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dropkickpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 10:35 AM
Original message
Saving OLD photos
I have several hundred old photos of the family (thank god for my pack rat g-grandma and gg aunt!!), dating from about 1890 to 1940. Some are extremely fragile. Also, I have tons of negatives from the same time periods (some of which are for photos I don't have!). For the photos, I would like to get them all scanned and catalogued. Does anyone know of a program that allows for good cataloging and high image quality along with editing features (to touch up some of the damaged photos)??

In the future, finances permitting, I would actually like to get prints from the negatives also, but that just isn't feasible at the moment.
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NV Whino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-27-06 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. partial answer
Some one else can probably give you a good answer on the program, but be aware that you can scan the negatives and turn them into prints in your computer. It will save you a ton of money.

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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-28-06 06:27 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Have you been able to do that?
I've got a scanner that purportedly scans negatives, but I've never been able to get close to a resolution that creates a decent picture much larger than a postage stamp.
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-28-06 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. My Epson perfection
scans negatives beautifully (along with slides and transparencies). You just have to remember to set your scanning resolution for whatever purpose you want to use it with...up to 600dpi.

If you don't want to invest in a scanner for yourself though, a good alternative for the pictures is Kinko's self-scan machine. It automatically scans even higher than 600 dpi, will burn the results to a disc that'll hold quite a few pictures and not hit you very hard in the wallet. (I did 8 old pictures the last time I visited my sister who has no scanner...one of them 100 years old...burned them to disc which would have held several more and it cost me $5.45. That included buying the disc from Kinko's and the taxes.)
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. I third that! Epson all the way!
Last summer I found a treasure trove of negatives and asked around about ways of scanning them, either in a shop or by purchasing a scanner. I got some good advice on this forum but then I met the scanner geek god in a digital photo shop on Broadway in lower Manhattan. He basically gave me an hour course in the development of scanners etc. I was thinking about getting a dedicated negative scanner, and he explained that some multipurpose scanners have gotten so good, their better than expensive Nikon negative scanners. Moreover, with the money you would spend in a shop and maybe not get the resolution or exposure you want, you will actually save more buying a scanner.

I purchased the Epson Perfection 4900. It scans negatives, photos, slides and documents beautifully. It has carraiges for different sized negatives up to I think 120/620. The software is amazing -- you can put a dozen negatives in at once and the scanner breaks them into separate image files saving time, and reverses both color and black and white.

I highly recommend this scanner. It's a little pricey -- about $400 -- but it will save you money in the long run if you have lots to scan.

Here's are examples of one scanned positive from the 1950s and one scanned negative from the 70s both on relatively low resolution (to keep file size down):




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NV Whino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-28-06 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. China Cat has the answer
Scan at as high a resolution as you can. My Nikon slide/film scanner scans at something like 1400 ppi. Also be sure and set the size of your final image if you can. That depends on your scanner and software. I've not scanned negs on my Epson RX620, but I have scanned slides and they come out fine if you remember to up the resolution and the final image size you want.
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dropkickpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-28-06 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I would like to try that
I have a scanner available to me (not a great one) just to see if it is possible with these. Most of them are LARGE negatives (2x4 and some a little larger), I don't think there are actually any that are as small as todays standard size. I fuss with the box of negatives as little as possible (other than initially to CAREFULLY sort them from the photos and separate them with acid free paper), not touching them or even opening the box. Currently, they are stored in a dry, cool closet, which is the best I can do. I just have visions of them spontaneously combusting (they are all on nitrate base), even though they survived 50+ years in a hot attic (with surprisingly little damage though).

Thanks for the advice, I never even thought of scanning the negatives!!! :hi:
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-28-06 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. That size my scanner could probably handle. n/t
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Lefty48197 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-05-06 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #7
18. My photo editor let's you "invert" the colors from the negative
It's "smartthru" that came with my lexmark scanner. I don't want to plug lexmark though, because they rip you off on cartridge costs.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-28-06 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Done all that and still crappy resolution.
I have a friend who does a fair amount of image work and he hasn't been able to create decent quality images either. You're the first person I've run into who claims success in scanning negatives. Since I haven't had any other trouble with scanning or image manipulation I've been assuming that advertised capability to scan negatives was another gimmick to separate me from my money (like add on digital zoom to a camera - doesn't do any more than give you bigger pixelated images).
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 02:23 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. This thread inspired me to scan some negatives myself...
And I have to echo your comment: "Done all that and still crappy resolution".

