As we get geared up for Spring Cleaning, remember that you are mightier than the dusty pile of old photos, slides, negatives and VHS tapes taking up space at the back of the entry hall closet. Even slide scanning is possible with the use of the right equipment, and a good allotment of extra time.
(Of course, the easiest way to get your negatives, slides and photos to digital is to send them to a good picture scanning service like GoPhoto, but some people just really like to do things themselves. Hey, we understand.)
Here are some tips if you're a DIYer who's going to get those old memories safely digitized this spring:
1. Cleanliness is next to all things goodliness. Be sure to clean the glass (no streaks!) and remove dust, lint, hair and any other noise that might transfer onto the image. The same goes for the asset itself - make sure those slides and such are dust-free! Rubber gloves for you and compressed air can to blow off your assets will be a great help in this project.
2. Even if you're scanning black-and-white photos, you should choose the color setting on your scanner. Somehow, the scans seem to turn out better.
3. Resolution settings are what determine the quality of your scan. For archival scans, you'll want to use a 600dpi setting. In general, you probably don't want to scan photos at less than 300 dpi.
4. Your hi-res scans will take up a fair amount of space, so you'll want to back them up on an external drive, a cloud-based storage system, or even an old-school DVD. Make backups of your backups, and store one set somewhere that's not in your home - a safety deposit box is a good spot for your external drive.