Importing Photos with a Scanner

You may have photos that aren't digital. Perhaps they're inherited family pictures or shots you took with a film camera. To take advantage of digital photo retouching or to email them to your sister, you need to scan these pictures. Scanners once lived only on the desktops of graphics professionals; today, they're so inexpensive that they're as affordable as a printer. For a growing crowd of photographers, they've become just as indispensable.

Figure 4-5. Top: Card readers provide a handy alternative to replacing a camera's lost cable. They also work up to 40 times faster than some cables, particularly those from older cameras.

Card readers come with tiny drives that accept storage cards from your camera, cell phone, PDA, and other gadgets. Bottom: When plugged in, a card reader adds several Removable Disk drive icons to My Computer, letting you insert a wide variety of card types. Unfortunately, the drives in My Computer rarely identify which removable drive contains your newly inserted card, forcing you to double-click them all until the correct one opens (you'll know you've hit pay dirt when you see your images inside the drive).

The following sections explain how to choose a scanner and set it up to scan color and black and white photos.

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