Scan vs Photo

Everyone has a camera in their phone these days. Your camera can replace scanning in many ways, especially if it is urgent, within 1-2 minutes, to transfer an image. In this case, the colours are likely to be distorted and the fine details of the image will be poorly conveyed.

However it is still a good option if you have no professional scanner nearby or if you have to go to us,, far away and today we will tell you how to photograph documents correctly so that you can later print or even recognise the text that was photographed. More information on the Scan vs. Photo‘s topic can be found via the link.

Сканировать или фотографировать?

When taking photographs, there are a number of factors to consider which will affect the quality and usability of the images:


A huge influence on the quality of a photo is the lighting of the document at the time it is taken.

You need to ensure good, even lighting of the document being photographed, preferably daylight. If you are taking the picture in bright daylight, you can increase the aperture value to get a sharper shot.

Using lights and flash

If natural light is insufficient, it is best to use two lamps on opposite sides of the document for additional illumination to avoid shadows and glare.
The flash should not be used as it will produce over-lit areas and harsh shadows. However if you are shooting from a distance (~50 cm), you may use the flash, but it is better to light the document with a lamp.
Caution! Do not use flash when taking pictures of documents printed on glossy paper.

Shooting technique

To make sure you get a great shot, it is important to correctly position your camera or phone and follow some rules when taking pictures.

Use a tripod to take pictures of documents

The lens should be parallel to the surface of the document you are photographing. The camera should be far enough away from the page so that when you use the optical zoom, the page will fit completely into the frame. This distance is usually about 50-60 cm.
Paper irregularities (e.g. at the spine of a book) need to be smoothed out. The angle of the text in the photo should not exceed 20 degrees.
Focus on the centre of the image to get a clearer picture.
Use the image stabilizer, as slow shutter speeds are used in low light in automatic mode, which has a negative effect on the sharpness of the picture.
Use the self timer. This avoids camera shake when the shutter release button is pressed. You can encounter such problems even when using a tripod.
How to take a better picture if:
The picture is too dark and lacks contrast.
Solution: Improve the lighting. If there is no such possibility, open the aperture, i.e. set the aperture number to a lower value.