If you shoot film and aren’t much into chemicals (or don’t have a basement in which to keep a gigantic 5×7″ enlarger), you’ll soon find yourself needing a way to import those beautiful pictures you’ve taken onto your computer. What? Why didn’t I say, “you’ll need a scanner”? After all, it’s not 1987 anymore — scanners are as common as toaster ovens.
Well, I didn’t say “a scanner” because it’s not the only way you can digitalize those pictures. Indeed, even though it’s the first (and often only) technique most people will think of, it is also the most inefficient and time consuming. And it can lose a lot, I mean a lot, of the quality of the original slide or negative.
The iPICS2GO Negative to iPhone Scanner is a simple device that lets your iPhone double as a scanner for photos, both film and prints. It works with 35mm negatives and slide film, as well as 3×5 and 4×6 prints.
Just plug your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S into the top, fire up the powerful editing app and feed a photo, slide or negative into the PICS2GO. With the app’s easy-to-use controls you can scan your pics in seconds, and save them as a digital file that’ll last forever. Or at least until the next technological revolution.
Battery-powered and designed purely for the iPhone 4 and 4S, the iPICS2GO is a handy little gadget that you can use anywhere in the house. Scan your family album while you’re watching the telly; or take it round your Nan’s house and go through her black and white snaps. There’s never been an easier or more convenient way to save your precious, perishable photo prints.
The scan quality is, well, iPhone camera quality, but it’s a pretty cheap option considering the $63 price tag.
iPICS2GO Negative to iPhone Scanner (via Gizmodo)
There’s an abandoned McDonalds in California that’s stuffed with 48,000 pounds of 70mm tape. These tapes contain never-before-seen ultra-high-res photographs of the moon shot by the Lunar Orbiter project 40 years ago. Rather than ship the film back to Earth, scientists decided to scan them on the spaceship, beam them back losslessly, and then record the data onto magnetic tape. Not wanting to reveal the precision of its spy satellites, the US government decided to mark the images as classified.
Well, lets just say I’ve gotten better at this over the last couple of years. The left image was one of the first I’ve “scanned” with my DSLR, and the one on the right I’ve just rescanned using the techniques described below (higher resolution available here). Right now I can get higher resolution and better image quality that what street labs give you on CD.
Shoebox is an app by 1000 Memories that lets you turn your iOS or Android smartphone into a scanner for digitizing old paper photos (the photos don’t have to be old, of course). The app goes far beyond manual snapping and cropping: it uses edge detection to help you crop, color balance to compensate for lighting, and auto-flattens the resulting image to adjust for your camera’s tilt. You can download it for free through the iTunes App Store or Google Play.
Shoebox [1000 Memories]
As newspapers struggle to survive in this new digital media world, an Arkansas-based collector named John Rogers has quietly built the world’s largest privately owned collection of photographs by paying huge sums of money for their photo archives. He currently has about 35 million photographs purchased from newspapers including The Chicago Sun Times, The St. Petersburg Times, and The Denver Post. Of these images, he owns or shares the copyright to about 25 million.
Part of the deal in each acquisition is that Rogers’ company digitizes and meticulously organizes the images, making the digital versions available to the newspapers. Apparently his phone is “ringing off the hook” from newspapers eager to have him purchase and digitize their archives.
Collector pays newspapers millions to digitize vintage photos (via Rob Galbraith)