PAF-5-USERS-L ArchivesArchiver > PAF-5-USERS > 2001-05 > 0990853142
From: "Gary R. Templeman" <>
Subject: Re: [PAF-5] Old Photos
Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 21:59:02 -0700
I think re-photographing is an excellent idea, especially for a few
priceless or irreplaceable photographs. It is not without it's own problems
however. It will still have potential for damage, loss, or fading too, so
multiple copies stored with different family members would be a good idea.
I do not agree with his assessment of the *damage* from flash or the
scanning. Certainly damage is there on a theoretical level but no one
looking at a before and after will be able to tell a difference. I asked
this question to a friend who is a digital imaging expert with
Hewlett-Packard and he said the light effect is negligible. The light for
scanning is only on for a few seconds, but even if it added the equivalent
of a week's worth of fading, that calculates out to about 0.02% compared to
the accumulated 93 years. As always however there is a cost/benefit trade.
No, we probably will not be using CD's or floppy disks in another 93 years.
The advantage to having a digital image however is that with care there is
no reason to ever suffer *any* loss. It does mean transferring the data to
new file formats and/or storage media as they are invented. As long as that
is done, the image printed in another 93 years will be as crisp as it is
today. The newer photo papers and dyes will fade slower but one can almost
guarantee the second photo will not be as good in 93 more years. It is also
getting much easier to manipulate and even improve the digital image.
The file size issue is bogus IMO. Even at a couple of megs per image,
hundreds of pictures will fit onto one 650 megabyte CD. With hard drives
holding tens of gigabytes now costing a hundred bucks or so, storage space
is a non-concern. Getting a single very high quality re-photo and print can
be significantly more expensive than even the very best scan. There is no
way a professional photographer would be able to preserve hundreds or
thousands of images without bankrupting most of us.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L Halliday" <>
Sent: Friday, May 25, 2001 8:01 PM
Subject: Re: [PAF-5] Old Photos
> On Fri, 25 May 2001 19:14:02 -0400 "Maxine Hartley"
> <> writes:
> > I know this is slightly off subject but perhaps someone out there
> > could help me. I have a 93 year old picture of my mother and
> > grandfather at her christening. Can anyone suggest ways to preserve
> > it as it is fading? Will scanning it damage it?
> > Hartley, Maxine
> > E-mail Address(es):
> Here in Portland, Oregon we happen to have one of about 200 photo
> conservators in the world. Two months ago he lectured to our PAF users
> If the photo is 93 years old and fading, it is probably a black and
> white silver process picture. The fading could be due to residual
> chemicals left in the paper due to inadequate washing after the
> processing. We were told that there are several things that you can do.
> First, stay away from the one-hour photo processing shops. I had one
> offer to copy my old black and white pictures. He would have used his
> automatic color copying machine to produce black(ish) and white(ish)
> prints. Since the color in photographs is made up of organic dyes
> instead of pigments it has a relatively short life span.
> If you can find a photo conservator in your area consult him. One
> thing that would cause very little damage and will produce a picture
> almost indistinguishable from the original is to rephotograph the print.
> Use a good quality camera and film such as Agfa or Kodak (avoid Fuji
> Film). This will not require high intensity lights. We were told that
> while a flash is high intensity, it is of such short duration that it
> does relatively little damage.
> His advice about the scanner damage was very pragmatic. If the light
> hurts your eyes then it will hurt the photo. Anyway, if you scan the
> picture how do you know that you will be able to read the storage medium
> in another 93 years. Everyone can view a picture. Furthermore, high
> resolution digital images consume a lot of disk storage.
> If you will tell me which part of the country you live in, I will
> consult our local expert about someone near you.
> Richard L. Halliday
> "In God We Trust" - all others
> must show sources. -Unknown
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