[scribus] Scanning photos for a book project

Dwain Alford wdalford6 at live.com
Wed Jan 28 17:14:57 UTC 2015

On 1/27/2015 9:53 AM, Rolf-Werner Eilert wrote:
> I am about to make a family chronicle with a lot of old photos. The 
> older ones are of course baryte paper prints which have a nice rough 
> surface.
> Scanning the first photos, I find that there is too much light on the 
> shadows, and the surface structure results in tiny white stripes and 
> spots, reflections which show the paper structure but may be 
> disturbing when the photos are viewed in the book.
> With the Gimp I can easily compress the shadows a bit so that black 
> becomes black, but the tiny spots remain.
> The scanning tablet from the TWAIN interface for this scanner (an 
> office Brother 3-in-1) only allows for tweaking brightness and 
> contrast. I didn't find any other option to scan, and I don't know if 
> it's usual to set up brightness and contrast accordingly, and how. 
> (And I don't know whether you would scan in 24bit colours or in 
> grayshades for black-and-white photos...)
> So there are actually 2 problems: There is no automatic for finding 
> the right black value point, and there is the problem that the lamp 
> lights the paper structure too much. I tried to turn the photos by 
> 90°, but to no avail.
> What would you guys do here? I don't want to scan 100+ photos only to 
> see that it was a fail, so I ask before I actually start working :)
> Is there a chance to install another, more intelligent scan tablet or 
> TWAIN interface? And would you accept the lights on the paper 
> structure as given, maybe "nice to look at"?
> Thanks for your opinions!
> Rolf
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There are pluses and minuses about scanning photos on textured paper. A 
plus is that you can see it's an old photo printed on textured paper. Of 
course, the minus is they are printed on textured paper.

I recently scanned photos like this for giving to family members. In the 
Epson software,there is a setting for scanning prints from fine art 
prints, newspapers and a general setting to "eliminate" the dots that 
result from the screen. I used the "fine art prints" setting and had 
decent results. There was a hint of the textured paper, but that can 
also be the charm of the scan.

I also use the "histogram" to control highlights, shadows and mid-tones. 
It's an old "Photoshop" trick I learned over a decade ago at a PS 
training seminar.

After you preview your image, open the histogram setting and notice how 
the input levels look in comparison to the black and white 
"arrows/pointers" under the graph (see attachment - levels). The graph 
should look smoother than the example, because the example has already 
been processed.

If the output levels are not set to 0 and 255, you may want to set them 
so. I usually do when I scan photos and transparencies.

Where the graph for the shadows first begins to "rise", drag the shadow 
arrow to that point on the graph and do the same for the highlight side 
(see attachment - adjusted). Because the graph in the example has the 
shadow rising at the edge of the window I set the highlight side.

If you are scanning color photos, after setting the initial shadow and 
highlight arrows and the color still looks off, in the software that 
came with my scanner there are radio buttons for the individual RGB 
channels. You do the same thing for each color channel as you did for 
the highlights and shadows.

If the color is ok for you but the image is still a bit light, you can 
go to the "curves" setting in the scanner software (see attachment - 
curves). If the highlights and shadows are ok for you then the basic 
adjustment to "reduce the overall brightness" is to grab the diagonal 
adjustment line at the middle of the graph and, watching your image, 
pull straight down the middle line. Drifting to the right will darken 
the image and drifting to the left will lighten the image. This will 
also cause a color shift, depending how far left or right you go. The 
color shift is more prominent on the dark side.

After you scan, if the image needs a bit of tweaking the you can use 
your favorite image editor.



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