Digital Scanning and Photography

Overview

This fast-facts reference offers an engaging, easy-to-understand introduction to the tools and how-to's of digital scanning and photography. Home users learn the basics for using the latest digital imaging technologies — including the built-in capabilities in the new Windows Millennium Edition operating system — to take, scan, edit, print, and e-mail digital pictures. Coverage includes converting pictures from conventional point-and-shoot cameras and other media to digital format, selecting and operating a ...

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Overview

This fast-facts reference offers an engaging, easy-to-understand introduction to the tools and how-to's of digital scanning and photography. Home users learn the basics for using the latest digital imaging technologies — including the built-in capabilities in the new Windows Millennium Edition operating system — to take, scan, edit, print, and e-mail digital pictures. Coverage includes converting pictures from conventional point-and-shoot cameras and other media to digital format, selecting and operating a digital camera, manipulating images on the PC, adding special effects, and sending pictures electronically.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735610125
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press
  • Publication date: 9/2/2000
  • Series: EU-Independent Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 7.42 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Gookin is a writer and computer guru whose favorite saying is "Computers are a notoriously dull subject, but that doesn't mean I have to write about them that way." Combining his dry wit with an entertaining and engaging writing style, Dan has written over 70 books about computers, including the international bestsellers DOS for Dummies and PCs for Dummies, both from IDG Books Worldwide. All told, his books have been translated into 29 foreign languages and have sold over 5 million copies. Dan's current titles include How to Use Excel 2000, Word 2000 for Dummies and Dan Gookin Teaches Windows 98, from Macmillan Computer Publishing.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 6: Modifying the Image

Stuff covered here

  • Using the scanning program
  • Changing image size and orientation
  • Adjusting the brightness and contrast and applying filters
  • Using your imaging-editing software
  • Cropping, rotating, and resizing the image
  • Adding text to an image
  • Using the clone tool
  • Touching up and editing

Scanning is a lot more complex than using a photocopier, which is a good thing. Not every scan is merely a copy of an original. No, thanks to the power and versatility of your computer, you can improve upon the original. This can be done in two places: in the scanning program itself and in your imaging software.

This chapter covers modifying the images you scan. The techniques and examples show you how useful it can be to adjust, touch up, or improve your image before or after it's scanned.

Some Scanning Tricks and Tips

Your scanning program allows you to do more than just scan. Already this book has shown you how to preview, magnify, select, and scan an image. Chapter 5 dealt with selecting resolution and color depth, which is also a function of the scanning program. Beyond that, most scanning programs let you do a few other things to an image before it's transferred to the imaging software for further touch-ups.

Using your scanning program, you can:

  • Change an image's size
  • Rotate or flip the image
  • Change the contrast or brightness or adjust color levels
  • Apply a filter

There are probably other tricks you can perform in the scanning program as well. The following sections go into detail on why and how you would accomplish these tricks. Note that not every scanning program is capable of these tricks. (Not to worry; nearly all the imaging or photo-editing programs available can easily handle these tasks.)

Running Your Scanning Program

Before you discover what wonders your scanning program is capable of, you'll need to start that program.

Activate the Scanning Program

  1. Run your imaging or photo-editing software.

    Popular imaging programs are listed in Chapter 1. Most likely you have either Adobe PhotoDeluxe or Photoshop, though other applications can also work with a scanner.


    FYI:
    You must run the imaging software before you can scan. Imaging software merely opens the door to the scanning program, which is where the actual scanning takes place. Refer to Chapter 4 for a review of how to operate your scanning program.
  2. Activate the scanning program.

    You should be able to use a command on the File menu to do this, but in some programs you need to click a button on a toolbar. (See Chapter 4.)

  3. Switch your scanning program to advanced mode.

    If you've been using beginner mode to scan, you should switch to advanced mode now. Clicking an Advanced or More Options button should do the trick.


    TIP:
    If your scanning program lacks an advanced mode, that's fine. It probably has all the options you need, although be sure to check for optional menu items or pop-up buttons that may display more information.

    Now you're ready to scan an image and work through the next few sections in this chapter. I'm assuming your scanning program is up on the screen and that you're familiar with its basic operation, as covered earlier in this book.

Changing the Image Size

Your scanning program may be blessed with options for reducing or enlarging the image as it's scanned. Remember that the image is normally rendered at its actual size; scanning a 5-inch-by-5-inch original results in an image that is the same size. However, you can change that size within the scanning program.

For example, suppose you're scanning in a 5-by-3 photograph to post on your Web page. You don't want the image to be that large on the Web page, although half that size would be OK. Within your scanning program, you can set the scale to 50 percent.

Change the Size of an Image

  1. Place an image to be scanned in the scanner.
  2. Click the Preview button to preview the image.

    The image should appear in the scanning program, ready for action.

  3. Reduce the image's size by half (50 percent).

    In the VistaScan program, this is done by selecting 50 percent from the drop-down list, as shown in Figure 6-1. Other scanning programs may have a drop-down list, slider, or text box in which you type the scale for reducing or enlarging the image.

    Note that you may not see the image physically change size. Why? Because you're looking at a preview of the image as it sits in your scanner. You'll see only the smaller (or larger) image after it's scanned and transferred into the imaging software...

