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Thorsten von Overgaard Gallery Store: Film Scan and Slide Scanning in 24MP

Preserve and share moments from film

I found a way to digitize the old film archives in perfect quality and with high enough resolution. Now you can get the same thing done for your archive.

I made the choice simple: There is one resolution, which is 24MP, scanned in 48-bit, and all scans get cleaned for dust, hair and other dirt automatically; you get them delivered as 8-bit JPG via Google Drive, you can print and/or downsize for use on social media and share with friends and family.


Film Scanning and Slide Scanning

I found a way to digitize the old film archives in perfect quality and with high enough resolution. Now you can get the same thing done for your archive. It's simple and economical.

Click to buy here and add the approximate number of pictures you think there are. Start with your entire archive, or start small, like 250-500 pictures. It’s up to you. The turnaround time for scans is usually two weeks.

Then send them via courier or postal service to:
Photographer Services Billi Scan,
Borggade 3, DK-8000 Aarhus City
Denmark, Tel +45 6056 3347

(please don’t call or text, the phone number is for courier delivery).

When we receive the pictures, we’ll let you know. If anything requires special attention (broken film, very dirty negatives, etc.), we’ll discuss what to do with those by email.

When we have scanned the pictures, we will send a Google Drive link to the files, as well as an exact count of the scans. Any difference in prepayment will be refunded or billed. You can start a service with as little as 1 picture ($1.00) and we’ll handle the rest later.

Return shipping is on you, so you may have UPS, GLS, DHL or other courier service pick up, or we will give you a quote to send the film back via GLS for you.


Start today
Order now

Scans from black & white negatives, color slides and black and white slides.

$1 per scan

Click to buy here and add the approximate number of pictures you think there are (we'll adjust the actual count when done with scanning).

Delivered 48-bit raw scan made into 24MP resolution as 8-bit JPG files, standard white balance and cleaning performed. The turnaround time for scans is usually two weeks.

Feel free to e-mail for questions.




The quality

The “optimum resolution” for a picture is 18MP, which is what the eye can resolve. Most scanning services today who provide development and scanning do much smaller scans. So getting film scanned in high resolution is traditionally expensive, and if the film is damaged or dirty, it gets really expensive to bring them back to quality.

Hence, I was waiting for a workflow where we could mass-produce scans in 24MP resolution. We actually scan each picture twice: once for the picture, once for the dirt, and then we use the two scans to isolate the picture without dirt and scratches. It works miracles, and it makes it possible to deliver high quality scans “for life” which are affordable. 

As a professional photographer, I’ve shot thousands of black and white film and color slide film (positive film for projection). Most of that has been through a workflow of scanning the selected pictures on high quality scanners and sending to magazines. I’ve used both $1,000 Nikon scanners, and mostly $20,000 Imacon drum scanners.

Here you can see a test of a color slide scanned on Imacon, scanned again using this workflow.




Imacon scan that took 8 minutes to scan and then 10-15 minutes to clean in Photoshop.   Same slide years later, scanned with my new PS Workflow for just $1.    

The workflow

Here you can see a “slow-motion” of the process we use to scan, adjust and clean the scans. This if from a color slide.

Here you can see a “slow-motion” of the process we use to scan, adjust and clean the scans. This if from a color slide.
This is the scan and restore process, from left to right, of a 10 year-old discolored slide; and then far right is my own attempt with the usual tools. I mean, forget about it, I won't bother anymore.


The joy of finding gold in old pictures

All my family and friends looked as I remembered them, except they all had more hair, looked much slimmer and sexier.

It made me remember all the fun moments we had, the places we used to go, the holidays and the parties we had. I also found some great fashion moments in hairstyle, glasses, shirts and dresses that made me smile. And I found houses that hadn’t been renovated yet, old sofas we used to love, cats we once had, and many other forgotten moments.

Not only did I get to enjoy this. I keyworded all the pictures and then started sending pictures of old friends, colleagues, ex-wives, children and everybody else who was in the photos.

This way the project of preserving film became a great event of sharing memorable moments with everybody, in 24 MP high-quality files that they can have on their computers and share with others.

In 1993 we had a garden party and everybody was dressed up. Good memories I could share with old friends. I had forgotten all about it, and I'm sure they had too.

It's me in the middle here...


I hadn't seen Kim from school in 30 years. Now he's immortal on my hard drive.
I hadn't seen Kim from 8th grade for 30 years. Now he's immortal on my hard drive.

A memory from when I visited my friends in new York in 1996.

Marie-Louis way back when she didn't have a husband and two children.


