Monday, July 31, 2006

Pano Tools (Free)

In the previous post I mentioned repairing the barrel distortion some lenses have. That prompted me to remember this cool little free tool for making panorama images. Check it out. Easy to use, however if you are not totally comfortable working in your PC system area, get someone who is to install it for you.

For your convenience I have compiled the Windows version of PanoTools library that is available on SourceForge. Currently this version is a little old but stable. The Field of View limit has been increased to 1000° from the normal 160.

Correcting Barrel Distortion

Interesting article that will show you how to correct the barrel distortion caused by many of today's digital camera lenses. (Now, if you paid 2K for that sweet Canon 85mm, f1.2... and you are still getting barrel distortion... well, you shouldn't be getting any distortion at all.) The settings that you create with this article will allow you to repair all images made on that lens with the same settings. Cool.
"The following examples demonstrate the use of my Photoshop/Gimp plug-in Panorama Tools to correct lens distortions. The most common and annoying lens error is barrel distortion, which occurs in many cheap wide angle lenses, especially in digital cameras or when using wide angle adapters. Straight lines are bent away from the center of the image: A rectangle looks like a barrel. Correction of these distortions is performed by shifting each pixel radially. The displacement is calculated using a polynomial function, whose coefficients are specific to the particular lens. Once these coefficients have been determined, they can be reused for each image: In practice the images should be batch-converted to correct these errors. Panorama Tools employs a high-quality sampling algorithm with negligible image degradation, so no new errors are introduced during this process."

Sunday, July 30, 2006

High dynamic range imaging - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I was struck by this Wiki entry. I hadn't been using the term before, but it seems that this is what I do when I combine several images taken with different exposures... lightening the shadows and deepening the highlights. High Dynamic Range.. hmmm. 'K.
High dynamic range imaging - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "HDRI provides the opportunity to shoot a scene and have total control of the final imaging from the beginning to the end of the photography project. An example of this control is that it provides the possibility to re-expose. One can capture as wide a range of information as possible on-location and choose what is wanted later."

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Weekender: Art Shows. Are they for you?

This long post really covers what you need to know before embarking on this type of endeavor. I personally know a couple of photographers who make substantial incomes from 3 or 4 of these a year. I also know a few who haven't made a cent. While there are reasons aplenty for both scenarios (and that could be grist for another post sometime) this article shows how careful preperation can go a long way toward a successful show.
Selling in Art Shows: "We all love taking photos, and that is why we are involved here at NPN. We sometimes see questions posed in discussion forums about ‘what is next’ or ‘why photograph’. One answer is to get your photographic work out among the public to share your vision and passion, and hopefully to find that others find your work exciting, and maybe even want to own some it. There are many other reasons as well why one would want to start selling photography in art shows. Regardless of the reasons, there are many factors to consider before starting this endeavor. This article will touch upon some of those considerations."
Here's another good post on Art Shows from Shutterbug.
Choosing Shows
We recommend that you only apply to juried art fairs, as this audience is more likely to be interested in purchasing original signed photographs. If you would like to get a bit of experience by doing small local events to start with, that is not a bad idea, but don’t be disappointed if your sales are not as high as you would hope. The big national and regional shows are where most serious art buyers go, and you should, too.
A long discussion on surfaces and paper at Luminous Landscape.

And another informative thread at Large Format Photography's forum.

From comes this interesting piece. Not totally focused on photography, but interesting nonetheless.
Speer hasn't looked back once. Today, he and Banyas run a homebased business selling their whimsical mixed-media sculptures at art festivals and craft shows around the country, including the recent Coconut Grove Arts Festival in Miami where they rang up sales of several thousand dollars over the three-day Presidents' Day weekend. Despite an estimated $3,000 in travel and other miscellaneous costs, Speer and Banyas ended up making a tidy profit. Then they packed up their truck and headed home to Oberlin, Ohio, where they stayed for less than a day before traveling to another show in Baltimore.
One last posting to read: This list from
  • Project a positive and upbeat attitude at all times.
  • Keep a guest book to accumulate names and addresses for your email or mailing list.
  • Mail or email a personalized flyer to your customers with a list of your upcoming shows once you are confirmed.
  • Be flexible and accommodating to your customers.
  • Keep your promises for deliveries, special orders, etc.Enjoy the weekend.
Enjoy your weekend!

