Monday, June 13, 2011

Canon Canoscan 9000F Pt3

It's been sooooo hot and humid here the past week, setting records daily for this early in the season. It isn't officially summer yet and we saw near 100 degree temperatures last week. I almost felt like the Wicked Witch, "I'm melting !!"

Between the heat and the swarming cicadas I didn't want to venture outdoors so I spent a little time each day trying out the scanner a bit more. I also worked on cleaning up the huge mess in the craft dungeon and reorganizing a few things. I may still do a bit more reorganizing, but it is fine for the time being. The next step is to take new photos for insurance purposes. 

There is definitely a learning curve to try to make advanced adjustments to the negatives as I scan them ! Several things can be changed to try to improve on the original or to make it a funky, artsy image if I'd like. It would be similar to manipulating an image in Photoshop Elements.

I am amazed at some of the scans of negatives I've gotten so far. Most are so so while many are terrible, but I know that is because of the nearly 20 year old photo itself not being good in the first place. So many of them are blurry. Yet other scans really pop !

Then there have been a few I've come across that were never printed at the lab in the first place since it wasn't a complete negative frame. Here is an example:

 The original scanned negative, the photo was not printed at time of developing

Slightly edited in Photoshop Elements to brighten it a bit

It takes a little bit of manipulation to get one of these frames to scan, but I have been successful in most cases so far. Granted, many of this type are not worth printing anyway since they are so dark or bright , but there have been two worth saving I've come across so far, one of which is the sample above. Perhaps with more practice I can learn how to rescue the bad negatives, too ? That would be awesome if so !

I've decided to scan most negatives at 1200 DPI with the FARE setting on low. It is much faster and probably just fine for most of the photos. There will be some I'll scan higher if I think I'd like to print it out larger some day.

I also have created a system to help keep track of the negatives.

Originally, many years ago most times I would write on the envelope what the photos were of and when they were taken as I put them in albums. That way, should I ever need to locate a negative to make reprints, I could find it easily. There are several envelopes that did not have this information so I will fix those as I progress with this project.

My system:
-I already organized all of the envelopes of negatives in order by date before starting this project.
-I started to scan at the beginning, doing each envelope in order.
-I create a folder on the computer for each set of negatives I scan, naming it by year first, then month.
-I add a short description on most, too for example "Christmas". So a folder name might look something like this: 1991 12 24 Christmas Day
-I have a notebook to keep track of each envelope of negatives, noting some of the photos in it (similar to what is on the envelopes themselves). I write the file folder name (that I create on the computer) in this notebook and as well as on a sticker that I adhere to the envelope.
-I will burn the folders of digitized negatives to DVDs , noting each DVD and the folders on it in the notebook. The DVDs will be assigned numbers. I will also back the digitized negatives up to an external hard drive so I don't use up the hard drive space on my computer. I know external hard drives can fail (it has happened to me already) and discs can become damaged which is why I will save all of my hard work to both types or media, just in case. 

I know it is a lot of work I am making for myself on top of such an ambitious, time consuming project as it is. I decided that I may as well take the extra time to note each set of negatives just in case some day I need to replace photographs or make copies for some reason, it should make the task of finding a particular shot a bit easier. I also hope that in the end it will all be worth it, someday family members may appreciate the effort or at the very least I will be glad that I did this for myself.

I can say this, I did not take nearly enough photos over the years and regret it. Yet looking at the gargantuan box of negative envelopes I wonder if I took too many, will I ever finish this project and what was I thinking by even starting it ?!

Lastly, I envy the parents of today. Digital photography, photo manipulation software, digital scrapbooking (not to mention all of the fantastic traditional scrapbooking supplies, wow!), computers, photo quality printers to print from at home, HD camcorders, etc and so on - what a fantastic assortment of high tech goodies they could own to record their children's lives. Big and small, record/photograph them all !  


  1. What a HUGE task you are undertaking!I have several boxes of 'old' photo media myself but at this point, my plate is too full to start this. On a encouraging note...when my parents celbrated their 50th anniversary, we went through BUCKETS of slides to make a DVD for them and the family. It was a huge task, but we had a great time having 'slide night' where we would put them in the projector to see what they were and their condition. We organized all that we viewed but only made a small dent in her collection. Good luck with your project!

  2. Thank you for sharing ! My parents didn't have slides and most of their photos are not of a format that I can scan negatives on so if I decide to get ambitious and do their collection too, I will need to remove photos from albums. What I would really like to do is have them sit down with a video camera rigged to tape the photographs as they talk about them. There are many people and places in them that I do not know and want to hear stories about them.

  3. That would be a neat project, and some fun time to spend with your folks!

    I almost like the baby picture better with that rough edge on it, it's kind of a cool look.

  4. Heather, Wow this is quite the legacy you are leaving for your family. They will without doubt appreciate your hard work and the love you are putting into this project. I wish I had your energy as I also have a gargantuan amount of photos and negatives. Just like you though, I feel I should have taken more photos too. Enjoy your project.


THANK YOU for taking the time to leave your comments. I hope I've inspired you to get a bit crafty today ;)