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  • What is the best way to scan an old photo for reprinting?

    Posted by Simon Worrall on February 22, 2023 at 12:27 am


    As per the title, I have a couple of large old framed photos – about 800x600mm that a customer wants re-printing.

    I dont have any equipment for scanning, other than a decent iPhone, a good SLR camera, and a tripod.

    What is the best setup for scanning to get the best possible result with the highest resolution?

    Ive had a couple of goes, but I get reflections and not great resolution.


    Robert Lambie replied 1 year, 1 month ago 4 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Robert Lambie

    February 22, 2023 at 1:02 am

    I can’t see anything in the picture you have attached, Simon. Could you re-upload it mate, it might be you have selected “file” upload and not “photo” upload.

    Is the old picture still behind the glass or have you removed it?

  • Robert Lambie

    February 22, 2023 at 1:04 am

    I have just checked, and you have selected the photo upload properly, but the “file type” is unidentified.

    • Simon Worrall

      February 23, 2023 at 2:20 am

      I dont know what happened there Rob, I didnt intend to upload a photo at all! Must be fumbling fingers.

  • Richard Wills

    February 22, 2023 at 8:21 am

    Camera perpendicular to art work, with lights on either side, pointing towards the opposite side of the work. If possible, flag the lights from the camera and lens.

    If the camera is reflecting in the glass, shift it off axis. If you put a grid matt down where the work would be, and take a picture with the set up off axis, then it is simple to undistort the picture in Photoshop, and apply the same transformation to pictures of the photos.

    Use the DSLR and the tripod.

  • Simon Worrall

    February 23, 2023 at 2:22 am

    Thanks Richard, for that diagram. That makes sense. I have a pair of work lights I can use.

  • Gary Forbes

    February 27, 2023 at 11:34 am

    I have done this in the past. i took two photographs to close up as I could of the photo using a tripod “outside” in the daylight but not directly in the sun’s direction. i then overlayed them both in photoshop, zoomed in close and then flattened the image. it worked out really well considering how I captured the image, and the customer loved it. this was an old sepia-style photo that I supersized and printed for wallpaper in an office.

    you can do pretty much the same thing with a scanner. but tiling the scans in photoshop in the same way.

  • Robert Lambie

    February 27, 2023 at 2:22 pm

    Gary, I have done the same by scanning large photos in sections and then merging them back together in photoshop. Works well, but not just as easy with photographs, especially if they are behind glass.

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