December 4, 2017 at 11:06AM


Tips for scanning photos for filmmaking

I am working on a project that requires scans of old photos donated by our subjects. I haven't worked with scanning before, only getting the files after the fact, and am wondering what the best way to do this is. In my experience with scanning my own photos for video, photos have always come out less than crisp and always pixelate when blown up. Again - I have little to no experience with still photography / scanning, so this could be a totally novice question.


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If you're working with negatives, your best bet is to find the best quality scanner you can, and do some research as to the highest DPI that scanner can scan your images to without artifacting. You'll want to have some headroom for scanned image resolution, so if you're shooting in 1080p, scanning above that will give you room to pan across an image without losing resolutions, and same with 2k and 4k. However, if don't scan too far above your shooting resolution. After a while, that extra resolution is just providing headaches. Honestly, most of this will be solved by going through a quality scanner and carefully reviewing your settings.

In addition to all of this, a bit of lightoom or photoshop tune-up to scanned in images never hurts, like with any other image, to bring out the best in it, just make sure you're not distorting the original image captured.

If you're operating without a scanner and have prints instead of negatives, get a steady tripod and macro lens and use a high quality DSLR to capture the image as accurately as possible.

Good luck! It's more practice and trial and error with projects like that, so just do your best and learn from it.

December 7, 2017 at 4:29AM

Jacob Floyd
Writer / Videographer

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