Ina recent post, I mentioned how blogging became more than just about the writing, it also rekindled my love for photography.
In doing so, I found myself digging through old photo albums looking for photos to scan. Whether it was to add to my own collection of stock photography for future blogs or to post on social media to breathe new life into old memories, it has been a fun journey.
But along the way, I noticed that some of the albums from the 1970’s and 1980’s were starting to deteriorate. In a few albums, the sticky “magnetic” pages were starting to get yellow. In some cases, the pictures themselves were changing colour. In others, the pictures weren’t coming off the sticky pages at all. I then felt like a surgeon using any flat headed tool I could find in my tool box or art supplies, to delicately remove pictures from the albums without damaging them.
I was reminded that these albums probably date back to a time before photo albums mentioned “acid-free” pages. Who would have thought that the albums intended to save memories of family and friends might have a limited life span themselves. Did anyone see this coming?
And so began the unexpected project of taking all of the pictures out of the albums that were showing signs of age.
The activity became a fun walk down memory lane, reliving the good old days with family, friends and colleagues. But the clock was ticking as I did not want these precious photos to suffer from more damage.
In reviewing all those photos, I couldn’t help but ask, was I that person… that annoying person? Was I that much of a shutterbug over the years? (…just a rhetorical question!)
The reality is that while working for pharmacies for 7 years in my high school and university years, I had a decent employee discount on cameras, film, flashcubes and processing, which made it so much more conducive to taking lots of pictures. Given the favourable feedback I’ve received, it seems like people are happy I did.
Around that same time, my dad invested in having some black and white family pictures from the early 1900s restored to their original beauty as well. Sadly, in the 35 years since, they have already been showing signs of age as well.
This just heightened my determination in getting these scanned for posterity before they deteriorate further. Future generations are depending on it!
An independent camera shop nearby that has been doing great work at scanning bunches of photos for me at a very reasonable price. Every time I get another batch of 100 pictures scanned and digitized, I feel a great sense of satisfaction in knowing that I’ve saved a few more memories for posterity… as long as nothing happens to these digital versions. Which then leads to the next project of backing up the digitized photos to a variety of media, just in case.
When I get to retirement and have more time on my hands, I can see myself spending time editing the pictures some more, taking out some of the photographic imperfections and restoring the pictures to their natural beauty. I can’t think of a better rainy day or snowy day project, something that will be enjoyed for generations to come, extending the life of the pictures and of the vivid memories of friends, family and of our respected elders.
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Sincere thanks for reading!
Have a great day,
3 responses to “Breathing New Life in Family Photos”
This was such a thought-provoking post. I’d bet that future generations are going to be very glad that you preserved all of these photographs!
Thank you very much for reading and for commenting on the post. Yes, I like to think that the relatively small number of pictures we have from the early 1900s definitely deserve any TLC I can provide, to maintain whatever connection we have to our family history.
Thanks again and cheers!
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