How To Scan Photos for a Slideshow

Chances are, if you’re creating a reunion or family history slideshow you may have to scan in old prints to get them into a digital format to use in your slideshow. As much as this may seem to be a daunting task, technology has made it easier and easier to go from old and torn print to shiny, new digital image.

Below are a few tips to get you started, for a more in-depth look into the world of scanning check out this 3 part series on the Presentation Impact blog.

Top Scanning Tips:

1. Do your research and get a quality, flat bed photo scanner to do the job right. Canon and HP both make high quality scanners that are decently priced. This article also has a great break-down of different scanners and a look into which one is right for you.

2. Remove any dust from your photos and make sure your scanner’s flat bed is free of dust and debris.

3. Make sure your scanner’s settings are correct for your needs. Some scanners have settings to scan documents that are far different than when you want to scan a photo. Make sure your settings are all in-line before you scan.

4. Scanner resolution is measured in dots per inch (dpi). More dots translate into a sharper image. Scan at 300dpi for the best quality and maximum flexibility.

5. Your scanner’s software may have some built-in photo editing and adjustment tools, which is great. Try experimenting with sharpness, brightness and other options to get the best looking digital image possible.

6. Name your photos with meaning if you can, this will help you when you’re organizing for your slideshow. If it’s a family history slideshow you’re creating, name the photos something like Anderson_Family_1942.jpg.

7. Develop a system to keep the ball rolling. If it takes 5 steps to scan a photo, make sure you are completing them in order each time. Your workflow will go much faster and the task will be over before you know it.

Need some inspiration? Watch this wonderful family history slideshow that showcases old photos that have been scanned in to create a beautiful new slideshow.

Happy scanning!

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Amanda works in Photodex's marketing department and heads up the company's pr and events efforts. She loves photography, living in Austin and making slideshows.