While DNA Tests Offer a Peek into Family History, Your Genealogy Efforts are Missing This

family historyAs DNA testing kits become more affordable, the number of unbelievable family history stories surrounding these tests is increasing.

 

This recent piece written by The New York Times, covers a story on a Bob Hutchinson who used a DNA test to finally get some answers into the family history his mother kept a secret throughout his life. The test uncovered that he was one-eighth sub-Saharan African—a fact his mother never shared with him. From there he uncovered cousins he didn’t know he had and was able to establish a connection with this new found family.

 

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#DoSomethingGrand, Scan Your GrandParent’s Photos For #GrandparentsDay

Grandparents’ Photo Memories Must Be Saved, Says ScanMyPhotos.com


Celebrating Grandparents’ Day is a year-round triumph to memorialize the extraordinary lives and history from those we love.


On Sunday, September 10th, we celebrate a wonderful holiday that honors the grandest of people in our families and lives. National Grandparents Day is one of our favorite holidays here at ScanMyPhotos, but sometimes the day will sneak right past everyone without much notice or fanfare.



Prepaid Photo Scanning BoxIf you forgot to do something special for your Noni or PapPap, it’s not too late! You can give them the gift of preservation by sending a ScanMyPhotos e-gift certificate their way. It’ll be a great way to honor their legacy and memory for generations to come. Or order prepaid fill-the-box photo scanning for them to rediscover, collect and have all those nostalgic memories digitally preserved.


4 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Grandparents Day


 

When “AARP The Magazine” wrote about photo scanning and its several profiles on ScanMyPhotos, and listed us as a top tech gift, it launched a crusade – advocating that readers should start thinking about genealogy, preservation of memories and sharing photos for today’s all-digital world.


But, the challenge was how to embrace technology to affordably archive and preserve shoeboxes of family photos. This story from one of our most beloved customers explains why this day is so emotional and a reason to celebrate


ScanMyPhoto’s Customer Helps Grandparents Connect with Grandkids via Technology

 


Having solved the biggest problem in photography [working to digitize the world’s photos], 

ScanMyPhotos is now on a mission like no other. Grandparents Day is like our Christmas / Hanukkah. The beaming smiles engendered as families revisit and learn about their heritage is priceless.


On National Grandparents Day, let your families tell their individual stories through a lifetime of pictures and cherished photo memories. Afterwards, continue on your family genealogy project with Ancestry.com



Click to learn more about ScanMYPhotos.com and how we’ve professionally digitized 400 million photos, especially for grandparents

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Hurricane Harvey Leaves Texas Surprised and Reeling from Damage

Hurricane Harvey leaves Houston and the coastal Texas cities under water. As the cities braced themselves for the brunt of a category 4 hurricane, no one would have predicted that inland Texas counties would have experienced the worst of Hurricane Harvey. The death toll and devastating destruction is staggering.


The areas around Houston are covered in flood waters—a disaster few were prepared for.  Please were in shock and so much was ruined.



The trouble was a result of the mix of wind damage and a low saturation water tables.


Of course, this news hits us hard here at ScanMyPhotos. Unfortunately, the very nature of natural disasters is highly unpredictable—damage can happen at any place and at any time. Whether from wildfires, earthquakes or severe storms, there are no ways to predict the lasting damaging that reels families for years beyond.  Or, what about the tornadoes which touched down and tear apart roofs on homes? These freak incidents can and do happen.



This is why we take National Preparedness Month extremely seriously around here, and why we are year-round sharing tips on how to prepare for anything. The following articles provide information on how you can prepare for disaster today:


How to prepare your family to deal with an emergency or natural disaster



This page explains what actions to take when you receive a hurricane watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area. It also provides tips on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.


Are Your Family Photos Prepared For Any Disaster?


And, be sure to visit the following pages for resources and information:

Ready.gov

Amercan Red Cross

NOAA

FEMA



Let’s all take this time to prepare for the worst so that when the next natural disaster strikes, we can all hope for the best.

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What Is The Best Way To Clean 35mm Slides and Film Negatives?

