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Scanning Images

Information for the BC Community

Vigee-LeBrun: Self Portrait at the Easel

If you are unable to find an acceptable digital version of the image you want in any of the B.C. collections or other online sources, you'll want to find the best-quality reproduction possible to make a scan. Try to find an "authoritative" reproduction — such as one on the holding museum's website, even if that image is small — and evaluate your reproduction for

Once you have a good reproduction, you're ready to scan. If you don't have a scanner, there's one in Bapst Library that you can use.

  1. To prevent "bleed-through" of images or text on the reverse of the page you're scanning, insert a piece of black or dark gray paper behind the page you're scanning.
  2. Place the reproduction on the scanner, adjusting it so the edges of the reproduction are parallel to the edges of the scanner glass. If the "gutter" (the inside of the binding) of the book comes close to one edge of your image, you can minimize glare on your resulting scan by orienting the book so that the binding of the book is parallel to the longer edges of the scanner glass. You may also want to exert (using your hand or another book) some gentle pressure on the book to flatten the page against the glass, but be careful not to harm the book's binding.
  3. Open the scanning software and choose the color scanning mode (24-bit color, if that option is available). Set the resolution at 96 dpi, and your target size to 1600 pixels in the vertical dimension. If the horizontal dimension does not change automatically when you enter the "1600," you may need to click a nearby button or checkbox (which may say something like "constrain proportions" or "maintain aspect ratio") to get it to do so.
  4. Using the scanner software, execute a "preview" of the reproduction, and check the orientation of the resulting image to see if your reproduction needs to be repositioned so that it's straight. If so, reposition and repeat the preview operation until you're satisfied.
  5. Select the part of the preview area that you want to scan, and execute the scan.
  6. Save your resulting scan as a JPEG (.jpg).
  7. If you want to perform some "post-processing" of your JPEG, you can use PicMonkey to rotate, crop, and adjust the color and contrast of your images.

See also Working with Digital Images.

Image courtesy of Saskia, Ltd.
Elisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun, "Self-portrait at the Easel," 1790 (Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence)