Introduction to Photo Scanning

If you have an iPhone or iPad, photo scanning is super easy with Pic Scanner app. To scan with your smartphone or a digital camera, remember a few things and you’ll do just fine:

  • Lighting: Ensure good ambient lighting. If you can, scan in natural daylight. You don’t want the sun shining directly on the photos, but indirect or reflected light; so scan near a window. It’s harder to avoid glare and reflections under artificial (electric) light. Colors will also not be reproduced faithfully, especially if scanning under fluorescent light. Can you guess which of the following scans was done by daylight and which under a table lamp?

2      2a

  • No flash: Never use flash while scanning, for precisely the reasons mentioned above regarding electric and fluorescent lighting. Turn OFF flash before you scan. See the reflections and flash glare in the photos below:

glare reflections scanned photo      scanned pic with flash glare

  • No zoom: Using the digital zoom on your smartphone will reduce image resolution. Bring the camera closer to the photo being scanned, instead of holding it further away and zooming in. As photozxels.com explains, “Digital zoom….takes a central portion of the image and enlarges it, thus ‘simulating’ optical zoom. In other words, the camera crops a portion of the image and then enlarges it back to size. In so doing, you lose image quality.”
  • Steady hands: Since the photos being scanned are close to the camera, you must hold the iPhone or iPad very steady while scanning. Can be difficult, especially with iPad. An easy solution is to place the iPhone or iPad on a locker stand, and position the photos below it.

Ready to start photo scanning? Get Pic Scanner app. It helps you take care of some of the above things, and also automatically crops the photos for you – a big time and effort-saver. Below is a short tutorial video of this critically acclaimed app: