How To Scan Artworks
If you want to present your works (drawings, paintings, etc.) on the net and perhaps also release them for printing, you should pay attention to a few things. Please differentiate between presenting on the net and releasing for printing on the net.
If you take photos or scans of images using Canon 922 with the scan feature (download Canon 922 drivers here), the following applies:
- On the web or for presentation on the web, 72 dpi image resolution is required. Nothing more! Anything above that has an impact on the performance of a website or blog or on the loading time and can also cause people to simply download the image and have it printed. From 150 dpi I can print images. If a photo is transferred from a camera to the PC, it usually has large dimensions – e.g. 120 centimeters by 80 centimeters (or similar) at 72 dpi or 150 dpi resolution. The abbreviation dpi is explained here. Check your camera to see what resolution the images are. If this photo is then uploaded 1:1 to a website, then you can also download and print it in this size, without loss of quality. Therefore, in any case, reduce the image – e.g. 40 centimeters by 26 centimeters. Also important here: 72 dpi resolution so in this example; 40 cm x 26 cm at 72 dpi image resolution.
- For printing, on the other hand, 300 dpi is necessary or optimal to avoid pixelation.
For example, an image that has 40 x 30 centimeters and 72 dpi resolution cannot be printed in the same size, otherwise, the pixels will be visible (pixelation).
On the screen, this is often not noticed directly, but only when printing. Then the picture looks like the above. The pixels are clearly visible.
Many people think that you can simply increase the resolution of an image. So from 72 dpi, I make 300 dpi. In programs like Adobe Photoshop I can do this and the program then calculates the values “cleanly”, so that the missing pixels are generated bicubically. Bicubic means that colors of adjacent pixels are taken as an average and assigned to the new pixels in appropriate tonal gradations. This is not clean and this is not recommended. Clean is 300 dpi as a resolution to the size planned for printing directly when creating the image. For example, 40 x 30 centimeters with 300 dpi resolution directly when scanning or photographing. Tip! Better too big than too small. Making it smaller is always possible.
With the scanner, you can also specify the color depth, which is also responsible for the quality of the print. Color depth means what color values a pixel can take in the image. The more bits you provide for a pixel, the more color tones can be produced. 24-bit is actually already standard.
Most digital cameras take pictures in a resolution of 72 dpi, 150 dpi, or even larger. If you look at the dimensions of the pictures, they often have a size of more than 100 centimeters (width or height), i.e. over one meter. So I can create a 300 dpi image from a 72 dpi image measuring 162 cm x 107.81 cm, just not with the same dimensions. Converted at 300 dpi it is 38.88 cm x 25.87 cm.
However, this also means that for large format prints (keyword canvas printing) I need a corresponding resolution to the large format directly, especially if someone pays for the print. No one wants to recognize pixels if they have paid over 100 euros for a canvas print.
So: Check the setting and possibilities of the camera or directly hire a photographer or repro service. Work on paper can be scanned up to DIN A 0. Contrary to many ideas of the past, this does not cost much. DIN A0 is about 10 to 15 euros.
If you photograph an image with a simple camera, this may still be sufficient for your own website or a blog, but rarely for a print (depending on the subject). You have to be a photographer with the appropriate equipment to create suitable images.
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Use your own camera
If you want to use your own camera, you should proceed as follows:
- Use a tripod or similar tray
- Work with self-timer so that the image does not shake when triggered
- No flash!!!
- Get as close to the image as possible
- A solder from the center of the image and then position the camera at the end point
- If possible, use a water cart for the camera, although most tripods have already integrated it
- If possible, set up two light sources at a 45-degree angle to the wall. The light should be daylight and not a desk lamp, as this causes color change that can only be adjusted to a limited extent
- Focal length > 50 if possible
- If necessary, you can also photograph the picture in normal daylight. Here, however, avoid direct exposure to light.
Edit the images taken with an image editing program (also freeware) and, if necessary, slightly increase brightness, contrasts, and saturation. In the video image optimization, I show how to do this. Be careful with the three settings mentioned, as saturation can also lead to oversaturation due to a lack of screen calibration. Apple users have this problem only conditionally since the screens are generally calibrated (as far as I know). After the changes, save the image as a new file so that you have an original photo.
Scanning drawings and painted images
The scanner is a Canon LIDE 210 DIN A4 scanner. It is sufficient for presentation on the Internet but requires rework and optimization. For printing and for large jobs, I go to a service provider (copy and print shop). If you want to buy a scanner, you should go to a specialist retailer or inquire with someone who is familiar with it. Media Markt and Co. are unfortunately not a good place to go, as there are mostly only all-in-one devices and the knowledge of the employees has clear shortcomings. A good device from my point of view is, for example, the Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II. However, it also costs just under 200 euros. In general, devices from Canon, HP, or Epson are a good choice. From 80 euros you get a scanner that is sufficient for private purposes.