Types of scanning
Have your negatives started to fade or become scratched? We can help! At Digital Heirlooms we provide two types of negative scanning, Economy (for printing at original size which was anywhere from a 3×5″ to a 4×6″ photo, sharing online, or Facebook), and Archival (for high quality archiving and editing). To illustrate the differences between the different resolutions we have taken a standard 35mm Film Negative and scanned it in at 2000 dpi and 4000 dpi. We then zoomed in on the statue in the background. As you can see, the higher the resolution you choose the more detail you will have in the picture.
Economy Scanning (2000 dpi resolution)
For sharing online, Facebook, or printing at original size
Archival Scanning (4000 dpi resolution)
For high quality archiving and editing
Types of Negatives
35mm Half Frame Film
Medium Format Film
Disc Film Negatives
At Digital Heirlooms we use the top of the line Nikon Super CoolScan 9000 ED. This allows us to offer you the best quality scan possible. We place each of your images by hand into the scanner. No automatic feeders are used. During processing we wear white cotton cloth gloves and each negative is then blown off with compressed air to remove unwanted dust and lint.
Along with the Nikon scanner we utilize Digital ICE. This software helps us remove dust and scratches, adjusts for color and exposure, and reduces film grain which produces a clearer image without loss of detail.
Dust and Scratches
If you have negatives that have been scratched or damaged Digital ICE can clean them up. Below is an example of the dust and scratches that were removed when we processed the image through the Digital ICE software.
With Out Digital ICE
With Digital ICE
Color and Exposure
Over time negatives will start to fade and discolor from exposure to the environment. The below picture is a perfect example of how Digital ICE can restore the color and bring life back to your images.
With Out Digital ICE
With Digital ICE
What file type should you choose? The question you need to ask is what do you want to do with your images once you have them scanned now and in the future? With the Economy option you will receive JPG files only on your DVD. With the Archival and Advanced Archival option you have the choice of two different types of file formats, JPG and TIFF. What’s the difference you ask? A JPG file is the most common file type in use for images. The advantage to a JPG file is that it gives you a smaller file size allowing you to save more images to a DVD. The disadvantage is that each time the file is changed and saved the file looses information and quality. You can just view the JPG files without loosing quality. In most cases a JPG will be adequate for what you will need as it is perfect for preserving, viewing, sharing, and printing.
A TIFF file is not as common as a JPG file. The advantage of a TIFF file is that it gives you an extremely high quality image for Archival or editing purposes. The disadvantage is that a TIFF file is four times the size of a JPG which only allows you to save a quarter of the amount of files per DVD. The advantage of a TIFF file is that when you make changes to the file and save it, it does not loose any information or quality. A TIFF file is great for high quality archiving and editing.
Sharing with Family and Friends
Have you been looking for a way to store all of your memories digitally in one place to organize, preserve, or share with family and friends? Digital Heirlooms provides you with a safe and efficient way to preserve those memories to digital media for you and your family to enjoy for generations to come. Having all of your images scanned and stored digitally allows you to:
- Archive them for the next generation
- Keep copies in more than one place
- Organize and share online
- Make beautiful, unique, one of a kind gifts
- Enhance your genealogy or scrapbooks
The single most important thing about getting all of your images scanned digitally is having them preserved before they can’t be. The biggest advantage for saving your memories this way is that everyone can have a copy of everything! No more dividing the pictures up or having to pick and choose who gets what. By having them preserved digitally you are saving your memories for the next generation of each family and sharing them online has become so easy. An added benefit is that you now have multiple copies in more than one place should any unforeseen disaster occur that damages the originals. Just let us know how many copies you would like and add that to your order. The DVD’s alone make excellent gifts just by themselves but the amount of beautiful and unique one of a kind gifts you can make with your images is endless.
Genealogy and scrapbooking is another great way to utilize your digitally scanned images. You can add pictures or newspaper clippings without having to use the originals and you can make as many copies as you want! A new trend in scrapbooking is digital scrapbooking. All the design and layout is done on the computer and then the pages are printed out. You can then embellish the pages with your favorite buttons and ribbons. Whether you are a traditional scrapbooker or someone who chooses the digital route, having all of your images digitally scanned and preserved makes scrapbooking a breeze!
Organizing your images
We highly recommend organizing your images (as much as possible) based on what order you want to view them after they have been preserved. Organizing your items before they are digitized as computer files is much easier than renaming and moving them around in folders on your computer. We recommend that you organize and label your items in containers or bags exactly how you want them scanned in as we will scan your items in the order in which they are received.
Tips on organizing and labeling
Are you finding it difficult even knowing where to begin sorting your images. You’re not alone! So many negatives are not labeled or put in any kind of order and the people who knew who the individuals were are gone or may not live close by. If you have several decades of negatives, try sorting them by year and then by decade. A few tricks to do this is by looking at the type of negative (size, black and white, color), or brand of film such as Kodak or Fuji. You can also sort by looking at the progressive age of children or people in the negatives by holding them up to the light (being very careful not to get finger prints on the images), those good old hair styles, or the types of clothes they are wearing (bell bottoms, need we say more). Put each decade in a bag and label them.
If you are so lucky as to have someone near by who knows who the people in your photos are, take some time to sit down with them and have them tell you who everyone is in the negative, where it took place, and when. Make a list of the information for future reference. Many of the later negatives are marked with a frame number so you can keep track of which negative is which. A word of caution, do not write on the negative as it will cause damage to it and do not cut them apart as this makes it difficult to scan them and they can get mixed up very easily.