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Thanks to all

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  • Thanks to all

    Just wanted all of you to know how much this site has helped me. I have learned so much and have much more to go but this site has been invaluable. I may not be posting every day but I am here reading and soaking up all the wealth of knowledge that abounds here.

    I am in the middle of a project at home to convert all the family albums to digital. In all I guess the numbers are in the thousands, so I have a ways to go. It really is a race against time. A lot of the pictures have faded badly and so have the negatives and slides in images only 20 to 30 years old. I just finished scanning my mothers 6 albums and have started restoring as I have time. I have many many pictures and slides that need to add to the project. I was shocked to see our wedding album had suffered fading after 31 years. Most of the life of these images have been mounted in albums that have been kept in the dark. I wonder just how well the new technologies will hold up.

    I guess this is retouch heaven, but it is a big project. Anyway thanks and I will be back with some good problems along the way.

  • #2
    Don't give up Kevin. That's how I got started doing this in the first place. So many of my mom's photos had been left in boxes and were damaged that I figured I may as well give it a go. I only found this place in July, 2 years after I started. Well, I'm going over the bad ones again thanks to the wonderful people here. Good luck on your project...I know you will be glad you did it.


    • #3
      WOW, I look at the amount of pictures I have alone and it's an astronomical task to even consider that project. I applaud your efforts. Also I have the same problem with my wedding photos after 26 years as well. They smell of chemicals and there's a deep purplish cast on them. I scanned them in but haven't fixed them. At least they're scanned in.
      Glad you're getting alot of good help from the site and I hope you let us know how things are going in this momumental project you've taken on.


      • #4
        Oops, I guess that came out wrong. The pictures number is the thousands not the albums.

        Thanks DJ and Debbie.


        • #5
          Kevin, you have some project there. I can sympathize with the effort you have to put in. I have been working on my parents photos for years, mostly just to get them organized and put in albums. There were 5 large boxes full of pictures, negatives, ambrotypes all jumbled together. I am thankful I was able to sort out most of the old ones and get them identified before my father passed on, and my mother was beyond remembering. There are still holes...

          Anyway, I just got three albums from my cousin that belong to our grandmother. They start in 1905 and go to 1953. I have chosen to not remove the pictues from the album, and just scan them as they are mounted (with corners on black paper mostly). Since it would take forever to take each picture out and try and align it... I scan the whole page, and each individual photo. That way I have all the captions, and an optimal scan of each photo. Still I'm finding that I can do only about three pages an hour (average 6 photos on each side for 12 per page) which means I still have 50 hours of scanning to go...

          How do you deal with your albums? Any tricks for speeding up the process?

          Also, speaking about digital preservation, don't forget to reburn your CDs every few years on to the latest media. What would you do if you had saved your precious photographs on 51/4" floppies and never upgraded your storage media? Would you be able to read them today?


          • #6
            Hello Tim. No I am looking for a speed trick myself. I am doing like you are, if the pictures are nothing special and they are black & white I have been scanning the whole page at a time. It will cause work to be done at a later time but it is making the digital conversion go faster. The color images I have been scanning one at a time so as to not complicate the already poor color balance due to fading.

            I have a program "Silverfast SE" that came with my scanner but I am not impressed with it. Sure it makes prescan adjustments easier but it doesn't understand ICM profiles and I want to keep my workflow consistant so I have been using the twain driver for most of my work. I wish I had a program that could automatically identify the individual images on a page and help speed the process up a bit.

            Yes, I do understand about converting my storage media periodically. I was thinking about that just the other day. I take care to use the Kodak Ultima Gold CD's so my data will last 100 years but the CD medium will probably not last more than another 5 or 6 years. I see moving to DVD/r or one of the new DVD formats in less than year. The drives are comming down in price nicely. But I think that we will retain the CD compatibility for at least 5 or 6 more years. Five or so after that there's no telling what we will be using.


            • #7
              Kevin, I agree that better software could make this process much easier. I believe that high-end scanners (like the Eversmart) have software that will automatically scan a bed full of slides, but I don't think it is "recognizing" picture boundries.

              The Microtek ScanWizard Pro software I use has its drawbacks, but it does include calibration software and the ability to embed ICM/ICC profiles.

              It also allows multiple jobs to be run in a batch, so I can get an overview image of a page, then draw boundries around the whole page and each photo on the page, do a pre-scan and adjust each scan, then scan the whole batch to files. The naming it enforces is a bit simplistic, but, I can get it to consecutively number each job in the batch, which I use as the photo number, and I manually enter the album name and page number. It sounds more complicated than it is, since when it asks for the name I just click on a previous page and replace the appropriate digits and the software does the rest.

              What resolution are you using? Since these albums will go back to my cousin I figured I should get scans that I can use for any purpose in the future, since I may not be able to get to the originals. I'm scanning the whole page at 300dpi, and each individual photograph at 1000dpi. It takes a heck of a lot of space, but I figure if I wan't to blow up a picture, or crop an individual out I will have resolution to spare. If my scanner had higher optical resolution I'm not sure I'd go still higher though...



              • #8
                I've been taking the whole page scans at 720 DPI. It makes a large file but it gives me room for later if I want to retouch and enlarge. Most of these old pictures are pnly 3 X 4's or 3 1/2 x 5's. CD space is cheap.


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