Showing posts with label Scanfest 2019. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scanfest 2019. Show all posts

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Scan-A-Thon 2019: Photos Tell Family History Stories

During this weekend's big Scan-A-Thon (thank you to #WikiTree and #GeneabloggersTRIBE), I'm continuing my scanning of photos from my childhood and into the recent past.

Each picture tells a story. I'm planning to not only name names, but also identify dates and places, and explain the occasions and possessions that add to #familyhistory.

This photo just scanned is a good case in point. If you recognize that cute-ugly doll being hugged by this little girl, you'll know the approximate year.

Yes, it's the early 1980s.

The actual year is 1983. It's a year I won't forget, because local stores were sold out of Cabbage Patch Dolls, and shipments were few and far between. Yet two young relatives were longing, longing for those dolls. After family members scoured toy stores and added their names to waiting lists, I pursued plan B.

At the time, I worked for a retail industry group with ties to big department stores. I called my contacts to ask whether anyone could help me put my hands on two dolls (regardless of price). Nobody had anything in stock, but they said they'd keep me in mind. So I waited. And waited. And waited.

Eventually, an exec called and told me I could buy two dolls (!) at the regular price ($30 each) if I came to the store at the instant it opened the next morning.

Bright and early, he met me at the cash register with two dolls, already in a bag so other shoppers wouldn't know that I was buying just before the shelves were stocked that day. I happily forked over the cash and thanked him profusely, grateful to have not just one but two dolls. Sis and I wrapped and hid those dolls until holiday time.

You can see by the photo how well loved this Cabbage Patch Doll was! Even after the fad faded, the girls had fond memories of these dolls. Now they can relive the memory whenever they see this photo.

Also in the photo are crewel embroidery projects made by moi and gifted to this family. Although a small part of the story of this photo, crafts are an ongoing theme in my family. My maternal grandma was a master of embroidery and crochet. My Mom loved to crochet, she did petit point, and tried her hand at decoupage.

My sisters and I were all taught to crochet and sew at an early age. Sis was an ace seamstress, making her own stylish clothes. I quilt. We still enjoy crafting, and all members of the next generation enjoy crafts, as well.

By telling the story of these old photos, we can show the younger folks how many connections they have to their ancestors. In this case, it's a love of hand-crafts. And the memory of chasing after the toy of the moment for two much-loved little girls.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Scan-a-Thon 2019 - Making Progress!

Today is the first day of the "official" Scan-a-Thon 2019, held by WikiTree in coordination with GeneabloggersTribe and other #genealogy groups.

It's a fun opportunity to be part of a worldwide community scanning photos (and documents), posting to online trees, and/or sharing with family. You still have time to get in on the fun by scanning Friday through Sunday (and beyond).

I actually began scanning family photos last weekend, sorting and discussing with my sister. We will continue intermittently through 2019. So many photos bring back so many memories, and it's wonderful to have company and conversation while scanning. Making progress!

Today I wanted to describe the process in a little more detail. Even though I'm using a Flip-Pal, which makes it convenient to quickly scan snapshots from the past, there are a few steps needed to go from scan to finished image ready for the family tree or family sharing. (I do not post photos of living people, by the way, so these particular scans are intended for family sharing--a great way to preserve the past for future generations.)

After scanning, I pull the SD card from the Flip-Pal and load the images into my Mac-based photo management program. (Note: I use Picasa3, no longer supported by Google, although it may still be available. I'm not ready to change yet, because Picasa serves my needs quite well, but at least workarounds and alternatives exist if needed in the future.)

Sis and I completed 181 scans, including the full image of a snapshot from this batch shown at top. Note that because the snapshot is smaller than the full Flip-Pal scanning window, white background shows behind the photo. (I added the blue border digitally to clarify where the photo itself ends and the Flip-Pal background begins.)

My next step is to open each scanned image and crop out the white background, as shown just above.

Over time, snapshots fade, some colors can change...and if I can restore them without making material changes, that's what I prefer to do.

So after cropping, I decide whether to alter the colors, contrast, sharpness, etc. Neither of the above photo scans has been altered.

Now compare with the slightly brightened photo at left, where the sand is lighter so the kiddie stands out a bit better. Yes, I altered the sand's coloring a smidge, but I didn't change what the image shows.

Some people prefer to scan and leave the scanned image like the original. Me, I want my image to be more like the original original. In other words, I try to be fairly faithful to what the snapshot was like at the time it was taken. If the snapshot was originally too dark, I lighten it a teensy bit so the person or place is viewable. If things are slightly blurry, I try to sharpen the image. (I don't put people in or take people out. That's where I draw the line!)

Scanning and cropping, plus color or contrast correction, are not the end of the process. Next step is to caption each image. A picture is worth a thousand words, but I'll be much more succinct in my captioning ;)

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Challenge: Personal Family History Scanfest 2019

Let Personal Family History Scanfest 2019 begin! This is the year my family's "modern history" photos (meaning since I was born, LOL) will be scanned and digitally organized and distributed.

I'm approaching the scanfest challenge as a process, to be accomplished little by little during the year:

  1. Gather albums from multiple sources. [Plenty are on hand, more to be gathered.]
  2. Rough sort photos by family, year, and/or theme (vacation, Christmas, etc). [Started.]
  3. Discard damaged and irrelevant photos and negatives. [One bag tossed today--photos with rips or stains were scanned and will be digitally repaired.]
  4. Separate good dupes to send to family members. [Going into the mail Monday.]
  5. Extract photos carefully from those awful magnetic albums, preserving labels. [In process]
  6. Scan a hundred or more at a time. (I love my Flip-Pal, set at high resolution, for speed and convenience.) Where appropriate, include handwritten label of place/date next to first photo scanned in a series. [One day scanned total: 181 good images!]
  7. Keep scanned snapshots in order in a temporary storage box, ready to be checked and then stored in a safe way. [in process]
  8. Arrange digital images into digital folders (again, by family/year/season/theme, etc.) and make digital dupes on flash drives for family members.
  9. Create a few special photobooks with descriptive captions to send to family members.*
  10. Have fun during the process, reminiscing and double-checking identifications and dates/places with family. 

Doing this little by little makes the scanfest and genealogical organization a lot less overwhelming. I highly recommend scanning with a family member, not just for the conversations but also for the extra hands ready to work with photos. Having my Sis partner with me doubles the fun--the time really flies by!

Have you been scanning your baby photos and other photos from "modern" family history, to preserve them and have digital versions backing up the physical images?

Thanks to Amy Johnson Crow for this second in the 2019 series of #52Ancestors prompts,  "challenge."

Special thanks to WikiTree for the Scan-a-Thon challenge, January 11-14, in coordination with GeneabloggersTribe.

Yes, I'm a bit early, but I'm also spreading my scanfest out over many weeks to share the fun with family!

*For privacy reasons, I will only upload selected photos of ancestors (not living people) to my online family trees.