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Terrie Strout
01-07-2006, 2:11 AM
well I ve read all the post here
now I'm scared..............
ok ive saved my old photos jpeg and 1200 dpi
some are on the computer some i've been transferring to disk
now I'm not sure i want to go that route
I want my photos to last forever and even more important
i want my gr grandfather's photos to last forever
I thought the whole point of saving them to disk was
to save them ......... yes i know nothing about computers
how does one go about saving photos for future generations to share
if in fact the computer is not the way to go?
I've also heard that printing from your computer may not be any good either
even if you use good paper I ve heard the ink is whats actually in question as to will it last? Any Ideas?
Terrie

Peter Goodey
01-07-2006, 7:11 AM
"well I ve read all the post here "

Have you looked at the National Archives' guidance notes?


http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/preservation/advice/digital.htm

Ed McKie
01-07-2006, 8:07 AM
[i]
Have you looked at the National Archives' guidance notes?


http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/preservation/advice/digital.htm

Whilst this is good advice- nevertheless I have found that we should always underestimate the longevity issue. I have created backup DVD records of my genealogy files, updating them regularly and usually have about three in stock as it were. Today I checked a dvd which I made only ten months ago (before my new computer) and find that my machine thinks that they are CDs and cant read them !!!
Fortunately they are old backups and nothing is lost, and I can read them opn my wifes older machine, but what If I had relied on them ?

Cheers..Ed

Ladkyis
01-07-2006, 8:17 AM
Let's think about this for a moment.

If you have your great grandfather's photographs and they are more than 50 or 60 years old then they have kept pretty well. If they are in albums they are protected so use the scans to show people and make sure that the actual photographs are kept cool and dry and dark - it is worth buying a box of archive quality board to keep the albums in and then turn off the central heating in the room you use to keep them but most of all

stop worrying about it. If we still have photographs then enjoy them. Yes it would be nice for future generations to see them but so what if they don't.

The most enduring format for a photograph is the original print and if you want to keep something important then make sure it is monochrome.

My grandmother kept her family pictures in a metal "Ditty" box of my grandfather's. I asked the nice man in the camera shop who has been giving me advice since I could see over the counter and he said "they have been there since 1918 and some were taken before 1900 so leave them there and keep the temperature steady and keep the humidity out, If it works don't fix it"

Just my four pennorth

Ann

Peter Goodey
01-07-2006, 11:11 AM
"stop worrying about it. If we still have photographs then enjoy them. Yes it would be nice for future generations to see them but so what if they don't."

That's wise advice. Their value to us is purely sentimental. Their intrinsic value is probably next to nothing. Taking reasonable care of them is fine - as you might treasure a worthless bit of bling given you by your first love.

Treating them as if they were the original of the magna carta is just daft.

Ed Bradford
01-07-2006, 6:44 PM
Letís first talk about the original photographs that you have. They wonít last forever; however, you can extend their life by ensuring that they are stored in an acid free environment that is temperature and humidity controlled. The old photo album stored in the attic or basement may not be the best environment for them.

Now letís talk about digital photographs. First of all jpeg (JPG) is not the best format in which to store them. The jpeg format tries to compress the digital image each time itís saved and thus you lose a little quality. I prefer TIF format.

The personal computer industry keeps evolving. Years ago the storage media was cassettes, then 5.25Ē floppy disks, then it was 3.5Ē floppies, and then removable hard drives became available. Along in there somewhere we had DAT tapes, then there were CDs and today we have DVDs. If you had stored an image 20 years ago, you would have had to rerecord the image several times to keep it on a media that was in use at the time. You should expect this trend to continue.

The ink most off the shelf computer based photo printers use to print pictures is water based and subject to moisture. One drop of water is devastating to a printed image. I donít know anything about the quality of some of the new off the shelf laser printers. They may be able to produce good quality photographs. I know that there are some scientific grade laser printers available that will produce a good quality image but they are very expensive.

For your photographs or digital images to exist long into the future you will need to entrust those images into the care of someone that will promise to continue the preservation efforts. The only hope that I can see is an archive or museum, especially if it is government sponsored.

Ann and Peterís advice is right on target. Be practical, take reasonable care of your photographs and enjoy them. Iíd like to add to that, when you near your end, leave them to a local archive and let them worry about the preservation.

..............Ed

Neil Wilson
01-07-2006, 9:08 PM
There are a couple of general web site for old photographs.

In Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, the libraries have got together to create a site especially for old pictures http://www.picturethepast.org.uk/

Then there is http://www.photo-ark.co.uk/ run by Helen Wilson (no relation) which covers most of the UK.

