How to Participate in National Photo Preservation Month

Did you know there are more than 3.5 trillion analog photographic pictures – representing generations of families’ historical “Kodak moments” that have not been seen in years and are clamoring to be digitized?

Created by ScanMyPhotos.com to help call attention to and preserve all those shoeboxes of treasured photo snapshots, the National Photo Preservation Month [NPPM] begins on January 1, 2009. Its goal is to draw awareness to and showcase the obligation of protecting those special photo memories before they fade away.

The month of January was selected to coincide with the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This is the world’s largest consumer trade show, where new consumer products are introduced and often the seed for innovations that surround digital imaging.

“Using Kodak digital imaging technology, it is possible to affordably and quickly digitize all those snapshots,” explained Mitch Goldstone, founder of NPPM and president and CEO of ScanMyPhotos.com, an international ecommerce photo imaging service that was founded in 1990 by its parent company, 30 Minute Photos Etc, based in Irvine, California.

Goldstone said “the demand to digitize pictures is mandated by the span of time which leads many older photos to fade away or become misplaced. The month-long NPPM campaign will also help connect entire families with their past, as they revisit, share and create new ways to preserve and have fun with their snapshots.”

Why was the National Photo Preservation Month created?

The idea was sparked from National Geographic Traveler magazine’s Jan/Feb 2009 front cover headline, “Preserving Your Travel Photos” which featured a lengthy article by Scott S. Stuckey on how to make your travel photos truly timeless. Traveler’s senior photo editor, Daniel Westergren explained that “the short answer is to scan your old pictures.” This advice guided ScanMyPhotos.com to help promote making all your photo memories timeless through the establishment of NPPM to draw attention to preserving photos.

How to get involved with National Photo Preservation Month

1) Collect all your old photos. Get your entire family and circle of friends involved as a treasure hunt to track down those Polaroid snapshots, shoeboxes of pictures and photos stacked away in draws and on closet shelves.

2) Use your favorite social networking website, from MySpace, Twitter, FaceBook, Blogger and others to ask your relatives and friends to find those old school pictures, vacation shots, wedding and other special occasion photo memories.

3) Share your stories. Write to local newspapers and blog about your experience as you revisit those special photo memories. Once your photos are digitized, tag each one with descriptive messages and narratives. Write a story about who was in the picture and note something special about the person, scene or event so future generations can keep those memories alive.

4) Keep the momentum going. According to reports by ScanMyPhotos.com customers, the average household has about 5,000 photo snapshots. Once the pictures are pooled together, get it scanned. There are a variety of photo scanning services available, from independent photo imaging retail labs to high-volume, bulk scanning services like ScanMyPhotos.com

5) Share your story and ask the experts for help to preserve your photos. As part of NPPM, the ScanMyPhotos.com website is extending is free Live Support Help Desk to assist with instant answers to questions on how to preserve and digitize your photos. Profiles recounting how people are preserving their photos will be posted at “Tales from the World of Photo Scanning” [blog.ScanMyPhotos.com] and gathered to share with tech, consumer and lifestyle reporters.

More info and media inquiries, contact: Mitch Goldstone, ScanMyPhotos.com, Goldstone (at) ScanMyPhotos.com, 949-474-7654

 

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National Geographic Traveler: “Make your travel photos truly timeless”

National Geographic Traveler magazine’s Jan/Feb 2009 issue profiles tips to “make your travel photos truly timeless,” written by senior editor Scott S. Stuckey. Click here to view the entire article.

Excerpt:

Preserving Photos: Learn how to protect your digital images, prints, and slides so they will survive over time.

Make Scans. Next, make digital scans of all or part of your collection. This will, in effect, halt further degradation of the images. “Digital pictures can remain as perfect a thousand years from now as they are today,” says author and photographer Lester Lefkowitz, who teaches courses at the International Center of Photography in New York City.

Easiest, of course, is to have someone else do the scanning.
ScanCafe.com, for example, will scan your slides, negatives, and prints for prices starting at under a quarter each. You get back your original pictures along with a DVD holding the scans. Other companies with similar services are ScanMyPhotos.com, Britepix.com, and Hollywoodfotofix.com.

Or scan the images yourself. You can buy a dedicated film scanner that handles negatives and slides or a flatbed scanner that handles prints as well. Prices start at under $200.

“If you have the negative of a picture—and a good quality scanner—scan the negative, not the print,” advises Lefkowitz. “The negative will give you a sharper result.” If your scanner is of lower quality, scan the print.More scanning tips from Lefkowitz and other imaging experts:

• For prints, set the resolution of the scan, expressed as dots per inch
(dpi), to 300, if you’ll be making same-size prints of the original picture. For
enlargements, set the resolution to 600 dpi.

• For 35mm slides or negatives, scan at 2,000 dpi or higher.

• Before scanning, blow or brush dust off the film or print. “The less you
touch it directly, the better,” Lefkowitz says.• Save the scan as a jpeg image
set to the highest quality setting (with least compression). Don’t correct the
color, sharpness, or other attributes of the picture while scanning. Make a copy
of the scan to edit, then archive the original scan.

• Even if the photo is black and white, set the scanner to color. This will
result in a scan that you can decide to tint later if you wish.
 

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