Slide Scanning Color Considerations as Part of DpsDave Slide Scanning Services At DpsDave, all our slide scanning equipment is calibrated using the national color standard, the ANSI T8 target shown here.

Slide Scanning Color Considerations

At DpsDave, all of our slide scanning equipment is calibrated using the national color standard, the ANSI T8 target shown here.

When snapping a photograph or picture, we know that the most important aspect of your shot is how the picture will eventually look after it is taken and printed out. Clear, refined, and detailed color is crucial to any picture that you take. With our services, we are providing your old image with crystal clear enhancements that make your photo look completely new. Just take a look at our example below, and you will see how well our restoration turns out after the process is completed.

With our photo adjustments, you will see the color quality come to life in all of your pictures. You will then be able to remember the exact moment that you shot your photograph, and when you finally receive your restored images back in the mail, you will be able to have your treasured memory to share with your friends and loved ones. Here at DpsDave, we want you to be able to share those past memories as new ones.

Color is often thought of in absolute terms. Skies are blue, roses are red. Actually, object colors can change when different types of light fall on them. A rose is a different color under a deep blue sky in direct sunlight than it is when it’s raining. Nay, nay you say? Read on to learn how our brains compensate for these differences, and what it takes to get correct color from slide scanning.

The Quality of Color

Accurate color lends realism to your digitized photographs. Scientists use 2 metrics when describing color, “correlated color temperature” (CCT), or “color rendering index” (CRI). CCT is about the appearance of the light itself. CRI is about how something illuminated by a particular light looks in comparison to the same object illuminated by a standardized light source. Digital photography uses the CCT method, as do all the scanners used by digital conversion services. .

All objects on earth emit light. If an object is hot enough, the light emitted is in our visible spectrum, and we can see it. Otherwise, the light is in the infrared part of the color spectrum. The color of an object is determined by the wavelength of the light it is emitting, and the wavelength is determined by the temperature of the object. Perhaps you have seen references to the “color temperature” – it  is a good way to accurately describe what color an object is.

Color changes from red to orange to white to as temperature increases. For example, the temperature of a candle flame is 2780 degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists like to use the Kelvin scale, so the candle’s color temperature is known as 1800 degrees Kelvin.

If you are familiar with the color correction controls in a digital camera, or color correction elements of sophisticated photo editing software, you will recognize the “degrees Kelvin” nomenclature. Here are the color temperatures of some common things:

  • Incandescent lamp: 3,000K
  • Moonlight: 4,000K
  • Cool white fluorescent lamp: 5,000K
  • Clear blue sky: 6,000K
  • Computer screen: 6,500K

How To Assure Accurate Colors:

For high fidelity color reproduction, the display (TV or computer screen) that you use needs to be adjusted correctly. Computer monitors are set at the factory with a color temperature of 6500K, which is bright daylight. Cameras usually come from the factory with their color temperature set to 6500K as well. However, webpage viewing and working on spreadsheets benefit from a higher color temperature, so most people run their computer screens at 9000K. Televisions (flat screen or CRT) are set at the factory to a much lower color temperature, as this is better for viewing movies. If you view your digital images on your TV, they will look yellowed or red, unless you crank up the color temperature of the TV. DPSDave’s professional slide scanning service understands these issues, and assures that the colors on your computer match as closely as possible the colors on the original (non-faded) slide.

LASL color error

A Rose In Any Other Light …

A rose looks the same color regardless of the weather conditions. If it’s overcast or sunny, we know that the rose didn’t change its color. (That would be crazy!) However, if you measured it’s color with a color meter, it would say the rose changed its color. How is it that the rose color looks the same?

There are 3 reasons:

  1. The color difference is slight.
  2. Differences in illuminating light affect light colors more than dark colors, since dark colors are absorbing most of the light.
  3. Our brains compensate. Otherwise, everybody would think we are crazy!

For instance, a common occurrence is that two witnesses to a car crash will remember different car colors. One thinks the car was red, the other thinks it was green. This is because we don’t see with our eyes, we see with our brains. Our eyes take a bunch of snapshots, and the brain stitches them together and fills in the blanks. When viewing a rose that you’ve seen earlier in the day, the eyes see the color accurately but the brain remembers and corrects the color. You have to really concentrate and train yourself to see these slight differences in color like this.

Great photographers keep these color relationships in their heads as they compose a picture, and it is part of the reason why their photographs stand out from the rest! Great slide scanning requires that these colors be accurately digitized.

At DpsDave, all of our slide scanning equipment is calibrated using the national color standard, the ANSI T8 target shown above.

When you get your digitized images and original slides back from DpsDave, we want you to experience the colors in the digitized photo as true to the place or event being photographed.