Scanning Your Photos
Our processes have been designed around keeping your memories safe
Whichever of our scanning services you would like to use - whether it be our Up To A4 Photo Scanning Service, our Up To A3 Photo Scanning Service, our 35mm Slide Scanning Service, our 35mm Negative Scanning Service, or our Medium Format Transparency Scanning Service - the benefits of having your analogue photographic media digitised are the same. As is the care and attention given to each and every item scanned.
In the process of being scanned, your photographs are:
- scanned as TIFFs;
- cropped and colour corrected;
- converted to Jpegs;
- saved to a personalised disc;
- and finally, securely backed up.
In the descriptions below, wherever we say, 'photograph,' we mean any printed photo, slide, negative, or medium format transparency. All of the processes outlined below are carried out, whatever we are scanning.
Some benefits of having your photographs scanned
However you keep them, many old photographs are not looked at from one year to the next. Having a digital copy available enables you to display the image in a photo book, computer screensaver or digital photo frame. You could even have a favourite memory printed to stretched canvas prints, mobile phone cases, cushions, mugs or shopping bags.
Digital images can quickly be shared with family and friends by ordering an extra disc, or online via social media. One of our customers had a war journal that they wanted to share with as many family members as possible. They came to us to have it scanned, the original was sent to a museum, and anyone who wants one, can have a copy.
So many people are interested nowadays in their family history. With your photos digitised, you can more easily work with other family members to make notes regarding the people in the photographs or where they were taken. This information is then not lost to future generations.
How your photographs are scanned
When scanning anything up to A4 in size, to make sure your photos are safe and scanned to the best quality, we only use one type of scanner. At PiciScan, we only use Epson Perfection V700 Photo scanners to scan your photographs. In this way, your photos are held gently on a flat surface, and never come into contact with any moving parts, meaning they can never jam inside a machine.
Many other scanning companies use equipment where your photos are actually fed into a machine. This puts your photos, slides, and negatives at risk of harm. Having your photos scanned on a flatbed scanner, as we always do at PiciScan, is the safest possible way to have your photos digitised.
At the time of scanning, and during the next several stages of the process, your scans are saved as TIFF files. TIFF stands for Tagged Image File Format and is a lossless image file type. This means the quality of your scans is as high as possible and remains this way throughout.
We do everything we can to make sure your originals are returned to you in the condition that they arrive with us. In fact, because we also repair slides if necessary, they may arrive back with you in a better state than they arrived.
How your scanned photos will be labelled
At PiciScan we use a system by which each and every photograph scanned has a unique name. This uses the first letter of your first name, followed by the first three letters of your surname, followed by your order number, which photograph in the order we are scanning, starting from, '0001,'and finally the file type. So, for example, if Michael Smith was ordering from us for the second time, the first photograph we scanned for him would be labelled: msmi002-0001.tif.
If you would like your photograph scans to be labelled starting from a different number, to fit your own archiving system for example, just let us know. For a small extra cost, you can also have your photograph scans labelled individually.
You may wish to have your photos scanned into different folders onto the disc. Perhaps you have a large number of photos and wish for them to be scanned into seperate named folders for each year that they were taken? No problem, there's no extra charge for this.
How your photographs are cropped and colour corrected.
To ensure you see as much of your memories as possible, we always scan an area larger than the image on the photograph itself. These larger scans are then cropped so that you receive just scanned copies of your photos.
Other scanning companies make use of automated processes when deciding which parts of your photos, slides and negatives are scanned. Although software is good at this, it can sometimes use a solid horizontal line - like the top of a doorframe - or a solid vertical line - like the edge of a wall - as the edge of the photo. At PiciScan, we don't rely on software to decide what is important to you. We use a much more advanced tool: the human eye, and make sure the whole of each photograph is saved forever.
An example of a photograph as it would be scanned
An example of a photograph after having been cropped and correctly rotated
The colour correction we carry out at PiciScan on each and every scan, is a three, sometimes four step process. It's necessary, to make sure we provide you with scans that display colours that are as accurate as possible. Learn more about the process by clicking the button below.
A scan before being colour corrected
A scan after colour correction has been completed
Converting your scans to JPEG files
The last step before saving your scans to disc is to convert them to JPEG files. JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, the name of the committee that created the JPEG standard. It is an image file type that can be extensively compressed without any perceptible loss in quality to the image. We save our scans as JPEG files -so that they will take up considerably less space on your home computer than TIFFs would - with no compression - in an effort to preserve the quality of the original scan.
A disc as individual as your memories
When you order one or more of our scanning services, you have the opportunity to choose whichever of your favourite memories you would like printing to the front of your disc of scanned images. Just separate out the selected negative, transparency or photo in some way before sending in your order. You could, for example, enclose it within an appropriately marked envelope.
To choose the title you would like adding to your disc, just let us know in the comments section of the shopping basket.
If you have no particular preference as to which scanned photo, slide or negative you would like printing to the disc, there's no need to separate out anything. We'll just print the first image we come to. If you don't choose a title to be printed to your disc, we will simply print, 'Family Memories,' as the title.
Once your disc has been prepared, it will be enclosed within an 'unbreakable' jewel CD case, before being delivered to you, along with your original memories.
To demonstrate how unbreakable the cases are, we decided to run one of them over, containing the disc pictured above, with a Land Rover, and film the result. Check out what happened in the video below.
Your memories are securely backed-up
Our service to you doesn't stop after your scans are copied to disc. Nor does it stop after your originals and scans are securely returned to you. We keep a copy of your scans on our system indefinitely, meaning you can come back to us, whenever you like to ask for a copy of what we've scanned for you.
One customer came to us five years after her photos had originally been scanned to tell us that she'd unfortunately lost her disc and ask if we could we help. By the end of the same day, we'd shared all eight hundred of her scanned photos with her online.
Limitations of service
Our photograph scanning service is brilliant at rescuing old, forgotten memories and returning faded colours to ancient photos. But sadly, even we can't rescue an out of focus image, or correct blur caused by camera shake. What we can do, is provide you with the best results with the image that is present.
Occasionally, older photos can become ripped or severely bent. If this is the case, we will not repair the photos before scanning them as this can lead to further, unintentional damage. They will be held together as best they can be and scanned as they are. For best results, you may wish to take advantage of our photo restoration service.