Photo Scanning and the 300 vs 600 DPI Myth

When discussing the resolution of digital images, far too often people get hung up focusing on DPI (or PPI) as a way to measure the size and quality of a digital image. This may sound completely wrong to you, but the DPI of an image has nothing to do with digital image quality. The reason? A digital image’s resolution is expressed as it’s pixel dimensions, either as pixels by pixels or the often heard keyword, megapixels. So why do people get hung up on DPI? The simple reason is that when it comes to printing, DPI actually IS the measure of quality. Confusing, right?


10 DPI vs 1,000 DPI


Click on each image below. Can you tell the difference?


1,000 DPI image

1,000 DPI

10 DPI image

10 DPI image



You should be saying to yourself, “They look exactly the same.” Both are 600 x 900 pixels, both saved at the exact same 20% compression rate but they have vastly different DPI values. So why isn’t there a visual difference? As noted above, digital image quality is measured by the number of pixels in an image, either by the pixel dimensions or the megapixel value. In this case, they are both 0.5-megapixel images since they have the exact same pixels dimensions (600 x 900 pixels).


Now, if you want to discuss the DPI of a digital image, YOU MUST ALSO assign a physical size to it. You can’t simply say, “This image is 200 dpi.” You have to say something like “This image is 200 dpi at 4 inches by 6 inches.” It is important to remember that a digital image has no absolute size or resolution. Think about this, when do you typically discuss DPI? The answer you should be thinking about is “When I want to print the image.” This is where DPI comes into play because a printer may output at 150 dpi, 200 dpi or 300 dpi and each would require a different file size to print the optimum print. You may also be thinking that you discuss DPI when you scan a photo, but we will get to that later. For uploading to social media, 150 dpi is adaquate.


The issue that causes all this confusion is that many users interpret a photo editing program’s reference to DPI as a measure of “resolution” but this is actually the displaying the OUTPUT or printing resolution, not the resolution of the digital image. Has this happened to you: You had your photos scanned by ScanMyPhotos but when you open the file in Photoshop, it says that it is 72 dpi and you clearly paid for 600 dpi? Before you start writing a strongly worded letter to ScanMyPhotos, look at the width and height? Does it show that the photo is 50″ by 33″? We all know you did not send a 3 foot by 4 foot photo for scanning so what happened? Nearly all monitors can only display 72 dpi so most programs default to showing 72 dpi.


So, when working in Photoshop for example, the first thing you want to do when looking at File->Image Size is to TURN RESAMPLE IMAGE OFF. If you then turn your attention to the rest of the dialog box, you can see it connects Resolution, Height, and Width together while Pixel Dimensions is separate and uneditable from the Document Size. As long as you have Resample Image turned off, if you change any one of the values for Width, Height or Resolution you simultaneously change the other two, but the Pixel Dimensions will always remain the same. As the resolution goes up, the width and height go down, and vice versa, because a digital image has no absolute size or resolution. All it has is a certain number of pixels in each dimension that will be displayed on a monitor or screen. Click on the image below for a detailed look at the relationship between size and DPI and how it doesn’t affect the actual pixels in the image.

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5 Fun Photography Project Ideas for Kids

photography project ideasSummer might be winding down, but there is still time to get a few more fun activities in with the kids! We’ve pulled together a list of photography project ideas that will help teach your little ones how to learn composition, exposure, camera settings, and more.

 

Not only are these projects are great opportunity to teach and learn, but they can be a lot of fun and will result in lasting memories.

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Why There Was No Weeping After the Storm Destroyed Generations of Photos

Fran P., a grandmother from Chicago, was emotionless after a storm damaged her family’s photo memories. Decades of pictures turned into a brick-like mass of paper; plastered together after the water damage flooded her shoeboxes of photos that had been sealed and ‘protected’ for years.


Does her method of storing photos sound familiar to you? The sight of all those lost family memories did not distraught Fran; she simply pressed the retrieve button on her computer and the photo restoration was complete with lightning-fast speed. It was more like waving a magic wand to set back the time to fix a potential daunting problem. There was no weeping after the storm turned very personal memories into a stack of useless paper.


