Tips & Tricks

Perfect Your Scanning Exposures

 

Do you know that the Epson Scan software that comes with your Epson Stylus TX-111 can help you adjust the exposures of photos that you scan? With this feature, you can control your scans to turn out perfectly exposed, even if they may be a little too dark or bright, faded or dull looking. Here is how you do it:

 

Welcome to Epson Scan

When you use any image editing software like Microsoft Windows Paint or Adobe Photoshop, you will be offered an option to import images from your Epson Stylus TX-111's scanner. When you select it, the Epson Scan software will auto automatically startup to begin the process.

 

Epson Scan

When you have chosen to import an image from your Epson stylus TX-111's scanner, the Epson Scan software will automatically start. On the Epson Scan dialog box, click ‘Preview' to generate a preview image of the photo you are scanning.

 

When the preview shows, you can start to adjust a whole range of settings like sharpening, colour tone, colour saturation and contrast. For this tip, we shall concentrate only on exposure. To change exposure, click on the histogram icon in the Epson Scan dialog box.

 

The Image Histogram

Histogram

 

When you have selected the histogram adjustment in Epson Scan, a new dialog box entitled ‘Histogram Adjustment' will appear and show the histogram of your photo. Without going into details, the histogram represents the distribution of the lighted pixels in an image. The horizontal scale is marked 0 to 255 and as you move down the scale, the "brightness" of the pixels increases. At 0, it is absolute black, and at 255, it is absolute white. The horizontal scale shows how many pixels in the photo are at a certain brightness level.

 

Below the histogram, you will see three triangles that you can slide along the horizontal scale.

 

  • The black triangle allows you to limit the black point

 

  • The white triangle allows you to limit the white point

 

  • The gray triangle allows you to adjust the midrange tones

 

 

Adjusting Exposure

Adjusting Exposure

Adjusting the arrows will allow you to achieve a better scan exposure by rendering more details. Here is how you do it.

In our image, we have chosen to set the black point to the value of 50, at the point where our histogram starts. This means that all pixels with values ranging from 0..50 will now be Black (0). 50 will become the new "blackest value" and pixels cannot get blacker than that. What we have done is to "clip" the end tones off of the histogram data.

Conversely, we have also chosen to set the white point to 245. So that becomes the new "brightest" value and you cannot get brighter than 245.

With this setting, the image tones will now be expanded or stretched to fill the total range, meaning that values from 50 to 245 will be mapped to be 0..255 and the new stretched tonal range has more shades of gray possible within it, and thus can show more detail.

Sometimes the colors in a dull-looking, low-contrast or faded prints can be amazingly revived by clipping both black and white points aggressively.  

As for the gray triangle, slide it until the image shows the exposure and image detail you would like for your scanned photo. Sliding it toward the black point will darken the image, while sliding it toward the right will brighten the image. Avoid making the image too dark or bright or details that are now enhanced by limiting the black and white points will be lost.

Do you notice that our photo now shows marginally more detail and has better contrast now?

After these adjustments, you are ready to scan your photo into your software.