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Using a scanner to produce images by Gog

Using a scanner to scan your finds is one of the easiest ways of producing high quality images for use, when recording with UKDFD. Scanners can be purchased from around £50, and can achieve image quality to rival even the best digital cameras on the market. The main advantage of using a scanner to photograph finds, is that you shouldn't have a problem with incorrect depth of field (fuzziness of part of the image) which tends to plague macro photography.

Getting Started

First check that the glass bed of your scanner is clean and dust free. I use a VDU screen wipe to clean the glass, removing finger prints and dust before each scan.

Choose a suitable background

If you leave the scanner lid up when scanning in a dimly lit room, you can achieve a black background with no shadows (see first image on left below.)

Or you could lay coloured paper directly on top of the find to give a contrasting background. The only problem with paper lying so close to the find is the resulting shadow.

The last image on right (above) was scanned using the ICC method. An ICC (Ice-cream container) is placed over the find on the scanner. Because the ICC is sufficiently away from the object, no shadow is evident in the grey to white background produced.

The lid up or ICC methods are probably the best methods for scanning three dimensional artefacts.

Scanning your find

Place your find and cm scale1 on to the glass bed and open your scanner software (if it hasn't automatically done so.) Click preview and select the area containing the find.

Adjust the settings to increase the quality of the final output.
I try to scan images with file sizes of around 5Mb.

1. You don't need to add a cm scale at this point .If you want to add it in your image editing software later.

The settings on the left are my typical settings for scanning most hammered coins. I set the resolution to 1200dpi to guarantee maximum detail in the raw image output.

Press the Scan button to scan your find. Then repeat the previous steps to produce further images of your find, from different view points. Coins will need an image of both sides, obverse and reverse. Artefacts should be scanned from different angles, recording all relevant detail. Giving our identification team good images of your finds will assist in fast reliable identifications.
Remember you can upload three images for each record you post.

Re-sizing and converting to JPEG
Open each image in your favourite photo editing software. Adjust brightness, contrast and crop the image, removing excess background. Add a scale to your image if needed and re-size your images keeping them large enough for our identification team to identify. Below is an example of my favourite size setting of 600 pixels at a screen resolution of 72dpi.
Save your image as a JPEG at medium quality. There isn't a file size upload limit for your images, but it should be easy to keep them below 100kb in size.
As you can see on the left, each of the images below are under 15Kb, but are still physically large images (600 pixels high.)

UKDFD Copyright 2005
Version 2005.06.13