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Top Tips to Scan Your Images for Printing on Canvas?


This week’s MailBag question is in regards to scanning an image or photograph for printing. If you do not have a digital copy of your favorite photo, you can always scan your physical image first.

Question: Do you have any tips for scanning your photos to get the best results for printing on canvas?

Answer: “The best tip that we can give you is to plan before you scan!”

Why do we say plan? Many factors of scanning may differ based on what you are looking to do with the final image. Are you looking at enlarging the original photo for printing on canvas?

If this is the case you need to consider the following things:

: The resolution refers to the dots or pixels per inch of your photo. The more dots/pixels per inch (dpi) in your photo the more detail you will be able to see when you look at the image close up. (Pixels are the little squares that together make up the image)

  • As a general rule of thumb it is best to scan your images at the highest level possible.
  • Scanning between 300dpi and 600dpi will result in the best image quality from the original size. (Remember the higher the number the better the overall image resolution).

File Format: When scanning an image it is best to save your image as a JPEG or a TIFF file.

  • JPEP’s are great for enlarging photos for printing on canvas put a TIFF actually records more detail.
  • I suggest saving your scan as a TIFF first, and then as a JPEG. This will give you more versatility to work with your images

Bit Depth: When scanning an image you will have several options for bit depth to consider:

  • Grayscale
  • Black and White
  • Full Color

It is suggested that you always scan in Full Color even if your photo is in Black and White. You will get more detail from the image. Which will create a better print in the end.

Photo Credit (Ségozyme)

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Wondering  about the kinds of images you should use to create canvas prints?
Check out last week’s MailBag to find out more.