I was scanning my color prints and while postprocessing them, after descreen, I had noticed a trend that there were always a lot of dust and scratches on the darker part of the image, while the brighter areas didn't have any problem. I'm not sure what they are, I'm guessing dust or paper texture/scratches? Why is that? Is there something wrong with my scanner?

Update post with sample images. The top is the original and the bottom is image after descreen.



After descreen



1 Answer 1


This can be normal when scanning pictures. The scanner works by shining a bright light onto the surface of the paper. Dust and fibers can easily reflect back into the scanning sensor, and are more easily visible against the dark contrast of darker areas of the image. Sometimes scratches or etchings on a paper may become more easily visible after scan than they were to the eye.

Try to carefully dust off your photos as best as possible with a soft brush, without being too abrasive. Also, try to carefully clean the scanner glass without leaving any glass cleaner residue behind. This should remove most of the major offenders of dust and fibers.

But, cleaning doesn't always get rid of everything. Some photo or scanning software have dust and scratch removal tools. You can also use photo editing software like Photoshop or Gimp to manually try to repair the photos.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi I updated my post with sample images. My scans are color prints, not photo. \$\endgroup\$
    – reddy
    Jan 18, 2021 at 11:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is pretty standard for a scan. Some software tools work better than others, but most will usually result in lower image quality. Try cleaning the prints and the scanned before scanning. \$\endgroup\$
    – emmit
    Jan 18, 2021 at 19:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ The prints and scanner bed are cleaned before scan. It's just that the scratches seems to be within the paper itself. I have been running postprocess to clean them up in Photoshop, I just want to see if there's any tool that I can use to reduce their reflection from the scans in the first place. \$\endgroup\$
    – reddy
    Jan 19, 2021 at 6:50

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