A look at Mounting Display Prints

Nice, simple tutorial on mounting considerations.
Mounting Display Prints: "Photographers categorize their work with that of an artist or scientist, meaning they see photography as either an art or a science. No matter what school of thought you hold, it should still be your goal to have your prints viewed, appreciated, and most importantly, communicate your message. This is the reason that the salon mount came into use. In photography, this means a display print that is mounted for exhibition."

Friday, July 28, 2006

It's for an older version...

... but the tips here on using brushes is very good. One thing that is good about PShop is that what worked in 7 will probably work the same in CS2.
Jay Arraich's Photoshop Tips - Using PS7 Brushes: "t’s pretty frustrating to be in possession of the Photoshop 7 Brushes palette when you can’t paint a straight line. Luckily, there are still quite a few things that you can do that don’t require you to be a painter."

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Photoshop Filters, the complete freeware and commercial source.

I needed a specific look for shot I was working on last night. I found this site and it has a great roundup of filters and plug-ins. Check it out if you are looking for a single place to see lots of filters.
Photoshop Filters, the complete freeware and commercial source.: "This site is all about Photoshop compatible filters for the PC. As you browse the site, you will discover over 300 pages packed with thousands freeware and commercial Photoshop filters available from the best authors on the Internet. Each page displays the 'Master Image' of the lion and the result of each Photoshop filter has on the image."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

We are proud of our gallery photographers

So we created a little slide show for you all.

Ocean Photography - Andrew Kidman

Inspirational images of waves, surfing, the ocean and beaches. A pro-am shooter that captures the beauty of the sea in many different ways.
Ocean Photography - Andrew Kidman: "
I love taking photos of the ocean in all its' moods, it's very similar to surfing. I enjoy riding the waves with my eyes when I'm taking the photo and again when I'm looking at the processed image. I began photographing the ocean when I was a child. I was drawn to it for its beauty and it continues to draw me in today.

I've done a small amount of commercial work with my girlfriend Michele Lockwood's clothing company MATERIAL. I enjoy working with Michele because we're always immersed in nature. We go to beautiful parts of the world to photograph the clothes. This is enough in itself."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Donate Your Old Cellphones, PDAs, and Digital Cameras For Charity - Gizmodo

Hey if you have some things to donate, this is a very good cause.
Gizmodo readers love having the latest and greatest cellphones, PDAs and other mobile electronics. However, this means they have a whole bunch of older gear that are sitting, dusty and unwanted, in the basement. Why not do some good by donating it to charity?
Donate Your Old Cellphones, PDAs, and Digital Cameras For Charity - Gizmodo

A nice primer on converting to black and white

Photography Corner provides this concise article on better b&w images.
Basic B&W - The Next Step | "Everywhere you look, you see suggestions of using saturation rather than the remove color option available in Photoshop. It’s supposed to be better. What they don’t tell you, is specifically WHY it’s better. Well, if you use layers, then it’s being done in a none destructive way. But that’s it! That’s all the benefits wrapped into one. And once you convert you have the exact same picture. Desaturation is after all: removing color."

Career Jumpstart: At Adorama

An interesting twist. Here's a retailer providing services to help photographers. Instead of advertising on other content sites, the retail giant Adorama has decided to provide content on its own site. The articles are well written and can be another important bookmark for you.
Career Jumpstart: Which stock photography model works for you?: "The stock photography business, where existing images are offered for sale to clients for a fee, has been very appealing for photographers who either envisioned it as their main source of income or as an adjunct to their primary photography business. Depending on who you speak with or what you read, the present day stock photography business paradigm has changed irrevocably and not in the photographers' favor or there's room enough for everyone and all types of successful images in a technology-driven world will continue to sell. "
This retailer understands the need for information critical to its clients. More and more businesses are starting to understand that they and their clients have a symbiotic nature.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Big Images... Big Landscapes

You all know we like big images. This little site has a beautiful gallery of canyon images I wanted to share with you. Check them out.
Terra Galleria photography: travel, landscape, and nature pictures - stock photos and fine art prints: "Welcome ! View on-line galleries of travel, adventure, landscape, and nature photography by Quang-Tuan Luong. The browsable image bank contains more than 14,000 pictures from around the world (including many large format images), available not only as fine art prints or for commercial image licencing as stock photos, but also for personal use. Site supporters get access to a huge collection of high quality computer wallpaper pictures for use on their screen. In addition, there is a lot of information on the site. New pictures are added monthly, so come back often !"

