Do You Have a Better Scanner Than Me?

September 27, 2016

In a recent client meeting, we were discussing a number of old photos that needed to be scanned for a Web site. I understand that clients always want to save money if there are tasks they can complete themselves. In this case, I’d suggested that I should scan the photos for the client. The response I received was “do you have a better scanner than me?”

The literal answer to the question is that I really don’t know since I have no idea what scanner the client has available. A good (or is it bad?) sign is that the client wasn’t very good with technology as a whole. While this conversation was transpiring, we waited at least 20 minutes for his laptop to boot.

So while this client may technically have a better scanner, the operator of the scanner is every bit as important. In this case, I firmly believe that we also have a superior scanner in addition to graphics skills the client does not possess.

Within the collection of photos needing to be scanned were two very faded color photos that were at least seventy years old. While there is no quick way to magically bring back vivid color, quickly overlaying a copy of the photo made it a bit more colorful.

Two photos were torn out of a printed magazine. Moire could be a huge problem if the pictures weren’t processed correctly. Three more scans were of nearly eighty year old newspaper clippings. After just a few minutes of magic, we have removed all of the yellow and eliminated the moire.

It took a total of an hour to scan and process the photos provided. The end result is ready to post on a Web site. Had the client scanned the photos, we might have requested they be scanned again to get the best originals. Then we still would have needed to process the photos. In all likelihood, the time we investigated would have been longer than an hour.

What is most important for the client in this case is that by allowing us to scan the photos, they got the best results in the least amount of time!

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