Scan Your Old Photos Now


“Scan Your Old Photos Now” by Joan Y. Edwards

You’ve heard of people losing their memories.

You’ve heard of people disappearing.

I was scanning old pictures to send to my nephew for the Celebration of my sister, Judith’s Life. Some of the people and items in the pictures are disappearing. It’s as if these photos can’t remember what was put on them many moons ago. It’s the materials they used to process these pictures in the 1940s that’s causing them to deteriorate. Through the years, Kodak and other film processors have learned through experience and research how to make pictures better preserved.

If you have photos from earlier than 1950, I’d suggest that you scan them at 600 pixel resolution. If the pictures are in good shape, probably 300 pixels in resolution will be okay. Most of the ones that I have after 1950, are okay. Everyone is still clear in the pictures.  If you still have the negatives, you can get them developed. But if you don’t have the negatives, my advice is to scan them. You can scan them yourself, or pay someone to do it for you. I had a huge amount of slides, over 1000 of them. I had DigMyPics.com to do them. I liked their quality and timeliness. There are others cheaper and some more expensive. You will figure out the best plan for you. Of course, today’s pictures are almost all taken with digital cameras.

I’ll show you what I mean about the people and items disappearing:

1940 Judith Meyer, Great Grandfather, Christopher Henry Meyer, and Joan Meyer

1944 Judith and Joan Meyer on the day Judith started school.

1944 Joan Meyer in front of their house on LaVista Road in Tucker, Georgia.

1950 Judith and Joan at 1008 Birch Street, Falls Church, Va.

My purpose in writing this blog is so that you will search out your old pictures. You might get ideas for a story or two there. You can use pictures as props for your stories. You might enjoy going down memory road. You can share your pictures in many ways.

You can upload your photos to Shutterfly or Facebook. You can also get a free Dropbox account. Put a folder on your computer. Fill it with pictures for all of your family and/or friends to see. Send them a link, and they can see them and download them to their computer: http://www.dropbox.com

If both of you have a Dropbox account, you can share the folder and it will stay in both accounts.

I just sent my nephew a link to the Dropbox folder on my computer with 175 pictures of my sister and our family in it. He said he was able to download the pictures. That’s a lot quicker than sending separate emails with 2 or 3 photos each. It saved both of us a bunch of time.

You can also save manuscripts on your computer. Copy and save them into a folder. Copy and paste this folder into Dropbox folder on your computer. Then if you go out-of-town or don’t have access to your computer, but you have access to another computer, you can work on your manuscript, save it and the revised version will be there in your Dropbox folder when you get back home. Incredible.

Other people can only see the folder with a link that you send them. However, you can see all the folders in your Dropbox. If you have one word file you want to share, you have to put it in a folder and share the folder on the Dropbox.

Enjoy your old pictures. Take some new pictures. Do something fun to celebrate your life today. I’m glad you parents had you. You are a blessing.

Thanks for reading my blog. Please leave a comment.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Here’s a link to a related blog post of mine: How to Digitize and Share Your Priceless Family Slides, Movie Reels, and Photos

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12 Responses

  1. Joan,
    Excellent post! I enjoyed seeing the old black and whites. And yes, a picture is worth a thousand words. The older ones are definitely fading out. Dropbox sounds like a fantastic setup. I hope this blog post encourages many to scan and save their old photos and newer ones as well. I have a feeling this post is going to get a lot of hits. What happens to saved links sent by friends that are with Kodak Gallery?

    • Dear Linda, Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you thought my post was excellent and that you believe this post will receive a lot of hits. The Kodak links will not work after July 2, 2012. You would have to ask your friends for a link to the same thing in Shutterfly. All pictures are being moved. Uh oh! You’ve got me thinking now. I have several links to the Kodak Gallery on my posts. I’ll have to rework them for sure. Yikes! I can put them on Shutterfly or mywebsite or in Dropbox. Now I have work to do before July 2. I don’t know if Kodak will have forwarding links or not. I sort of doubt it. Thanks for helping me think through this to what I might need to do. Celebrate you!

      Dream! Love! Laugh! Never Give Up Joan Y. Edwards

  2. Joan! Great and timely post! My brother and I were just talking about doing this the other day. I have already started collecting some old photos to have digitized – and using Dropbox is a wonderful idea! Thank you! I hope you have a wonderful time at the Celebration of your dear sister, Judith!

