Thursday, September 10, 2015

Scanning Those Negatives

My project this summer was to scan all of my own photo negatives and photos that I’ve had stored away ever since I purchased my first digital camera.  I was under this crazy assumption that I was organized in the storage of my photos, I even had a numbering system, but turns out I don’t know who I was fooling because it was a mess!

Here they all are, and yes, those boxes are full as well:

Ask me how many completely identical shots I have of Cinderella Castle Walt Disney World. 

In the end, I scanned my personal photos and negatives from 1979 through to 2007.  I like scanning photos better than negatives because you get microscopic pieces of dirt on negatives that are easily wiped off of a photo.  

The top one below is the scanned negative, the bottom one is the scanned photo, both un-retouched.  If your photo has kept it correct tones and colors, it's definitely easier to scan it rather than the negative:

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BUT - having the negatives shows me the order I took the photos which was extremely helpful because often the number order was not printed automatically on the back, and for some reason I put the photos out of order in the photo album.  Why would I have done that?  And then I mixed in other people's photos, ugh it was a mess!  :-)  But it's finished now, whew!!!!

So, everything of mine that was a negative or photo is now scanned, divided by sets of negatives.  Future steps will be to figure out any specific dates I possibly can.  I would always write on the envelope for the photos, but rarely included more than the general month!  Sometimes it said “Spring 1988” or “Disney Photos”.  I wish I had written days on there, oh well!

For now I just have some folders that are filed just by developed date, and yes, I had a terrible habit of waiting months, sometimes years before getting film developed.  What was wrong with me?  :-D

It was amazing to see how far we’ve come with photos – back in the day we mailed our negatives off and waited weeks to get the photos in the mail, only to find our fingers in front of the lens, or the photos were blurry, or you look like some sort of one-eyed over-exposed weirdo: 

What a great shot!  I should totally make this my profile pic!
Now my sister takes thousands of photos in a months’ time.  But I think we value them less now for having so many.  I remember sitting down and poring over my grandparents photo albums.  But as a contrast, today nobody is going to sit and slog through the 12000+ photos we took just last year.

Moral of the story?  Print out a photo now and then!  Give it to your kids so they know how to hold a photo in their hands!  And write the actual DAY it was taken on the back!

Good!  Now get to work!  Next up for me is to scan the box of negatives that belonged to my Grandparents!  Soon, maybe not today though.  :-)