How Side-by-Sides Can Help You Hone in Your Film Scans

How Side-by-Sides Can Help You Hone in Your Film Scans

Art is subjective. While this is one of the beautiful things about photography, it is also one of the reasons why written feedback regarding your film scans can be tricky for even our expert color techs to decipher.

So what is the best way to communicate with us when something in your film scans is "off" and you want your future scans to look differently? We have an easy solution to ensure your feedback is heard (and seen!) loud and clear:


These simple side-by-sides take but a moment, but can greatly reduce the time you have to spend behind a computer editing your film scans. Here's how they work:

Side-by-sides are "before and afters" that show our original scans next to your edited version of the same scan. They are quick for you to put together and allow us to easily see the exact adjustments we can make at scanning and color check to best match your aesthetic!

In fact, side-by-sides are one of the most effective ways for us to understand your end vision.

Danielle Poffenbarger side-by-side

The Poffs ' side-by-side shows their original scan on the left and their edits on the right. Their edited image helps us see they'd like greater warmth, saturation and a bit more contrast in their final scans. Now we know how to best match their vision!

How do I make a side-by-side?

In your favorite photo editing app, place our original scan as we sent it to you on the left side of the canvas. Then, add your edited version of the same scan to the right side of the canvas. Send us the final diptych that shows both images alongside each other in the same frame. That way we know which is which!

Alternatively, you can open the original scan in Lightroom, do your edits, then take a screenshot for us of the "before and after," like Natalie Broach and Emily March Payne did further below.

Estee Chin Photography

Estee Chin 's side-by-side shows us that she'd like a brighter scan with slightly more contrast.

Katie Grant

Katie Grant 's side-by-side shows our original scan on the left and her edited scan on the right. This edit shows us she prefers a darker scan that retains greater detail in the highlights.

Why should I send in side-by-sides?

They can really cut down on the time you spend stuck behind a computer editing your film scans because we have a better idea of what you're looking for!

Natalie Broach

Natalie Broach did her edits in Lightroom, then took a screenshot to send to us. This works great! We can see here that she'd like a slightly brighter scan with a touch more saturation and contrast.

When should I send in side-by-sides?

Do your scans feel "off?" Is your aesthetic changing? Is there an edit you keep making to all of your scans? Send a few side-by-sides. They are one of the most effective ways for us to understand your vision.

Emily March Payne

Emily March Payne took a screenshot for us of her edits in Lightroom. This side-by-side shows us she'd like a brighter scan with a touch more warmth, saturation and contrast.

Keep in mind:

One "click" of adjustment made at our film scanner is equivalent to roughly 5 points of adjustment in Lightroom. So while we may not be able to perfectly match your edit, we will get as close to it as we can!

Natalie Broach 's side-by-side. Again, this shows us she'd like a touch more saturation and contrast in her scans.

How to send us a side-by-side:

Email them to us at We'll add them to your reference images for future orders.

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