    • Dear Ann, Thanks for writing. I’m glad this post might be helping you with your collection of old photos. Thank you for the good wishes for me at the Celebration of Judith’s Life. It will be on June 9, 2012 in Puyallup, Washington. Celebrate you! Never Give Up Joan Y. Edwards

  3. After my parents died, my brother and I had the challenge of going through all their pictures. What a treasure trove, and what a challenge! you are right about those pictures, too. Color photos from the fifties are more changed than black and white from the same era. My brother took all my dad’s slides, and that was a huge library. I fear he has given up on salvaging them. Color slides from 1957 are severely degraded by now, for example. We really can’t afford to have them all rescued. I hope we can save a few special ones.
    Photos do forget eventually what was given to them, and more to the point, without attentive care, people forget, too. When I got married in 1995, I had to move to a different town. Even though I thought I would never forget all my wonderful friends in Missouri, I have learned to be glad I exercised the discipline to write all the names on the backs of our wedding pictures. I hate to admit, but some of those names need a little prompting, even though I never forget that I love those faces.
    Great post. Great advice.

    • Dear Qathy, Thanks for writing. DigMyPics.com did a great job on the slides I had from the 1940′s, 1950′s, 1960′s, and a few I had from the 1970′s. Choose the ones you want. It’s reasonable and not slow at all. Good for you that you wrote the names on the backs of your wedding pictures. My mother used to tell me to write the names and dates on the back of every picture. I haven’t done that all the time. It really does help when I do it. You are definitely right. We remember the faces of the people who have gone on our path with us. Just sometimes the names might escape us for a moment. But upon more thinking and belief that we can, their names also surface to the top. My older daughter and I took a trip to Missouri the summer of 1993. Just the time the Mississippi River flooded. Luckily we were safe in our travels. Enjoy your day. Thanks for sharing about you and your experience with pictures. Celebrate you.

      Dream! Love! Laugh! Never Give Up Joan Y. Edwards

  4. What an interesting and informative post! Thank you for sending… our friend of 49 years just sent us a few photographs of the times we shared together in Bangkok. Oh, the memories of youth!

    • Dear Maureen, How cool to get photos from a friend from earlier times together! What a blessing! Thank you for saying my post was interesting and informative. Isn’t it interesting how the faces of people still resemble their childhood faces? So fun to look through pictures and remember those great times. It’s almost like you run a video of it again and enjoy every second of it again. How many states and countries have you visited? I’ve been to quite a few states. I’ve visited Canada. No other countries. Do something to celebrate you today!

      Dream! Love! Laugh! Never Give Up Joan Y. Edwards

  5. Hi, Joan. Hubby has a professional scanner and he’s able to scan negatives too. We’ve scanned hundreds and have hundreds to go of my mother’s old pictures and negatives. Some of the negatives are pretty light and hard to make out and some are of people we don’t even know. He stored a lot of them in an external hard drive -it doesn’t work any more and all that work is stuck in there forever. I never thought of drop box, which I use for my manuscripts. They’re going in there from now on. Thanks for the tip.

    • Dear Rodow62, Thanks for writing. It might be worth seeing if some tech savvy person can get it transfer from the external hard drive. I am sorry about that. I know how frustrating that must be. Saving things online like with Dropbox or Carbonite(backs up your computer and for extra money an external hard drive, too) or other cloud savings is definitely worthwhile. Saving on two external drives. You all will figure that out. I had about a 1000 slides in a slide show that went defunct on me. I had even saved it. The first one got corrupt. The backup didn’t work. It took me almost a year before I was able to tackle the slides again. I decided people could make their own slideshows. I would just do the slides and label them with the names of the people in them. It worked. Plain and simple and wonderful. Have a super day. Celebrate you and your husband for not giving up when the things were down on the pictures and negatives. Dream! Love! Laugh! Never Give Up Joan Y. Edwards http://www.joanyedwards.com http://www.joanyedwards.wordpress.com

  6. Great idea. I’ve scanned some of my old photos, but need to do more. Thanks for the reminder. I wonder if tintypes will scan. Must try.

    • Dear Beverly, Thanks for writing. I’m proud of you for scanning your old photos and your planning to do more. Let me know if the tintypes scan.

      Celebrate you and your love of family. Never Give Up Joan Y. Edwards

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