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.
Want to made giant prints of your tiny phone photos? Instead of doing the enlargement purely with Photoshop, Photojojo suggests using a scanner for high-quality enlarging. Simply resample the small photo at 360dpi, print it out on high quality matte paper, and then re-digitize it using a scanner at 360dpi and the print size you want. It’d be interesting to see a side-by-side comparison of this technique versus simply resizing in Photoshop and printing that image directly.
In the future, after you print photos onto paper using your camera, you’ll be able to scan them and share them on Flickr using your mouse. At CES earlier this year, LG showed off an amazing new mouse that lets you quickly scan images and documents by simply waving the mouse over them. Now it’s available — if you live in the UK, you can buy one from Dabs for £90 (~$150).
We shared a couple weeks ago that it’s possible to scan film using an ordinary flatbed scanner and a DIY cardboard adapter, but did you know you can also use a large-screen cell phone or tablet computer to provide the necessary backlighting? All you need is a way to turn a large portion of the screen entirely white (e.g. a “flashlight” app). Simply place the device facedown over the film on the scanner, and scan it with the cover open. Read more…
If you’ve tried to scan film using an ordinary flatbed scanner as you would a piece of paper, you’ve probably discovered that it didn’t turn out very well. The reason is because film needs to be illuminated from behind, while conventional scanners capture light that’s reflected off what they’re scanning. Before you give up hope and shell out money for a film scanner, here’s some good news: you can build a cheap and simple cardboard adapter that turns any scanner into a film scanner! Read more…
If you have an old or broken flatbed scanner lying around and gathering dust, a neat thing you can do is convert it into a cheap, do-it-yourself lightbox for viewing negatives and slides. Photo-enthusiast James Wilson did this as a weekend project:
It was a simple process; gut the scanner, hook up a light fixture inside it, and paint the inside of the glass white. Total cost was around ten bucks for the light fixture, wiring, and paint. [#]
Did you know that flatbed scanners make fun portrait cameras as well? Just place your cat on the glass, do a quick scan, and you’ll have a strange looking portrait shot from below! Apparently this is pretty popular among cat lovers — a Flickr search for “cat scanner” returns thousands of results! This gives “cat scan” a whole new meaning!
Texas A&M graduate student Roman Kogan has written an interesting program that turns your webcam into scanner camera.
This program turns your webcam into a scanner camera, similar to the ones used to record photo finishes, but much, much, much slower. With it, you can create images like the ones on this page with ease and with no digital manipulation! It works by taking one pixel line at a time and arranging those slices in a line to produce the image. Thus one dimension of the image is spacial, and the other is temporal.
We’ve shared a good number of time-lapse videos here on PetaPixel before, but this one is pretty unique in the way it was created: François Vautier put an ant colony inside his scanner, and scanned the colony once a week over the course of five years. He then compiled the resulting images into a time-lapse video. It’s a little hard to make out what’s going on, and the zooming and panning can be a little distracting, but the idea is pretty interesting nonetheless.