CSANews 114

Preserving old photos Photos of our family past can be an important artifact worthy of preservation. That probably means sorting through a few shoeboxes and a bunch of albums full of old photos and slides. If that feels like a lot, just give a thought to subsequent generations, sorting through digital photos by the million, looking for the best couple of photos fromhundreds snapped at each event…and plenty of non-events, too. I guess that’s a pep talk. Sorting through and archiving old photos is one of those tasks that we agree is important and that we want to do, but that we need to overcome inertia to really tackle. What are we talking about here? A few hundred photos spanning several generations?That doesn’t sound so bad when up against 1.2 trillion, right? The best way to deal with a big collection of physical photos is to convert them to digital. Not only do they take up way less space, digitized photos can also exist in more than one place at a time. The DIY route If you have enough photos to justify the expense and enough interest to justify the effort, you can take a do-it-yourself approach to archiving your old photos. The actual act of physically scanning photos is the easy (though tedious) part. This is a project, not a mere task, and needs to be approached as such. You’ll need a few things: 1. A plan 2. The best photo scanner you can reasonably afford 3. A place to store your photos online 4. A place to store your photos offline We’ll address them in order. 1. A plan Before you scan a thing, you’ll need to think about how best to approach the project. Consider things such as how you’ll name your files, what “metadata” you’ll include in your photos, your organization structure, where you’ll store your photos, what redundancies you’ll put in place and so on. Metadata, in terms of photos, is digital infor- mation that’s attached to the image. Digital cameras automatically input a bunch of this information − date, time, camera informa- tion, even location in many cases. When scanning prints, slides and what have you, we need to enter this information ourselves. CSA Online by Andrew Moore-Crispin Apparently, we’re taking upwards of 1.2 trillion digital photos a year. That’s ‘we’ in the global sense and that number comes from recent Infotrends data. It’s a number so big as to be rendered practically meaningless. Unless my arithmetic skills fail me (which is entirely possible when dealing with that many zeros), that’s something like 38,000 photos every single second. Facebook says that 350 million photos are uploaded to its platform every day. That’s 14.58 million every hour, 243,000 per minute. That’s very nearly 128 billion photos in 2019 alone. Just on Facebook. It used to be that there was a real cost to taking a photo: buying film, getting it developed, making slides or prints. Today, a photo doesn’t have any intrinsic value. It’s not a comment on content. When we’re taking pictures into the trillions, it’s a simple fact. Giving Old Photos New Digital Life 46 | www. snowbirds .org

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