Saturday, August 17, 2013

Scanning the Scrapbook

A big learning day today.  My sister, Nancy, came over to start scanning the scrapbook today.  A couple years ago, my sister Yvonne helped me create a family scrapbook for my Mom using the stories and photo descriptions I had been collecting from my Mom.  This is the scrapbook my kids told me was a revelation to them - family history they had never heard.  (This is so true, my Hanson family just are not story-tellers the way the Dosch family is. We're more in the moment with activities and card games substituting for talk and story-telling.)

This scrapbook is in a 12 x 12 inch format and so not easily scanned with a flatbed scanner.  But I have recently purchased a Flip-Pal scanner. ( ) This small format scanner is a gem for all kinds of scanning challenges. It is battery operated (but a battery eater, so rechargeables are highly recommended) and scans to an SD card (like those used in a camera).  Yvonne used this scanner to quickly scan about 400 4x6 photos in a hurry and then move them quickly to my laptop computer so that we could create photo boards of my Mom's life for the funeral.  In this mode, it works like a regular scanner, but much faster (it only has to scan a 4x6 area rather than the 9x12 area of a standard scanner) and seems to render the photo very quickly. The feature we wanted to learn today is the ability to scan large items in place through the underside of the scanner.  This feature allows you to scan parts of large scale items overlapping the scans and then "stitching" the image back together in a whole.  It works by removing the scan cover and flipping the scanner upside down to place it directly on top of the item to be scanned.  Since the bottom is clear glass, you can see what is being scanned.

It took a bit of trial and error to figure out how many partial scans were needed to stitch together the 12x12 page (we settled on 12), but once we figured that out, we only had to tell the software which scans to use and the stitching process automatically created the larger image.  We saved the original as named for a master file and then saved a copy of the image for our working copy.  I opened the stitched jpg image in my Photoshop Elements 10 to clean up the edges a bit.

So now comes our test. Tomorrow we will create a print of the jpg and in the next blog post I will upload this image and see how it behaves on the Internet.  It's easy to read in my photo viewer even without using the magnifier.  I trust you'll let me know how it turns out in a working environment.

Another test we'll do tomorrow is to take a jpg photo with a camera and compare how readable it is compared to the scanned version. Stay tuned for our report.

And I'll try to take some pictures of our process so you can see what I'm talking about.

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