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Digital Images and Genealogy

Workflow Examples for Photo/Document Copying

The following is based on my personal workflows - you may have to adjust to account for your own equipment and software.

Type of Project

My first decision is the type of project - what equipment and software will I be using? The first decision is whether to use my camera or my scanner.

Flatbed Scanner:
  • A few loose photos - these are best done with the scanner since they are pressed flat, no reflection problems and, depending on the size of photo, can be done at higher resolution that my camera can do.


  • Document for Imaging - this depends on the type of document, but if it less than legal size paper and can be pressed flat, then I generally choose the scanner.


  • Document for OCR - for a document that I want to convert into editable text - then my scanner together with my optical character recognition (OCR) software is the best choice. I can also do OCR from digital camera images, but a scanner is much preferred since it is often "mated" with the OCR software and can do higher resolution for better OCR accuracy.
Digital Camera:
  • Delicate Photo Albums - for a photo album that I don't want to remove the pages, or try to squish down flat, or is too big for my scanner - then the camera is the best solution.


  • Large and/or in-place objects - large includes things like paintings and quilts, family items that can't be scanned can be digitally photographed.


  • 3D objects - family heirlooms (i.e. jewelry, figurines) or any other 3D object


For information on some of my personal workflows see:





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