Monday, January 18, 2016

Scanning Dad's Slides - Dust Removal

I believe that I have now scanned all of Dad's slides at least once.  You would think that would mean I was done, right? Unfortunately, when my Epson scanner (which I love, by the way) arrived without a manual and I was unable to find one online, I just dove right in without enough experimentation, which is my way. As a result, I will be rescanning most of those slides this year.

One of the things that I really should have learned about right away was the dust removal tool. Slides that are anywhere from thirty to sixty-seven years old have collected a lot of really fine dust and the fifteen carousels sitting in my dad's basement for who knows how long were no exception.

When you scan anything in my Epson v370, you start with a preview scan. This lets you size your image and you can see there in the preview what your scan will look like if you color correct and sharpen your image. So when I checked off that box for the dust removal tool, I expected that I would see the dust disappear in the preview. When I didn't see that change, I made the mistake of assuming that the tool didn't work. Actually, the issue was that I didn't understand how the tool works.

When the tool "failed" I attempted to remove the dust from the slides before scanning with a dusting tool that came with my first slide scanner. Unfortunately, since my slides are all in frames, all this did was move the dust around. As my frustration grew and I finally did more Google searches to see what other people might be doing, I learned that dust removal tools work by the way they shine the light through the dust. That explained why I wasn't seeing the results in the preview. When I FINALLY did an actual scan with the dust removal tool on, I was amazed at the results. Almost no dust remained on the final image!

So, lesson learned. BEFORE you invest hours and hours doing anything, make sure that you are happy with the process and results.

At least I can say with this last carousel, that I have finally settled on a process for my scanning, labeling, storing and backing-up that will remain in place as I rescan all those other slides.