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Old Nov 25, 2002, 3:42 PM   #1
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Default advice on photography old photographs

I have a number of family snapshots which are 40-50 years old. Most are in black and white. I would like to photograph these and save them to a CD for distribution to family members at Christmas.

I have a Nikon Coolpix 4500, with built in flash. I also have the Nikon Macro light, and a tripod.

I would appreciate any advice on how to obtain the best images of these old photos.

Thanks!
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Old Nov 25, 2002, 4:05 PM   #2
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scanner is the name of the game. You won't be able to shoot these photos as well as the scanner.
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Old Nov 25, 2002, 4:43 PM   #3
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I agree with Geof that a scanner would be your best choice. I saw an HP1000 photo scanner at Office Depot the other day for less than $100.
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Old Nov 25, 2002, 7:13 PM   #4
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I recently scanned in almost two hundred photos, all of which were at least 75 yrs old. Some were much older. I used Photoshop Elements to crop and tweak most of them. You can change brightness and contrast and remove scratches and other defects of time. The output from my Epson 1270 are better than what I scanned in. I burned several CD-ROMs for relatives which were gratefully received.

Scan your old photos... the results will amaze you.
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Old Nov 25, 2002, 8:38 PM   #5
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Many years ago, when I didn't had digicam yet, I used to retake shots of old photos with my 35mm film camera to remake a film support; 50mm lens , +3 diopter closeup lens , no flash, fluorescent ligting at 45 deg both sides, came out great. The same arrangement should work with digicam as well if you don't have scanner yet.
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Old Nov 26, 2002, 4:13 AM   #6
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I'm about to do the same with old inherited family photos to save space (burn to CD). One big thing is to think how you will be attaching notes, since the date/location of the original is important and the people in the photo if you know who they are! I might use ACDsee to marry the scanned pics to notes. To make the job quicker I'll probably put several on A4. ACDsee note files are in text, so could be read as .doc files in emergency.

How long do we think JPEG format and CD's will be readable in the future? Any thoughts about archive formats and future proofing?

Isn't it interesting that when we used to take photos, we wrote a lot of useful stuff on the back, but digicam photography requires a discipline in post editing, which I'll bet most of us don't apply.

We can dream of the cam which uses the lcd as a pen tablet for notes, and GPS to put location in the EXIF header!
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Old Nov 26, 2002, 4:02 PM   #7
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I wouldn't lose any sleep worrying about how long JPEG and CDs will be around. Use the formats of the day. Sometime in the future when new formats are developed and it becomes obvious JPEGs and CDs are in the twilight of their normal life then simply convert and resave using the new formats.
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Old Nov 26, 2002, 7:23 PM   #8
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We entered the information on the back of old pictures in a Word file with picture names indicating to which photos they refered...

eg. JPG 001 "Grandma Jones cooking supper in 1913"

I included the Word file on the same CD-ROM. I'll admit it's not very elegant, but it works...
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