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Odds and Ends... for the weekend

Handmade cameras. Say it to yourself slowly. Doesn't it sound exquisite? I love handmade things, and it happened I stumbled across this little treasure trove of links... enjoy
Odds and Ends...Please inquire
You may still have time if you live in Maine...
"Handmade Cameras, Handmade Images"
College of the Atlantic
Mount Desert Island, Maine, United States
DATES: Monday, July 24, 2006 - Tuesday, July 25, 2006
If you want to really drool, check out these gorgeous cameras...
Zero Image camera, the new handmade pinhole camera, with its antique design, is an objet d'art ideal for private collections, and makes a perfect gift to celebrate the new millennium. With its revolutionary design, our camera helps you take pictures with special effects, and connects you to the boundless creative and artistic world of photography.
Our cameras range from 135 format to 4x5 format, in order to satisfy the different requirements of our customers.
You can spend the afternoon at this page. This Squidoo page has a ton of links to images made from obscure and handmade cameras.
Iversen, Gitte
Fine art photography with hand colored black & white pictures and pinhole color pictures.
Kapoor, Jan - LightWorks
Combines pinhole and alternative photo processes. Contains sample images.
Moroux, Philippe - La Porte d'Aval
A site dedicated to pinhole photography, kallitype prints, Etretat and to everyone who believes that photography may be a kind of philosophy.
Here is an interesting and unique handmade camera from Kurt Mottweiler.
The sensual beauty of wood and its relative ease of use made it the obvious material of choice for early camera makers. In this age of high tech materials its use for camera making is an anomaly but one which speaks to the human need for simplicity.
This wooden camera was built in 1979. It is modelled after early Daguerreotype cameras and uses classic dovetailed construction throughout. Adapting the design ideas for pinhole use, the camera has a three pinhole changer built into the "lens" panel. The rear sliding box - long missing - is not shown. The cameras was the start of a long passion for handmade cameras that continues to the present.
And finally, if you are now chomping at the bit to do some unique stuff with your very own camera you built from scratch... here's a book that will walk you through the process. Good luck, and think about how amazing they would look at 24x30 and 36 x 48.... mmmm, the mind reels.
Primitive Photography considers the hand-made photographic process in its entirety, showing the reader how to make box-cameras, lenses, paper negatives and salt prints, using inexpensive tools and materials found in most hardware and art-supply stores. Step-by-step procedures are presented alongside theoretical explanations and historical background. Streamlined calotype procedures are demonstrated, featuring different paper negative processes and overlooked, developing-out printing methods.

How Fast is "Fast"?

As cameras keep making larger and larger files, photographers are carrying larger CF and SD cards. But size does not equal performance. Along with larger file sizes could come longer write times. manufacturers know that key to the larger files are faster writes, so they are working on the challenges at a feverish pace. Rob Galbraith has a test site where you can see how your cards measure up.
Rob Galbraith DPI: CF/SD Performance Database: "A memory card is a critical component in the professional photographer's digital system. After all, it's the thing that holds the pictures. We hope that the CF/SD Performance Database will, first and foremost, enable you to determine which cards offer the speed your workflow requires. But we encourage you to look at card performance holistically. While speed is important, so is the warranty, tech support and the reputation of the company whose name is on the label."

Unique Frames from Mark Andrew

Mark Andrew photographs families and kids in NY. He also creates his own custom frames from exotic hardwoods. The site shows some of his nice work in the frames. Think of how amazing some custom frames could be around a 24x36 metallic print, or warm-toned black and white.
Mark Andrew Images

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Are You Listed?

Did you even know about the list? Adobe is an important supporter of our work as photographers. Their professional listing page seems an excellent place to be listed from. You must be a member of a professional organization, but that is the only requirement. BTW... don't put a listing there if you don't have a photo to go with it. (Small thumbnails accompany the listing.) After all, you are, you know... photographers.
Adobe Photographers Directory: "Photographers who want their talent seen by designers, creative directors and image buyers around the world are invited to join this Directory today. You need only be a member of a participating photography association. Just use the authentication code provided by your association to join. Click to view the list of participating associations."

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Photos To Go - Search Results

Jazz photos for a cool office space.
I am helping a friend of mine put together a nice home office. He lives jazz and music, so I proposed that we make a few large prints for the spaces that need some art. He found this site and it has some nice images. Cheap too. they should print well at 16x24.
Photos To Go - Search Results - Jazz
It started me thinking about finding other musical images for use on your walls, hallways and offices.

Check these cool shots out.

These too...

More royalty-free images of jazz.

Here's a site with lots of images of rock/pop musicians. Send him an email to purchase the file.

