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    Scan

    PHOTOGRAPHIC SLIDES.

    Slide scanning process:

    1) Clean using an active ionized air system. Tests show that this technique removes more of the small particles than brushing with soft bristle brushes or microfiber cloth.

    2) Digitize using unique equipment

    PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINTS.

    Print scanning process:

    1) Wash the prints with an ionized air flood.

    2) Brush the prints using microfiber cloth.

    3) Scan using modified Kodak, Cannon or Epson scanners, depending upon the nature of the prints.

    Slide Scanning

    The equipment we’ll use to scan your slides  is unique in the industry, and was developed over the last 5 years. Actually, it is mostly computer, part robot, and has lots of optics and sensors in there. We now have two of these systems, and they are continuing to evolve. Each of our system’s cost about $150,000.

    Each slide is fed into our image capture machine, where the slides are cleaned, analyzed and digitized.  Along the way, over a billion computer operations are performed on each image, and our operators and specialists will examine the results along the way.  During all this, the images are 100 MB files. At the end of the day, the software system gets 99% of the images just right, and the specialists manually adjust the rest. Finally, the files are loosely compressed down to a manageable 3 MB, burned onto a DVD or USB drive, and packed in with your originals.

     

    Print Scanning

    Photo prints come in such a wide variety that we must use several different techniques to scan the prints. Most prints are scanned in a semi automatic flat bed scanner. This machine feeds the prints into position on the scanning bed without bending them, scans the photos, then stacks them back up. This works well on durable photos like the prints made since the 60’s.

    For older or fragile photographs, we don’t use the automatic feeding system. An operator lays these photographs 1 at a time on a flat bed scanner, scans the photograph, then repacks the photo. This takes more time, but we think it is worth it for these highly valuable old photographs!

     

    Cleaning Slides and Photographs

    Dust on the photos gets digitized as well as the image, so it’s important to do everything possible to remove the inevitable dust before scanning. There are two ways to do this: clean the slide, or use techniques to account for the dust in the scanning process, such as Digital ICE.

    Digital ICE is often used to eliminate dust from the digitized images, but our experience is that the results are not satisfactory. Digital ICE first uses angled or IR light to scan a picture of just the dust, then used normal light to get a picture of the image and the dust, then subtracts the dust image from the full image. Our experience is that if the dust was in a critical location (like somebody’s eye) then it is obvious that there was a flaw in the photo. Not acceptable, in our humble opinion!

    On the other hand, people working in the computer industry have invested billions in learning how to remove dust from micro processors as they are manufactured. Application engineers from one of the leading suppliers of this dust elimination technology for the computer industry worked with us to implement the best dust elimination technology on the planet into our photographic slide and print scanners. The result is vastly better than Digital Ice, and also beats trying to brush the dust off of slides. As it turns out, on photo slides in cardboard mounts, the dust is coming from the cardboard, and brushing brings more dust onto the film, and unfortunately, just pushes it around on the film because the dust wants to stick to the film due to static cling. More brushing makes more static, and it gets worse and worse. Our process measures the static on the film, generates and bombards the film with ions of the appropriate polarity needed to break the static, then blows the dust off. Works like magic!

    However, on older slides sometimes the dust has become embedded into the photographic emulsion. This emulsion is a gel, and never hardens. We have found that it is not possible to remove dust that has become embedded in the emulsion. On images where this permanent dust creates a problem, our artists can manually erase the dust using a variety of PhotoShop techniques, but this is expensive. If you want us to do this, please contact us!