What You Don’t Know Can Hurt Your Photographs

How to fix and protect your photographs


phototagging biometric facial recognition story by ScanMyPhotos.com 4 300x201 - What You Don’t Know Can Hurt Your PhotographsA photographic image looks like something that will last forever, but even the most modern prints are not designed to last for more than a few decades.

Black-and-white photographs made up of light-sensitive silver salts known as silver halides, last longer. But color photographs and slides, which are made up of dyes and plastics, are more fragile.

Still, any photograph will eventually succumb to the effects of a hostile environment and a host of natural enemies. Photo restoration services are the pound of cure, which can be avoided by preserving intact photos today.

THE BAD GUYS

 

  • High temperature and relative humidity: The emulsion layer of a photograph, the light-sensitive component that actually captures the image, is made up of organic materials, including gelatin. That makes the emulsion susceptible to mold and fungi, especially when subject to the combination of heat and moisture. Photographs should be stored in a cool, dry place, below about 68° Fahrenheit and under 50% relative humidity.


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  • Ultraviolet Light: Go ahead. Tempt the fates. Hang a color photograph on a wall in your house where the sun hits it every day, and you can start watching it fade within just a few years. To prevent fading, keep your photographs out of direct exposure to sunlight. If you absolutely must display that picture in that perfect spot, you buy special filters to protect the photo. Another good idea is to make one copy for long-term storage and a second for display. Take intact photos into a photo professional to be scanned and archived to disk. If you’ve recently had a photo restoration done, make sure to have a digital copy on file.


  • Wood and Paper Products: What could be more natural than a tree. That may be true, but many wood and paper products contain harmful acids, bleaches and other chemicals that can damage the emulsion of your photograph over time. Use only acid-free paper products. When shopping for “archival” products, make sure you are getting what you pay for – there is no accepted “archival” labeling standard.

  • Adhesives & Rubber: Remember those easy-to-use sticky-back photo albums. Bad news and we all know it. But most adhesives, including the rubber cement often used in so-called “magnetic” photo albums, contain harmful chemicals such as PVC that will eventually destroy your photographs. Rubber bands can have the same effect. That makes them both a big no-no.


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  • Air pollutants: It may come as a surprise, but even the fumes from household cleaning products and fresh paint can damage photos. You probably won’t notice the effects right away, but in time they will become painfully obvious.

  • Metallic Objects: On a more practical level, metallic objects such as keys and paper clips can scratch the surfaces of your prints and negatives. Don’t clip your photos together, and try not to store them in the same box as your screwdrivers.

A WORD OF HOPE


Preserving photographs, which are organic and temporary by their very nature, may seem like an uphill battle. But with smart decisions about storing and displaying your photos, it doesn’t have to be.  Photo scanning and digital restoration is our business, but preserving precious family photos is our mission.

 

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How to Get Photos “Back To The Future”

How To Stop Your Pictures From Being Erased From Existence


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Welcome. How to literally travel back in time? Do you remember the scene with the fictional character and the main protagonist in the 1985 hit film “Back To The Future” where Marty McFly’s group picture of his family was fading away?



Why you don’t need a Ouija board or “Back To The Future” DeLorean to travel back in time.


Now you can literally travel back in time. Just as the family photo in the 1985 hit film was being erased from existence, so too are everyone’s pictures if they aren’t digitally protected.


The question is how to preserve and revisit your past family history from fading away to see ancestors from decades-past with newly scanned pictures?



ScanMyPhotos is here helping. And we have a “humble brag” announcement today marking a big milestone. From our Irvine, California headquarters, the bulk photo scanning business we pioneered just scanned our 600 millionth picture. We are grateful to all who trusted us, but there is much work ahead as there are 3 1/2 trillion still-analog pictures to scan before they too are erased from existence.


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Tales From The Pictures We Saved – Episode 12: Connecting Past and Present

pastWelcome to this week’s episode of Tales From the Pictures We Saved. 


 

We’ve spent the past 30 years helping our customers preserve tens of millions of happy memories, milestones, achievements, and events—all of which have incredible stories behind each and every photo.


And now we’re eager to share these stories with you.


In this week’s episode, ScanMyPhotos customer Max Branscomb, explains how he used photos (36 albums, 5,300 pictures) show his friends the beautiful connection he had, and always will have, with his late wife.


Preview: We are all made up of moments. Our first steps, first words, first kiss—over time these moments accumulate like snowfall and shape our present reality. But, on the outside, no one else can see these moments and it can sometimes be hard for others to understand why we do the things we do or make the choices we make. This is where photos can help us share the moments that makeup who we are. 



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This episode features music by Bensound.com. Max was voiced by voice-over actor Timothy Callaway.   

 

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Extreme Genes Genealogy Podcast Profiles ScanMyPhotos

The nation’s authority on all things for genealogy and archivists interviews ScanMyPhotos‘ CEO, Mitch Goldstone.


CLICK HERE TO LISTEN (beginning at minute 37)


Excerpt: Weather Disasters Bring Digitization Front And Center. The recent “bomb cyclone” that hit the Midwest has again illustrated the need for all of us to digitize our photos!

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Episode 276 – Name and Family Changes With DNA Test Results / Natural Disasters & The Loss Of Family Photos
 
Beginning at minute 37, Scott Fisher interviews Mitch Goldstone, CEO, and Co-Founder of ScanMyPhotos.com who visits with Fisher about the recent “bomb cyclone” and other natural disasters which are causing thousands to lose their most precious photos.

From the Extreme Genes website: Scott Fisher: Extreme Genes is a natural for Fisher, a Connecticut native, who has been in radio since his youth, and has spent three decades of spare time as a passionate “roots sleuth.” A long-time morning show host, Fisher is the author of “New York City Methodist Marriages, 1785-1893,” Picton Press, 1994. He has also been published in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Journal (April 2004), and Catholic Ancestor, Journal of the Catholic Family History Society of England (June 1996). His ten books on the families of both his and his wife’s ancestors, written over 30 years, fill the better part of a shelf in Fisher’s family room library. Fisher began Extreme Genes in July of 2013 on a single AM/FM station in Salt Lake City. Today the show is heard in dozens of markets across the country and is heard over 500,000 times a month. Fisher is also a national speaker on the subject of family history.

Click here to subscribe to Extreme Genes. Join the newsletter to receive the latest in family history.

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The History of The World Through NY Times’ Pictures

Archiving Historic Photographs

The New York Times has more than a hundred years of pictures never seen before. This Google partnership with the NYT is providing help to archive a trove of historic pictures.


Google Cloud is helping the New York Times digitize millions of photos from its archive. Picture what the cloud can do.

Follow “Past Tense” as the NYT’s digitize about six million photo prints in their files — dating back more than 100 years — they are using those images to bring vivid narratives and compelling characters of the past to life. Click to follow the adventure through these historical pictures

Excerpt:


Prior to the digitization, millions of photographs, along with tens of millions of historical news clippings, microfilm records and other archival materials, existed only in a physical archive three levels below ground near The Times headquarters in New York City called “The New York Times Archival Library,” also known as the “morgue.” Though The Times officially began clipping and saving articles in the 1870s, they were not formally codified into a library until 1907.

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