Transferring Photographs to Digital Images

If you are like most people, you probably have boxes and boxes, albums upon albums, or drawer upon drawer of old photographs that are doing nothing but collecting dust and fading with time. What did you ever do before the advent of the digital camera and image? Did you know that you can turn those photos into digital images to store and protect, share with friends and family, or use for creative gifts? You can!

There are two basic methods you can use to digitize your old photos and documents.

The first is the desktop scanner. Just like every electronic device on the market, there are many makes and models of scanners (you will generally want to get a flatbed scanner) and you will need to decide for yourself what features are most important to you. Generally speaking, you will want to scan at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch) and use any image correcting software to adjust for color, fix smudges, dots, dirt, dust, etc. Some scanners employ a technology called Digital Ice to help in that process, but be prepared to spend some time waiting for it to do its thing-especially when scanning at higher resolutions.

Another method is digitizing photos is simply to take a picture of it (using a digital camera, of course). This may sound a little unconventional, but place the original photo on a black board or other surface beneath the photo (place a piece of glass over the photo to keep it absolutely flat), place your camera on a tripod and aim it straight down. Zoom it on the subject as much as you can and then use Photoshop to clean up the trim. When using this method with a piece of glass over the photograph watch for reflections and adjust appropriately to minimize the glare. Also, read your camera manual and learn to adjust the white balance of your camera to compensate for the different color temperature of various lighting.

Now that you have digitized your photos, to ensure the greatest protection against damage or loss, make multiple copies of those images and store them in different places: a safe deposit box, a fireproof safe, other family members houses (in a climate controlled closet). You will also be able to upload those images to various retail establishments to create some truly unique gifts.

God’s blessings on you this day.

Chris

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