Read an Excerpt
Chapter 1: What You Can Do with Your Scanner
- Figure out what projects you can use your scanner for
- Survey the tools and capabilities associated with scanning
- Set project goals for yourself and your scanner
- Start learning what you need to know to accomplish different projects
Scanners Transform Paper Images into Digital OnesScanners are relatively inexpensive, yet powerful, imaging devices. Perhaps you wonder what's so great about the capability to scan photos, especially if you can use your office copier for free.
A scanner is much more than a device that allows you to make copies. A scanner allows you to transform what appears on a piece of paper to a digital image that can be stored and edited on your computer.
Why Scanned Images Are Better than Paper OnesThe photos that capture your most precious memories can be made a lot more poignant when you convert them to digital images. Business graphics, logos, and visual presentations can work ever so much more effectively if they, too, are captured in a digital format. For starters, scanned images can be manipulated, edited, stored, emailed, and posted on the Web.
You Can Touch-Up and Correct a Scanned ImageTaking a photo can be a maddening process. Kids don't sit still, and adults blink at the wrong time. Even if everyone does cooperate, there's that horrific red-eye effect that ruins many a perfect portrait. Scanning is a benevolent technology that allows you to correct the unfortunate flaws that otherwise ruin a perfectly captured memory.
For example, PhotoSuite and PhotoDeluxe, two image-editing programs commonly included with scanners, both allow you to correct the red-eye effect with a click of your mouse. Other tools allow you to correct blurry images, and fix flaws such as a milk mustache or an awkwardly hanging tree branch. For example, Figures 1-1 and 1-2 illustrate how this technology can be used to air-brush the braces on the model's teeth and smooth her uncombed hair....
...You can use scanning technology to compensate for bad lighting at the time you took the photo. Most image-editing programs have features that allow you to correct a digital image to compensate for under- and overexposure. Figure 1-3 shows a photo with both under- and overexposed areas. For examples, areas where the sun is reflecting off a rock and behind the subject are overexposed (too light) while the majority of the photo appears underexposed (too dark). Figure 1-4 shows the same photograph after the tools in the PhotoSuite 4 program have been used to correct the effects of both the under- and overexposure. The PhotoSuite Enhance feature simultaneously adjusts all the light and dark areas of the photo to achieve the optimum effect with literally a single mouse click....
...Colors in a scanned photo can also be corrected. Have you ever taken a photo where the lighting makes everyone appear jaundiced? Or had a photo turn a reddish color from poor developing? Once you've scanned the off-color photo, you can apply simple-to-use color-correction tools, like the ones shown in Figure 1-5....
Chapter 10 tells you which image-editing tools to use for specific tasks.