About Mitch Goldstone

Mitch Goldstone is president & CEO of ScanMyPhotos.com, the ecommerce photo digitization service, founded in 1990

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10 Photo Tips For Using Lighting to Improve Your Photography

ScanMyPhotos Photography Tutorial Series: How To Use Light To Enhance Your Pictures



1. Explore the light. Learn to read where the light is coming from by looking at shadows – notice if the shadows are hard-edged or soft-edged. A general rule for beautiful images is to plan your photo shoot for early morning or late afternoon light because softer shadows equate to less contrast in your scene and more flattering light for your subject. If you must shoot images at high noon, move your subject under the shade of a tree or building.


2. Turn off your flash. It’s easier to capture subtle nuances of natural light in your scene if you turn off your on-camera flash.

3. Take beautiful pictures in the middle of a bright, sunny day by placing your subject in a shaded area near direct sunlight, for example, an open doorway or under the shade of a building or tree.

4. Use the rules of composition. The rule of thirds can help you create more compelling photographs. Envision a tic-tac-toe board on your viewfinder and place something of interest at one or more of these intersections.

5. Choose an interesting frame for your image, for example, an arched trellis, a unique doorway, or overhanging tree branch.

6. Think about using color to create a compelling image. From vibrant contrasts of primary colors to the Zenlike mood of harmonious blues and greens, color can determine the emotional content of a photograph.

7. Control the light. Create a more attractive image by bouncing or diffusing the available light. Bouncing light brightens up faces, gets rid of shadows and creates a catch-light in your subject’s eyes. Diffusing the light softens harsh light falling upon your subject. You can buy a reflector or diffuser at a camera store, but you can also use common household items. Aluminum foil wrapped around a baking sheet, a car dashboard reflector, or a white foam core board can be used to reflect light. Translucent fabric, sheer shower curtains, or plastic bags can be used to diffuse the light.


8. Mix it up! Tell a story with your images by varying the distance and angle from your subject. Consider a wide-angle shot of an area, a mid-range shot, and a detailed close-up to give your viewer an informed perspective.


9. Give yourself ROOM to ZOOM. To eliminate distracting elements and provide a flattering perspective – stand back and give yourself room to zoom into your subject and fill the frame.




10. Consider the direction of the light falling upon your subject. Front light can look flat but diminishes lumps, bumps, and wrinkles. Sidelight creates dimension and form. Backlight can create a silhouette or a rim of light around your subject. Top light isn’t flattering and should be avoided.


 

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Use a Negative Scanning Service to Protect Against Negative Deterioration

Negative scanningMuch like photos, your 35mm negatives will not last forever. Do you know how long negatives last? What will you do when they deteriorate? Negative scanning is the quickest and easiest way to preserve those memories for today and tomorrow.

Why is Negative Scanning Important?

 

The long and short of it, your negatives are your originals. There is no further backup whereas if a photo gets destroyed, you may still have a negative to fall back on for a reprint, assuming you can find it, but if your negatives are damaged or destroyed, that is it, game over.

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Have Tens of Thousands of Photos to Scan? ScanMyPhotos Enterprise Bulk Scanning for Business Has You Covered!

Stack of photos, bulk scanningSafeguarding the Past: Planning for a Company’s Future Digtal Archives


As an individual, you accumulate thousands of family photos over the years, snapping pictures of milestones and events, big and small. As our customers regularly tell us, it’s such a relief to have them scanned and saved digitally for future generations.
Well, large companies and organizations have the very same need.


They have their own stories, events, and milestones to preserve and share, but their photo collections include tens or hundreds of thousands of photos, 35mm slides and film negatives fading away from the ravages of time.. If you fall into that category, good news: We created our newest service, ScanMyPhotos.com Enterprise Bulk Scanning for Business, just for you.


This lost artwork (video from KTLA below) from Los Angeles’ history–discovered in the basement of the oldest television station west of the Mississippi River, KTLA Television Channel 5, is but one example of the importance of digitally preserving your archives.



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How to Preserve Your Photos and Keep Them Safe

There are a few common mistakes people may unintentionally make when displaying or transporting photos. We share these common mistakes and several helpful ways to easily avoid damaging photos to ensure a long lifetime for those special photos.


