Recently I’ve been shooting tons of Polaroids and I’ve been having so much fun with it. Shooting with Polaroids is one of my favorite ways to shoot because it is so enjoyable for everyone involved and I always find that they create really unique images. Today I’m going to be walking you through how I scan my Polaroids at home with the Epson Perfection V550 Scanner.
Scanning Polaroids at Home
Shooting Polaroids is always so much fun, especially when you’re shooting portraits where you and a friend can share the photo and enjoy watching the photo develop before your eyes! Two of my biggest inspirations when it comes to Polaroid photography are Brock Fetch and Brandon ‘Jinx’ Jenkins. Both of these photographers use their Polaroid cameras in really cool and unique ways and I’m always a fan of seeing the new photos that they are able to create with their Polaroid cameras.
One of the best ways to get your Polaroids onto your computer or any digital device once you’ve shot it is to scan it and today I’ll be going over how I scan my Polaroids at home with the Epson V550 scanner.
I usually start off by connecting my scanner and turning it on. Next, I’ll load up Epson’s Scan Software that is available to download from their product page. Once the scanner and the software are ready to go I begin wiping down the glass on my scanner and then I lay my Polaroid in the center of the scanner as best I can. Make sure the white cover is on the top of your scanner because you are scanning a document, not a negative! Now that everything is prepared physically, let’s take a look below to see the scanner settings that will work great for scanning your polaroids!
First, you’ll need to make sure that ‘Document Mode’ is selected and that your dpi is set to however high you want it (depending on quality preference). Next, go ahead and select either ‘Color’ or ‘Grayscale’ on the Image Type drop-down. If you are looking to scan black & white polaroids, scan them in the ‘Grayscale’ setting. When in document mode, the scanner will not render your polaroid if you select ‘Black & White’ for the Image Type setting.
Now that everything is set in Epson Scan software, click preview to see what your scan will look like. Now that you have an idea of how everything looks, select the area that you would like to scan and then set your file name and where you’d like to save your Polaroid. Finally, click scan and your Polaroid will be finished scanning in no time!
Scanning Polaroids with the Epson perfection V550 is super quick and easy; however, one problem that many people run into is with the Polaroid borders. Sometimes when you’re scanning the border will seem to blend in with the white background, sometimes they tend to look a little bit off-white, and sometimes they look just a little bit off. Whatever the case may be, you can also click on ‘Advanced Settings’ and try playing the brightness and/or the contrast sliders. One thing to note is that these sliders will affect the photo itself as well so you’ll need to be cautious that you don’t ruin the photo by trying to save the border. :)
The best way to create the perfect scans of your Polaroids is to keep trying and keep trying! Eventually you’ll find the perfect look – then you can save the settings for your next time scanning Polaroids. :) We hope this quick tutorial helped – if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me (Matt Moloney) here!