Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday's Tip: Scan BIG, Then Fiddle Around

My niece had never seen her paternal grandfather (he died before she was born) so when I had an opportunity to borrow a photo of him for scanning, I jumped at the chance. Here's the way the snapshot looked when scanned at 1200 dots per inch on my home scanner (a Canon, with accessories for scanning slides as well as photos/documents):

This file is 2MB, big enough to allow some detail once I crop. Using the free photo management program Picasa, I cropped to show just Grandpa's head and the baby he's holding.

Picasa has a button marked "I'm feeling lucky" that automatically adjusts color and contrast. Click on it, and the result is Grandpa and baby as shown here. I made one small additional adjustment: I sharpened the image. And that's it.

I was actually lucky: This photo had no thumb-tack holes, dust fluffs, or smudges to be retouched out. Now future generations will know what Grandpa looked like while holding his first grandchild, only 4 months old! And the whole process took just a couple of minutes, with freebie software.


  1. Wow I'm glad you got that!

  2. I was happy to add this to the family tree and plan to scan even more photos in the coming months. Look out, family, there's a CD of genealogical photos and captions coming your way sometime soon!