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10 Best Scanning Tips

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Five tips to prepare your photo. And 5 tips to get the best scan from the method you choose.

Preparing your photo for scanning:

  • Take your photo out of its photo album or remove it from behind glass to remove reflection UNLESS the photo is stuck to the glass.
  • If the photo is stuck to glass, scan with the glass. It is easier to remove glare than reconstruct the photo where it is torn when you remove the glass.
  • Remove any dust particles from the image. Wiping the photo with a dust-free lens cloth works well.
  • Don’t use a paper towel or tissue because they can leave more particles on your photo.
  • Never use water or a cleaning solvent.

Home scanning tips:

  • Set scan to 24bit RGB color, even if the photo is black and white
  • Turn off all auto-correct options and filters
  • Be sure to scan at 600 DPI
  • Preview your scan and crop to remove any unwanted background
  • Save the file as a TIFF to avoid any image comprehension

Retail Photo Kiosk scanning tips:

  • Scan prints up to 8×10 size (you can go slightly larger at Walgreens).
  • File output is a jpeg at 300 DPI.
  • Preview your image before finalizing the scan and crop to remove unwanted background.
  • The auto-correct features and filters may be turned on; use the editing mode to double check that all filters are turned off.
  • The kiosk workflow assumes that you are ordering prints; be sure to order a USB, CD, or DVD to get a copy of the scan file.

10 best scanning tips for Mobile:

  • Place your photo on a flat surface with a contrasting, even-colored background.
  • Position your camera directly over the photos. Don’t tilt your phone while scanning.
  • Get the smartphone lens close enough to the image with as little margin as possible – but you should still be able to see all four corners.
  • Take the photo in a well-lit space. Natural morning light from a nearby window works best.  Avoid direct sunlight as it can change the look and color of your photographs.
  • Do not use a flash.

Specialty Photo Retailer scanning tips:

  • Scan film, slides, and prints of any size.
  • Identify your intended use of the image so that photo retailer can determine the file size you need
  • Identify the media where you would like the image file saved: USB, CD, cloud drive

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