This week’s Tuesday Tip (a blogging prompt suggested by members of Geneabloggers) deals with learning about the pros and cons of various scan settings before you start to scan your old photos. This is actually a topic that I originally researched back in the fall of 2009. At that time I was preparing to scan ancestor photos that my Mom had come across and passed along to me.
I decided to post about the subject now since it has been discussed quite a bit recently on the Legacy Family Tree User’s Group mailing list. It is also a timely topic for me personally as I am in the middle of another round of scanning. This time it is my own collection of pre-digital photos. Most of them are about 5-15 years old. (Okay, maybe some of them are even older, but they haven’t quite made it to vintage yet!)
In any case, scanning a large batch of photos, regardless of their age, most likely isn’t a job that you want to tackle more than once. So you want to make sure you have the settings “right” the first time. Back in 2009, when I was scanning my vintage photos, I started out having a few ideas about what would be good for scanning resolution, file format, etc. But as is typical, I searched the web to make sure I was on the right track and to get a feel for what other people were doing in this regard. As it turns out, the “right” settings are, at least in part, dependent upon the intended use of the scanned image (i.e. printing, posting to web, etc). [For my purposes I decided to use 600 ppi (or dpi) for the majority of photos and snapshot that I scan.]
When I first started round two of scanning I didn’t bother surveying the web again as I still remembered the information I gathered back in 2009. But then one of the posters on the Legacy mailing list mentioned a website called scantips.com. So I went to that site and, sure enough, it was one of the ones that I had checked out before.
It’s a great site, very well-written and very easy to understand. I actually wound up reading quite a few of the articles – some which seemed familiar and others which I think may have been added since I checked it out before. Anyway, if (or when) you decide to start a scanning project, scantips.com is definitely worth a read. The author of the website has a great discussion on photo resolution as well as the advantages and disadvantage of various image formats. So that’s my Tuesday Tip this week — get informed before you start scanning – and a great place to get that information is the scantips website. Hope it helps!!