Before Saving Scanned Photos, Think About Compression

Posted by ed oboyle on Thu, May 16, 2013 @ 06:00 AM

Before Saving Scanned Photos, Think About CompressionDepending on the size of your photo collection, it can take quite a while to scan each photo and edit it for optimal viewing. We know you have ensured that the channel registration is set correctly and tone contrast is just right. You’ve probably also spent hours cropping each photo and removing red eye. You even took the best steps to protect the original prints. Before you complete saving your scanned photo, make sure to take note of compression. The process of saving a picture can effect its quality. Don’t let your hard work go to waste! Understanding how to appropriately compress your scanned photos will result in beautifully preserved memories.

How Compression Affects Scanned Photos 

High quality photos often have a very large file size. An entire collection of high quality images can quickly take up hard drive space and slow down your entire operating system. Compressing photos saves storage space while maintaining quality. There are methods that allow you to reverse the compressing effects but they don’t truly save space. Irreversible compression methods save the most space but you must be careful when compressing scanned photos. Compression artifacts can appear as blurred areas or even a monotone color block. When this occurs, a hard edge may form around the area, detracting from the scanned photos.

Types of Compression Schemes

  • Lossy Compression: This is used with multimedia data and discards certain information to save file space. Photo quality can be sacrificed.

  • JPEG Compression: The most common method of lossy compression for image files is JPEG compression - you can select the degree of compression.

  • Lossless Compression: Typically used for important text documents, this scheme produces an exact replica of the original but produces a large file.

  • Wavelet Compression: This form can be used for image, video and audio files and allows you to choose between lossless or lossy compression.

  • Fractal Compression: Best suited for textural and natural scanned photos, this is a form of lossy compression for digital images. 

Choosing the right compression format for your scanned photos can be the difference between a good or bad quality collection. Familiarize yourself with the various file formats or just use a professional photo scanning service. At FotoBridge we can scan your photos and save them in the correct format.

Looking for more information on how to select the right photo scanning service for you? Our free ebook points you in the right direction of the top things to consider!


Topics: Compression, Scanned Photos

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