Posts Tagged ‘old photos’

My Photo Resolutions for 2014

Welcome 2014 – it’s time to get my ducks in a row. My photo ducks, at least.  Here are my five photo-related resolutions for 2014.  I’ll let you know at the end of the year how well I did with them.

Back-up.  Don’t get me wrong, I DO back-up all of my work.  Unfortunately, I usually go overboard and save different versions often in multiple places. Now while this means that I generally don’t lose anything, it also means that it can take me a while to find something (and it uses a lot of space).  So I resolve to back-up my work and delete earlier and working versions when I have completed the project.

Process and delete.  I usually shoot in RAW and shoot more photos than I want to keep.  This means that the files are quite large and many are extra.  To process my photos I need to convert them to JPEGs, delete what I don’t want and make any edits with color or cropping.  Photos can sit on my computer (and back-up) for months before I get to this.  So I resolve to process and delete my photos in a timely manner and then delete the original files.

Share. We learned to share in kindergarten and I’m not, not sharing. I first have to get the files ready (see above resolution) and then second actually do it.  Perhaps the biggest misconception about digital photography is that it makes it easier to share photos.  While this is technically true, I always found that I gave more photos and got more photos when we had them developed.  Towards the end of film it was cheap to have another set of prints made and most people did just that.  So I resolve to burn discs and share them with family and friends no later than one month after the event.

Print.  I haven’t printed photos in years.  Sure, I’ve made many individual photos for frames, but my photo albums are woefully out of date (another casualty of digital).  So I resolve to print or, better yet, create photo books in a timely manner.

Scan.  I have been made the official archivist of my family and as a result have literally boxes of old photos.  I need to get them scanned.  So I resolve to scan, process, share and create photo books of all of my family photos.

I guess I’m going to be fairly busy this year!

 

Calling All Vietnam Veterans!

Vietnam

I used to be a librarian.  For 15 years I assisted college and high school students and faculty with research and technology.  I was in libraries when the WWW came to be.  I don’t think much about my former career, but every once in a while the librarian in me resurfaces.  When she does, I am always pleased at the reminder that there is no such thing as wasted time.

A relative of mine wanted me to scan and restore photos that he had taken during his time in Vietnam.   These photos were not in good condition.  Apparently, a Marine footlocker in a tropical climate does not provide the optimal storage environment for photos.  Go figure.  The ones that he had sent home were in better shape, but they were still over 40 years old.  At first glance, the pictures themselves weren’t worth keeping.  Many of them were blurry or dark.  None of them were “great.”  Then the librarian in me woke up. She promptly told the photographer in me to quiet down.  These photos were of great historical significance.  History that isn’t published in textbooks – individual, personal history.   I gladly cleaned, scanned and restored them and they did indeed look better.

When I returned the photos, he told me about a Vietnam archive project that he had heard of.  After a little bit of research, I discovered the information.  The Vietnam Center and Archive is housed at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.  In addition to its collection covering well-known aspects of the Vietnam War, the Archive collects materials from all Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen.  They accept most original items including: photos, maps, slides, films, tapes and realia (sorry, it’s a library term that means any other artifact).  Once they receive the donation, they preserve and catalog the items and then scan them for their online Virtual Vietnam Archive.  The Virtual Archive is quite impressive.  It’s fully searchable and includes a variety of information on the everyday activities of “regular” people, both servicemen and civilians.  A picture is worth a thousand words should be their motto.  Donors are encouraged to provide as much information as possible which adds to its value as a research tool.  Only original documents are accepted (for a variety of library and archive reasons) and you receive a CD with the digital version of your items.  For more information, contact them at www.vietnam.ttu.edu .