The Photomyne app is a powerful tool for scanning everything, including photos, slides, negatives, kids' art, documents, scrapbooks, and more. However, having just the right scanning conditions is important to get the best results. While there isn't a 'best way' to scan, many factors can affect your scans. Take your time to figure out the method that's best for you. The following tips will help set you up for success!

Tips for best scanning results

Scanning options

You can scan multiple types of items from within the Photomyne so it’s important to choose the right camera option for the item you are scanning. For example: slides, negatives, scrapbook.

For more information please click here.

Photo scanning techniques

Speed vs quality
You can scan an entire album page or a few items grouped together on a table in one shot. If quick scanning is what you're after, scan up to 3 photos together for fast results. Alternatively, if print quality is what you're aiming for, we recommend scanning one item at a time.

Manual vs. Voice Control scanning
When ready to scan, long-press the camera icon until the circle on your scanning screen becomes full. Then release (For Android users - just a long press will do). Take multiple shots until you finish capturing the photos you want. When finished, tap done on the top-right. Another option, for iOS users, is to scan hands-free using a voice command - learn more about this option here.

Scanning slides & negatives

Unlike photos, text, or kids’ art, slides and negatives require a backlight when scanning. Choose from one of two types of backlights - a bright white screen or a light pad. We recommend using a light pad (found in our Amazon store) so you can lay your slides or negatives flat on the surface for easier scanning. Try to get as much of the slide/negative’s image in the frame as you scan. For negatives, align the image within the light strip in the middle.

Using a computer or tablet as a backlight
Without a light pad, you can also use your computer or a tablet. However, unlike a light pad, you cannot lay your negatives or slides flat on the screen. Here are the steps:

  • Open a bright plain white screen with your device’s brightness all the way up.
  • Grab your slide or negative and hold it near the screen, about a couple of inches. Don’t hold it too close to avoid pixelated scans.
  • Capture your scan.

Using a macro lens
Want to take your scanning to the next level? A macro lens will give you the absolute best quality scanned images. From within the app, first enable Macro Lens Mode, then attach the macro lens to your phone's camera. Place the lens as close to the negative as possible until it appears focused in the app. and capture the image. Just note, you might have to turn the lights off to avoid glare.

Scanning conditions

To achieve the best possible scans, try to follow these guidelines:

Here’s how to limit glare and reflections in your scans:

  • Use natural daylight and avoid artificial lighting if possible (especially not a fluorescent light). Bright lamp lights can cause a glare. Try using either natural light from a nearby window, or use a lamp with softer light.
  • Avoid direct lighting and have the light sources to the left and/or right of the photos. Avoid having the light source behind, in front, or above the photographs.
  • Remove photos from plastic sleeves or remove photo’s covering before scanning to avoid glare.
  • If you have difficulty in finding the right lighting conditions, consider using a photo tent to diffuse the light source, soften shadows and reduce glares.
  • Try changing the lighting angles, and possibly the location where you scan until you find the best conditions.

If you are capturing individual photos scattered on a table or on any other surface, make sure the surface is smooth and even-colored. Any color or material will do, as long as the surface has the same (preferably solid) color.

Hold your device directly above (and parallel to) the surface, rather than at an angle.

Take the closest possible shot of the photos - so photos take up as much space of the camera screen as possible while leaving narrow margins around photos.

Hold your device close to the photo - so it takes up the maximum space inside the frame, with little margins.

Additional help

External sources
There is a Facebook group called Photomyne experts. This is a place for advanced Photomyne users to share their knowledge and experience and help one another. There really is nothing like crowdsourced wisdom. Request to join here.

Scanning accessories: If you are still looking for an additional boost to your photo scanning experience, take a look at these recommended scanning accessories.


Need help and/or have more questions? Contact our support team for further assistance.

This page was last updated in June 2023