Scanning B & W images: instructions for interns and volunteers

Adapted from Robert Hershoff's guide

Introduction: the procedure for digitizing images from printed originals utilizes image scanning hardware and software to create a TIFF format digital file (by default on the HP scanners we use, which can be manipulated or edited using image enhancement software.

Image scanning software available: HP DeskScan 2.3 (in staff creativity lab and LIST office)

How to scan images

1. Set up the DeskScan software:

a. The scanner should be warmed up. Make sure the green light is lit on the front of the scanner. FYI, we try to leave it on all the time.

b. Images should be aligned with the green arrow in the upper right hand corner of the scanner.

c. To open the HP DeskScan software on the PC: Select START -- Programs -- HP DeskScan II -- HP DeskScan II

d. Type:

e. Path: From the dragdown menu, select CUSTOM -- Print Path

f. Click PREVIEW for an initial scan.

2. Cropping the image:

3. Adjust Contrast

You may want to adjust the brightness/contrast of the preview image. Try clicking the button in the middle of the window that looks like a circle with half white and half black. You can always do more in PhotoShop.

4. Adjust image size:

Adjust the image to 5 x 7 inches (see the width/length scroll bar) for the working size. The reason is that any original image which is smaller is scanned at an enlargement ratio to approximate 5 x 7 inches; images larger than 5 x 7 inches are scanned at a reduction ration to create files with image dimensions approximating 5 x 7 inches. This procedure facilitates the preparation of images for screen display and seems to produce a better result (with smaller digital files) than resizing to enlarge the image in Adobe Photoshop.

5. Scan the image

Image files should be numbered consecutively. The naming convention to follow is for each filename fn use the letters av followed by the number (normally found) in the upper left corner on the back of the photo. Replace the period (AKA dot) with a hyphen and please type the file extension in lower case.

For example, av1-8.tif

Editing the image in Adobe Photoshop

To open Adobe Photoshop in Win95: START -- Programs -- Adobe -- Adobe Photoshop 3.0

1. Open the original scanned .tif file and immediately save it in Photoshop's .psd format. To do this, go to the FILE dragdown menu and select Save As

This way, all editing and adjustments will be made to the .psd file. The original scan, saved for archival purposes, is useful if you make mistakes in your editing.

2. Crop the image: Dragdown menu EDIT -- Crop, although I prefer just selecting the cropping tool from the Photoshop toolbar.

3. Adjust levels: [Dragdown menu IMAGE -- Adjust -- levels] using the gamma=center adjustment. Moving the gamma to the left (circa .98 and beyond) darkens the image; an adjustment to 1.03 or more lightens the image.

4. Try the unsharp mask filter to improve detail. [Dragdown menu FILTER -- Sharpen -- ]

An unsharp mask of 200% amount / 0.4 radius / 4 threshold often works well for images scanned at 75 dpi. If the unsharp filter produces too much definition, try the fade unsharp mask feature in Photoshop 4.0 to correct the image.

5. When you have finished adjusting the image, save the .psd.

6. Select dragdown menu IMAGE -- Image size

In PhotoShop 3.0 change inches to pixel: Then change the larger of sizes, between width and length) to 440 pixels and click okay

7. [Dragdown FILE -- save as] to save the file as a full size JPEG image. (If we chose to, we could select the GIF format as well)

Select MEDIUM: For web publishing when the image is only intended for display on ones monitor, select medium.

8. Important! Close the .jpg file.

9. Reopen the .psd to create your thumbnail image. Never edit or resize a JPEG image if you have access to the original .tif or .psd files. JPEG uses a lossy compression method that diminishes the image quality. Each time you edit or resize a .jpeg file the image quality is further degraded.

10. Resize the .psd to thumbnail specification size. My rule of thumb is to adjust to 160 pixels for black and white thumbnails. As before, adjust the larger of the two sizes between width and length.

11. Try the unsharp mask again, to improve the detail in the smaller image. You can often make a substantial improvement in the legibility of small size images.

12. Save the thumbnail as a JPEG. Make sure to use a different name for the thumbnail. The naming convention to use is to add the letters sm to the end of the filename. Using our earlier filename example, the thumbnail becomes, av1-8sm.jpg. NOTE: Be VERY careful that you do not overwrite the full size version.

A Final Step: Reviewing in Netscape

1. Open Netscape on the PC.

2. From dragdown menu FILE -- Open file in browser

3. Open c:\pub\..\fn (where fn stands for the filename you want to open.

This gives you a look at how the image will display on that PC's monitor. Understand that the image may look better or worse on other PC monitors. You might check its appearance on a different PC in the library when the images are moved to dizzy allowing for public access.


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Last updated 12 July 1997