Old family photos may be some of the most valuable possessions you have. They are the first thing many people grab when their house is threatened by water or fire. Old photos are one thing that cannot be replaced. Natural disasters are not the only threat to old photos. They can fade until the picture is nearly invisible. For both of these issues there is a great solution. Digitize the photos. This is something we have a lot of experience with.
Digitizing or scanning is the first step in preserving old photos. We have a variety of scanners for every situation. Some photos or documents are very fragile and must be scanned a certain way to prevent them from falling apart. We have options for scanning to suit your needs, But first let’s look at the how old photos are damaged in the first place.
The most common damage is fading and that is caused by light. It is called photodegradation. If you have photos on a wall that gets direct sunlight in the morning, you have probably seen this. The colors fade and over time can make a photograph disappear completely. In addition to light, dust, mold, air and smoke can also degrade a photo. Keeping a photo behind glass or in an album helps protect it.
Anything acidic that touches an old photo may harm it. Scotch tape will turn dark and may be impossible to safely remove from a picture. Paper clips or staples can leave a rust stain on a picture.
The first step to preserve your photo is to digitize the photos. That stops the degradation in its tracks. Put the original away. The next step is to Photoshop the digital image. This can easily fix many minor problems which detract from the appearance. If you want to try Photoshop yourself, there’s an inexpensive and simple version of Photoshop called Photoshop Elements. Adobe makes a new version of this program every year, but it is really not necessary to buy the latest version for this kind of work. You can find earlier versions of Photoshop Elements on eBay for $30 – $40. Be sure you are looking at the program and not one of the many books about the program. On eBay they look alike.
There’s no risk for you to try improving a digital photo if you save the new version of the digital photo with a new name e.g. Grandma1, Gradma2, etc. This is like an undo option.
We can scan and restore your photos and slides Click here for details or call 401 253 2800.