Saving Old Pictures

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by LenC, Jun 28, 2010.

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  1. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    I have photo albums of family pictures going back 25 years. Most of them were taken in the "early years" - using film. I didn't save the negatives. Some of them are starting to show wear and tear even though they were saved in photo albums.

    What is the best way to save them going forward? I assume I should scan them in and save them digitally. Is this something I can do on my HP All-In-One or would I get better results if the scanning is done professionally?

    Any ideas or thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Len
     
  2. The Hammer

    The Hammer Registered Member

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    I'd do it professionally as a pro would have high end equipment. But out of curiosity which HP all in one do you have?
     
  3. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

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    Obviously a professional will charge you and there's no guarantee of good results. If you're very particular and have a lot of pictures it could get quite expensive. If you know a good professional who can do it at a price you're willing to pay then that might be the way to go.

    You can probably do it yourself with the All-In-One if you have the time and you know what you're doing. Just scan them at 300 dpi at the least and save them in an uncompressed format. My All-In-One (Officejet 5610) has adjustments for color, contrast, etc. but it doesn't do fine adjustments very well and I invariably end up in Photoshop doing some editing. But on the positive side, with digital photos you really only need to edit them if you plan to share them with others. Sometimes the editing process can get very time consuming if you don't have a lot of experience.
     
  4. iSole

    iSole Registered Member

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    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  5. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    I have an HP 5610; it has worked flawlessly for me, using it primarily to scan b&w documents and occasional color doc printing. I've never used it for picture scanning or printing.
     
  6. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Hi Len,

    Those references from isole should point you in the right direction - but I'm curious, did you intentionally not save the negs?

    Aaron
     
  7. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    As I understand it, often the paper in the older albums is not "acid free" and deteriorates pictures fast. Of course you might say that if you were the one selling the "acid free" paper lol.

    I have done a lot of this. I use an Epson scanner, set dpi to 600. Pictures are pretty large. I saved mine in .tiff format. Archived them to a dvd(s) in two locations. I have a negative scanner attachement on my scanner, but honestly it is faster to scan the photos.

    You might consider looking into a specialized scanner that will feed photos and negatives. Saves a lot of time. Rent it out to your family or charge them a small fee to do it when you are done using it. The auto-feed is the key to making it convenient.

    Honestly if I look at the scan they are close enough to the photo that I won't be able to tell the difference. I think there is more difference between viewing scans on different monitors that compared to the original photo.

    The naming convention and how the software lets you name them is also something you might want to inspect. You can use other tools to batch rename, but it is often helpful to name them with some logical tag.

    Sul.
     
  8. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Hi Aaron - Because I was sloppy and lazy, how's that for an honest answer?

    I think I will take a crack at this myself, using isole's references and Sully's comments.

    I guess the bottom line is to scan them, print a few and see how they compare to the original. If they are comparable to the naked eye, that's all I care about. I'll do a little reading about file formats, but based on some scant prior knowledge and Sully's comment, it seems like tiff or bmp would be better than jpg.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  9. iSole

    iSole Registered Member

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    Don't beat yourself up about negatives, you move, things get misplaced, it happens..
    I have some almost 80+ years old, did they even Have negatives then?

    Sully's answer about the specialized scanner sounds great! :thumb:
    It can be a chore to scan lots of pics, as far as renaming, Irfanview does batch renaming..

    I haven't printed many of mine out, just save on dvd for family members who then can print out what they want ...
    will save you alot on time and expensive photo paper...

    I even scanned pics set up like they would be in a photo book, saves some scanning time,
    if you want just one from that page, just use a photo prog to cut n print ...

    I use an old HP all in one, scans great!

    But I've still only made a small dent in all the photos.. :doubt: :)

    HTH!
     
  10. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

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    LenC,

    About 6 years ago, I scanned several thousand old photos, using a mid-priced, about $150 I think, Epson Perfection photo scanner. It was time consuming, but what's the hurry. I am very pleased with the results. Some of the new photo scanners have software to remove scratches and such; I have no direct experience with them.

    I scanned the files into Jpeg format, from 300 to 600 dpi, depending on the photo and what I wanted from it. Some I've printed to 13x19 inch size and the results are excellent, as good as anything I've had dome professionally. If you like, you can private message me and I'll share a couple that were scanned from photos taken in the 1920's and 30's.

    Regards,
    CatFan
     
  11. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    I have a load of old photos going back from around 1915 to around the 1940's which are in pretty bad shape. I scanned them to my computer and worked on each one in Photoshop Elements. They came out pretty good considering. Now I have them filed in a folder where I can make prints.
     
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