Before scanning your slides and film negatives, here’s an easy DIY tip to clean it first


While Kodak’s Digital ICE, which is used for slide and negative scanning at ScanMyPhotos.com, does help remove unwanted dust and scratches, it is only designed to remove a moderate amount. If your film and slides are very dirty or dusty, it is in your best interest to clean them prior to sending them in to be scanned. Here are some recommended easy to achieveslide scanner tips:


  • Purchase a soft, anti-static cleaning cloth or microfiber cloth, like those used for cleaning lenses and gently clean each slide and negative.

  • Gently wipe the film negative and slides from one side to the other.

  • Careful. Watch for abrasive material, like sand, which should be gently blown off the negative before wiping with the dust cloth.

  • Canned air is preferred. For 35mm mounted slides, remove the film from its plastic or cardboard casing before wiping to avoid just brushing dust to the edges of the slide.

  • FOR ADVANCED USERS: Find an alcohol-based film cleaner and compressed photographic gas at a photography store or online.

  • The film cleaner should have a neutral pH and not contain any water.

  • Cotton pads can be purchased at any drugstore. Pour the film cleaner on a cotton pad and spread it on the negative. A light touch and a steady hand will help preserve your film and prevent scratching.

  • Use the compressed gas to blow off cotton fibers and dry the film cleaner. The negative should now be free from non-water-based stains.

More Frequently Asked Slide Scanning Questions


More Frequently Asked Film / Negative Scanning Questions


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Photo Scanning and the 300 vs 600 DPI Myth

When discussing the resolution of digital images, far too often people get hung up focusing on DPI (or PPI) as a way to measure the size and quality of a digital image. This may sound completely wrong to you, but the DPI of an image has nothing to do with digital image quality. The reason? A digital image’s resolution is expressed as it’s pixel dimensions, either as pixels by pixels or the often heard keyword, megapixels. So why do people get hung up on DPI? The simple reason is that when it comes to printing, DPI actually IS the measure of quality. Confusing, right?


10 DPI vs 1,000 DPI


Click on each image below. Can you tell the difference?


1,000 DPI image

1,000 DPI

10 DPI image

10 DPI image



You should be saying to yourself, “They look exactly the same.” Both are 600 x 900 pixels, both saved at the exact same 20% compression rate but they have vastly different DPI values. So why isn’t there a visual difference? As noted above, digital image quality is measured by the number of pixels in an image, either by the pixel dimensions or the megapixel value. In this case, they are both 0.5-megapixel images since they have the exact same pixels dimensions (600 x 900 pixels).


Now, if you want to discuss the DPI of a digital image, YOU MUST ALSO assign a physical size to it. You can’t simply say, “This image is 200 dpi.” You have to say something like “This image is 200 dpi at 4 inches by 6 inches.” It is important to remember that a digital image has no absolute size or resolution. Think about this, when do you typically discuss DPI? The answer you should be thinking about is “When I want to print the image.” This is where DPI comes into play because a printer may output at 150 dpi, 200 dpi or 300 dpi and each would require a different file size to print the optimum print. You may also be thinking that you discuss DPI when you scan a photo, but we will get to that later. For uploading to social media, 150 dpi is adaquate.


The issue that causes all this confusion is that many users interpret a photo editing program’s reference to DPI as a measure of “resolution” but this is actually the displaying the OUTPUT or printing resolution, not the resolution of the digital image. Has this happened to you: You had your photos scanned by ScanMyPhotos but when you open the file in Photoshop, it says that it is 72 dpi and you clearly paid for 600 dpi? Before you start writing a strongly worded letter to ScanMyPhotos, look at the width and height? Does it show that the photo is 50″ by 33″? We all know you did not send a 3 foot by 4 foot photo for scanning so what happened? Nearly all monitors can only display 72 dpi so most programs default to showing 72 dpi.


So, when working in Photoshop for example, the first thing you want to do when looking at File->Image Size is to TURN RESAMPLE IMAGE OFF. If you then turn your attention to the rest of the dialog box, you can see it connects Resolution, Height, and Width together while Pixel Dimensions is separate and uneditable from the Document Size. As long as you have Resample Image turned off, if you change any one of the values for Width, Height or Resolution you simultaneously change the other two, but the Pixel Dimensions will always remain the same. As the resolution goes up, the width and height go down, and vice versa, because a digital image has no absolute size or resolution. All it has is a certain number of pixels in each dimension that will be displayed on a monitor or screen. Click on the image below for a detailed look at the relationship between size and DPI and how it doesn’t affect the actual pixels in the image.

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