Thursday, November 10, 2011

In which I finally get to play with my Flip Pal scanner

 Post #3

And so, finally, I had a chance to play with my Flip Pal Scanner.  If you read my last post, you will remember that in Spain we looked a box full of family photos.  These photos dated from the 1930s to the 1980s mostly taken in Spain, but some from the 1960s and 70s when my father in law was working at the UN in New York.  They had traveled back and forth across the Atlantic over time. My mother in law graciously offered us the chance to take some of them home, back over the Atlantic again to New Hampshire.  My husband chose about two dozen nice photos of various subjects, and I knew that I would want to scan these first!
In Spain, selecting some old family photos
Learning to use the scanner was easy.  As Marian Pierre-Louis had mentioned in her blog post, read the booklet first!  In fact, there is a more detailed instruction booklet on the 2GB SD card included with the scanner.  I put it into my computer, opened the tool box file and read the directions.  It would have been nice if these directions were included in the small booklet, but it was no problem reading them on screen.  Within five minutes I had scanned about eight of the Spanish photos.

The first photo I chose was this one.  My husband had taken a photo of this photo with his digital camera in Madrid, and had emailed it around to the cousins in the photo while we were still in Spain.  Here is his camera version:

a photo of a photo by camera
And here is the version I scanned.  This was exactly what the scanner produced, which is pretty nice, but a little crooked so I will need to edit it or re-scan it. There are guidelines on the scanner bed to line up photos (live and learn!).   For Christmas 1966 in Brooklyn, New York my husband received a toy wagon from the Bonanza TV series.  It was his favorite toy as a kid, and he looks for a replacement now at yard sales and on e-Bay.
a Flip Pal scan of the same photo!
no color correction or cropping
For my second scan I tried using the stitching software on this photograph of my mother in law.  This photo was scanned in two parts, top and bottom.  The original was a 5"x7" and the scanner can do up to 4"x 6".   To do this I learned how to remove the cover of the scanner and scan by holding it upside down over a large photograph.  This would be handy for large documents or newspapers.  I loved how easy this was, and the scanner is surprisingly light and maneuverable.

My mother in law (front) worked at
Morgan and Morgan publishers
on Fifth Avenue in New York in the 1960s
We have stitching software that came with our digital camera, and my husband uses it all the time.  He loves to take panoramic shots when we are on vacation, or even just around town.  He has to manually wiggle each photo into alignment and then the software takes several minutes to work on the project before showing the results.  It was so much work that I never bothered learning how to use that piece of software.  With the Flip-Pal tool box I chose the two scanned images and this new image popped up immediately.  No work on my end.   It is impossible to tell where the stitching happened, even when I enlarge this photograph.  Hubby was very impressed and was sad to find out that this software only works on images scanned with Flip-Pal.

The third image was a faded color photograph taken at the New York World's Fair in 1964.  My father in law was working for the United Nations in Manhattan, and my mother in law was the daughter of a Spanish Guardia Civil officer.  When they attended the World's Fair, my husband was only three years old.  They all posed with the Guardia Civil staff in the Spanish pavilion for this photograph.  Unfortunately, over the years it faded to look like this:
1964 NY World's Fair image scanned by Flip-Pal
 From the tool box I chose the "Restore Color" button.  I had to select "load" and then the photograph.  Instantly, I had this result:
the same image after using Restore Color
from the Flip-Pal tool box
Of course, there were some manual things I could play with to correct the color, etc. but this result was so nice that I decided to save it as is.  My husband couldn't believe it when he saw it.  We immediately e-mailed the new version back to Madrid to surprise my mother in law.  So this image has crossed the Atlantic in many forms, many times over since 1964.

Within half an hour I had learned to scan, stitch, color correct, save the results to my own folders and delete from the SD card.  Deleting was important because I kept hitting the green scan button on the side of the scanner when I picked it up to move it around on photos.  After the fourth or fifth time I had learned where not to put my hands!  Again, live and learn!

Now I am ready to tackle some real holiday projects for the Simple Gifts Genealogy Blog Hop!

Disclaimer - I was chosen by Flip-Pal to participate as a blogger in the Simple Gifts Genealogy Blog Hop event, and I received a Flip-Pal scanner to use and evaluate.

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Wow. I was hesitant to get the Flip Pal at the NGS conference because even though they said that there was software to stitch the large photos together, I had images of using something along the lines of what your husband had been doing. I thought that it would just be too much work, but obviously not!

    I'd love to see how it scans something even bigger that has many more parts to stitch together like a newspaper page or even an 8x10.

    Great post, Heather!

  2. Cheryl, I have stitched pages from newspapers and yearbooks Using Flip Pals stitching software. It works seamlessly.

    Heather, There is something to be said for reading the manuals. I didn't know flip Pal could do color corrections. Exciting! it does a beautiful job!

  3. I got the Flip-Pal several weeks ago. The first time you use the stitching software and see that larger image on the screen, you can't help but say "Wow"! I have stitched together a newspaper page as well as photos larger than 4"x 6". (Note that the larger the number of images you're stitching, the longer it takes.)

    Another comment - be ready with more AA batteries (re-chargeable recommended) as they wear out pretty quickly when you get scanning.

    As Michelle noted, I'll have to look into the color correction capability - I didn't know that.