Monday, July 17, 2006

10 Things To Do With Big Prints - 1

Part of our series from the "10 Things..." document.

1. Conference Rooms and Lobbies
What a great place for large images. Just imagine how cool a 24 x 48 print would look at the end of your conference room. How about a 36 x 84? Tying it into the theme of the company or the project that is at hand can inspire the interest of all. A calming, soothing image may make client meetings more palatable.
Photographs in the lobby generally go one of two ways; they can reflect the mission of the company, its people or the locale/region of the company – or it may be a totally off-the-wall approach with something that sparks a smile or an inquiry.

Black and White images can make a very dramatic statement in an office that may have some nice colors already, and brilliant, glossy, color images on metallic paper can add some serious pizzazz to an office that may need a little sparkle. Either way, the images should be as large as you can make them, allowing for installation and a little breathing room.

One office I remember had full size black and white images of some of their employees on a pure white background. They were fitted into panels on some of the walls that were visible from the lobby. The lobby also featured a giant photo of someone swinging a golf club, with an interesting crop and some blur. (see the website for more)

Here are a few resources for you.

A Building Lobby, "Way of Design, Book One": "The basic design concept for this lobby calls for better lighting. Symmetrically arranged marble arches illuminate the recessed walls. The antique gold leafed ceiling tiles offset the light and dark travertine marble giving the lobby a subtle richness."
Here is an interesting design.
Book: About 50 new projects will present the new trends of Lobbies as the place of a building to welcome the visitors. It is shown how important the design of this area is to give a first and quick impression of the character of the inner life of a building. The book is divided in the chapters of public buildings like office buildings, banks and hotels. As well private apartment houses will be shown. The projects will be presented in alphabetical order of the designers. As far as available plans will be shown. An index of contact information of the designers and architects is enclosed.
And here is a good post at
The lobby space type includes foyers, entries to halls, and security screening areas at or near the entrance to a building or demarcated space, and are meant to welcome and direct tenants and visitors, control access, and provide exit ways from buildings. This space type is often designed with both secure and nonsecure areas. The lobby space type does not include elevator lobbies. Building lobbies often serve as the "public face" of building interiors.
And here is a simple gallery.

And one last post to a nice site for architectural work for your lobby.

Photographer Hits the Road...

... and photographs it with love and admiration.

Jim loves this road. He has been fascinated with its long and colorful history and has taken every opportunity to make images of the places it meanders through. And it meanders through the west from Canada to Mexico.

Jim is working on this amazing project on his own, and in the time that he can squeeze out of his busy commercial schedule, and has ways for you to become invloved. See this page on information on how you can be part of of the US Route 89 Project.

And to see some more of his work, view his portfolio and see the gallery at Mighty Imaging.
US Route 89 Appreciation Society: "US Route 89 from Desert to Glacier: A Photographic Exploration of the Geography, History & Culture Along the West’s Most Western Highway

Photographer James Cowlin has begun work on a traveling exhibition and large-format book of photographs of the landscapes along US Route 89. A traveler’s field guide is also planned that will connect the geography and history of the West to places along the road. The project is scheduled for completion by the fall of 2009."

Photojojo » Panographies: Panoramas on Steroids

We can imagine this cool technique for office graphics and lobby graphics. The unique textures that are created with the overlaps would draw viewers in, and the very modern look of the collage would make a strong statement about the company. You could also do some clever mounting and set the whole image up as a float from the wall.

A very nice article on how to prepare your files at PhotoJoJo.
Photojojo » Panographies: Panoramas on Steroids: "Panographies are wide-angle pictures composed of several individual photos manually stitched together. When these component photos are assembled, they give the impression one would get standing in one place, looking around and unconsciously putting the pictures together in one's head."

Friday, July 14, 2006

Need a globe photo?

This is a cool composite of both sides of the globe. And if you want it to be printed really, really big... like for a kids room or your office - you know where to send it. (Hint... It's a 'Mighty' good printing company).
Wired News: Hi-Res Earth: "NASA's imaging system MODIS has compiled the most detailed and accurate portrait of Earth, which you can see below. Click on the full-sized link to see a larger image. Even larger, more detailed versions, as well as other MODIS images, can be found at NASA. All images and information are courtesy of NASA."

Really, REALLY Big

But hey... we like big images here at Mighty Imaging.
Wired News: "The photo was created using the centuries-old principle of 'camera obscura' after a gumball-size hole was opened in the hangar's wall, allowing a tiny beam of light to enter.

