If you want to scan a physical photo into an electronic file, in the age of smartphones, you don’t need to use a big old scanner anymore, you just need to use the built-in camera or some iOS apps on your iPhone to scan Digitize physical photos, and the method is quite simple! In this article, I will teach you how to convert physical photos into digital photos. Let’s Go!
001: Take physical photos directly with the iPhone camera app
Taking a physical photo with your iPhone’s camera is believed to be a super-fast way to get an instant digital copy. Sometimes the result is good enough, but many times you save a few minutes of scanning, but you may spend more time trying to edit, correct and shoot the image.
A tripod or other iPhone stand is very useful when taking physical photos. Locking the iPhone in place effectively eliminates blur caused by jitter and makes it easier to align photos and iPhones to avoid skewed images.
With the iPhone in place, open the built-in Camera app to roughly align the photo in the viewfinder. To ensure that the iPhone is level, you can open the “Distance Meter” app, select “Level”, and adjust the tripod or stand so that the displayed number is 0.
Then go back to the camera app and prepare to convert the physical photos into digital photos. If you can see a lot of white space, you may need to increase the exposure slightly. It is recommended to use a three-second Selfie to avoid the shock caused by triggering the shutter when taking pictures. You can speed up the process with an Apple Watch or a Bluetooth shutter.
Click the preview location in the lower left corner to view the digital photo when you are finished. Select the edit button to fine-tune the edges, straighten them, and make other adjustments as needed. iPhone’s cropping feature also includes horizontal and vertical perspective corrections to correct any alignment errors. If you crop your photo slightly, you can “hide” the slight curl around the edges or corners of an old photo.
002: Scan photos to PDF files
One of the fastest ways to scan photos with your iPhone is to use the built-in scan feature in the Files app. Scanning pictures this way is quick and easy. The “File” App can accurately identify the corners of each photo, and can be set to automatically trigger the shutter. This speeds up processing and is handy when scanning multiple pictures.
In the “File” –> “Browse” section, click the three dots in the upper right corner to open more options. Selecting “Scan Files” will open the camera preview to align the photos that need to be scanned. By default, iPhone starts searching the corners of the photo, highlighting the area where it will be grabbed. If you hold your iPhone still for a few seconds, the shutter will automatically press, make a shutter sound, and display a thumbnail of the captured photo in the lower left corner.
You can keep taking more photos by replacing that physical photo or moving your iPhone until another photo appears in the preview. You can tap the thumbnail at any time to see what you’ve captured so far and make adjustments. Swipe left or right to browse the scanned pictures, if the scan is not good, you can click the trash picture button in the lower right corner to delete it.
If any photo is upside down or sideways, you can tap the rotate button at the bottom one or more times until the photo is vertical. The filter button on the left side of the Brigade allows you to change the image from the default color file to gray or black and white, or optimize it for photo, which is usually the best choice for pictures.
If the scan is wrong, sometimes you need to click the crop button in the lower left corner to adjust the corners. You can adjust by dragging any corner. If you press near a corner, rather than directly, you’ll see a zoomed-in view for more precise positioning. When you are satisfied with the adjustment, you can click Finish. After editing, you can save and rename the file. It should be noted that the output file will be a pdf file, which is suitable for printing, but limits the use of images.
003: Scan with Notes application
You can also start scanning from the iPhone’s built-in Notes application, which is suitable for you who want to save and share photos through Notes. Start by creating a new note, then tap the camera button that appears above the on-screen keyboard. If you don’t see the camera icon, click the plus button in the upper right corner to open the toolbar, then select the camera button.
When you select Scan File from the menu, the camera preview pops up, align your iPhone with the photo, the corners are detected, and as long as your iPhone is still, a digital photo is taken and the thumbnail will be appears in the lower left corner of the screen. Photos are automatically cropped and displayed side by side in a window inside the note, and you can swipe the image left or right to see more photos. Click on any image to enlarge it, and you can still swipe left and right after zooming in.
When you’re viewing a scanned photo in full-screen mode, editing options appear in the toolbar at the bottom, allowing you to change the crop, choose to save in color or black and white, get more scans, or delete the current image. Scanned images are included in the Notes app, and you can also sync to iCloud.
Click on any photo, then click the share button, choose to save the image and send it to the album. You can also share directly to social media or other apps from the share menu.
004: Scan with Google PhotoScan
Bright light is great for great digital photos, but glare can become a problem when you don’t have time to set up lights, or can’t move to the best position. At this time, you can download a free app called Google PhotoScan, which can take several physical photos and combine them to eliminate the glare problem.
To use Google PhotoScan, first open the app, align a physical photo in the viewfinder, and tap the shutter. Four white dots with arrows appear, instructing you to move the white circle to align with the dots. Hold steady for a few seconds, then follow the arrows to move the other white dots.
You don’t have to worry about any glare you see in these photos, once you grab the four corners, PhotoScan can work its magic to remove the glare and give you a beautiful digital scan. Click on the thumbnail to view the image in full screen, and use the rotation and angle adjustment functions for fine-tuning after scanning. The end result may not be as sharp as using a tripod or stand, though.
005: Scan multiple photos at once
Some apps can dramatically speed up the process of scanning a stack of photos, automatically cropping and separating multiple photos from a single scan, rather than taking photos one at a time. Of course, the quality of each photo will be lower than that of one shot at a time, but it is convenient and fast.
Photo Scan by Photomyne is one of the popular apps that can scan photos as well as scan negatives, it can recognize up to three photos, automatically align and crop them for you. You can try the app for free, but you’ll need to pay a $10 monthly subscription to save those scans at the best possible quality.
Another lower cost option is the Pic Scanner Gold app, which offers a lot of similar functionality, and can align and crop four physical photos in one scan, a one-time purchase of $8, and is a great tool for quickly Grab a photo and add it to your iPhone Kananhiki