Guest post by: Art Taylor
If you’ve been reading the post comments on this website in the last month, I’m sure you’ve seen 1 or 7 detailed comments from a man named Art Taylor.
I haven’t met someone in some time who is as passionate about preserving photographs as he is. And since he’s been so generous sharing his scanning experience with others, I couldn’t help but take him up on his offer to write a few guest posts for us.
Art has been an amateur photographer for over 40 years, taking close to 50,000 or more slides and negatives on film. But, what really got my attention was his love for trains. Even though I can’t say I have ever ridden a real train — just miniature ones in amusement parks — I just love them. Most of Art’s photo collection was taken of trains and railroad-related subjects.
Hey, welcome to my second progress report!
Every month, I am posting a detailed report just like this one sharing with you how far I have come with my goal to scan and restore my entire 10,000+ family photo collection.
By doing so, I hope to inspire you to do the same!
In my first progress report, I set a goal for myself to do a little bit of work on my collection every single day, and I am going to detail each one of them so that you can learn from my transparency.
I don’t want to be “that guy” — a guy that tells you how you should scan your own photos but then sends all of my own to a scanning service to do the work for me.
I have absolutely nothing against these services. In fact, I love them!
But, I want to not only prove to myself that I can do this, but more importantly, I want to prove to you how almost anyone can scan and organize their own photo collection too!
It’s not impossible. It’s just about putting in the time, energy and devotion.
A reader writes, “Hi, Firstly, thank you for your tips about adding descriptions in your post ‘The Best Way to Add a Description (Caption) to Your Scanned Photos.’ I tried what you suggested with iPhoto (’11), but the description was not exported to Preview and it wasn’t included in emailed photos.”
Hey Carol, thanks for your comment! And you know I bet there are a lot of people having this problem, so let me try and shed some light on this.
You bring up a shortcoming that I think iPhoto has — well really, a lot of the image managers and photo editors. I mean Apple makes it so easy to change the titles (names) of your photos and add descriptions (captions) to them, but it seems anytime you want to do something with these titles and descriptions, well… you can’t.
The problem is iPhoto and a lot of photo managers appear to be a little stingy with the information you type into them. It almost seems like they are afraid that at any moment, you are going to consider jumping ship and leave them for a different photo manager, so they make it harder than it should be for you to get all of your hard work out from it.
The good news is there are ways to get your photos and descriptions out, you just have to do it in the few ways iPhoto allows you to. It’s basically the equivalent of as asking, “pretty please?”
I just came across this very positive and endearing article about a woman by the name of Rebecca Manson who volunteered for six months, working to save other people’s flood-damaged photos.
At first, I thought it was going to be a completely negative story. Valerie Zehl starts out the article on Pressconnects.com telling us about a horrible situation that Ann Olsen of Endwell, NY found herself in last September.
Valerie explains that, “Ann’s Castle Gardens home was inundated. Hundreds — including one-of-a-kind shots of her late mother and brother — were underwater. When she could get to them days later she tried to make ‘photo sandwiches’ with absorbent material between the wet pictures, but could do only a few of them.”
At that moment while I was reading this, I felt so bad for Anne. I really can’t imagine what that must feel like to look down at these “smelly, flood-muddied crates” and know that what’s left inside used to be all of your priceless photographs.
So you have a closet with boxes full of old prints and slides that you are dying to have scanned and neatly organized on your computer.
The problem is, you’re worried about it either costing you way too much money to send it to a scanning service, or taking too much of your precious free time to scan them yourself on a flatbed scanner.
Does this sound EXACTLY like your dilemma?
I’d like to share with you my experience back scanning photos for the first week. If you want to make scanning your own photos fit into your busy and hectic life, I think my experience here might give you an idea how much time will be involved and how many photos you can easily get through.
This is going to be the first of many monthly — if not every 2 months — reports that I am planning on publishing that will summarize my most recent progress to digitize my family’s photo collection.
Scanning, organizing, labeling, and color correcting an enormous family photo collection is a major project that I am obviously not taking lightly.
In each of these reports, the first thing I’m going to do is mention what I’ve been doing the past month or 2 to either work towards my personal goal with my collection or just to improve this website.
Next I will reveal my latest “Scanning & Editing” count that will show you exactly how far I have come with my collection from the last report.
And lastly, I will finish up with the most important things I have recently learned that I think you will benefit in hearing and possibly what I have planned for the near future.