3 Resize 1000 down to ~ 700, usm 25 - 30% 1-1.5 pixels, and 7-10 levels

    4 Resize 700 down to 500, usm 25% 1 pixels, and 10-15 levels

    This slow resizing with adjustments in %, pixels and levels gives a more realistic sharpening w/o the halo. Adjust the %, pixels and levels to taste. It is important to do it as you resize and to resize as in steps so that the details survive the lose of pixels.

    I also record the whole thing as an action so that i don't have to keep tweaking the USM, and image size settings. The key is to scan everything at the same size. Most scanners are at their best at full resolution -- this may seem obvious. It is far better for you to decide what pixels get thrown out than the scanner.

    For B&W use the curve tool to adjust density and contrast and the eyedroppers for black and white points. Don't use auto or the lightness and contrast tool! Also the auto settings on PS are set to .5 for both black and white points I reset and recommend a default of .1.

    FWIW I have used this technique on images that have appeared on the websites of GM, Ford, Vistion, Allied Signal, Continental, Compaq, and many other corp websites.
     
  4. KenM

    KenM Member

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    I was bidding on a camera on eBay that was offered by Daniel Anderson, and he mentioned to me during our one of many exchanges that he uses a digital camera to photograph his mounted prints; they're 11x14 and larger, so it's difficult to scan them. Instead, he hangs them on a wall, uses two angled lights, and uses a digital camera to photograph them. He then uses the scanned image for web presentation.

    Since the web is such a crappy environment to display photographs, using a digital photograph of a photograph works just fine.
     
  5. bmac

    bmac Member

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    First things first, how is your monitor calibrated?
     
  6. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    I'm not very good at it either but what I can share I will

    At the scanning to PS stage use the largest dpi your machine has available and you can tolerate waiting for.

    Once in PS reduce the dpi to whatever you are going to upload, 96dpi seems to be the current vogue.

    Adjust brightness and contrast to your monitor, apply unsharp mask if necessary and hope the rest of the world has the same settings.
     
  7. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    -- totaly agree
     
  8. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    Calibrate Monitor. Calibrate Scanner. Scan photographs. Not many calibrate their monitors. Even fewer calibrate their scanner. Both steps are required to get the proper scan of a print or a negative.
     
  9. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    Thanks everyone.

    I have not yet calibrated my monitor or scanner. I have my eye on a calibration package on ebay though.

    Mrcallow, I never thought about resizing in "steps". I will give that a try.

    Jim
     
  10. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I am a life long (Red)Wings fan, and hate the flames at this moment. But, with the choice being the Flames or some hockey team from florida (as if anyone plays the game down there), well, GO FLAMES!
     
  11. KenM

    KenM Member

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    The Flames are the 'little team that could...', and should be, if not appreciated, certainly respected by all. They are, without a doubt, the hardest working team in the league...
     
  12. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Flames

    I'll bet you guys are not too happy about the officiating in that last game...

    That was the worst "hook" I've ever seen - spun the Flame player-victim completely around - and NOT called!
     
  13. pierre

    pierre Member

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    I've scanned my prints on a very simple 300 dpi UMAX 610P, with pretty accurate results. I always have to adjust levels (for brightness and contrast) after in PS Elements, and maybe a bit of unsharp mask, but other than that, it scans pretty well. I would think your Epson should be lightyears ahead of my old, cheap Umax. First of all, I scan as colour, and then I remove the colour in PS Elements. It seems to work better that way. I also scan at the scanner's maximum actual optical resolution (300dpi). That doesn't sound like much, compared to today's 4800dpi scanners, but a print is large enough that 300dpi scanning is more than enough to do the job. Even at that, I still have to downsize the image considerably to make it screen-sized. If you already have a print that looks the way you want it to look and you just want to display it like that, I don't think you would be gaining anything by going to the trouble of scanning the negative. Scanning the negative is more like making another print in the darkroom, rather than like displaying your print. But as others have said, it's important to make sure your monitor is displaying as good a range of tones as it can.
    Pierre
     
  14. KenM

    KenM Member

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    Yeah, there were a few questionable calls. I just wish they'd call St. Louis on spearing/hooking/slashing - sure, he's a little guy, but man, does he hack away. Watch him the next time he's backchecking. Nasty. 'Course Ville isn't that innocent either....

    The worst thing is that Fraser is scheduled to ref game six. Perhaps an unfortunate accident will prevent him from making it to the rink :mad: