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Quick scanning of old photos

The actual scanning of old photos does not take very long, it is the cropping, correcting and straightening which takes the time! Luckily if you use Windows and a normal flatbed scanner there is a program which will speed up the process. It extracts, crops, straightens and corrects all in one fell swoop. Of course it is better if you can get several photos on the scanner bed at once, and the photos must not touch, but then just run RansenScan and...

Quick scanning of old photos

As you can see the four photos have been extracted and are visible in the column on the right of the sceenshot. Notice that the extracted photos are not crooked, that they have better brightness and contrast and that they are all separate from one another. RansenScan can handle up to 20 photos at once, though that 20 figure is more for stamp collectors than photo enthusiasts!

At this point you can use the menu to save all four photos at once, giving the set a base name and a number. Alternatively you can save each separately, giving each one a more specific name.

Names of the saved photos are important, because if you scan and save hundreds (or even thousands!) of photos you'd like to be able to find particular ones with the Windows search command.

Here is a closer look at what the automatic brightness and contrast enhancement which RansenScan can do:

Increase contrast of old photos

You may not want the automatic enhancement of course, and in that case you can switch it off or on at will:

How to switch on automatic contrast for old photos

So using RansenScan is one of the the fastest and best methods to scan large collections of old photographs on a standard flatbed scanner (if you are using Windows). Document (text) scanners and scanning programs often aren't set up well for photos and offer lesser quality even at similar resolutions.

You should certainly try RansenScan if you don't want to use an expensive service from a company which will probably mix up thousands of your family pictures. It might take a lifetime to reorganize your pics afterward. And some of these services don't even rotate or straighten the photos you send them!

Although RansenScan can accurately rotate most of your photos you might want to have some of then them precise to a fraction of a degree (0.1° to be precise) and if so just double click on the extracted picture to get this dialog:

Rotate and crop old photos

The grid is optional, and you just click on the 0.1° rotation buttons until the photo is just as you want it.

The services in large stores have exorbitant prices for the same, and you may not want to trust them too much, what with all the traffic in those stores. Employees can't focus on solely on your pictures. RansenScan costs $29.99 and the demo is free and without strings (we don't ask for your email or any other details). Just download and test.

While it is important to keep the (paper) originals, it is also important to make digital backups. Digital images never fade, unlike emulsion in photos pictures. Emulsion is a chemical reaction that is still going on even after the traditional photo has been developed and "fixed". I know, I've seen it...

It is clear that a hard copy cannot compete in many situations, but it is probably better to put a print of a scanned photo on your wall rather than the original. In any normal room an original photo will fade. Best to keep the originals a dark place (to reduce the chemical reactions on the surface of the photo) and let the copy fade on your wall.

Click on the button below to download RansenScan for Windows.

RansenScan as a postcard scanning utility.



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