This way, the photographs are available to all and hopefully forever, as long as the web sites lasts.
Neil

Terrie Strout
02-07-2006, 1:51 AM
thanks for all the advice. i spent tonight searching through the sites and links to the ones that was suggested! lots of useful information! thanks everyone
the pictures that i have taken with a sony digital disk camera saves in jpeg. is there a way to save them to tif? I have just started trying to save my gr grandfathers photos to the comp. so your advice that you've given has help alot!

Terrie

Dennis Harker
02-07-2006, 8:38 AM
I would support everything Ed has said above.

Accepting that your camera saves in jpeg (or .jpg as the file will say) you can use any decent photo/image program to convert that straightaway to tiff (or .tif as the file will say). This means that your camera will have thrown away some of the image information (allegedly that which they eye can't detect - but only for the first conversion to jpeg) but by converting to tiff you will now have a format that you can work on without losing any of the image information. There are a couple of options when saving to tiff but I always use 'uncompressed'. Storage is so cheap these days that even lossless compression for a tiff is just not necessary.


contd......

Dennis Harker
02-07-2006, 8:39 AM
Once you have this tiff treat it a bit like a digital version of a negative - look after it and keep it in its original state. Make copies when you wish to make further adjustments, conversions, etc. RAW format is the real digital version of a film negative but that tends to come with more expensive cameras. They do not process the image at all and leave that to the user.
contd....

Dennis Harker
02-07-2006, 8:39 AM
I've been using digital photography for some years now and have never lost any through physical or software problems. The ink for inkjets (ter it and keep it in its original state. Make copies when you wish to make further adjustments, conversions, etc. RAW format is the real digital version of a film negative but that tends to come with more expensive cameras. They do not process the image at all and leave that to the user.

As you wish to archive your photos I would say that it is worth taking the time and trouble to carry out the above. As far as storage goes I have bought external USB hard drives at about £90 for 250Gb from both Maplin and ALDI. The price of these devices falls weekly. I also backup to another external drive so that I have two copies of each tif (and whatever other adjustments, conversions I have carried out).

contd.....

Dennis Harker
02-07-2006, 8:40 AM
Another method I use which is actually cheaper than printing your own photos is to upload to BonusPrint or Snapfish. With this method you can process, crop, adjust your pictures to your own liking and then upload them to the website for printing. You do really need broadband and then it doesn't take long. With both of these services you get back prints on normal photographic paper (not ink on inkjet paper) and usually within 24-48 hours. With BonusPrint they simply print the photos for you, with Snapfish you store them in secure albums on their website (an extra means of storage for you) and choose prints as you wish. 6 x 4s are costing me 8p each as I have used the prepay method. The photos that come back have always been top notch and relatives have been very impressed. Remember you are cropping and adjusting the images to the way you want them to look as opposed to just having a print of the whole negative.

Then there is lots of free software that you can use to make photoslide shows so that relatives can just pop a CD or DVD into their DVD player and watch them on the screen. But that's another subject.

Dennis Harker
02-07-2006, 8:47 AM
Even though I tried to avoid it - it looks as though my third post got caught by the repetition bug on this site. What I was trying to say was that I have never lost any of my digital photos through physical or software problems. The latest inks (even the cheap compatible) is much better able to withstand light and moisture. Treat you digital photos the same way as your originals and they should last the same length of time.

Digital back up though, means that you always have that original image to go back to.

Dennis Harker
02-07-2006, 8:50 AM
And.....another thing..... I really must check my test for spelling and tryping errors before pressing the submit button. However, I am sure you can make sense of it all.

Dennis Harker
02-07-2006, 8:51 AM
See what I mean? Time for some caffeine I think!

Terrie Strout
07-07-2006, 2:51 AM
thanks !!!
I think i have decided to go with tiff and also get photos printed of the ones I really want to save as well.
external USB hard drives ?? ok what is this? computers and I are still foreighn to each other and still dont talk the same lanquage :)
thanks again
Terrie

MarkJ
07-07-2006, 12:16 PM
thanks !!!
I think i have decided to go with tiff and also get photos printed of the ones I really want to save as well.
external USB hard drives ?? ok what is this? computers and I are still foreighn to each other and still dont talk the same lanquage :)
thanks again
Terrie

An external USB drive is very handy. Basically, its a hard drive - the same as you have inside your computer, where all the data is stored - but it is inside a small casing (generally to protect the external hard drive from knocks and bumps). It connects to your PC via a cable which is connected to the external drive and that plugs in to your USB socket on your PC.
In use it is similar to a USB key if you have one of those - you plug it in and your operating system (probably Windows, but others do it too) will let you know that you have a new device, which it will identify correctly. No messing around - it is seen and you can begin to use it. Copy those important files onto that external drive and then you will have them stored on both your main PC and the external drive.
The external drives are now quite reasonable price wise and another way to make backups. I still use CDs as well - belt and braces ;)

Terrie Strout
08-07-2006, 10:50 PM
thankyou for explaining that. isnt there a way to connect 2 computers together? wouldnt that be similar? and how would you connect them together?
thanks again
Terrie

