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Epson Computer Tips: Digital ICE (Image Correction Enhancement) Technology

Maybe you’ve been designated “the keeper of old family photos” and have prints going back to many generations ago. . . . If you are, you’re likely to despair when you go to use them in a heritage album. Chances are they’re in pretty bad shape. They may be discolored, faded, creased, torn – maybe even have chunks of the photo missing!

So what do you do?
1. You could take them to a place that does photo restorations. For special photos in the absolute worst shape, this may be your best bet . . . especially if it’s a unique, historical event, say, the wedding of your great, great grandparents at the turn of the century.
2. You could try to fix them yourself, using a sophisticated software program such as Adobe PhotoShop. This would require scanning the photo first, bringing it into that program, and a whole lot of patience, time and skill to do this right. (This is what the folks in the first option are doing and charging you for their expertise and time). That’s why for a really damaged photo, especially if a piece of it is missing, option 1 may be your best bet. But it will cost you – those places charge plenty for their expertise.
3. Then there’s option #3 – the newest generation of photo scanners. There are some that can actually do some of these corrections for you, and the best part is, it’s all automatic! You don’t need to know anything more involved than which single button to press! So you’re still doing it yourself, but it’s really nothing complicated.

Some of the latest scanners, like the Epson 4870 are programmed with a new technology that enables you to get amazing instant restorations to your photos. Digital ICE is an acronym that stands for “image correction enhancement.” If you need a scanner, or if you’re about to make a heritage photo album, this is the technology to get.

The whole process takes just a few clicks. Here’s how to do it: Scan your photos, one at a time. Let’s start with a photo that has a serious tear. Place the photo on the scanner glass, upper right corner.
First, because it is a photo we’re scanning, we select the Photo Option.
Next, with the photo in place, we’ll select Preview to see what it would look like if you were to print it as it looks. (It takes a few seconds.)
Here’s our preview, showing how the photo looks now, and we can see that it looks pretty bad.
Now for the magic: check off the little box that says “Digital ICE.” That will remove any scratches, fingerprints, cracks and, we hope, most of the rip. Note that it takes longer to scan a photo when it’s using this technology than if it were just scanning.
You can see that the tear has disappeared! Save this version of the photo and then print.

This scanner also can scan negatives and slides. If you have the originals, it’s always best to work with the most original version of a print, like the negative. We’re not always so lucky to have access to them with old photos, but if you do, there are more options. Note the button: dust removal. If you have the negative, you can also, in effect, clean it before doing your scan and color restoration by clicking this also.

So don’t be quick to settle for using photos in a sorry condition. Fix them first, print them on archival paper, and your improvements will be appreciated for many future generations!

Sponsor: Epson America

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