The image then appeared upside down and flipped left to right on a sheath of light-sensitive fabric the length of one-third of a football field and about three stories tall."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Still a good format

I spent some quality time with my Mamiya RZ on vacation. Couple of rolls of Fujipan... nice quality time. About 23 minutes... but still - got some nice shots of the pier and such. I like shooting the Mamiya still, even though I have gone mostly digital. Here are some good links for medium format refreshers. (Oh, and if you ever wanted a Hassie... check EBay for some astounding prices...)
U-Medium: "While most pros understand the need for medium format in many situations, amateurs and newcomers to photography can find the subject confusing, and the array of choices available bewildering. Leaf shutters Vs. focal plane shutters, interchangeable backs, format differences, 120 Vs 220 film — all of these are unfamiliar to someone who just works in 35mm.

This tutorial is therefore devoted to explaining the jargon that's unique to medium format, some of the major difference with 35mm, and takes a brief overview of the model choices available. At the end of this page there are links to camera reviews on this site and elsewhere as well as other pertinent web links for those that would like to explore this topic further."
And one or two more.
And the Flickr Pool of course.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Amazon Web Services: OnLine Storage

As photographers keep accruing more and more terabytes of images, these services will become more and more affordable. There are many players in this space and I think we will see some photographer niched sites in the near future. Amazon Web Services Store: Amazon S3 / Amazon Web Services: "Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)

Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.

Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers."
Other players in this space. (via TechCrunch)

Timeless Images: The Sea

Some subjects are simply timeless. We will explore some of the subjects from time to time. This collection of images of the sea will make you long for a beach, a blank card (or roll of film) and some time to ponder the incredible, ever changing sea.
Ocean Pictures, Ocean Wave Photos, and Sea Photos: "The ocean is a phenomenal power. It must be respected and treated with great care. Photographing the ocean is fun: you get to be in a sublime place, and the ocean pictures, ocean wave photos and blue ocean pics will be equally sublime."
Here area few more. Coos Bay Oregon.

More here. Big waves in Laguna.

And a few more from San Diego. At Mighty Imaging, we like big waves.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Featured Photographer: David H Smith

(Full disclosure: David is a good friend of mine.)

Last year David was part of the "Through Each Other's Eyes" project here in Phoenix. Loosely explained, it is a photogapher swap... Arizona photographers spend a week in another country and the photographers from that country come here for a week. Yeah, there's more to it than that, but go to the site and read about it.

David went to Ireland. He had a great time in a small town, and captured many images that captivate the imagination. I am lucky enough to have a few large prints in my office at home. They take me to a place I have never been and yet it seems so familar. But, that is what David does. He takes images that make us feel familiar with the subject, as if we've somehow known it before. And yet he offers a little twist that intrigues us. See the shot of the old man on the road... familiar - yes, but there is something more to the image... a feeling of distance and age.

See David's work on his website and visit the gallery at Mighty Imaging.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Simple and Basic...

But all in all, a good little article on the basics of night photography. We MightyImagers live in the heat of the desert, so shooting at night may at least be a bit cooler.
Night photography technique: "With the camera held firmly in place you can fire the shutter and make the most of the long speed. But don't think it's always that easy. Often night photography has huge areas of the scene in darkness with occasional illuminated areas subjects, such as spotlit buildings, moonlit trees, fireworks, fairground illuminations, neon signs etc. The camera's exposure meter isn't used to such scenes and may need some manual help. It's here where the benefits of digital become evident. You can take a picture on auto and preview the scene. If it looks too dark, or the illuminated area is too washed out you simply manually adjust the camera's exposure using the compensation setting and try again and repeat until you have the right balance."
Here is a very cool set on Flickr...

And this from Black's is worth reading.
Fortunately, you can quickly and easily learn how to take better nighttime and low-light photographs and, in the process, learn how to better control your camera so you can take better pictures in all conditions. However, digital cameras do not have a standard interface. Even though cameras from different manufacturers (and even different models by a single manufacturer) may have common features, these features are not implemented in a uniform way. Please read your camera's manual to learn which of these features are available to you, and how to use them. Also, terms may vary from one manufacturer from the next. If you don't find a feature below listed in your camera's manual, it may have another name. Look for a similar function and see if you can use it to accomplish the same thing.
A welcome item may be this nice little night exposure calculator to carry with you.

And here is a rich post over at Lots to read and know.

Night photography offers a great deal of different effects, as this post over at shows.

