Sharing recent memories on Facebook can be done in a few taps, but not so much for stacks of old photo albums and scrapbooks from decades past. Most of us simply don’t bother, because traditional scanning of prints takes too long or costs too much.
Now there’s a way to cut this work down to size at nominal expense, simply by aiming your iPhone at a group of photos, even while they’re still mounted in an album. An inexpensive app called Photomyne can even add enhanced images to your Facebook timeline, placed conveniently by when they were taken.
Memories in minutes
To get started, aim your device at an entire album page or multiple photos laid out on a table, hold down the camera button for a few seconds, and in moments the software intelligently separates individual prints into a digital equivalent. (The universal app also works with iPad, but produced lower-quality results in my tests.)
There are only three rules for best results: Make sure all four corners fit into the frame, place photos on a clean, uncluttered surface, and hold your device directly over prints, rather than at an angle. I’d add a fourth: decent lighting. Photomyne handles the rest, automatically cropping images and adjusting them to the proper angle and proportion.
In my tests, automatic cropping wasn’t always accurate, but can be manually adjusted by tapping a photo and adjusting the side or corner with your finger. As you do this, a magnified view of the edge appears with a crosshair, making it much easier to achieve precise results with minimal effort.
Photomyne also automatically restores images to look their best. Earlier versions offered separate color and contrast adjustment sliders, but the latest update ditches this approach in favor of a mere handful of one-tap filters for simplicity, but I found myself wanting a little more manual control over the final look.
Back in time
Photomyne is best used for creating new albums from batches of photos taken around the same time. After processing, you’ll have the opportunity to assign a name and date, or tag any Facebook friends present in those pictures. A feature I’d like to see added is the option to manually select which photo is used for the album cover.
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