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Photo scanning blunders

July 21, 2009

Oh jeez…  I’m going to have to re-scan all of my photos.  At least, if I want to archive them in the best possible format to ensure that they last forever.  Which is really what I’m trying to accomplish, right?

I just ran across a site called Jacobs Archival (via GeneaBloggers).  When you sign up for their emailing list, they send you a free e-pamphlet called “8 Blunders People Make When They Scan Photographs… and how to avoid them”.  I was crusing right through them… “yep!  ok!  makes sense!” when I got to Blunder #4 – Saving in the Wrong File Format.  Oh, crap.

Apparently, when you save your pictures in .jpg format, it compresses the file and you lose a bunch of pixels or something.  I’m no expert, so I’ll let you read it for yourself if you’re so inclined.  The way she explains it makes perfect sense, though. 

Since we got the new computer, we’ve been talking about getting an external hard drive for all of my family photos. 

  • Photos take up a lot of memory
  • This new file extention is going to take up about 10x more memory than a .jpg
  • The more memory you use, the slower your computer is
  • What if the hard drive crashes?  Yikes!!

So it looks like it might be a while before I scan any more of these photos.  Every time you subject them to the scanning light, it hurts them a little.  So I’m going to wait until I get that new external drive before continuing that part of my project.  Once I get that, it’ll be kind of cool to be able to take all of my information and photos with me when I travel.  You just never know when you’ll have the opportunity to bond with family over a shared history!

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