How to convert 35 mm slides into digital images?
If you have a ton of 35mm slides lying around that you'd like to convert to digital photos the first thing you're going to need to do is get yourself a scanner that includes a slide and photo negative attachment.
Once you have the right scanner, getting the slides scanned is actually pretty simple, though it can be time-consuming if you have a lot of slides to get done.
The best way to tackle the task is to take it slow and get yourself organized. Separate your slides into piles of most important to least important. I also recommend being ruthless about bad photos --- don't bother scanning slides where the picture is out of focus (even if it is just a little) or the color is off, or the composition is bad.
Take this opportunity to go through your collection and find the best representations of moments from your life that you want to remember. Then put the rest of the slides back in the box and shove that box right back under your bed!
Many photographers will tell you that scanning photos is as much an art as it is a science. If you are preserving photos for their artistic value as well as the memories they recall, then you might want to read up on how to get the most out of your scanning equipment.
Finding the Right Scanner
There are lots of flatbed scanners that come with a built-in film adapter for scanning both slides and negatives. Canon, Epson and HP all make them and I don't think you can go wrong with any of these brands. Here are a couple of choices that you might want to consider.
Most of today's photo scanners will aso help you do some quick restoration work on your images. They won't take out any deep scratches, but if your negatives or slides have faded over time, the retouch feature can usually help bring the color back to life.
If you have any slides that have lots of dust on them, try using a can of compressed air to clean them off.
This Canon scanner is currently the #1 seller on Amazon, with lots of good reviews. It does a great job on slides and negatives and also works perfectly well as a document scanner. It can handle 4 slides at a time. Just make sure you update the driver software from the Canon website before you put this scanner to work.
Some multifunction or All-in-One Copiers and Printers will also allow you to scan slides. So if you already have one of these it may not be necessary to run out and get a brand new scanner. Take a look at the video above for a hint on where to find the hidden slide attachment in a Canon printer/copier.
Photo Editing Software
Fixing your photos
You will probably find that your photos will need tweaking after you've scanned your slides. So getting some photo editing software is a good idea. While Photoshop is the idea solution, it can also be difficult to work with if you are not familiar with it. It almost does too much stuff!
There is a handful of serviceable photo editing suites available that will get the task down without bogging you down in tons of options and they won't empty your wallet completely. My favorites, Adobe Photoshop Elements and Corel's Paint Shop Pro, are both easy to work with and have plenty of features for making your photos stand-out without overwhelming you with options.
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