January 31, 2015

Organization Project Part 3 - Digitizing Family Slides

Organization Project Part 3 - Digitizing Family Slides
Since I am still waiting for my archival boxes and sleeves to start organizing my hundreds of family photos, I decided to go ahead and start on my family slides. Remember when slides were the rage? That was back in the 60s, 70s and even into the 80s, then their popularity died out.

 I don't know about you but I have hundreds of slides and it's time I did something with them. The longer they are left the more they deteriorate. Besides who has a slide viewer anymore? One problem is that my slides are not organized by  event, date or any other criteria. You can see from my photo that some are in slide boxes and others are just loose.

To start my organization I bought a nifty little piece of equipment - the Jumbl Scanner & Digitizer. It scans slides and negatives and digitizes them to a memory card or the Jumbl internal memory. You can use an external power source or you can plug it into your computer via USB and use your computer power. It's on sale right now on Amazon. I am loving mine! It's easy and fast. If you want to grab one just use the link below.

  Jumbl High-Resolution 22MP Scanner/Digitizer
- Converts 35mm Negatives & Slides to 22-Megapixel Digital JPEGs Using Built-In Software Interpolation - No Computer/Software Required to Operate - Features 2.4" Color LCD & TV Out

 To begin my organization and preservation of my slides I decided my first step was to scan them all and organize the digital files later.

The box on the right of this photo are the slides I have scanned in the last 3 days. I only work for an hour at a time as the repetitive motion of inserting and removing the slides is hard on my bad shoulder due to a rotator cuff problem.

Once scanned and saved to a memory disc I insert the disc into my computer and transfer the scans to Picasa. Then I rename them, make any adjustments in contrast that I want, crop any dark edges (this only happens when I don't insert the slide accurately), and rotate them if they are sideways or upside down. Jumbl has editing capabilities but I prefer to use Picasa.

A few of the slides were noticeably backwards (spotted due to backwards writing on signs) so I flip those horizontally using a program called Gimp. You can use almost any graphic program to do this but I work on a Mac and have my favourites that I am used to.

Organization Project Part 3 - Digitizing Family Slides
It's a good idea to work out your naming system for the scanned slides before you start renaming them. I like to name mine as Surname_FirstName_Year_Event.

I also add names of other individuals either in the file name if not too lengthy or in the Comments section of the Information part of the photo.

The photo on the right shows my digitized scanned slide of me playing guitar in 1971. I tagged the image with my maiden name and added some detail in the Comment setion.  I didn't put my maiden name in the file name as it changed with marriage, so I prefer to just use my first name in this case. For those who might notice the Description "My beautiful picture", my husband put that!

I'm very pleased with the quality of the scans. I uploaded some to my Facebook page and my family seems very pleased to see photos of themselves or deceased loved ones from the 60s and 70s. 

Don't wait to start saving your treasured family slides.   

Here are links to the previous blog posts about this project:

Organizing Family Photos - Creating a Plan

Organizational Project Part 2 - Family Diaries


Janice Nickerson said...

Thanks for the nudge, and the tech recommendation Lorine!

WCT said...

I scanned a bunch of my parents slides 1.5 years ago...still want to scan some of my early negatives.

I was pretty ruthless in choosing what to scan. Of ~2,000 slides, I only chose about 120 to scan. Almost no scenic shots. Often there would be 2-4 takes of a group shot and I would choose the one I thought was best. Etc.

Many of the slides were horribly dirty, especially the ones from the 50's and early 60's. Cleaning before scanning made a world of difference.

Getting a bit technical, but I see you are scanning at 3818 X 5576 or 21 mega pixels. That is equivalent to about a63 mega pixel camera image. (Camera manufacturers count one each for a Red Green and Blue whereas scanners treat the combined RGB as one.) I think that is overkill; I scanned at about 6 mega pixels (1917 X 3080).

Also, your image shows a JPG file format. JPG is a lossy format--every time you save the file, it recompresses the image and throws away a little more detail. If you are going to the work of scanning, I recommend saving the original in a non-lossy format: TIFF. The originals will be much larger but you can edit repeatedly without loosing quality and then save to JPG at the end to get a small file size for posting online.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Thanks for the detailed ideas/advice WCT. Unfortunately with this new scanner there is no choice of format.

I always save in tiff if using a larger flatbed scanner where I Have a choice.