Friday, October 3, 2008

postheadericon CHATIQUE #16 - Nostalgia

You may need to file, identify and store photos and documents from the far past. If you are lucky enough to have acquired the originals I urge you to contact an expert. Many counties in the US have wonderful Historical Societies. I actually use the one in the neighboring county because it is more active than one in my own county. Someone there is always ready with new information on products that are available. I use a box that is free of all those known chemicals that can harm papers, photos, tintypes, and old glass photos. They also suggested Glassine envelopes and special separators to hold whatever information I have about each image. There are great archival resources online, as well.
Legacy Multimedia
Antiques at About.Com
Storing your Photos - Scrapboking 101
Storing Photos- Archives.Gov

SORTING and STORING: Although I taught a class on sorting photos for years, I recently found a great site that helped me REALLY get a handle on my file cabinet full of old photos. Organized Photos – www.organizedphotos.com . Within a couple of weeks my 4-drawer file cabinet was ready to go to a neighbor and my photos were in six 4” x 6” by 18” boxes. More recent photos are in several Cropper Hopper Organizers. Negatives are next! This site sells the book on organizing and the supplies to do so but you don’t HAVE to buy anything. I am on my third set of SAFE envelopes.

SCAN OR NOT: You probably want to start with scanning the photographs and documents, once you have them sorted. Instead, you might have some old family photos a relative has temporarily put into your care. The standards have changed since I started scanning my old photos so I find myself re-scanning them every so often. This makes it difficult if you have borrowed the photos. Whether you are storing or borrowing photos and slides, the Internet is a great resource for scanning.
Digital Photos at Geneology About.Com
Scanning by Roger Halsted

Minnie.jpg
Portrait of Love Click name to go to full version
You may prefer to take digital photos of the old images. While I scan photos, I have taken digital photos of all of the family heirlooms in my possession. In either case, you want to make sure you have all digital images, scanned or photographed, stored in the safest way possible. I remember back to some pretty outdated methods. I will pass on advice given to me…”At the rate technology advances, do not think any storage method is forever. Re-store every 1-2 years”. My old black floppies went to 3” disks, to ZIP disks, to CDs and DVDs and now two External Hard Drives. You may loose a bit with every transfer. It is best to acquire the technological know-how to store in a “non-lossy” method right from the start.

RESTORING: I use Picasa for cleaning up photos and scans. It is free and probably the best freeware out there, thanks to Google. http://picasa.google.com/ From time to time there are classes that teach how to use Picasa. If there is enough interest I will do a Picasa Chatique one of these days soon. I have notes from several classes AND have been using the program for several years.

Once I have the colors where I want them on an old photo, I use Photoshop CS2 to clean it up as far as scratches, tears, folds, spots and dots. That can be tedius, but oh, so worth it! In Photoshop Elements the tool you want is called the Healing Brush. In Photoshop CS it would be the Clone Tool. You probably will want to magnify the area as high as you find comfortable.

Quote from an Organized Photos newsletter:

"If you use digital photography, then your digital photos are more than likely already on your computer. Hard drives can crash, technology can become obsolete, and storage devices and disks can fail. I have all my digital photos organized into folders on my computer. We have an external hard drive that I back them up to monthly, and once a quarter, I make a hard copy on CD and take it to our safe deposit box (I have recurring tasks set up in Outlook
to remind me.) That way, I have access to all my photos, but there is another copy at a different location."

Also mentioned was the statement that digital medium is NOT as durable as prints. Some of my photos are over 100 years old. I worry that my digital photos will not last that long. So I follow the advice to have prints made of my best digital photos. I clean them up first: crop, straighten, adjust color and light. Then I send them to one of several online print services I use...Snapfish, Kodak, Shutterfly, etc. The new prints are stored in Organized Photos envelopes the same as the 100 year old photos.
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Laura Lou
I am a retired Middle School Science teacher from Michigan spending 4 months each winter in Florida and learning about a whole new world.
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Forty Years of Scrapping

Long before it was popular, I was trying to decorate arrangements of photos and sentimental items. Here I want to share some of my personal history and more important, some ideas I have gleaned from more than 40 years of scrapping.

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lauraloub
A granny with a camera and a computer

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