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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Playing with photos - part 1

I have a growing collection of old family photos and have made the time to scan most of them. Having only an average sort of scanner and no particular expertise, I've done what I could to get good scans and then made sure that the originals photos were put away safely. I now have quite a few digital copies of photos but they suffer from the usual problems of fading and (mostly minor) dust and scratch marks.

My latest obsession has been learning to make better use of Photoshop Elements before attempting to do a "good" clean up of the old family pictures. I have a few books, and a growing list of helpful URLs, to get me started.

I've nearly finished a practice run on a collection of photos from a trip to New Zealand with my sister in 2001. Neither my sister nor I had a digital camera in 2001. We both had our negatives scanned when they were developed. Unfortunately, many of the scans were pretty bad and my negatives were all but ruined in the process. Fortunately, the prints were done before the scans and they were fine. I've been fixing the colour and scratches on the existing scans, where I can, and rescanning the prints if they look too bad. My plan is to have them printed in a photobook, which I have been setting up as I go along. I think I'm getting pretty good at the dust and scratch repairs, including editing off the distracting yellow date stamps, if I do say so myself. I still have a way to go on colour correction.

Once the New Zealand pictures are done I plan on moving on to my family pictures. Stage 2 of the photos project will be to work on family photos from as early as I have them, up to the 1970s and 1980s (if the images of 80s fashion doesn't scare me off them!).

I'd like to make a photobook of the older family shots, especially, and give copies to my extended family. I'd also like to reproduce my grandparents' photo album as a photobook.

I have lots and lots of photo work to do. Expect to see more photo posts in the future!

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