Up next in Digital Photography 101 (14 videos)
Learn how to use a digital camera and pick up some digital photography tips and techniques with these Howcast videos.
You Will Need
- Photos, slides, or negatives
- A computer
- A flatbed scanner with attachments for slides and negatives
- A soft photography or makeup brush
- A lint-free cloth
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Photo editing software
Organize your photos
Before scanning, organize your photos – and slides and negatives, if you have them – into logical groups. This will make renaming and labeling them much easier later on.
Clean your photos
Using a soft photography or makeup brush, gently clean your photos. Any dirt or smudges will be visible in your scans.
Clean the scanner
Using isopropyl, or another cleaning agent that won't leave residue or streaks, and a lint-free cloth, wipe any dust, smudges, and fingerprints off the scanner's glass bed.
Select your DPI based on your image use
For images you intend to print, a DPI (or dots per inch) of 300 is recommended. Slides or negatives need a DPI of at least 2,400. For use on the Web, a DPI of 72 is acceptable.
Scan your old photos
Using the software that came with your scanner, scan each photo into your computer.
Rename your digital scans
Your scans will likely have numerical names that tell you nothing about the content of the scanned image. Rename each file.
Edit your images
Using photo- editing software, view each image, cropping out bits you don't want, straightening slightly crooked images, and using color correction where necessary.
Backup your images
Photo library software makes organizing and viewing photos on the computer simple, but you should also burn your scanned photos to a CD, DVD, or an external hard drive for safekeeping. You can typically save about 1,200 images on a CD and close to 7,000 on a DVD when you save them as JPG files.