Black Point, White Point Card
This card is used in scanning to set the White Point and Black Point of an image. This is explained in the scanning section. When scanned along with your image, you can tell Elements exactly what white looks like and what black looks like. This may sound obvious already, but it actually isn't.
Each scanner will have a variation in how true it scans an image. The scanned file may be slightly lighter or darker than the original. In color photos the colors may be off a little. By pointing out to Elements the precise black and white values, Elements will 'fix' this scanner deficiency for this image. After setting the White/Black points, the scan area which includes this card should be cropped away.
The Levels command will give you the chance to fix the off-coloring. See the explanation along with the Black/White Scan Card.
Download the print-ready version here. This download is formatted for a 4x6 print. It should be printed by a photo service (many discount stores, etc.) as a glossy print. Note: There are actually four cards on a print for your convenience. Cut them apart, and save them, as they are easily misplaced.
Scanning and Restoring Negatives and Slides
Restoring negative and slides uses the same processes as restoring prints – after the negatives and slides are scanned. But first a little background on slide and negative scans.
Film (negative and slides) scanners come in two flavors: flatbed scanners and dedicated film scanners. Film scanners only scan film and are generally used by businesses, professionals, and serious photo enthusiasts. We won't cover film scanners here - if you have one you are probably an expert on the subject anyway. We will concentrate on consumer-level flatbed scanners.
Older (or inexpensive) Flatbed Scanners
Older (and inexpensive) flatbed scanners without dedicated and separate scanning lights will not scan slides well, no matter what the product literature says. What does this mean? The older scanners use the same set of lights and sensors for film as for prints - these are usually in the bottom of the scanner. These sensors generally do not have the resolution to scan film, and are not optimized for the transparent nature of film.
New Scanners with Dedicated Sensors
Newer scanners (last several years) have an additional set of lights and sensors in the lid of the scanner for scanning film. These sensors are optimized for film scanning and are very high resolution. You need to scan at a much higher resolution for film than prints. For example, a 35mm slide needs to be scanned at a minimum of 2400 DPI for good results. However, this is on the low end, and is standard for most economical services. If you are scanning for restoration or for big enlargements, 3600 or even 4800 would be better.
The operation of scanning films is slightly different t than scanning flat pictures. Usually the inside of the lid must be removed to reveal the additional set of lights and scanners. This inside cover usually snaps out. Check your scanner manual for the steps.
Several film trays are included with your new scanner that hold different slide or negative sizes.
|Canon 9000F incluldes three trays
||35mm negative film
||Medium format film (2.5" wide)
|Epson V-series includes two trays
||35mm negative AND 35mm slide (combined onto one tray
||Medium format film (2.5" wide)
There is one important size missing from both brand of scanners - that is the very popular 127 size that was used throughout the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Most families will have these size negative from their ancestors. These negatives are physically about 2" wide and do not fit into any of the staandard trays.
Odd Size Negatives.
There are a couple ways to scan negatives that don't fit into any trays. 1) Lay them on the flatbed glass. 2) Make a custom negative holder - easier than you might think.
Lay Negative on Glass - The standard trays do not increase the quality of the scan, they just make it easier to lay the negatives or slides on the scanner, keeping them straight or level. They also keep the negative from touching the glass which could have dust or other contaminants on it. So, if you have odd-size negatives, just clean you glass well, place the negative as straight as you can and scan away.
Make a Custom Holder
I've made custom holders out of card stock, you could use photo backing, mat board, or any stiff paper product. I use three pieces and will walk through making a 127 size holder.
Instructions and illustrations to make a custom holder will follow shortly.
Your scanner will have settings for negatives (Monochrone or color) and slides. These may be in the advance, custom, expert, professional setting mode depending on your scanner. It will then convert the scanned image into the correct positive image.
One note on scanning black and white negatives. You may have the choice of scanning them as Grayscale, which is their natural look and the scanner will force the image to be all black and white, or you can scan the black and white negative as color. The results will be different from scanner to scanner, but you will sometimes get a nice browntone look. Try both and see what you like.
More to Come