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Scanning of old photos for editorial use


Laura Voight
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Can anyone tell me the best specs or practices for scanning old photos? They are 4x5 BW originals and I don't know the best resolution for the size.  I can scan as high as 12,800 and 16 pt grayscale.  

 

Also, can you retouch them if needed?  

 

Thanks in advance. 

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On 31/05/2022 at 19:05, Laura Voight said:

Can anyone tell me the best specs or practices for scanning old photos? They are 4x5 BW originals and I don't know the best resolution for the size.  I can scan as high as 12,800 and 16 pt grayscale.  

 

Also, can you retouch them if needed?  

 

Thanks in advance. 

 

Can you please clarify re originals, are they 4x5 BW negatives or prints, possibly contact prints? Using the 4x5 negatives if you have them will give the higher quality scan. Also, what scanner do you have. Is the 12,800 native or interpolated? Yes, you can edit the scanned digital file.

Edited by sb photos
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On 31/05/2022 at 20:05, Laura Voight said:

Can anyone tell me the best specs or practices for scanning old photos? They are 4x5 BW originals and I don't know the best resolution for the size.  I can scan as high as 12,800 and 16 pt grayscale.  

 

Also, can you retouch them if needed?  

 

Thanks in advance. 

When you convert them to JPG, as you must for Alamy, they will be 8 bit anyway. But it is the last step you take. So I do scan (or convert from RAW) everything in 16 bit. There are lots of instruction videos around.

Of course you should retouch them. But it's up to you to what level. If they are really important historical images, I would only retouch dust, faults and damages that have been introduced later. However this is not a museum, so they must be usable by the client without any further processing. And thus they must be perfect.

Maybe also have a look at the guidelines for submitting images under Archival. Then anything goes, but whether they will sell depends heavily on the subject.

 

wim

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On 02/06/2022 at 09:48, sb photos said:

 

Can you please clarify re originals, are they 4x5 BW negatives or prints, possibly contact prints? Using the 4x5 negatives if you have them will give the higher quality scan. Also, what scanner do you have. Is the 12,800 native or interpolated? Yes, you can edit the scanned digital file.

I have copied a 5x4 tranny by clamping it in front of a studio flash soft box, but any soft even light would probably do.

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28 minutes ago, sb photos said:

No comment from the OP since the original post on Tuesday, are you there?

 

remember that for first post ever there is a delay between writing and when it goes up, so if OP came back Wednesday saw no replies and got message of long week-end from Alamy, it's possible they don't know message got replies

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