How to scan an old photo into digital format

Many users wish to scan a photo in order to save the image digitally as an image file that can be stored on a computer or on the Internet. In this case, old scanned photos will take on a new life.

Many users have albums at home with photos taken in the old days, when there were no digital cameras. Sometimes, it may be necessary to remember the moments of a former life, to show pictures to your children or grandchildren, relatives or acquaintances. But it happens that old pictures are no longer there, because they were accidentally lost in the bustle of life.

To avoid this, you need to digitize old photos in order to save them on your computer or in the cloud storage. With this option, there is less chance for the irretrievable deletion of old photos due to an oversight.

Storing photos, especially on an external hard drive or cloud storage, will prevent old photos from being inadvertently lost because the user will have digital copies.

Scanning photos – converting images into digital form. As a result of this operation, the user will have a photo album with old pictures and digital copies of the photos.

How to scan a photo

Can a photo be scanned? Yes, there are several solutions to this problem:

  • Use the services of photo digitization in a specialized organization.
  • Take photos with a digital camera.
  • Self-digitization of photos using a scanner / MFP.
  • Using a smartphone app.

If you do not have a scanning device at home and do not need to purchase one, contact the professionals. You will have to spend some funds as payment for completing the order in the darkroom.

The company’s office will digitize paper photos, film or negatives, and then burn the result on an external medium that you provide: CD / DVD, external hard drive, USB flash drive or memory card. Employees of a specialized center can provide additional services for the correction or restoration of old images, the removal of scratches, etc.

Other options are free, only the user should take into account the time spent on the work.

To retake old photos, you can use a modern digital camera. To get a good picture, you need to securely mount the camera and adjust the lighting.

In this article, we will look at how to scan photos to a computer at home using simple, common devices.

How to scan a photo on a scanner

When performing a scan, you need to follow some rules that can improve the quality of digital copies.

If possible, follow these guidelines:

  • Place the photo as flat as possible on the scanner glass.
  • If there are cracks in the photo, position the photo so that the crack is perpendicular to the path of the scanner lamp.
  • It is advisable to set the scanner resolution to at least 600 dpi.
  • It is better to use TIFF as the output graphic format rather than JPG or PNG.
  • Do not use scanner software for photo processing if this functionality is available there.

When scanning photos, you need to select the minimum resolution – at least 300 dpi, and better – 600 dpi. A higher resolution will improve the quality of the final image.

It is better to save the photo in TIFF format without compression to avoid loss of information in the image. After receiving a digital photo, and subsequent processing in a graphics editor, the finished image can be saved, for example, in JPG (JPEG) format with a little compression.

When we scan old photos, we need to keep the original image in its original form, so post-processing of the image is best done in Photoshop or other similar graphics application, rather than using scanner software.

After scanning, we receive a scan in digital form, and then, if necessary, with the help of software – a graphics program, we carry out work to restore or improve the appearance of images on a computer.

How to scan a photo to a computer using an MFP scanner

For home scanning jobs, you can use a flatbed scanner or a regular MFP printer. Now common office MFPs (Multifunction Devices) are widely used, which have the functions of a printer, scanner, copier. In one MFP, several separate devices are combined at once.

In this example, I will show you how to scan a photo on an MFP printer that has a scan function. When working, an entry-level Canon MFP is used, on devices from other manufacturers, a similar algorithm of actions is performed.

In order to scan an old photo, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Turn on the device that is scanning.
  2. Lay your paper photo on the glass, carefully aligning the position of the photo with the edges of the image.
  3. Close the scanner cover.
  4. Open the application that came with your device to select the scan settings. In my case, this is the Canon U Scan Utility.
  5. Enter the application settings to select scan options.

In the utility settings, you must select a resolution (default is 300 dpi). Better choose 600 dpi. As an output data format, three options are available to me:

  • JPEG/Exif;
  • TIFF;
  • PNG.

If the original photo is of good quality and you will not then process the scanned image in a graphics program, you can leave the default setting – JPEG / Exif. Otherwise, use the uncompressed TIFF format.

  1. Start the photo digitization process.
  2. After scanning is complete, open the scanned paper photo in a graphics program – image viewer .

Now you can move the image to a permanent storage location. If necessary, open the image in a graphics editor to perform the necessary actions: removing artifacts, adjusting color correction, etc.

How to scan photos on your phone

In some situations, the user does not have the opportunity to use the services of a photo center, and there is no scanner available at home to digitize photos. There is a way out of this situation.

Now, I will tell you how to scan a photo on your phone. We use a smartphone as a scanner. Using the software on the smartphone, the paper photo will be converted into a digital image.

Keep in mind that the quality of digital photos directly depends on the settings of the camera installed on your phone.

This article uses Google’s PhotoScanner app. Do the following:

  1. Install an Android or iOS phone with the Google Photo Scanner app.
  2. Place the photo on a flat horizontal surface, preferably with a plain and contrasting background.
  3. Run the program on your phone.
  4. Place the photo in the frame, and then take a photo of the paper photo that will serve as the basis for the final image.
  5. Four points will appear on the screen of the device, at which you need to point the camera lens in turn.
  6. The application combines these frames into one final image.

It should be borne in mind that the resulting photo does not always turn out to be of acceptable quality, often a simple picture looks much better.

Article Conclusions

If the user is wondering how to scan old photos to convert them to digital format, he can use several methods to solve this problem. You can turn to specialists in a photo studio who will perform all the necessary steps, or solve this issue yourself: retake a paper photo with a digital camera, scan a photo on a device, or use a smartphone application.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.