Many of us have one or more piles and boxes of old photographs, and/or slides and photo negatives. Further, there are likely to be one – or many – old photo albums hidden in closets, attics, basements, or storage lockers.
The Digital Age is now fully upon us, and these relics of an earlier time have become what are essentially modern artifacts. We know we have them around, but we seldom look at them anymore. It is too much trouble to dig them out and sort through them. The answer, obviously, is to have all this photographic memorabilia scanned into digital files – in essence, to bring them into the Digital Now.
OK – some of us already know that’s what we should do. But, so many of us just keep putting it off. Most often, that happens because we just haven’t really thought through all the reasons that getting all that stuff scanned is important – but it is! Here’s why:
- All photographic materials will deteriorate with time. The rate at which they decay is different for various materials (and storage conditions), but it is happening to all of your photographic memorabilia just the same.
- Old slides and negatives will tend to color-shift over time. This happens when the film base (which is plastic!) slowly changes with age. The dyes which form the image can also fade – particularly in the case of less-expensive color photographs.
- As soon as your pictures are digitized, that deterioration is stopped. Perhaps most importantly, the digitized images can, very often, be brought back to their original brilliance with relative ease, if the deterioration has not been too great. In addition, there are now digital storage discs that are expected to last for over 100 years
- If you have a lot of slides, to view your slides, you have to dig out your old projector (if it still works – tried to find a projector bulb recently?), or a slide viewer, in order to see them.
- If you have old negatives, you really can’t view them at all – unless you have some rare genetic ability to visually invert colors on your own.
- Due to an unfortunate technical oversight, the manufacturers of old photo albums neglected to equip them with USB ports (it could have to do with the fact that the technology did not exist). That means, however, that there is no direct way to upload them to your computer. A good scanning service, however, will not only scan the full album pages (which preserves the “flavor” and character of the album), but they can also provide scans of the individual pictures as well – either all of them, or just selected ones if desired.
- Your past is really important – not just to you, but also to your children, your grandchildren (if any) and other relatives. Your photos represent the best (often, the only) record of that past. By bringing them into digital form them, you can share them with all the important people in your life.
- Once they are scanned into digital files, your collection old photographs can be shared effortlessly. You can post them to your Facebook pages, and share them on all your favorite social media sites. You can create slide shows, and load them into a digital picture frame so that they are on constant display.
- Once you upload your photos onto your computer, it turns it into a time machine. Now, all those valued (or, in some cases – forgotten) parts of your history can be pulled up at any time, to be enjoyed and shared.
- Once they have been converted into digital form, those treasured photographs can be rehabilitated as much as needed. So, even though your memories may have faded, the photos of your past can be viewed as clearly as though it all happened yesterday.
As important as those ten reasons are, there is one more that is perhaps even more relevant. Once your photographic heritage is digitized, it is protected from the catastrophic loss that can occur in an event like a fire, flood, or a major storm. Many families have watched their homes being destroyed by these events, and realized that all of their pictures were lost as well. If those memories have been digitized and uploaded to the Cloud, they are safe from harm.
Don’t keep procrastinating about the project of rescuing your photographic past. While it may seem like a daunting task, once you get into it you will probably find that it is not only fun, but highly rewarding. If you have a really large quantity of material that needs to be converted, a good scanning service will make it easy to set up a Monthly Program, so that you can send batches of slides, photographs, and/or negatives on a monthly basis. This allows you to spread out the cost, as well as the time and effort involved.
Another important feature of a good scanning service is the ability to provide you with both photograph restoration and editing services. That way, all your needs can be met by one Scanning Service Provider.