Scanning Basics


The 1981 blockbuster starring Jack Nicholson…..oh forget it…

As fun as disscussing this film would be maybe we should talk about the film you want to scan in the Grad Lab.

A few things…..rather than insulting your inteligence by telling you how to turn on a scanner I will try and talk about basic principles in scanning and some more advanced options for getting better results.

First hint, find out what scanner you are using and read the manual….for reals. What is the dynamic range of the scanner? What kind of software are you using-learn that too. Most scanning software comes with a tutorial and of course there is allot of information online.

What are you scanning? Negatives, slides, prints, print material? What is the optical resolution of your scanner, how high a dpi or ppi does it have. What is resolution vs image size. What file format do you need? Tiff, jpeg, pdf, gif, png? What bit depth shuold you use? 8, 16, 48?

How do I clean my items I want to scan, how do I clean the scanner?

Should I use the features in the scanning software or use photoshop? What the heck is color management? Now you know why Jack’s face looks like this. Try looking at sites like and