Tuesday, April 5, 2016

How to Scan your old Family Photos

Everyone has a few old family photos that are unlabeled. Mystery photos! Well, the only way to figure them out is to get more photos. Every member of your extended family has some piece of the puzzle, and the goal is to get all the pieces into one place so that everyone can share them, view them, and start bringing the big picture into focus.

 The best way to do this, in this day and age, is to digitize all the old photos and put them somewhere on the internet where family members can comment on them.

 So, how to digitize them!

The 4 Ways to Digitize Your Precious Photos:

Camera: I know it's strange to start a scanning discussion with "don't scan them",  but with today's digital cameras and latest smartphones you can do a decent job of digitizing an old photo by just taking a picture of it. In fact, the really professional operations who are digitizing all the known records around the world use a camera set-up. At least 12MP.

A Service: Also, nobody has time to deal with this. There are many services that will scan your photos and clean them up a bit. A good one is ScanCafe.com, and there are others. The nice thing about these services is that they do slides (remember those) and just about anything you can put into a box and send them.

Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II
Friend or Family: Ask somebody with a scanner to do it for you.  I often scan photos for my family; practically begging them to mail me their precious family albums so that I can scan and share them with the family and then next-day them right back to their owner.

Scanner: a decent flatbed scanner is actually not that expensive anymore. There are really good ones under $200. You just need to make sure you scan at least 600 dpi, going up to 1200 dpi for small images.

And now share them!

The importance of sharing these photos can not be ignored. That old picture of your great grandfather means something incredibly special to possibly hundreds of people. Share it. And likewise, you'll be astonished that people have photos you never knew existed.

Create a Facebook group private to your extended family, or post them on Google Photos and send out links.

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