06 February 2014

No. 24 :Organize all those old photos

No. 24:Organize all those old photos  
a.k.a. Mission Impossible

I am the Queen of Procrastination some times.
(I always knew I would be Queen.)

Thousands of photos and they all need organizing. Sorting. 

From 1985 to 2001 all of my photos are in albums, labeled and organized.

There's an entire cabinet of these in Texas.

For the last 13 years, once we went digital, not so much.

I KNOW  I have lost photos when computers have died, programs have changed, and cameras have been replaced. One Christmas season is lost. Windows 7 wouldn't accept my new Nikon camera for a while. Photos were sorted at Kodak Gallery. Then KodakGallery became Shutterfly. They still have my photos but I don't like the website. A switch from Windows to a Mac presented other challenges.  Photos are backed up places but ...but....I need to know where to look to find them. 

AND, all those photo albums take up space. And with three kids, how do you divide up the albums down the road? Also, paper photos have a tendency to fade and deteriorate. 

What to do? 

The majority of the digital photos are at least dated.
And in albums:

Screenshot of my computer.
There is a little organization there, but not a lot.
I am not in love with iPhoto but haven't figured out an alternative.

I do find that between my iPad, iPhone and Mac, there are photos that are on one that aren't on another. There's the Cloud, but apparently the photos don't launch themselves into the air. 

The ability to share photos digitally is just magical. But that means years of pics aren't available. Like everything before the year 2000. 

A few years ago I attended a digital camera workshop that lasted all day. I was hoping it would teach me how to use all the features on my fantastic Nikon DSLR camera. 


The only thing I took away from that class was how to easily transfer paper photos to digital. 

Previously I had taken photos out of the album, scanned them, replaced them back where they belonged in the album, and on and on.   It took forever and I quickly lost interest.

The workshop taught me to use my great camera, open up the album, take a pic and voil√†! Digital pics. 

It's important to put the album near a window with good natural, albeit indirect, light. Peel back the plastic film covering the page.  Snap, snap, snap. 

Obviously you lose a tiny bit of clarity with each copy. Many of the older photos are not that high quality to start out with. 

Here is the difference between a scan and a photo.

This lovely photo was taken in 1997.
Here is the scanned  version.
(Love my Prince Valiant hair do and oversize glasses…and my brother Steve.
Also, please marvel at the fact that I look 12 not 41.)

And this is the digital photo of the original.
I took it with my iPad since my good camera is in Texas, ailing. 
Comparable if not indiscernible from the scanned version 
and I'm sure a 35mm photo would be better...

But the joy of digital is that you can adjust color and clarity. So those fuzzy faded high school pics are 
brought back to life. Or at least stalled in their aging process.

A quick pic taken from a  high school album in 
Texas while we were home for Bunny's birthday.
This is prom night 1974, me in my prom dress with a 
plaster cast from my thigh to my toes.
(Click here to see Belle in her prom dress.
Times and prom dresses have changed.)

The same photo, cropped and color boosted.
Not perfect but an improvement. 

So it's a start. Slowly converting the paper to digital. And dating them as I go. 

I still haven't figured out the perfect folder system. But I am hoping as I get more into this process, it will  come to me. 

Or maybe someone has a suggestion.

Serendipity: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

Last night the internet was slow to nonexistent and I finally gave up on a timely Thursday posting.  
This morning in my inbox Hollywood Housewife had a wonderful post on organizing and backing up your  photos. Link to it here for inspiration/a kick in the pants.  
Sometimes the universe is trying to tell us stuff and we just have to slow down and listen. 

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