Many of us have old photos laying around in albums or hidden away in the attic or basement. Some might even display them in their home(I do!).
Scanning and Photo Restoration – Why bother?
Here’s a couple reasons why:
- Preservation – Photos fade with age, the chemicals react with the surrounding air causing discolorations, they can end up with mold or water damage, or if disaster strikes, they can simply be completely destroyed by water or fire.
Getting your photos scanned is a good first step in preserving them for yourself and future generations. The safest way to store your photos today is to have a backup in the cloud, i.e. don’t store them only on your harddrive. Harddrives fail. Computers get stolen.
- Makes a great gift – I promise you, there’s no better birthday or christmas gift than an album of old photos, restored or not. Compared to all the crap you can buy someone for christmas, a gift of photos is a gift from the heart.
You can make a complete photo album, or if you have a single photo either print it out or have someone do it for you. You can order big enlargements pretty cheap on either paper or canvas. Give away a photo album to everyone in your family, or give away a special photo to every family member. I promise you they’ll appreciate it a lot more than any other gift you can buy.
- It’s cheap! – Not only have scanners become very cheap, scanning services are also cheap nowadays. This means you don’t have to spend much money to get your photos onto the computer, and many services offer free cloud storage. Dropbox gives you 2GB free backup, which is plenty room for photos.
How to scan your photos
You basically have three options when it comes to scanning your photos onto your computer.
- Scan them yourself at home – This is a cheap way of getting your photos onto your computer. There are crappy scanners out there, but for as little as $99 you can get a decent scanner to scan your photos with. If you’ve got lots of photos this might be time consuming, but you don’t have to do it all in one day. Scan a couple photos every evening or weekend, and soon you’ll have them all digitized.
- Send them off to a photo scanning service – While I find it hard mentally to send off my photos and have someone else scan them, this is a good option. It will cost you more than if you scan them yourself, but at the same time they will be scanned with the best equipment technology can offer. You simply put all your photos and/or slides in a box, send them off and you’ll get access to your photos via the internet and can order a DVD. Of course you get your old photos back as well.
- Photograph your photo – The cheapest solution, but also the most time consuming. You take your digital camera and simply snap a photograph of your photo. Professional photo restorers actually do this quite a lot when the photo is very damage, or if they’ve got slides. A high resolution camera and good lighting can give better results than a scanner!
The most important of the three reasons mentioned in this article is the first one, preservation. I mean when a photo is destroyed that memory is lost forever. Hurricanes, floods and fires have destroyed tens of thousands of memories the last couple years. I just find it sad, because it could all be prevented with a few easy steps, i.e. scanning your photos, and if needed, learn photo restoration.
You can either learn how to restore photos through the photo restoration course on this website, or hire someone to restore the photo for you. There’s many great photo restorers out there (including students of Photo Restoration School) that would happily restore your precious photos.
What are you waiting for? Do it before it’s too late.
Photo: Meg Lessard
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