Best DIY Tips to Your Preserve Photos That Are in Frames and On Display:


damaged-picture-frameEliminate direct sunlight on the photo. Just like everything else that is exposed to sun will result in damages to your photograph. Direct sunlight deteriorates and rapidly fades pictures than if they are strategically placed where there will be minimal direct sunlight. If there is no possible way to avoid direct sunlight on the photo than it would be best to invest in a picture frame that has UV protection glass. Without UV protection, severe damage that will be done to the photograph can make photo restoration extremely difficult or even impossible.



Moisture, or water damage, is one of the most common ways a photo can be damaged. This type of damage can be caused by a variety of factors, such as liquid coming into direct contact with the photo, hanging a photo in a moist area (near a kitchen sink or in a bathroom), living in a high humidity climate, or even spraying glass cleaner directly on the glass of the frame (allowing moisture to seep underneath the glass). Once moisture gets trapped in the frame, the photo paper has no way to breathe or dry out it will eventually become damaged.

The best way to avoid most moisture related problems is to prevent your picture from touching the glass of the frame. You can do this by using spacers, or picture frame mats, so there is space created between the picture and the glass for air to flow.



Also, avoid spraying glass cleaner directly on the glass of the frame. Problems often occur when the cleaning solution runs down the side of the glass and comes in contact with the photograph. In time this can cause the photo to stick to the glass and if you try to remove the photo from the glass, it will peel off the emulsion of the photo paper and ruin the picture.



Never expose your pictures to drastic changes in temperature. Pictures are made out of paper and if exposed regularly to temperature fluctuations it will degrade the photo paper more rapidly. Be cautious when storing photographs in attics, garages, or any storage room that doesn’t have proper insulation.

 

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The Truth About High-Speed Professional Bulk Photo Scanning

When it comes to finding a scanning company online, your options could be endless. Once you find those companies, then comes the task of choosing the right one for you. How many have this amount of media profiles over 27-years?  Raving customer stories, reviews, and a Tales From The Pictures We Saved Podcast series?


“For affordable bulk scans, ScanMyPhotos.com is an old standby,” said the The New York Times.


The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern said: If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, you can always box up your memories and send them out to a photo-scanning service. This option can be efficient and even fairly inexpensive, but you have to be OK with handing over your most cherished memories to complete strangers for a few days.


I gave it a shot. I organized a group of 100 shots by year, labeled them with Post-its and sent them off via FedEx to ScanMyPhotos.com, based in Irvine, Calif. Within a few days, my prints had been uploaded and the originals were back safely in my possession. A nice woman named Shannon kept me updated on the process throughout the week.


  • Do you go with the lowest price? 
  • Do you go with the fastest return? 
  • Do you go with the company that ships your photos in container ships overseas to produce those low cost scans with non-U.S. labor, or 
  • Do you stick with a company that keeps the work in-house?
  • Do you try those DIY phone scanning apps?

In your research for professional scanning companies, you may have seen debates about the use of flatbed scanners versus high-speed professional scanners. We want to set the record straight about high-speed bulk photo scanning.


 

 



In the beginning, the differences were more pronounced between the two scanning options. Originally, high-speed photo scanning could only produce 300 dpi images at the highest setting and the scanners were optimized for scanning documents. By way of comparison, flatbed scanners could produce 1200+ dpi images, but the truth is, 1200+ dpi images is a huge waste of space unless your photo is either A) really, really small or B) you plan on printing that photo on a massive canvas. The photo scanning industry seems to have settled on 600 dpi as the ideal resolution for scanning photos.



Now, high-speed scanner manufacturers have “seen the light” with the potential for photo scanning with their equipment and have vastly improved scanning resolutions and the quality of scanning for items other than documents. Due to this epiphany, lead by ScanMyPhotos.com, which pioneered this entire industry–bulk scanners caught up to flatbed scanners and now all high-end, high-speed scanners can easily produce clear, crisp 600 dpi resolution scans. Think you could tell the difference between a flatbed scan and a high-speed scan? Take a look at the images below. Both were scanned at 600 dpi. One was scanned using our ~$80,000 high-speed scanners, and one was scanned on a $3,800 flatbed scanner (Epson Expression 10000XL), both completely unaltered from the initial scan.


The KRON4 TV news story explains why digitizing your pictures is trending and a vital family project to undertake.


KRON4 LINK

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