This article was originally included on Popular photography.

IN PhotoScan application from Google is one of the fastest and easiest ways we’ve found to create high-quality digital versions of physical prints. In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the steps needed to digitize your favorite instant photos, whether they’re Polaroids or Instax.

Why you should use a digitalization application

PhotoScan is a free app for Android and iOS devices. Dan Bracalia

Although your smartphone’s camera can work in increments, this method often results in photos with noticeable glare and / or distortion of perspective. The PhotoScan app, on the other hand, automatically corrects both through computational magic. It also detects the edges of the prints, so you won’t lose the charming boundaries around your instant shots.

And unlike digitizing with a traditional scanner, which can be a time-consuming process, PhotoScan creates a file ready to share in about ten seconds.

Step 1: Download and open PhotoScan

How to turn your phone into a small photo scanner
Start by arranging your footprint in the application frame. Dan Bracalia

PhotoScan is available for free for both Android and iOS devices. After downloading it, open the app and you should see a vertical frame with several controls at the bottom, including the option to turn the camera flash on and off, as well as a anti-glare switch. We advise you to leave both included.

Step 2: Arrange your footprint in the frame

How to turn your phone into a small photo scanner
It’s a good idea to put your fingerprint on a solid background before digitizing for best results. Dan Bracalia

Select the instant photo you want to digitize and place it on a flat surface, preferably on a solid background. I used the front of the notebook for this. When the app is open, hold your phone over the fingerprint and arrange the image in the PhotoScan frame. Then press the large round button at the bottom of the screen. This will start the digitization process.

Step 3: Follow the prompts of the application by moving the camera around over the fingerprint

How to turn your phone into a small photo scanner
Once you start the digitization process, four white dots will appear. Dan Bracalia

You will then see four white dots appear in the frame above your fingerprint. An arrow will point you to the first point. Slowly move the center circle over the first point and wait until it turns white to blue, this will take about 1-2 seconds.

How to turn your phone into a small photo scanner
Once the dot turns blue, an arrow will appear indicating how to move your smartphone next. Dan Bracalia

Once a point turns blue, another arrow will appear to indicate which point aligns the center circle on the next. Repeat this process until you hold your smart device on the four dots at which point PohotoScan will start generating the final image file.

How to turn your phone into a small photo scanner
The final product. Dan Bracalia

And that’s it! You can see all the files you’ve scanned using the app by tapping the thumbnail in the lower right corner of the screen. PhotoScan also lets you rotate images and adjust angles before sharing your scans with the world. Enjoy digitizing!


How to turn your phone into a small-photo scanner

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