How to digitize vintage photos and videos?

Remember the old photos that are stored away somewhere in your house? The excitement of holding old photos in your hand? Going through those beautiful photo albums? Or reminiscing about your elders in the family photos? Or reliving the precious memories captured in the VHS Tapes? Viewing those old photos was a moment of pure joy. The moments captured in those old photos. 

Each photograph has a story of its own. The stories behind them used to give us infinite pleasure. This was a time of print images. Then came the digital era. The digital photos took place of printed photos. These photos are actually digital files that remain within the cameras. Unlike your old photos, you can view them on a TV screen or a computer screen. The VHS tapes are now a story from the past. In fact, tapes and video players are an extinct technology. 

If we want to watch the wedding video of your parents, it is a hassle. You have to get the VHS tape out, find a video player, and then a converter box that would connect the player to our smart TV. And after going through all that trouble, it is possible that the video reel got destroyed because of the weather or some other factor. 

With the advancement in technology, the quality of the camera and its lenses improved a great many times. Now there is no need to buy a camera roll and print photos. You can put your digital photos and videos on your Google drive or SD card for safekeeping. You can even share digital copies. They won't get destroyed. This wasn't the case a few years ago. The quality of these printed photos was poor and depending upon exposure, they used to fade out eventually. You had to carefully handle the old negatives. There was no option to remove glare or do color correction. 

Why digitize your old photos and videos?

When you take a photograph, you capture a moment. Those few minutes of videos that you make will never seize, giving infinite pleasure to you. In some corner of our house, we all have a collection of these old photos in film negatives and film reels. We don't even know how many photos we have. Old physical photos have been lovingly stored in photo albums and then dumped into shoeboxes passed on as legacy boxes because of a lack of storage.

These old pictures eventually lose their quality. Sometimes a photo fades out, or they are at the risk of getting destroyed due to some accident or catastrophe. Many photographs are lost over a period of time and some important moments, captured in photos. Still, you never get to enjoy them because of the hassle involved in setting up the old video player for the VHS tapes

Have you ever experienced a moment when you wanted to share family photos with relatives but didn't have access to the old physical photos? Well, this is why you need to digitize photos. With scanned photos, you can share memories through your digital copies. Your family photos will be safe. If you can scan photos, they will be available for you always. 

Your parents, grandparents, the graduation moments, the big happy family photos, the engagements, weddings, all safe and at your disposal. Instead of the physical photos, you can enjoy them on a bigger screen with a higher resolution. 

And now, because of the availability of an image editor, you can correct the white images, remove glare, and improve the picture quality by saving them in other formats or sepia photos with better resolution. 

person opening photo album displaying grayscale photos

Benefits of digitizing your physical pictures and videos:

We have already discussed the disadvantages of the old prints and videos. Here are a few advantages of digitizing them. 

Save your storage space 

Do you have a cupboard dedicated to these vintage items? The VHS tapes that do not play with the current technologies? Well, the solution is to scan photos and convert them into digital photos and videos. Then, you can store any image on the web, your Google drive, or your USB drive. Your saved image is now just a click away. 

Share your pictures

Since the access becomes convenient, it is so much easier for you to access these images. Now you can share memories in the form of these high-quality digitized photos with your children, grandchildren, or maybe some old friends that you bump into. So, enjoy those precious moments as old is gold.

Edit your pictures to enjoy them more

Now, you can edit that photo that somehow got spoiled. While scanning photos, you can edit them using a free app. you can edit the scanned images by removing glare, correct the quality, or, for the fun part, simply crop out those people in the photo that you don't like. Isn't it fun!!! Now you can enjoy watching these photographs on the computer.

Keep your treasure safe 

This is the biggest advantage. Your old photographs will be safe. You will no longer be dependent upon old negatives. These scanned photos will remain on the net for times to come, and you can go down your memory lane as and when you please. You can prepare slides and enjoy them with your family. You no longer have to worry about the paint getting damaged. 

How to digitize photos and videos?

There are two ways to digitize photos and videos. One is to do it at home; the other is to outsource a company. Both ways have their pros and cons, which we will now discuss.

Outsource a company to digitize photos and videos 

Many companies provide this service. They scan the original photos and then edit the photo using photo scanning apps to give the perfect image. It is less complicated, and you forego the tedious job of scanning every photo and then editing them. Getting it done by a professional will yield the best results. They have the best photo scanning machines and the best film scanner. They know what sized photograph can be scanned on which scanner, how to edit to get the best results. If you have the money, then yes, it's a good option. However, this has its disadvantages too. 

Firstly, outsourcing is costly 

The companies often share the low per photo cost of the scans, but later on, there are additional fees for the editing apart from the scans. 

