Genealogy: How to get better scans and images using the histogram

Genealogy: How to get better scans and images using the histogramBy Barry J. Ewell

The simplest way to obtain better scans is to correct and improve the contrast of the image which also improves colors using the Histogram tool in your scanner or photo editing program.  This concept can really be used for any image, be it a digital image from a digital camera, scanner, or other source. Continue reading

Genealogy: Being organized for a large volume of scans

Being organized for a large volume of scansBy Barry J. Ewell

Here are a few tips for organizing, scanning and archiving your photos and slides:

  • The first and most important step in scanning a collection of photos or slides is to make the hard decisions about what you want to scan. A good rule of thumb is that you should only scan one out of five pictures from a roll of film. Most people can go through a set of 36 photos or slides and quickly see the 7 or 8 they would like to scan. Continue reading

Genealogy: Archiving resolutions for film scans

Genealogy: Archiving resolutions for film scansBy Barry J. Ewell

The best resolution for archiving depends on the type and speed of the film being scanned. Faster films contain less detail than slower films and can be scanned at lower resolution. The chart below makes some recommendations based on film type and speed.

Scan Resolution Needed to Capture All Usable Detail Organized by Film Type

  • Scan Resolution: Film Type
    • 2000 DPI: Most All Films
    • 3000 DPI: Most Print Films and Slide Films 200 ISO (or faster)
    • 4000 DPI: Films of 800 ISO (or faster)

Genealogy: Archiving resolutions for print scans

Genealogy: Archiving resolutions for print scansBy Barry J. Ewell

There are some limits to print scanning that you should be aware of. If you wish to archive your photos, film scans are the way to go.  If you have a choice of scanning a print or the negative the print was made from, we recommend scanning the negative. Most color prints from your regular photo finisher contain around 300 DPI of detail. There are exceptions to this 300 DPI rule. Depending on the quality of the print being scanned and how crisp the image is, scanning at 600 DPI may sometimes produce better results. Continue reading

Genealogy: Print scans vs. film scans

Genealogy: Print scans vs. film scansBy Barry J. Ewell

You’re probably wondering if it’s better to digitize your prints or your slides and negatives. Scanning film, slides or negatives will almost always produce better digital images than scanning prints. Slides and negatives are the original. Prints are second generation copies of the original film and do not contain as much information or detail as the negative they were made from.

If you have the option of scanning a negative, instead of scanning a print made from the negative, scan the negative. However, if this is not the case, scanning your prints is a great alternative. Continue reading