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Importing photos from a scanner - is it possible and how to

jenthomas1

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I've just found a load of "old fashioned" photographs with their negatives. I'm wondering if it's possible to scan them (using my Canon MG4250 printer/scanner) directly into Lightroom and whether I can edit them from there. Or is there another way to get them into Lightroom for editing?

I'm really new to Lightroom and not very technical so need very simple instructions! So far all I've done with Lightroom is import images from my Nikon D3300 and some editing of them.
 
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Welcome to the forum. You will need to use some intermediate software to do the scanning. Most AIO devices come with such software. There are other dedicated scanning software that will also do the job to. (The Preview App that ships with OS X is all you need with a Mac, there may be an equivalent to this in Windows,)
The Scanning app will scan images to a folder designated by the user. If you turn Auto Import on in LR and set this same folder as a watch folder, any TIFF or JPEG files that are created in the folder by the scanning app will automatically be imported by LR into your catalog.
 

rob211

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If you happen to have Photoshop as part of the CC subscription, you can use that for certain scanners. Depends on what drivers the scanner uses, I believe. I actually found that Elements was better in some ways; seemed to simplify the steps. One real timesaver, though, is software that has good filters for dust removal. It can be a real pain to do that manually.
 
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You will need to use some intermediate software to do the scanning...The Scanning app will scan images to a folder designated by the user. If you turn Auto Import on in LR and set this same folder as a watch folder, any TIFF or JPEG files that are created in the folder by the scanning app will automatically be imported by LR into your catalog.
I use this workflow because Lightroom is just as great for scans as it is for digital camera images. I use VueScan to scan negative filmstrips as batch scans of multiple frames. The scanning software saves all the frames into the folder I designated, and I can watch them automatically appear in Lightroom, ready for processing, because I set up the same folder for Auto Import. All I have to do is switch between the scanning software and Lightroom; it isn't even necessary to switch to the desktop. It's almost as good as if you were scanning from inside Lightroom itself.

If you are doing negatives, try to pick scanning software that does a good job of inverting them to positive. While inverting is possible in Lightroom, it is often more easily and more accurately done in the scanning software, especially for color negatives.

What's nice about Lightroom is that once you have corrected the tone/contrast/color balance of the first one or two frames in a roll, chances are the rest of the roll will need similar corrections. Lightroom makes it easy to copy/paste or sync the corrections to all of the other frames in the roll instantaneously, and then when you go frame by frame you can make any further frame-specific corrections that are needed. You can also add captions, keywords, locations, and other metadata to scans in bulk and with presets, just as you would with digital camera images. It would take a lot longer to edit the same 24- or 36-frame roll in Photoshop.
 

PhilBurton

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...

You can also add captions, keywords, locations, and other metadata to scans in bulk and with presets, just as you would with digital camera images. It would take a lot longer to edit the same 24- or 36-frame roll in Photoshop.
Conrad,

Do you add any metadata about the camera or lens or film? How?

Phil
 
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Hi Phil, I haven't added any camera/lens/film metadata. But I have heard of people who do that, usually using ExifTool since Lightroom itself doesn't provide a way to change that metadata. I think it would be nice to have that metadata on the scans but it's not a high priority for me at the moment.

I do add a lot of the other metadata in Lightroom: keywords, captions, locations, faces…
 
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A good way to input metadata onto scanned files is the excellent Capture Time to EXIF plugin by John Beardsworth. It uses ExifTool to do all the work but allows you to use Lightroom to select the images that you want update. It is primarily intended to update the date/time fields to show the actual date/time the image was captured. Scanned images always come into Lightroom with the date that the scan was done.

Optionally there is a section where you can add any other metadata including EXIF lens and camera using ExifTool syntax. There is an example of how to add complete camera and lens information. It is much more convenient than to try to learn the complicated ExifTool command line syntax.

-louie
 
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