Scanner color correction

by John Walrath


When using a flatbed scanner to digitize photographs, the results are often not true to the original. This can result in need to make adjustments to each image. The SpyderCHECKR can be used with a flatbed scanner to create a more accurate scan. There are dedicated scanning equipment and software on the market but one of the goals in using SpyderCHECKR with one of the supported applications is to use the tools that a photographer has already.



Creating a preset adjustment for your scanner will reduce the need for manually adjusting each scanned image and provide you with the perfect starting point to work on an image once it is digitized.


Note – both the SpyderCHECKR and the SpyderCHECKR 24 can be used with a scanner. I will use the SpyderCHECKR 24 for demonstration.


First, place the SpyderCHECKR 24 on the flatbed scanner. It is best to make sure that the surface of the scanner is clean to minimize possible artifact removal in post-production. Close the scanner and open your scanner’s software. Scanner software will vary in their operation but for the settings you want to use a bit depth of 16 bits and TIFF format. For resolution, choose the dpi that you typically use and scan the SpyderCHECKR 24.


Open the SpyderCHECKR 24 image into Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw or Hasselblad Phocus. The workflow for correcting the image and making a SpyderCHECKR preset is the same as the standard workflow for SpyderCHECKR. First, straighten and crop the image so the SpyderCHECKR 24 completely fills the frame. Next, click on the second gray patch (E2) with the White Balance eyedropper, adjust the Exposure slider so the white patch (E1) is 90% or an average RGB value of 230 and adjust the black patch (E6) to 5% or an average RGB value of 10 with the Black slider. Then, import or open the adjusted SpyderCHECKR 24 image in the SpyderCHECKR software and save the preset for the Raw editor you are using.



When you are done, restart the Raw editor.


Once the Raw editor is relaunched, it is time to create a preset for your scanner. This is an adjustment that encompasses exposure, white point, black point, contrast and color which you will apply to each scanned image. It will provide the best starting point for further image editing. For demonstration purposes I am going to use Adobe Camera Raw.


To create the preset for the scanner, open the adjusted file you used for use in the SpyderCHECKR software: this file contains the adjustments White Balance, White and Black points. Find the SpyderCHECKR preset you just created then apply it to this file. With the color correction applied, you now have the base corrections for the preset adjustment for your scanner. Save these adjustments as a custom preset.



With this custom preset, you can apply it to any scanned image to give you the perfect starting point for accurate image scanning.