Tag Archives: photo scanner

photo-scanner

Easy way to scan photos and picture albums

Scanning old family photos and albums can take a Herculean effort. Even if you are tech-savvy and have all the paraphernalia (a desktop scanner, computer, Photoshop), it can take weeks or months to scan, crop, edit, label and organize photos spanning many decades.

But there are easier ways too…

Photo scanning services

You could “outsource” this task to a photo scanning service They will scan photos and put them on CDs or DVDs for you. However, you can’t just send them your albums: You will need to take photos out of albums, sort by size, flat-pack and courier them. It will then take a week or more to get your original and scanned photos back, and you will then need to put photos back into your albums, and organize and caption the scans. The scan quality will generally be very good. Check on the internet to find out which photo scanning services are available in your country, and how much they charge. Do read their terms and conditions carefully.

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Scan photos yourself…there are apps for it!

A faster and easier option to scan photos is to use an iPhone or iPad and a photo scanner app. The apps we will discuss here are: Pic Scanner, Pic Scanner Gold and Photo Scanner Premium.

Pic Scanner is a simple yet powerful app. It is ideal for quickly scanning photos, especially if you have an older model iPhone or iPad. The app lets you scan and auto-crop multiple photos at a time, perform basic edits, create albums and add captions for in-app viewing. It also lets you freely share and save photos to Photos app, Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox etc. Pic Scanner costs US$1.99 for unlimited use [Website] [App Store link]

Pic Scanner Gold is a much advanced version of Pic Scanner. It does everything Pic Scanner does, plus it can scan photos at higher resolution, has a  powerful 19-tool editor, lets you import pictures from Photos app for pooling with scanned ones. It can also convert photos into slideshows, e-greeting cards and shareable albums; and allows many more ways to share and save photos. It costs US$4.99 for unlimited use. [Website] [App Store link]

Photo Scanner Premium is identical to Pic Scanner Gold, but is priced differently. Initially, a US99¢ download allows 24 scans and use of all features. Once you have tried out the app and decide you like it, you can upgrade to unlimited version for US$4.99 [App Store link]

Advantages of these apps: 1) Far less expensive than other alternatives. 2)  High quality scans, as long as you follow the in-app scanning tips. 3) Fast: No need to remove photos from albums. 4) Photos don’t leave your home: No risk of loss or damage in transit.

Scanning photos ensures they are preserved for future generations, and also makes them easy to enjoy and share. It can be a rewarding, fun exercise. Take a trip down nostalgia lane!

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: