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Restoring my old photographs

Updated on September 27, 2012
Me... a long time ago
Me... a long time ago | Source

Digging up bones

Way back before digital cameras, I had a standard 35mm camera. I loved to take pictures of pretty much everything. I saved a large majority of the negatives that they gave you when you went to get your photos developed.

Over time, most of my "hard copies" were lost in one way or the other. The only thing I really had left were the negatives. So a few years back there was a deal on something called a FilmScan 35 i. I had never heard of such a thing, so I read the advertisement to see what it did.

To my delight, it scanned negatives and turned them into digital images on my computer! I was over joyed to say the least. I did what anyone with a huge box of negatives would have done, I rushed right out and bought it!

my now 11 year old son, the day he was born.
my now 11 year old son, the day he was born. | Source
A trip up to see grandpa
A trip up to see grandpa | Source

The memories fade

Apparently I hadn't taken really good care of my negatives, or maybe they have a short life span... I'm not sure which, but the quality of the scanned negatives were (as you can see) less than high quality.

While I was over joyed by the fact that I could have at least some sort of renewed photographs that I had once believed to be lost forever, I couldn't help but feel a little saddened at the poor color quality. Not to mention the little specks and dots from the years not being kind to the delicate negative.

Amazing Grace

After scanning the mostly blue colored negatives onto my computer, I was then able to transfer them to my image retouching software. Now, I don't have the top of the line, by any means (and I'm sure they would look a ton better if I did), but some color is better than no color... or just blue!

It's a long, slow process trying to find just the right mix of tint, shading, highlights, and other alterations in order to get the picture to look more like it did when I took it; but it's worth it.

The kids love to see the old pictures of when they were little. They laugh and point. It makes them feel special to see the memories they were too small to remember.

Onward and Upward

The newer models of "negative transfer to digital" devices work much better than the original versions. With all of the software out there to touch up and alter photographs, anyone can have their old memories looking new again. All it takes is a little time, money, and patience.

I have many more negatives left that need to be converted to digital and retouched. I've barely scratched the surface of my stash. It's nice to take a stroll down memory lane.

If you have negatives saved from way back when you had a 35mm, I highly encourage you to check out the new technologies that are available for converting them. You'll be glad you did.


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