Sunday, January 13, 2008

Digging Through A Shoebox

My mother has kept old photographs in boxes for years. As a child, I remember getting all wound up each time she would open one of the boxes and sort through each photo explaining who the faces belonged to. Not long ago, I went through those boxes, and bags, and albums trying to digitize as many of those old memories as I could. If you have never sat at a scanner for four hours at a time.....well that is another story. In any event, I was able to put together a pretty decent sized folder on my pc with all those old photos. Now and then I would come across one that I couldn't wait to email off to a sister, cousin, or uncle just to see what their reaction would be.

I know that the safest place to store photos in this day and age is to duplicate them and store the digital duplicates at two seperate locations. Second to that would be to have them printed on archival paper and store them in archival grade containers that are acid free and will not harm the photographs. Thats all fine and dandy, but I must say, there is something to be said for storing them in boxes. I am sure that most of those old pictures were bright and colorful the day they went into the boxes. When they came out it was a different story, as they have aged and have gained that beautiful faded-yellowed-patina that only old photos stored in boxes can get.

Oh and what about albums. Today we store in scrapbooks or printed press books that use all acid free archval quality STUFF. Back then the photos were carefully taped into the albums with clear(which was yellow back then) tape. There were also the little lick and stick corners that (on my good authority) do not stick for 40 years. I even scanned some photos in some of my grandfather's photo albums in which the photos had been carefully stapled into the book. That's what I like to see.....if your gonna do it right!!! Can you imaging, trying to be carefull with a 50 or 60 year old photo and a staple puller!! Then all the staple holes have to be fixed in photoshop, and finally the photo must be carefully stapled (not me! )back in it's place. On second thought I prefer the box method.

Today I found myself going through folders on my hard drive when I ran across the images in this post. They are candid shots of my daughter and a friend goofing around while I was trying to capture some senior photos for her friend. I had disregarded them at the time, but when I gave them a once over in photoshop, and tried to give them an aged look they really came to life. It isn't quite like finding a burnished treasure of a long gone era in a shoebox, but it was a great find and for today it will have to do.

1 comment:

Heasleye said...

Great post! And I'm glad you gave these shots with your daughter and her friend a second chance. They have captured moments and that's important and worth remembering! And besides, they're beautiful!