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Scanning Different Kinds of Images

Film, slides, color photos, or old monochrome photos all can be scanned into Photoshop Elements. After you scan a few images, you might start to notice something they all have in common: dust. You might need to gently dust the surface of the print or negative, as well as the glass surface on the scanner, before placing and scanning the image. Try to avoid using your hands, cloth, or tissue to remove dust from the surface of the scanner. For best results, hold a can of compressed air about 6 to 10 inches from the glass and use the canned air to clear the surface of the scanner.


As you scan images, try not to touch the glass on a flatbed scanner with your hand or fingers. The oil from your hand or fingertips can leave marks on the glass that will be scanned in along with your images.

Choose the scanner settings you want to apply to the scanned image. Then preview the image in Photoshop Elements. If the image is slightly crooked, you can try to straighten it in the scanner. However, you also can use Photoshop Elements to vertically or horizontally correct an image's alignment.

If you're working with a damaged, bent, or warped photo, try to flatten the image by placing it in a plastic jacket or folder. A flat image is optimal for scanning. It encourages the scanner to produce consistent, accurate colors throughout the captured image. Don't hesitate to run several preview scans, and try to scan the best possible image you can.

If you don't want to worry about adding glare to the scan by adding the plastic layer to the image, scan a test image to see how the scanner captures the damaged areas of the photo (see Figure 3.7). Then add the plastic cover to see whether you can identify any differences between the two preview images.

Experiment with scanning at different resolutions and with different color or grayscale settings. If you want to simulate creating a color image, try scanning an image in grayscale. Then hand-tint the image in Photoshop Elements by adding red, blue, and green adjustment layers to create a custom color image.

Figure 3.7 A test scan can help you optimize settings if you're scanning worn or damaged photos.

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