Actually, RESOLUTION may not be the issue.
I spent a few hours scanning and tweaking and scanning again;
the negatives which are murky silhouettes at 220dpi
are INCREDIBLY DETAILED murky silhouettes at 4800dpi.

So, I have decided that scanning negatives requires a specialized
"negative scanner" right from the start.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 06:46 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. I don't have a dedicated negative scanner
but my scanner is adaptable for scanning (removing the black background plate which is used for scanning images and using a negative carrier). I did comment in another thread that I generally avoid multi-function devices, since they generally perform neither of their functions well - perhaps that is the problem.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-28-06 06:42 AM
Response to Original message
3. Personally, I would avoid dual purpose software
My experience of combining two dissimilar functions in one tool is that the combined tool does neither well, so if I were tackling the project you are tackling I'd look for two separate tools.

I use PaintShop Pro for photo restoration (and other image editing). It is an powerful, less expensive than average, fairly easy to use image editor. Many of the techniques are automated (), but you also have access to all of the underlying techniques combined in the automated version. For example, there is the one stop photo fix, which combines several adjustments (color balance, contrast and brightness, clarification, saturation enhancement, etc.). Each of the individual adjustments also can be done with an automated version or additional underlying adjustments (color balance can be done automatically or using the individual tools for black and white point adjustments, channel mixer, grey world balance, fade correction). Very efficient clean-up tools - scratch remover, clone tool, de-speckle, etc.

I don't have an image cataloger (or a recommendation for one). Right now my images are just stored in folders in "My Pictures."
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dropkickpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-28-06 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. That was my initial instinct
I have used paintshop pro in the past (haven't had it in a couple years). I'll be picking it up again in the next couple of months.

My reason for wanting a good cataloging program is because, once I am done getting these all sorted, many of them I want to give to the town where the majority were taken, in addition to making a nice "photo album" and distributing it to family.

There are some very nice pictures of local buildings and landmarks, both still existing and those that are now gone. One interesting photo is the one that was taken of the building that used to stand on the site of my g-grandfathers Shell station. It existed as a boarding house and reputed to be a brothel for close to 40 years before it burned down (under suspicious circumstances). About 5 years after the fire, my grandfather bought the land, as it was right off the downtown main drag, and build a Shell station. This town was very busy riverport on the Mississippi river, so there was apparently more than enough people to keep the brothel in business. My grandmother, who had never seen the picture (it was in the possesion of my grandfathers family) saw it when we were cleaning out great grandma's attic and said "Oh! That's the old brothel!". We had heard some stories about how grampas dad built where the brothel was, but never thought that there was picture or anything.

Thank you all for your help, I am excited to start this project!
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JeffR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-28-06 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
6. You might want to check out this app:
Handy, free and compatible with any Windows version from 95 on. I found out about this from a DUer (can't remember who!). It's not a cataloguing program per se, but the paperclip feature can kinda act as one. One of the best features is lossless jpg rotation. Lots of other cool features, too.

Wega2 Imageviewer

Wega2 is a freeware high quality image viewer for digital cameras with build in resampling filters. Wega2 includes some handy additional tools to compare images and analyze exif data with the build in exposureplot program.

Short description:
Besides the basic options, viewer, slideshow and thumbnail view, the program has a lot of other useful options.

For example a paperclip to hold shortcuts to pictures, the paperclip can be saved as a show file or pasted into an existing show, or simply use the paperclip as a container for the files you want to view, compare or edit in some way.


Download at:
http://www.cpr.demon.nl/prog_wega2.html

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Samurai_Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-30-06 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
14. I let Kinko's do mine...
They are 100+ year old photos. Not from negatives, but from original prints that were falling apart (literally). They did a great job -- much better than what I could do. I think it cost me a total of $20 for the scanning, editing. and burn to CD.





I was amazed Kinko's did such a good job, actually.
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-01-06 07:14 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Those are fantastic old photos! Who are they?
Do you know how all those people are related to you?
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Samurai_Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-01-06 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. They are my grandparents when they were young, and their families
I posted the photos originally and told their stories here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

They are awesome photos. I need to find frames that will fit so I can hang them. One is 11x17 and another is 11x15.
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Maestro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-03-06 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
17. I scanned mine at a pretty high resolution
but also used some of the scanner software's clean-up utilities. I got this sort of output. Not bad.

Great grandparents on my mom's side.


Great great grandfather on my mom's dad's side.


Great aunts

My grandfather's family in Mexico. He's the baby.


The earliest pic I have is of my great, great, great grandfather. I only have a scanned copy of the picture that I scanned. But at least I have something.

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