MarkJ
08-07-2006, 11:30 PM
Yep - very easy if both have a network card or wireless.
There are several ways to do it, but assuming both have a network card (most modern PCs do - or if not, they are very cheap and not hard to fit if you have ever opened a PC case, otherwise, its a good idea to find someone who can do it for you). So, assuming you have 2 network cards, the next question is - do you have a hub or switch? If not, don't worry. The way to connect 2 machines via their network cards is to purchase a cable - a cross over cable is what you need if you don't have a hub; or a straight through networking cable if you use a hub. If you have a switch - either cable will work.
The cables (and advice probably on what is suitable for you) would be available from any PC store. If you only have 2 PCs, and no plans to expand, then go for a cross over networking cable (it is something called Cat5 or Cat5e you would want, but make sure it is the cross over version). For expansion capability, go for straight through cable - but you need a switch or hub (or router) for that to work.
There is another option - called a null modem cable - but that is a lot slower and the cable is less common. It does however work without network cards - but you will need a free serial or parallel port for that on each PC.
Sounds quite complicated I know! Unless you are familiar with it, I would try to persuade a computer friend to go along with you to buy the parts and help fit them. They would also be a help in actually configuring the network itself. Its not hard - but it is confusing unless you are used to it.

Mark

If you are in Cornwall, I am willing to set it up for you if it would help :)

Maeve
09-07-2006, 1:15 AM
Print out the pictures and laminate them, I find this is the best way to preserve the pictures. Laminaters can be purchased so cheaply now and the cost of the pouches has fallen. Print several pictures out at once on A4 sheets, laminate them and then cut to size if required. Maeve

Terrie Strout
12-07-2006, 7:11 PM
hi mark
I know that my compaq presario 6000 will take the cable (which i have) the dell dimension has two usb? ports in the back ...... network card? never heard of it...
wish i was near cornwall... thanks dont know how to put my location in here? but its Maine U.S.A. This site has been incredable and much more informative and very much more active then those in the u.s. and lots of my lines go to england .... love this forum

Maeve laminating wont harm the photos? It would be a good way to help preserve them if it dont.....
thanks
Terrie

Dennis Harker
12-07-2006, 11:32 PM
Terrie,

Try this link to look at a reasonably priced USB hard drive. All you have to do is take the USB plug from the hard drive and put it into one of the USB sockets you have on your PC. It will also have its own power lead. Once plugged in and powered up the PC should recognise the hard drive and give it a hard drive letter (which letter will depend on the existing storage devices on your PC).

Once it is recognised you simply copy folders and files to this hard drive the same as you would to the internal hard drive on your PC - just remember that it has a different letter to identify it and there should be no problem in storing your files.

A 250Gb hard drive will store a heck of a lot of photos even at high resolution.

The link does show the UK site for Amazon and the price is good. I am sure you would be able to buy one in the US for less than $100. You don't need to be an IT expert to use one off these - honest!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00076WEQA/026-8329151-1095612?v=glance&n=560798

MarkJ
13-07-2006, 12:20 AM
I think Dennis has a good point there Terrie - USB hard drives are simply a case of plug in and use. The operating system (Windows I expect) will see the drive and allocate it a drive letter - then you just use it exactly the same as any other drive - you can copy your pictures over to the drive if you like with no problem. Also quite a handy way to take the pics over to a friend or family member - if they have a PC, you can just plug it into their PC and view the pictures.
Networking is a little more complicated as I mentioned - the USB drive is a very good investment. The prices are falling too!

Mark

christopher_n_lewis
13-07-2006, 11:15 AM
Print out the pictures and laminate them, I find this is the best way to preserve the pictures. It won't be a good long-term preservation method. The plastic of the pouches degrades and becomes brittle within a few years. It'll probably affect the inks as well.

No-one can tell you if your printed-out digital photos will last - the technology simply hasn't been around long enough, but some inks do fade within months. Using a professional photo-printing service is your best bet.

If you are serious about long term archiving, then the best advice I have seen is to store everything on paper, magnetic media (hard drives), and optical media (DVD/CD). You can find plenty of advice about how to store paper records. For the digital storage, check that they are still OK at least once a year, and transfer to the latest technology.

Don't forget that items on hard-drives can be accidently overwritten or deleted. Hard drives can fail mechanically, making the data out-of-use (unless you use a very expensive data-recovery service). Also arrange protection from the three Fs - flood, fire , theft. Keep your backups some where else - place of work, perhaps.

Yes, it is tedious.

Christopher

Peter Goodey
13-07-2006, 12:06 PM
"items on hard-drives can be accidently overwritten or deleted"

It's a good discipline to set the original digital photo or scan to "read only". You'll probably want to do the same to the final edited version.