A scanning guide for lovers of analogue film photography

Hybrid workflows from analogue film to digital image

Obtaining high-quality scans from consumer-grade scanners can be frustrating. Some manuals are not instructive, software interfaces are often obtuse, and manufacturers make claims that are sometimes less than helpful. 

Moreover, many scanning workflows involve deciding what the image should look like, or how large it should be displayed. Such decisions should not be made during the scanning process, but in a far later stage.

The workflows described in "The Illustrated Guide to Film Scanning" aim to extract objectively the maximum amount of detail that is present in the original negative or transparency film, in both highlights and shadow areas, without imposing a subjective interpretation onto the look of the image, on screen or in print. Follow the steps described in this guide to scan your image just the one time. Once that scan is saved as a kind of analogue RAW file, you can return to it time and again, without ever having to rescan the image.

This guide is intended for enthusiasts, semi-pro and pro analogue photographers who want to make better scans of their analogue images (both transparency and negative) and who own or are willing to invest in a desktop film or flatbed scanner and licensed versions of Adobe Photoshop CS (or later), SilverFast Ai6 (or later) or VueScan, and the ColorPerfect plug-in.

Although this is not an in-depth guide to the many features of VueScan, it is perfectly possible to create high-quality scans with VueScan by following the steps in this guide, clearly illustrated with screenshots. I can wholeheartedly recommend using VueScan for this process. Click here to order VueScan.

Available from all worldwide Amazon channels in both print and Kindle versions.

Please order your copy through this link: "The Illustrated Guide to Film Scanning" on Amazon.com

Frequently asked question: Does this guide cover scanning black-and-white film?

Answer: Not as such, but you can follow the workflow for scanning color negative film and convert the resulting image to black and white in Photoshop. The workflow extracts all information present in the film, be it black and white or color.

Finally, a clear step-by-step guide that will help you get the most out of your valuable analogue images