About Mitch Goldstone

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

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Here are my most recent posts

What is the best way to clean 35mm slides and negatives?

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 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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Top Tips For Creating A Beautiful Photo Book

Family looking at a photo bookThinking of setting aside some time to create a beautiful photo book of last summer’s vacation, or maybe long ago family events that are now preserved on an archival photo CD?


Here are our top tips on creating a beautiful photo book that your family will enjoy for years to come:


Think like an author

 

Use your photos to tell a story in a somewhat linear fashion rather than organizing them haphazardly. You can, of course, group photos together by theme – all of the meals you ate on a trip, or pelicans you saw, or views of the ocean from various points.


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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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Why There Was No Weeping After the Storm Destroyed Generations of Photos

Fran P., a grandmother from Chicago, was emotionless after a storm damaged her family’s photo memories. Decades of pictures turned into a brick-like mass of paper; plastered together after the water damage flooded her shoeboxes of photos that had been sealed and ‘protected’ for years.


Does her method of storing photos sound familiar to you? The sight of all those lost family memories did not distraught Fran; she simply pressed the retrieve button on her computer and the photo restoration was complete with lightning-fast speed. It was more like waving a magic wand to set back the time to fix a potential daunting problem. There was no weeping after the storm turned very personal memories into a stack of useless paper.


Whether, you have film negatives, 35mm slides or photo snapshots, you too can be spared from the next flood or natural disaster if you digitize your images.


ScanMyPhotos.com, a leading photo digitization company, based in California, provides a smart way to remedy the anxiety Fran faced when she realized all of her photos were damaged.


Prepaid fill-the-box photo scanning service with free shipping and handling, along with individual photo scanning are the recommended solution to protect photos, and how to share pictures on Facebook, Instragram, smartphones and other photo sharing platforms.


In the case of Fran, she had ordered the ScanMyPhotos.com prepaid box that holds upwards of 2,000 standard photos, which was mailed to her home and included all return shipping information. It was easy to mail off those photos, and in her case, just in time to have it scanned to DVDs. Along with traditional photo scanning service, we feature rotating pictures, photo enhancement, instant uploading, hard cover bound custom photo index albums; scanning each picture in the order provided with extra DVDs, or thumb drives — as backup.


Once scanned, it is essential to store the Thumb Drives and DVDs of your digitized photos offsite. ScanMyPhotos.com provides very cost-effective volume ordering of extra archival media and recommends you store copies with relatives, in your office, and locked away in safety deposit box vaults. Prepare for the worst and have your preparedness plan in place now.


Related News

In a related story, check out USA Today tech reporter, Jefferson Graham’s story on preserving your memories in which he recommends using ScanMyPhotos as a first step in protecting your photos from natural disasters and organizing past photos.


http://www.scanmyphotos.com/blog/2015/01/jefferson-graham-usa-today-scan-old-photos.html


ScanMyPhotos.com has made a business from the popular trending social media hashtag #TBT (ThrowbackThursday), as everyone wants to share decades past pictures, but can’t unless each is digitized


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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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