Friday, November 18, 2011

Scanning Film Negatives

I have shot rolls up on rolls of Black and White film for class. I love pictures, and for some reason feel that every picture deserves a chance to be printed and shown, but at $1.00 or so for each sheet of paper and the fact that I ruin 2 or 3 sheets to get a good printed picture plus the fact that it takes me at least 30 to 40 minutes of working with the image to get it right, I didn't see how each of my pictures were going to make it out to the light.

Until I saw one of the 2nd semester students scanning his negatives, at least that is what it looked like he was doing, and sure enough when I asked him what he was doing, he said "duh, scanning my negatives" gotta love those 19 and 20 year olds. And then I asked him a question that I knew was going to get me a stare down, but I was ready for it. 'How do you scan negatives?'

Sure enough he looked at me funny the whole time he was attempting to show me how to scan negatives. I'm very competent with computers so his words didn't need to make sense, and believe me they didn't. I was able to see what he was doing and come to my own conclusions.

First you need a special scanner or a scanner that has the ability to change, the one in the classroom is a scanner that adapts for scanning negatives.

The scanner comes with a special tray to place your negative strips on.

Then you use the scanning software (or Photoshop) the same way that you would scan any other item. EXCEPT because the image is so small you need to scan at a really really high DPI if you want to end up with a picture large than 1 inch wide. My 19 year old tutor neglected to mention that. To be honest I don't think he knew why he was doing things he just knew the steps someone else showed him.

I have come to the conclusion that a dpi of 4800 will get you a good 8 x 10 printed resolution. This was learned by trial and error so if someone has a text book answer for this please let me know. I couldn't find the information any where. Needless to say it takes for ever to scan at that dpi but I'm not wasting paper and money! It will be worth the invested time, all of my pictures might just end up seeing the light.

I love these that I snapped when I was trying to get my Action assignment done:

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