Questions & Answers to common questions

How do I best organize my film for scanning?
If you have envelopes with prints and film in the package, write a job number (for example 2001) on the outside of the envelope, then write the same number on the plastic pocket (with a permanent marker) and take the plastic envelope with just the film out for scanning.
Then you take the next envelope and write the next job number (for example 2002) on that set. And so on.
Now you can send only the film packages to us, and when we scan them, each job number goes into a folder with the job number.
When you get the film back, you can see which folder with scans fits with which envelope of prints and film, and you can tell that this envelope has been scanned.


My son Oliver is 23 today. Here's a cool one from the archive.
My son Oliver is 23 today. Here's a cool one from the archive.


How long does it take?
An average of two weeks and you have your scanned files available online. You can also get a USB stick, or you may send a hard drive to put them on.

It is dangerous?
This scanning service is provided in a very clean environment in the city of Aarhus in Denmark.
You must send your archive by courier (DHL, UPS, GLS, or otherwise) or postal service to Photographer Services Billi Scan, Borggade 3, DK-8000 Aarhus City, Denmark, Tel: +45 6056 3347. And you have to get them sent back the same way.
The shipment is your responsibility.
The good thing is, we haven’t heard of anybody who lost anything so far. You may email or call to arrange to deliver the archive yourself to Aarhus, Denmark if you like.
(You may do as National Geographic has done for years when they had photographers on long assignments in the North Pole or other places: Once a month they would send two parcels back to NG, each with 50% of what they did in that month. This way, if one got lost, the other one made it).

Can I get selected frames scanned only?
The fastest and most economical way is to scan everything. It’s also easier for you to just send it all and not have to review it first.
You can get only selected pictures scanned, but it involves more work and the price goes up. You may email and ask for specific projects, but consider that many of the pictures you took are actually very nice to have scans of because it’s not just a matter of technical quality, but of history, places and people you took pictures of. In other words, there are many golden moments in those forgotten film strips! So, get everything scanned.


A pictrure from 1997 of my twins.


Can I get my scans as TIFF?
Yes, if you require TIFF, you can get 48 bit scans as TIFF.
We deliver JPG 8-bit as those can be seen and handled by all computers, whereas TIFF, 16-bit and other special formats require Photoshop and so on to work with.

Can I get 4x5” negatives/positives scanned?
Yes, we do that as well. Mail for a quote on you project.

Can I get Medium Format film scanned?
Yes, we do that as well. Mail for a quote on you project.

Can I get prints scanned?
Yes, we can scan prints as well. Mail for a quote on you project.

Can I get VHS tapes and 8mm film scanned?
Yes, we do that as well. Mail for a quote on you project (expect $35 per VHS tape).

How do I get my scans?
We send a Google file to you that you download.

How do I get the original film stripes back?
You get a mail from us when the film has been scanned, with a link to the download of the scans.
You can then arrange pickup with DHL, UPS or other courier on your expense, or we can quote you a price to send the film back with GLS courier service.

My film is in film rolls?
They will be cut up in strips of 6 frames per strip.

My film is in strips in plastic pockets?
We take them out of the pockets, scan them and put them back in the pockets.

What should I do with my scans?
Put them on a hard drive on your computer, or onto an external drive. And make a backup for example on a DVD or hard drive that you put in a bank box, or somewhere else where it is safe from fire, burglars, accidents and otherwise.

How do I organize my scans?
You should keyword your scans once you get them back. See my article here on how to organize old film archives.
This allows you to easily find pictures with persons, places and events by searching your computer for keywords. It also enables you to find all pictures with “Peter Nelson” in a few seconds and email to him!
He never had any of those photos from back when, maybe he never saw them, and now suddenly he gets an email with high quality scans from when he was young and handsome!

Why would I add keywords to scans?
Because keywords are a fast and simple way to find pictures. Without keywords, you have to look at all the pictures to find what you are looking for. By adding keywords, you also get the names spelled correctly, can store names of places, restaurants, hotels, streets and more in the file, thus the file has the information to be used in the future. Read my article on keywords here.
In the old days, you would write on the back of a picture who’s in it, when it was taken, and where. In the digital age, you put those data into the file.

How do I share larger files with others?
If you want to email pictures to friends and family, and they are too big for email, use the free service to send files. Or buy a memory stick and send to them with the pictures.

The good thing about your film is that the numbers are rather limited compared with today’s digital numbers. While you may easy assemble 10,000 digital files even with just an iPhone, the film photographs are often a few hundreds or thousands. Yes, we shot much less frames back when it was film!

Can I put the scans on my iPhone or iPad?
Yes, there is a smart way to organize a photo archive and synchronize it with your devices so you can show to friends, share on Instagram, Facebook and more. Read my article on this here.


25 years ago


You never know what you are going to find. Some photos will surprise, chock or ruin friendships forever ...


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Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

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