Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Things I Learned From Scanning Slides

While my slide scanning is nowhere near finished, I am noticing the same things over and over again. Tips that you can take away from my experience, right now. For free. Well, for comments.

When you take 700 photos of the same event or thing, such as a cake, keep only the best shot. In 30 years the only thing your daughter will learn is that you were really really impressed by a mediocre cake. Or that cake technology has come REALLY far in 30 years.

If you are not planning to scrapbook, notate, or otherwise indicate what various and assorted pieces of equipment at NASA are, don't bother keeping the photos. Again, 30 years later, the only thing your children will learn is that yes, indeed, you did take an awful lot of trips to the Johnson Space Center. So many in fact that they have no desire to go. Ever.

Photos so over or underexposed that you cannot tell what they are supposed to be only serve to teach your children that you were not the best photographer. But they can provide hours of "magic eye" style entertainment. I think this one is supposed to be a giant reptilian ghost bird.

And the most important of all. No matter what you think of yourself, how you look, or how you appear in photos, someone someday will treasure having photos of you. This one made all the work worth it:

My mom and me circa 1975


  1. Oh yes, the over/under exposed shots that were kept perhaps in the hope that one day they would right themselves. Then there are the coloured shots from the 70's that just didn't stand the test of time and have this strange glow to them.

    Then there are the just cute pictures of a time you cannot remember and treasure.

  2. For a while I scanned photos and slides for a living, but it was with a batch scanner and I could do 36 at a time. So I know all about slides and photoshop!

    I do take a lot of photos and I print most of them (last year I filled 4 photo albums 1200 photos) but its my passion and I can look at them over and over each one evoking a memory.

    Those old slides/photos that appear the ones you don't remember they are the priceless ones. Especially when the content is magical.

  3. My mom (and my sister now) hated having her photo taken. It's been very difficult for me to find photos of her. So I dearly treasure those photos now.

    After my mom died, and I realized I had very few photos of her, I decided that I would ALWAYS be in photos. Even if I don't look my best.

  4. I can't see a reptilian ghost bird, but if I look really, really hard I think I can see a lady struggling underneath thousands of over (is it under?) exposed photos!

  5. Hee! I could have written this post. When I was 10 years old, my birthday wish was for my very own camera. I got some sort of (probably cheap) Kodak that used 110 film and that I had to advance by hand. I proceeded to take (approximately) 9,194,472 pictures of anything I could find. Boring!

    In later years, I was a snap-a-holic on vacations and other trips. I saw most of the sights through the camera's viewfinder. I have lots of pictures of monuments and statues, usually with bits cut off because I could never remember that what I saw was not what the film saw. (Anyone who has no memory of pre-digital picturetaking will say "Huh?")

    Now, I might snap a pic or two, but I figure the experience is what matters. Frankly, people back home don't really care where I went or what I did, and if they are really curious, THEY can pay for their own trip. I find that the pics that are the most interesting are those with animals or people in them...especially people that I still know today and um, it's interesting to see how WE all age :-) Like your mom, I didn't like having my picture taken so I don't have very many of yours truly. Maybe that's a good thing (remembering the Disastrous Dye-And-Perm Years)...

  6. Your last point is so true. I'm trying to get over myself on that one.

    And I went to JSC about a bajillion times, too. Space Center Houston just sucks in comparison...

  7. I'm lovin' your profile shot, too :) Psychedelic :)

  8. I love the shot of you and your mom, and the cake too.

  9. So right. So true. I've actually had to renegotiate my relationship with picture taking in the last few years (after my dad died, and my mom got rid of everything so she could move to a teeny apt. in California, we spent days going through her kabillion photo albums, and I realized how many of HER memories/pictures I didn't want to bring into my life, because why did I need a picture of the Seine taken in 1960 when I had my own picture of the Seine taken in 1987?). So we ended up trashing thousdands of photos and only keeping those of family, pretty much.

  10. awwww... that's such a sweet picture of you and your mom. i think my heart just melted.

    -Steve @ fluxlife

  11. One thing I like about digital photography is it's easy to edit out the crap. And it's easier to delete a photo than throw a phsycial photo away.

  12. I'm the third of three and there are almost no photos of me. That is what happens when you are the youngest

  13. I LOVE IT!!!

    you are so damn adorable.


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