Secondly, you mail these photographs to the company 

You have to entrust your original prints to the mailing system. In case of an accident or any other fatality, you would lose them all at once.

A stranger would be looking at your photographs 

A stranger would have access to all your precious memories. That is a creepy thought!

You can scan your digital photos at home 

This may sound like a time-consuming job, scanning all the photos at home and then editing them, but you save a lot of money on this one. The fun part is you get to relive every memory. While the scans take place, it will be a trip down the memory lane where you can edit a few factors you didn't like or crop out those annoying friends! Who says you can't edit your life!

You can do both together 

Yes, you can do both together. You can send a few photos to the company and do the rest at home. This would effectively cover your concerns over the cons of both options.

Outsourcing the job of digitizing the photos-get your photo albums quickly

When you hire a photo scanning service, you mail the original prints to them. Then, after they scan photos, they send the original photos back to you via mail. This can take some time, depending upon their queue of jobs and on the fact that how many photos you send them. Next, they digitize photos and correct those using the photo scan app. Then you have an option. Either you can purchase a USB drive or a DVD with your digital images, or they send a link to an account where your digital files have been stored.

You can choose whatever suits you best. No doubt, hiring experts yield much more professional results. They have professional scanners that digitize your photos. Their settings ensure the best resolution since they know the art of scanning. With their editing skills, they easily remove glares.

Digitise old photos videos at home

This is not as difficult as it sounds. It is a lot more cost-effective, and definitely, you get to do things the way you want to. So let us guide you through it. Like every project, divide your work into tasks. This helps you work in an organized manner, which in turn would give you the best results. Discussed below are some guidelines that would help you out.

Ensure you have the right equipment

For any successful job, you need to have the right equipment. For example, you would require the following:

Scanner: A flatbed scanner is a good option. You can try Epson Fast Foto FF-680W. It can scan batches of 36 prints. The rate is one per second. Hence it would be a fast option, completing your task at a faster rate. However, this might be a bit expensive. 

Doxie Go SE is a cheaper option. It uses battery power and scans the images to an SD card.  If you don't want to buy a scanner, you can use online photo scanning apps or even your phone. The most common is, of course, the Google PhotoScan app for both Android and iOS phones. There are other online scanners as well. You can open up their guide, and the app will guide you through the process.      

Software for your scanner. Every hardware runs on a system through its software. So be sure that if you buy a scanner, you purchase the software as well.

Software to edit your pictures

There are many soft wares online that edit them, sharpens the image by adjusting the lights and contrast, fixing blemishes, and cropping them.

Organize yourself 

To achieve your target, you need to be organized. Arrange your photos in chronological order. It will help you realize how many you want; also, you can safeguard the memories by writing down the sequence of events.

Do not scan them all

So many times we take a picture which is just a waste. Remember, you are digitizing a lot of them, and it's a big task. Do not scan them all. Be selective.

Be prepared

Check your scanner. Understand the settings. The printed photos used to come in different sizes. The scanner needs to be adjusted for those sizes. Clean/ dust the pictures before you put them inside the scanner. Never try to iron out the old and creased ones because it causes damage to the photo. Once you scan them, you can edit the crease later.

Know your picture

You should know the type of picture you are scanning so that you can adjust the settings accordingly. For example, for sepia photos, you should always go for a colored scan

Scanning the photos with your phone-how many photos do you want to scan?

If you do not have the resources to buy a scanner, you can use the online scanners. However, this is a longer process because you have to manually set each picture according to the size, edit them and then let your phone scan them. Then you save the digital copies to your drive. Some of the popular scanners are Google PhotoScan, Microsoft Office Lens, and TurboScan.

These apps can scan, crop, and rotate, as well as add filters. However, keep in mind that the output of these apps is not as good as that of scanners. Some other good options for iOS phones are the Pic Scanner by Appinitio Ltd. It costs just $3.99, or you can go in for Memories by IdeaSolutions, free.

What is the best option? scanning or an app

Unsure how to go about your project? Then here's a suggestion. If you don't have many old photos or videos to digitize them, don't invest money in a scanner. But if there are many photos and videos, you should consider buying a good scanner. I will help you restore your memories in a better way. The result would be a quality result. However, if your collection is huge, you should consider hiring a professional service for a part of your collection. Maybe the most important images so that they can do a professional job over them. Or you can send your damaged prints to them. They have finer technology and expertise to edit them and safeguard your memories.

Life is beautiful, and we shouldn't lose the beauty of our important moments. The moments captured in the photographs and videos should remain with us. These moments, later on, have the power to revive us from our darker moments. With being just a click away, we can view them any moment, share them with the right people at the right time.