It's the first real photo of your little baby. There is something about ultrasound photos that are so magical and mysterious and I remember spending hours trying to work out everything that was contained in that little square frame. But how do you ensure sure that you always have a copy even if the original gets damaged and worn?
Scan it in
The best way to ensure you can get another copy printed of your scan if you ever need to, is to scan it and save a copy. Taking a normal photo, using your phone or camera, is tricky due to the reflections from the shiny surface. It's easy to get a distorted image or to lose detail if you attempt to take a photo. With a scanner there is much less risk of losing information. You don't even really need a dedicated scanner with special photo capabilities - an ordinary flatbed printer could do the job provided you have the right settings.
- Open the scanner settings and set the resolution of the photo. For prints, 300 dpi is the standard. Some people suggest scanning at 600 dpi to make sure you get all the details hidden in your prints. However, scanning beyond 600 dpi is usually a waste of time and storage space: it'll make the files bigger without giving you any additional image detail. Plus, the higher the resolution, the more time it takes to scan.
- Set the file format: I'd stick with whatever file format you usually use. If most of your photos are JPEGs, it's fine to set the scan to that.
- Finally, make sure the scanner glass is clean. If you need to wipe it, I'd recommend using a soft optical cleaning cloth (which you can get from Jessops, Simply Fix It or any IT/camera shop).
- Place the scan along the edge of the scanner so that when it comes to cropping the photo, there is less risk that you'd lose anything.
- Save the file to your hard-drive and make sure that is backed up.
And it's that easy! Scan pictures are so special and they only become more precious with time, so make sure you've got a digital copy.