Converting Prints to Digital


I am always impressed with your PC talents and stuff, and I’ve been struggling with this for quite some time, and still do NOT know the answer. Over my lifetime and in all my travels to the 51 countries I’ve been privileged to visit, I took photos with the “APP” of the day – 35mm slides. Conservatively, I probably have about four thousand.

I’d like to get some – say maybe 500 or so – into actual photos or into MY PICTURES in my computer. I recently purchased the top notch CanonScan 900F scanner, and it is marvelous. It has what they call a “Slide Application.’ You put this sleeve that’s got four slots, and then you insert sides into that and put same on scanner. But I do not know how to get ACTUAL prints and/or how to get same into my PC.

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About 3 months ago I took 75 slides to Costco and had them make me a DVD of all of them. An incredible, amazing bargain for $18!!! But I do not know what to do now. What do I do with the DVD? Can I put same into my PC? Can I make prints of key ones?

Or is there another way for me to get/make prints of my 35mm slides? Your expert advice is, yet again, sought out, and whatever words of wisdom and advice on this (to me) very vexing problem, would be hugely valued and appreciated. This is all probably kids stuff for you and lots of dumb questions – but as noted, from what I’ve seen you do daily (hourly!?) with Tboy and all, it is obvious you are VERY talented with all that sort of hi tech expertise.




Hi John,

Thanks for your confidence in my ability. You realize of course that when my skills are preempted by such glaring praises it’s hard for me to dismiss the request for help.

I think 75 slides for $18 is a steal. Be sure that you only choose that ones that matter and make sure there are no repeats. Editing ahead can save $$$.

Now that you have them in DVD (or CD), you can certainly print. But more importantly, you have already preserved your slides doing that. Film and print is not as durable as a digital file (of course you should make sure you don’t lose the DVD). Rather than put it in a DVD, I wonder if you could request Costco to store the pictures in an external hard drive (that’s a little box that can store millions of images — you can purchase one online for about $100 and I can tell you where to go but check first with Costco if this is possible). It would be best if you had a program called Photoshop (even an old version will do).

The most basic way to print it out will be to flop in the DVD, bring up the pictures, choose the one you want to print, and then look for a command option in the menu that says PRINT or has a picture of a printer. Not sure how it will print because there are many variables — the model of your printer, the size of your paper, the orientation of your paper (horizontal or vertical), etc.

There are two formats of any kind of picture — either RGB or CMYK. RGB formats (Red, Green, Blue) are made to be viewed on a person’s monitor. If you print an RGB photo, the colors will be washed out. You need to convert the RGB photo into a CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, K – for Black) format so the colors will be rich. A major reason why I would recommend you use Photoshop is because it allows you to convert RGB photos into CMYK.

OK, I see your tongue hanging out. This is way too complex already.

Which is why I think you should just bring your DVD to Kinkos or Staples or any cheaper competitor and have the experts do it for you. You can have the pictures sized to your liking. Another reason why I think Kinko’s would be best is even if you learned how to do all these things, you will need to spend $$ on ink and nice paper. It might cost you the same or more rather than do it professionally.

Of course if you like to do crafts and learn in the process, then this is certainly a fun project. My father printed family photos (faded but recognizable) and pasted them in a giant picture frame — he made a beautiful collage and not even Kinko’s could have done such a wonderful labor of love.

And that’s how I see things.


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