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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Hurricane Harvey Leaves Texas Surprised and Reeling from Damage

Hurricane preparedness tips 296x300 - Hurricane Harvey Leaves Texas Surprised and Reeling from DamageHurricane 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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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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5 Fun Photography Project Ideas for Kids

photography project ideasSummer might be winding down, but there is still time to get a few more fun activities in with the kids! We’ve pulled together a list of photography project ideas that will help teach your little ones how to learn composition, exposure, camera settings, and more.

 

Not only are these projects are great opportunity to teach and learn, but they can be a lot of fun and will result in lasting memories.

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Fortunately, These Pictures Were Spared From a House Fire

house-fire[Reposted] We received an email from a past client with a story that was both heartbreaking and an uplifting preparedness tip.

It got us thinking, again, about how a company that scans photos is so important in people’s lives and why it is vital that no one should delay in getting their photos scanned.
Insurance replaces your material items but do you know what you can’t replace but you can protect? Your photos.

You can buy a new TV, sofa or refrigerator but can you buy your daughter’s first steps or your wedding day? Whether you use ScanMyPhotos, some other photo scanning company or you are inspired to go out, buy a scanner and do it yourself, we URGE you to scan your photos now! You never know what tomorrow may bring.


Here is Pat’s story:

For some reason, I felt a urgency to convert many of our photos to disks. I worried about preserving them. Twice I sent a box of photos to you and felt great relief loading them onto my computer. The morning of November 12, 2012 I awoke to the unimaginable- our house was on fire! We managed to make it outside with just the clothes on our back.

As the flames rolled through the roof I knew we were losing everything. Thoughts of family heirlooms disappearing and our family photos burning and the loss of those felt vnbearable. I realized that just inside the front door was my laptop and on it were hundreds of our favorite treasured pictures! I opened the door, reached in for the laptop and yanked it out of the wall it was charging in. That was the only item I saved that day.

Now, as we slowly rebuild our house and our lives I know a precious part of our past remains because of the service you provide!

I never would have thought our new house would catch fire. Now we look forward to the future, but thanks to your company we still have our connection to the past. You’ve made a difference in our lives.

 

Sincerely,
P Fogo
Sheffield Lake, Ohio

Consider the following statistics from National Fire Protection Agency:


    • In 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to 370,000 home structure1 fires.1

    • These fires caused 13,910 civilian injuries, 2,520 civilian deaths, $6.9 billion in direct damage.1

  • One home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds.2

Please DO NOT WAIT. Scan your photos, negatives, and slides today. Don’t forget those old home movies, too. As Pat said, by scanning their family photos, “we still have our connection to the past” and that is what photos represent, a connection to family history for present and future generations.


Recommended Links for more information

http://www.nfpa.org/

References

1. U.S. Home Structure Fires Fact Sheet – National Fire Protection Agency
2. The US Fire Problem – National Fire Protection Agency

 

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