For me, the iPhone has replaced the scanner for some time. I even take pictures of invoices, forms and other letters that I have to hand in digitally somewhere. The same happens with old analog photos that I want to digitize. However, these and other pictures, posters, drawings and the like often have the problem that light reflections and mirroring of the environment can be seen on them. And if you want to avoid them, you have to choose an angle that distorts the image. The solution is provided by an app called Google Photos photo scanner. It helps with reflection-free scanning and automatic cropping of photos.
Chapter in this post:
This is how the photo scanner from Google Photos app works
As the name suggests, the free app is an offer from Google. You can find the download for iOS in the App Store and the download for Android in Play Store. After installation you will get an introduction to how the app works:
- Photograph the entire photo or document
- Scan the four corners of the photo or document
- Let the app merge and fix everything
By merging the overall shot and individual shots of the four corners, reflections from certain angles are eliminated by simply inserting the part of the image without light reflection. In addition, the App the photo and crops its edges. Here, numerous steps are omitted that you would have to carry out in an app for photo editing if you wanted to do everything yourself.
App test: Take a photo without light reflection and mirroring
To test the app, I placed a brochure under the glossy protective film of a folder and switched on the ceiling light. In this way, I was able to ensure that a reflection lands on the object to be photographed from different angles. Then I used the photo scanner app to first scan the entire image and then the individual corners as described above. The app activated the camera's flash LEDs to create its own exposure (this function can be deactivated manually).
The result can be seen to some extent. Even though I didn't hold the iPhone parallel to the edges of the brochure, everything came out straight. So correcting the image orientation for the right perspective works very well. But there are still reflections from the wall and things hanging from it. My recommendation would therefore be to use a darker environment or to minimize any reflections and reflections as much as possible, even if the app can compensate and retouch a lot.
Your tips and tricks for photographing photos
Have you ever digitized old photos with your cell phone? Did that work out well or did you fail because of the shiny surface? And did you use a special app other than the manufacturer's own camera app? Feel free to leave your experiences, tips, tricks and test reports as comments. I'm curious how you approach the matter or whether you're just planning to digitize old photos and that's why you ended up with this post!
After graduating from high school, Johannes completed an apprenticeship as a business assistant specializing in foreign languages. But then he decided to research and write, which resulted in his independence. For several years he has been working for Sir Apfelot, among others. His articles include product introductions, news, manuals, video games, consoles, and more. He follows Apple keynotes live via stream.