Monday, February 22, 2021

Kodachrome Nostalgia II

 To answer Libertyman: 

I scanned them myself. I bought an Epson V600 scanner that did flat bed images and slides. I chose the Epson because of the software package and the quality of the scanned images. I did not keep the paper images or slides when I finished. That was a hard choice, but having made it all digital, I knew after I pass, no one will care about the paper and the slides were starting to degrade anyway.

The first part was just sorting through everything and deciding what to keep. With early family photos, I kept most of them. I borrowed all my mother's albums and pictures. Some I had to scan through the glass in the frame, it would have destroyed them to try to get out.

 For my own pictures, I set some guidelines. The picture had to stand on it's own, no too dark, too light, blurry, or boring pictures made the cut. That took care of 80% of them, roughly.

Then there was weeks of time scanning. I would set up for slides, for example, preset all the settings including the folder the scans were dumped into, and then I could do something else on the other screen, just every time it finished four of them, I would push them out, put in four more, and hit the button. Call it semi-auto scanning.

Opening each one, editing it, and deciding what folder in the finished drive they belonged in was the next step. Most of the folder structure is family structured. For example, my parent's folder has them and inside that is a folder called children. My sisters and I get our own top level folder when we married/moved out, our children are in that. My folder is more complex, but it is built from my viewpoint. It has sub-folders for events, topics like camping or the Marines, etc.

There are some text documents in some folders explaining things for any future viewers. That part of the task is unfinished. I am still adding images occasionally as I either take or receive some that fit in.

 The resolution I used is about the resolution of the film. If I had gone any higher it would have slowed the scanning process, created bigger files, and not provided any better image quality.

The current folder is 6,600 images, 20 gigabytes.

I started this in 2015. When my son died, I shoved it all on a shelf for a couple of years. I picked back up in 2017. It wasn't as much fun, but I knew I wanted to complete it. 

One of the joys of it was looking at every single picture one more time. Evaluation was part of it, but seeing them and remembering some surprising details of the days I had mostly forgotten. No one will ever look at all of them in such detail again. 

I did not do it for posterity or for the family or because I thought anyone cared very much about them. I did it like a hobby, because it was meaningful to me, because I wanted to.

The surprising thing has been the slide shows I can pull together. I made one for my Dad's funeral last month. Because they were all scanned and catalogued, it went together quickly and it was very well received. 

There are copies in several family members possession. It would be hard for all of them to be lost. 

Here's one of the earliest. It was taken in England before this family came to the United States. All nine of the children lived to adulthood. The father lived into his 80s, and on his 80th birthday in 1907, someone wrote a history of  the family. I have that scanned as well. The young woman in the back center with the bow in her hair is my great-great-grandmother.


michigan doug said...

I have all my dads slides and my granddads slides dating from the late 40's

up to the mid 90's.

I'd like to save them but no one else would probably ever see them.

Glen Filthie said...

Something like that might be priceless to a grandchild, ASM. 👍

libertyman said...

Thank you, thank you for the detailed reply!

You said:
"I did not do it for posterity or for the family or because I thought anyone cared very much about them. I did it like a hobby, because it was meaningful to me, because I wanted to."

That is exactly the reason I will proceed. Having just lost hundreds of prints to a flooded basement at Christmas, I realized I had better get going on getting some pictures saved digitally. Easy to share and more permanent for those who may have an interest.

Yes and notes as to who is who and when are important additions.

I see your family are recent immigrants, only two hundred years ago!

Thank you so much.

Clayton W. said...

When my Grandmother passed away, she was in her 90's, some family members came to the service with a photo album from the old country: Late 1800's and early 1900's.

Unfortunately, nobody knew who anyone was. The history has been lost. :(