Digitize Photos to Preserve Memories
Chances are good that over your lifetime you’ve amassed quite a collection of photographs, each one representing a moment of your history frozen in time and serving as a token to bring back all the memories associated with when it was taken. Unfortunately, paper photos are only as strong as the medium they’re printed on, and over time, unless careful and exhausting precautions are taken, photos will degrade in quality and the images will fade, just like the moment in time they preserve, receding and disappearing into the past. Not to mention the sheer physical space and weight these photos can take up. As we move and collect items and belongings throughout our lives, it’s easy to accidentally let photographs be shunted off into closets, the bottoms of boxes, storage units, and other places that makes them difficult or impossible to access. Fortunately, there’s a solution to both of these issues, brought to us in this modern era. The answer is to digitize your photos.
Digitized photos have countless benefits over paper photos. For one, they take up no storage space, existing only as files in the cloud or on a hard drive. They can be endlessly shared, replicated, and printed out. With software, they can be edited to restore faded colors, increase clarity, remove red eyes and lens flares, and more. They can be sorted by date, by location, by people in the photo, and any other way you can think of to catalogue them.
There are two ways to go about digitizing your photos. The first is to do it yourself. While this entails the most work, it can be done very cheaply. All you’ll need to get started is either purchase a flat scanner, or a multi-function printer that includes a scanning bed, and then spend the time doing it. And odds are fairly good that if you don’t already have one of those, then either your children or other younger relatives will have one you can use, and they may even be able to offer help and assistance. If doing it yourself, the important thing is to use a scanner with enough resolution to capture all the details in the photos. Scanner resolution is measured in Dots Per Inch, or, DPI. While 300 DPI is the minimum for photos, the higher the better. 600 DPI will let you capture almost all the details in true clarity, and a resolution of 1200 DPI will let you enlarge it to a poster size through a professional photo service.
The other, easier, option is to pay for a service that digitizes them for you. While it can be expensive, it does have several advantages. One, all you have to do to get the finished product is wait. And any cataloguing or indexing can be done on their end as well. If you have boxes and boxes of photos and you’re not sure about the need to preserve all of them, a good first step to save on costs is to manually sort through your photos to select for the most important ones.