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Table of Contents

Introduction  Page ix
CHAPTER 0 Well, What’s This?  Page 1
    Just What Is "Scanning?"  Page 2
        I got a scanner as a present and I’m eager to scan something. Where the heck do I start reading?  Page 2
        I’m thinking of getting a scanner, am I nuts?  Page 2
    Why on Earth Would Anyone Need a Digital Camera?  Page 3
    I’m Done Reading Chapter 0, Now What?  Page 3
CHAPTER 1 The Lowdown on Computer Graphics  Page 5
    Computer Hardware Requirements  Page 6
        You Need at Least 32 MB of RAM  Page 7
        You Need at Least a 2-GB Hard Drive  Page 10
        You Need a Fast, Fast, Fast Microprocessor  Page 14
    Getting a Good Color Printer  Page 15
        Two Types of Color Ink Printers  Page 15
        Using the Right Paper  Page 17
    Computer Graphics Software  Page 18
    Task List  Page 20
CHAPTER 2 Selecting the Perfect Scanner  Page 23
    The Bottom Line: Price  Page 24
        Resolution: The Higher the Better (but Not Too High)  Page 25
        How Deep Runs the Color?  Page 27
        On Top of the Optical Density  Page 27
        Finding the Proper Interface  Page 28
    Other Things to Look for in a Scanner  Page 29
        Scanner Size and Type  Page 30
        Scanner Speed  Page 30
        Software That Comes with the Thing  Page 30
        The Almighty Image Sensor  Page 31
        Other Options and Stuff  Page 32
    The Gamut of Scanners, Cheap to Oh-My-Gosh!  Page 33
    Task List  Page 33
CHAPTER 3 Introducing Your Scanner  Page 35
    Unpack Your Scanner!  Page 36
    Basic Scanner Parts  Page 37
    Installing the Scanner Software  Page 40
    Connecting theScanner to Your Computer  Page 41
        Plug In the Power Cable  Page 41
        Using the PC Printer Port Connection  Page 41
        Connecting a Scanner to a USB or FireWire Port  Page 43
        Wrestling with the SCSI Connection  Page 44
    Turn the Thing On!  Page 45
    Task List  Page 46
CHAPTER 4 Scanning and Saving an Image  Page 47
    Start by Running Your Imaging Software  Page 48
    Next, Run the Scanning Program  Page 49
        Activating the Scanning Program  Page 49
        Beginner or Advanced Mode?  Page 50
        Looking Over the Scanning Program  Page 52
        Load the Original  Page 52
        Previewing the Image  Page 54
        Selecting and Cropping  Page 55
        Scan!  Page 57
    Holy Moses! That’s Huge!  Page 58
    Saving in the Proper Format  Page 59
        Saving the Graphics Image in the Native Format  Page 60
        Saving in the JPEG, TIFF, or Other Formats  Page 63
        Saving in the GIF Format  Page 64
    Quitting Your Imaging Software  Page 65
    Task List  Page 65
CHAPTER 5 How Resolution Works  Page 67
    Why Is Resolution Such a Big Deal?  Page 68
    Everything Has a Resolution  Page 69
        The Start of It All: Image Resolution  Page 69
        Then There’s the Monitor’s Resolution  Page 73
        Finally, It’s the Printer’s Resolution  Page 77
        How to Choose the Proper Resolution  Page 77
    Diving into Color Depth  Page 79
        How Color Depth Works  Page 80
        The Special Case of Black-and-White Color Depth  Page 81
        How to Choose the Proper Color Depth  Page 82
    Task List  Page 82
CHAPTER 6 Modifying the Image  Page 85
    Some Scanning Tricks and Tips  Page 86
        Running Your Scanning Program  Page 86
        Changing the Image Size  Page 87
        Changing the Orientation  Page 89
        Adjusting Brightness and Contrast  Page 91
        Applying Filters and Other Adjustments  Page 92
    Photo Editing Tricks and Tips  Page 94
        Getting Started  Page 95
        Zooming  Page 96
        Cropping  Page 98
        Rotating  Page 99
        Resizing  Page 100
        Adding Text  Page 104
        Adjusting Brightness and Contrast  Page 107
        Selecting Parts of the Image  Page 110
        Copying and Cloning  Page 111
        Touching-Up or Painting  Page 114
        Other Things To Do  Page 116
    Task List  Page 117
CHAPTER 7 Selecting a Digital Camera  Page 119
    All About Digital Film  Page 120
        The Rewards of Digital Film  Page 121
        The Perils of Digital Film  Page 122
    How to Choose a Digital Camera  Page 124
        The Megapixel Question  Page 125
        How the Image Is Stored Inside the Camera  Page 128
        From the Camera to Your Computer  Page 130
        Other Worthy Digital Camera Features  Page 131
        A Few Final Thoughts  Page 136
    Task List  Page 137
CHAPTER 8 The Field Guide to Digital Photography  Page 139
    Setting Up the Camera  Page 140
    Taking a Picture  Page 143
        Choosing the Resolution  Page 143
        Framing the Image  Page 145
        Click!  Page 145
        Playing Back the Images  Page 146
        Deleting Images  Page 147
    Getting the Pictures into the Computer  Page 147
        Transferring 3 1/2-inch Floppies  Page 147
        Connecting the Camera to the Computer  Page 149
        Installing a Digital Camera with Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me)  Page 150
        Transferring the Photos  Page 151
    Task List  Page 153
CHAPTER 9 Images and the Internet  Page 155
    Formatting Images for the Internet  Page 156
        Sizing the Image  Page 157
        Choosing GIF or JPEG  Page 159
    Sending Images via E-Mail  Page 161
        Dealing with Problems  Page 164
        Sending Images to the Web  Page 165
    Task List  Page 165
Appendix A Questions and Answers  Page 167
Appendix B Popular Graphics File Types  Page 169
INDEX  Page 171
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