02/09/06 240 W, 6 I - + 20 - 7 Image Scanning and Processing Tricks

Here are a couple simple tricks to scanning and processing photos. I was recently sent the following historical image. The sender apologized because no matter what she did, the resulting image looked like a photographic negative:

No problem, I responded. Opening the file in any number of image processing programs, such as MS Photo Editor, I located the "Invert" option:

Then, I converted the image to "grayscale."

This is slightly misleading, because the common term "black and white" is used differently with regarding to image scanning programs. When you scan an image using a "black and white" setting, the picture will be converted into a image with only two colors: black and white. Versus hundreds of grays, plus black and white. Thus the term "grayscale."

By way of example:

To convert the image to grayscale, an image processing program may have an option "convert to grayscale" or "remove colors" or you may even have to locate the properties of the image, and select a "grayscale" format.

Finally, I "levelled" the image, selecting the processing program's "auto-levels" option. This is an option worth using with just about scanned image, as well as some digital photos:

The last step is to consider "sharpening," which simply sharpens the image. Also good for digital photos.

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