Daguerreotype of three brothers enlarged to 300%. Light streaks across top & bottom are strips of tape I put on the dag to keep it from touching the surface of my scanner.

Three brothers portrait at six times actual size (600%). Notice the boy on the left moved minutely and is a bit out of focus.

A confession, but only so you can profit from my carelessness: The scratch above the boy on the right was caused by my thumb nail. The picture slipped when I was putting it on the scanner. That scratch will be on the dag for as long as it exists and nothing known to modern man can erase it. Thankfully it didn't go through his face, but it could have just as easily.

If you can, take a photo of your daguerreotypes with a camera, not a scanner, simply because the chances of an accident are much greater with a scanner. This is the first time this happened to me, and I'm determined it will be the last.

Having just said that nothing could be done about the scratch, I've just proved myself wrong. In a matter of speaking. By taking the scanned photo with the scratch and putting it in now ancient (but still usable) PhotoDeluxe program (the very inexpensive version of the popular Photo Shop program), I was able to "clean-up" the dag a bit and make the scratch more acceptable online. The clean-up took me about two minutes - and looks it! However, if you want to spend some time on the clean-up process and do a decent job, you can do it in perhaps an hour. (That's a guess - I've never spent the time necessary to do a first-rate job.)

But remember - the clean-up is just in the computer and on the Internet. The original daguerreotype still has the scratch and always will.