Whether, you have film negatives, 35mm slides or photo snapshots, you too can be spared from the next flood or natural disaster if you digitize your images.


ScanMyPhotos.com, a leading photo digitization company, based in California, provides a smart way to remedy the anxiety Fran faced when she realized all of her photos were damaged.


Prepaid fill-the-box photo scanning service with free shipping and handling, along with individual photo scanning are the recommended solution to protect photos, and how to share pictures on Facebook, Instragram, smartphones and other photo sharing platforms.


In the case of Fran, she had ordered the ScanMyPhotos.com prepaid box that holds upwards of 2,000 standard photos, which was mailed to her home and included all return shipping information. It was easy to mail off those photos, and in her case, just in time to have it scanned to DVDs. Along with traditional photo scanning service, we feature rotating pictures, photo enhancement, instant uploading, hard cover bound custom photo index albums; scanning each picture in the order provided with extra DVDs, or thumb drives — as backup.


Once scanned, it is essential to store the Thumb Drives and DVDs of your digitized photos offsite. ScanMyPhotos.com provides very cost-effective volume ordering of extra archival media and recommends you store copies with relatives, in your office, and locked away in safety deposit box vaults. Prepare for the worst and have your preparedness plan in place now.


Related News

In a related story, check out USA Today tech reporter, Jefferson Graham’s story on preserving your memories in which he recommends using ScanMyPhotos as a first step in protecting your photos from natural disasters and organizing past photos.


http://www.scanmyphotos.com/blog/2015/01/jefferson-graham-usa-today-scan-old-photos.html


ScanMyPhotos.com has made a business from the popular trending social media hashtag #TBT (ThrowbackThursday), as everyone wants to share decades past pictures, but can’t unless each is digitized


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Are Your Family Photos Prepared For Any Disaster?

If your house caught fire tomorrow, what’s the one thing you would save? Before you decide on that difficult answer, you should know that by participating in National Preparedness Month this September, you might be able to save a lot more than just one thing.



 

<p>The logo for National Preparedness Month 2016 with space to customize for regions/states logos.</p>

 

Sponsored by FEMA, National Preparedness Month was created to encourage everyone in our nation to prepare for emergencies—whether it’s a terrorist attack, fire, earthquake or flood. Our intrepid CEO, Mitch Goldstone, is a big believer in being prepared, and it is something he has ingrained in all of us here at ScanMyPhotos. To make sure you are fully prepared, head over to Ready.gov, where you will find plenty of resources.


A logo that reads National Preparedness Month 2017. Disasters don't plan ahead. You can. Around the text there are green icons depicting a first aid kit, a flash light, a battery, a piggy bank, and a radio.


In addition to survival preparation, let’s take a step back to that fire question—are all of the irreplaceable items in your home safe? Most material items can be replaced, but any item with an emotional attachment could be lost forever if a disaster occurs. These items often include those old boxes and albums of family photos—it’s impossible to replace those moments in time once they’re lost.



<p>A graphic promoting National Preparedness Month that has been formatted for Facebook.</p>

 

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CNET: Scan & Archive Old Printed Photos

The Fall edition of CNET Magazine features (page 30) a profile on how to reduce clutter and share nostalgic memories by digitizing your entire collection of decades-past photos. Among the methods profiled is to have a professional bulk photo scanning service do all the laborious work for you.


Excerpt:


LET SOMEONE ELSE SCAN YOUR PHOTOS


If all of this sounds like a giant head-ache, consider outsourcing your photo scanning to a paid service. For Example, ScanMyPhotos.com scans … your photos starting at 16 cents apiece, depending on the scan quality you choose.  Alternatively, the company can send you a box to fill up that it scans for a flat rate [including free 3-way S/H] for $145.  According to ScanMyPhotos, the flat-rate box typically holds 1,800 photos.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


CNET Magazine Fall issue (page 30), How to digitize photos — recommends ScanMyPhotos.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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