What the Tech? Paper Photos - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

What the Tech? Paper Photos

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You may have shoe boxes filled with photos on paper. When you stop and think about it, practically every photo you took since 2010 or so is on paper. In just a few simple steps and a free app, we’ll help you turn those old paper photos into digital files you can share. 

You don’t need a scanner like you did just a few years ago, all you need now is a smartphone or tablet. Take a photo of the photo.

The important thing is to hold the device and the photo steady and watch for any glare from the lights. Glossy photos tend to shine with any bright light near them. 

Your smartphone may cast a shadow on the picture and the flash from the camera can leave a bright spot on the copy. 

Turn off your smartphone flash and prop the photo on its side to get the best light possible with no glare from overhead lights

If you have a lot of photos you can set up an assembly line using an app such as Pro­Cam. Prop up the phone between two books and the photo against the shoebox or another book. 

Tap the screen to set manual focus and exposure. Pro­Cam has a timer feature which you can set then swap the photos out between shutters. 

Google has a terrific app, “Google Photos” which will upload each picture automatically to a cloud server. It also uses facial recognition so the photos will automatically be organized by person. 

In an afternoon or so those shoe boxes of photos will be in the cloud for sharing

Step-­by­-Step Instructions

  1.  Take a snapshot of the photo using a smartphone or tablet
  2. Make sure lighting is good
  3. Photos that are laid flat on a table will often get a reflection or glare from overhead lights
  4. Turn off the flash
  5. Prop up photo and the device using books or other objects
  6.  Propping up the photos cuts down on glare from ceiling lights
  7. Download the ProCam 2 ? For multiple photos use ProCam 2's timer
  8. Download Google Photos app and get a free account
  9. Turn on the apps 'automatic upload"
  10.  All photos taken with your phone are uploaded and organized with Google Photos App
  11. links to apps:

ProCam 2 for iOS


self-­camera timer for Android


Google Photos app for android


for iOS


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