And a search on Flickr reveals this stunning collection. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Nice Intro to 8x10

I have seen a renewed interest in the largest image sizes lately (4x5, 5x7, and 8x10). I love to shoot my 8x10 and scan the neg on my flatbed... 1 to 1. Makes a big file that prints like a dream at 8x10 to 16x20 (after Photoshopping the hell out of it). Getting a scan at the lab renders a much superior neg for printing a more realistic image. This is a good intro piece, and we will have more.
Paul Butzi Photography: "One if the biggest hurdles to getting started in large format photography is that often people contemplating buying their first view camera have no idea of how the thing is actually used in practice, and thus have very little idea of what format they'll like, how much of some movement is enough, how much bellows draw is needed, and so on."

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Selling Photography on eBay

Try thinking of it as selling "Really Big Prints" on eBay. We have a bias toward big images, you know. The article is a little dated, but still has a lot of info for the beginning eBay photo seller.
Selling Photography on eBay: "Selling Your Photography
You may be a beginner, an advanced amateur, or a professional photographer. No matter what your level of experience, selling your photographs can make a lot of sense. For a pro, sales are your lifeblood, and new markets are always welcome. For amateurs, sales can be a way to buy new equipment, or a path to joining the ranks of the professionals. There are a many kinds of markets for good photographs, but we are going to tell you how to take advance of a unique market that is largely unknown among photographers, the online auction market."

Sunday, July 02, 2006


I visited a technology company in LA yesterday on a fairly under the radar meeting (they did give me permission to discuss the art that I saw there). In several offices that were being renovated, there were very large prints of very old photographs. Most of the images were 24 x 30 and 30 x 40. Flush-mounted and printed on a lustre material, the warm-toned black and whites were the perfect antithesis to the work that you would think a tech company does. Ahaa... but you would be wrong. The pictures reminded everyone of the relationship to the past (and of course, data-backup.... get it) I asked where they had gotten the images, and the office manager told me she got them at a flea market and had the lab scan, repair and print. Stunning.

Started me thinking about that box of old images I have and how much I need to scan those to preserve them. Most were taken during the great depression and early 40's.

So for Sunday's relaxing read, some scanning tips from all over the web. Enjoy.
Restoration of genealogy photographs: "This is a 1917 photo, somewhat faded and damaged with a crease. It has been cut into an oval shape, and has the back of an old cardboard frame glued to it. The original is on the left, and the restored image is at the right."
A basic refresher course here.
Digital focus: Scanning old photos
If you're working with prints, you shouldn't try to clean or improve them. It's easy to ruin old photos by over-handling. If your prints are dusty, use a dry cloth to gently wipe away the grime -- and that's all. If something is stuck on, leave it there. Most importantly, never use any kind of liquid to try to clean a photo. If your photo is torn, don't try to fix it with tape -- especially on the print side. Most adhesive tapes discolor over time, and you'll likely end up with a yellowish stripe running across your photo.
This may help as well.
6. ORIGINALS ARE PRICELESS. Never do anything dumb with the original scans. Save them exactly the way they were scanned, without any changes. In other words, when you make each scan, make a copy that you can edit (to rotate, crop, brighten and so on), then save the original scan and store your originals on CD. "Original" means the exact scanned image, before anything has been done to it -- before it is rotated, too. (Rotation sometimes alters the image in ways that can't be fixed.) Don't forget to save your edited scans, too, after you're through.
Now, of course, you have to res them up. weighs in...
Make Your Photos Bigger With Minimal Loss in Quality
One of the most commonly asked questions in relation to graphics software is how to increase the size of an image without getting blurring and jagged edges. New users are often surprised when they resize an image and find that the quality is severely degraded. Experienced users are all too familiar with the problem. The reason for the degradation is because bitmapped, or raster, image types are limited by their pixel resolution. When you attempt to resize these types of images, your software either has to increase the size of each individual pixel - resulting in a jagged image - or it has to "guess" at the best way to add pixels to the image to make it larger.

Incase you haven't noticed, Photoshop CS offers Bicubic Smoother as one of its interpolation algorithms. Bicubic Smoother is virtually always the best way to increase the size/resolution of your image - including the old wives tale of increasing the size a very slight percentage over and over.

Of course, if you are downsizing your image, choose Bicubic Sharper.

There are many ways to res up an image. I will be checking with my favorite Photoshop Guru, Steve, and get his opinion on the best methods with CSII. I will post his advice at that time.