How to Digitize Photos
Once you digitize photos, you are able to manipulate images to an extent which was once unimaginable. Whatever type of camera you have, your images may be placed into this digital form and then edited. The main advantage of digitizing your pictures isn’t just to edit them on the computer; they’re able to be stored, transmitted and presented in various new, low-cost ways.
Personal computers have not merely revolutionized cameras but have continued to expand the number of ways that pictures can be manipulated and used. Regardless of whether you’ve got a digital camera or shoot with traditional film – the PC is able to transform your pictures in a many different ways. This image manipulation can often be considered the modern equivalent of the developing and processing techniques of old, hence the term ‘digital darkroom’ is often used. However the computer permits you to go much further, and employ a greater level control, than was ever possible by having an enlarger and trays of chemicals with darkroom photography.
So that your photography studio can take advantage of these new techniques, the first step to di to move your pictures onto the harddrive of your computer. If you utilize an electronic digital camera, this is simply a matter of plugging in your camera. With modern Firewire and USB connections, it is not usually necessary to have special software to move image files from one device to another.
Alternatively, you are often able to directly slot your memory card in a card reader permanently connected to your computer.
Digital photo scanners
It is essential to digitize photos if you wish to put film pictures, old or new, on to your computer or the web. This can be done in your own home using digital photo scanners. These are often limited to prints, and are perfect if you require quick low-resolution results for email or web-pages.
Digitize photos for storage
It is always a god idea to have ways in which to archive, and safely back up, your photography.
On a long trip, it is not always possible to download your shots to your main computer. Portable hard drives let you always back your images onto a dedicated battery-operated hard disk, freeing up space on the camera’s smartcard while protecting your work.
Recordable DVDs and CDs give you a low-cost route for storing and copying your picture library after you digitize photos. An better alternative is often external or internal hard drives. These days, a few terabytes of storage can be bought very cheaply and prices are always falling. Just one of these drives is enough to hold many thousands of your photographs at the very highest quality RAW format.
Professional digital photo printing
When you digitize photos, how big the electronic image is depends on the amount of resolution which is available from the camera or scanner, the file format used, as well as the level of compression. A high-quality film scanner can produce a TIFF from your 35mm slide which is far bigger than that made by a typical DSLR. For everyday use, quality and size can be minimized using JPEG compression. For many uses, such as email and web pages, you’ll want to restrict how big the file is.
For better quality results, use a special film scanner which is often employed to digitize photos from both slides or negatives; these are generally capable of producing high-resolution image files ideal for enlarging using a desktop printer and or for professional publishing use.
A different approach to digitize photos is to resort to a commercial scanning service. Many processing laboratories and film stores provide a service where your images are digitized on to CD during the time the film is processed. You can even have favorite shots scanned in this way: it’s going to be costlier over a per shot basis, but are often more cost-effective in the end. Keep in mind that the maximum resolution varies significantly according to which scanning service you use.