From slide to scan

Q. I’m trying to turn a set of slides into high-quality digital images I can use for Web sites and brochures advertising my work. How can I do that?

A. High-quality 35mm slides have been the artistOs standard method of record keeping for many years. To use these images in promotional materialsNincluding CDs of original paintings and on Web sitesNthey must be turned into digital files. In the optimal situation, you could request that scans of each slide be burned to a CD when the photo lab develops your slide film. If needed, these digital files could produce a quality print as large as the painting and could also be reduced in size for use in other situations. Having this process done professionally is expensive, but labs use high-quality equipment and they know what theyOre doing.

You can also perform this process on your own with minimal computer savvy. There are user-friendly scanners available that attach to your computer. Flatbed scanners, for example, run as little as $150 and can be used to capture color and black-and-white photos. They often come with an optional transparency adapter, in which slides are placed and pressed against the scannerOs glass plate. Light passes through the transparent film and the resulting information is stored on the computer. The resolution of the scans can be good, but the quality of the images is usually directly proportional to the price of the scanner. There are also scanners dedicated strictly to scanning slides, photos and negatives. Their only disadvantage is the time consumed by scanning one slide at a time.

For more information, check How Do I Do That?, a website about digital photography, scanning and printing. Also try comparison shopping at sites like, and

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