Sunday, July 06, 2014

Preserving Family History by Scanning and Editing Old Photographs #Photoshop

An Old Photo That I Edited
Our youngest son is getting married in November.  He is 33, and dang, it's about time.  Get busy, boy, we want grand kids.

Our son wants to make a slide show of some sort for the wedding reception, so wifey and I are gathering stacks of old pictures dating back to our son's birth in 1981.  Old pictures fade, become discolored or get wrinkled, cracked or torn.  That's why it's a good idea to scan those old pictures into a non-changing digital format -- into jpg picture files, that can be reproduced countless times on CDs and hard drives, and dispersed throughout the family members.  If you have old paper pictures that predate the digital age, you may want to do the same.

If some of your pictures have become faded, darkened, or discolored, scan them anyway.  There are numerous programs available for editing digital images.  I use Photoshop, but there are cheaper alternatives that do quite well.  Photoshop Elements can be had for $60 to $70, depending on where you buy it.  I edited the picture of my son, at left, with Photoshop.  The top image is how the picture looks in hard copy.  It became purple-pink over the past 33 years, but five minutes with Photoshop restored it nicely (see bottom pic).

We are wallowing in nostalgia, going through old photos that we haven't seen in years.  My son's pictures go all the way back to the hospital delivery room, and progress through infancy, childhood, high school, college and beyond.  After all this work, we darn well better get some grand kids out of this.  Otherwise, I am buying another dog.

Our Scanner:  We are using a Canon CanoScan Lide 200.  Current price is $79.19.  This scanner operates and is powered through a USB port on your computer. The scanner's software allows you to crop the picture before saving it, which is a big time saver.


Stogie Chomper said...

Thanks for the tip. I'll try tiffs.

Pheasant Plucker said...

I forgot to say what an awesome color correction you did on that image. Did you use the Levels palette?

Stogie Chomper said...

Pheasant, no, I just increased the light, then used the color adjustment, and finally, the automatic tone correction. The latter really did most of the work. By the way, we have switched to tiff files at your suggestion.