After your pictures are digitized, here is why we are obsessed with Ponga.
Politics, Pies, and Pictures
Are you tired of uncle Bob talking about the state of the economy, politics, and the price of owning a home at every holiday gathering? Here’s an idea that might help you dial back the stress and help you find common ground for conversation:
Bring out your boxes
Just bring out those boxes of old family prints, slides, and mementos. When you dig into pictures, you invariably find stories. They may not be stories YOU remember, but they were someone’s stories. Maybe you recognize the characters or the walls of the house in the background.
These photos of your home can become a common ground, a shared past everyone can agree on or perhaps contribute to as mysteries unwind. Looking back at shared ancestors, family trees, and genealogical connections can put today’s news items in context and gently shift the focus to hearth and home.
When Brownie and Instamatic cameras were commonplace, sharing grandmother’s box of photos and mementos meant expensive photoduplication costs. More typically, the entire box (or boxes) went to a daughter — and that was it. The old photographs of the great-grandparents you all had in common became the property of one aunt’s family.
The descendants who did not inherit the collection were left to request individual prints or scans. The details are lost a generation later, with no artifacts or shared memories around.
Open the door and invite the stories in
Things have changed a lot since the days of Kodak photo envelopes. Scanning hardware is relatively inexpensive, and smartphone cameras can take reasonable pictures of a few old prints. Once you explore a few high-resolution digital images, you will want to explore more and invite the stories in. This is when you need an experienced professional scanning team to take over the challenge. Their specialized equipment can quickly transform your prints, slides, and negatives into convenient folders of high-resolution image files.
Digitizing is transformative
Pictures have always had an advantage over words. That’s what made photography transformative 200 years ago. Today, digitizing the images stored on paper or film releases them to be explored in a new networked context. They can mingle on an equal footing with modern, digital-native images. Digitizing offers other benefits too. Images can be backed up, restored, and examined closely.
Digital images can also be easily shared since every copy is identical to the original, with low storage costs. In fact, as anyone who’s examined their texting habits lately, images have become an ordinary part of our conversations now. You probably take photos with your phone several times a week. Maybe it’s to share pictures of grandchildren or perhaps to pick out the right pint of ice cream.
Suddenly photos aren’t just photos. They’re sent with an answer expected. These photos have become part of our digital conversations. Digitizing our family photos brings these treasures into our modern lives.
The 0001.jpg problem
A key difference between scanned photos and those digital-native images you take with your phones relates to context. When you take photos with your phone, the software in your phone inserts details like the date, location, lens type, and so on as part of the file. (This is sometimes referred to as metadata or EXIF data.) When old photos are scanned, often there’s little structured information available.
Professional services might capture little information, like transferring envelope details into folder names, but otherwise, your files appear as “Untitled_0001.jpg” or something. You need modern software to make sense of the digital pixels that replicate your printed image.
While kids might use the immense processing power of their smartphones to make their photos look like 1970s Polaroids, the same intelligence can be used to seamlessly sort through gigabytes of digital images quickly and easily.
Ponga.com, is the new software that runs in a browser on your computer so that you can quickly and easily sort every photo by the people photographed. Once you add photos to Ponga, you’re invited to step through a gallery of all the unique faces in your photos sorted by frequency. The clearest image of each face appears, so you can add a name just once. That name is then applied to each face in every photo, and a person collects the photos into neat albums.
A screenshot from Ponga running in a browser with the great grandfather labeled and an active selection highlighting a cameo worn by a great aunt. A conversation ensues as cousins discuss the cameo she’s wearing with added photos, text, and voice recordings.
In this example, a great-grandfather appears with his three daughters. This image will appear, with everyone labeled, in four separate albums, one for each person. Ponga allows you to add selections to highlight details (like the cameo) and ask questions or tell stories.
Stories beget stories: Together, they form common ground
Once digitized, labeled, and organized, Ponga allows you to focus on the stories that matter. Those stories are built on common ground, but digitizing opens the door.
Using Ponga, what you share has all the compelling power of an image now combined with networked digital features that allow you to analyze the faces in the image and share stories rich with details expressed with modern media.
Looked at from this perspective, holidays become a wonderful opportunity to interact with extended family so that you can reconnect over a shared heritage and a common story.
Capture and share your family stories with Ponga and ScanMyPhotos
Bring those stacks of old prints, negatives, slides, even home movies, and cassette tapes to a photo-scanning professional or reach out online. They’ve got the technology and know-how to take care of it for you.
[Content provided by Ponga].
We want to hear from you. For all your photo-scanning projects, if you have questions, we have answers. Reach us with this instant direct message Twitter reply.