Scanning is becoming a lost art. Scanner sales are down since the sales of digital cameras are up. But for those of you who still scan images, quality has never been more important. With inexpensive consumer-level digicams generating great looking images, poor scans are not acceptable.
Here are a few things you can do to improve your scans.
1) Make sure you have the latest drivers installed for your scanner. Scanner makers routinely improve their products’ performance via software drivers.
2) Clean your scanner glass – often.
3) Scan at the highest bit rate possible. Most scanners have the ability to scan at 48-bit rates. Some even go higher. It’s a good idea to use your scanner’s highest bit rate if you want the highest quality. This will mean larger files and longer scan times, but it’s worth it.
4) Scan for the final print size. If you know you’re going to end up printing the image as an 8×10″ print, then don’t scan at a lower resolution and size up. Nor should you scan at a higher resolution and size down. While you can do either one, it’s not a best practice.
5) Always scan an original, not a copy.
6) Don’t use your scanner’s software to make image corrections. Avoid making corrections while scanning. Pixel editors like Photoshop are for more robust than almost any scanning software you can buy. Scan the image at a neutral point and then make color, exposure and other changes in Photoshop.