Friday, August 1, 2014

Deep Thoughts About Vacation Video: Photos need people in them!

Add Interest to Your Vacation Snapshots -- Include People!

Here's an observation that I'd like to pass on to you:
Among my fifty or so binders of vacation photos I've rediscovered a treasure:  two albums of original 35mm negatives from 1976-1982, beautifully preserved in vinyl sleeves.  (You may not know that properly preserved negatives can retain all the beauty of the original photo, while prints begin to fade immediately after processing.)

I lack the equipment to scan negatives, so I began searching for an on-line deal.  (Scanning services usually charge about a dollar for two or three scans.  These two thousand photos could cost well over $500 to scan!)  Meanwhile I also began sorting the negatives, culling the uninteresting shots.

My old Minolta SRT-201 was a great tool before it was stolen.  It was also my first serious camera, when I looked through the viewfinder I felt like an artist.  But guess what ... I am not Ansel Adams!  Those rolls of film contained hundreds and hundreds of horribly boring landscapes from vacations -- reminding me of the hundreds of hours of boring vacation videotapes that sit on my shelf!

Ultimately I've thrown away about two-thirds of the negatives.  The ones I kept were pictures of family members, and a small number of vacation photos.  The snapshots I truly value are the ones with friends and family in them!   Treasured memories revolve around people, not the tourist landmarks.

Compare this photo from Venice to the one below.
Even if it's not framed perfectly,
images of friends make this snapshot a "keeper"!

How to scan negatives:
 At the end of June, ScanCafe had a 1/3-off discount deal.  I sent 600 negatives to them, which will be scanned for a total price of about 27 cents per image (includes shipping and tax).  They estimate that the proof scans will be ready at the end of August; They'll send the final images via DVD in September.
This seems to be an excellent price; I'll let you know about quality!
(Note:  I am in no way affiliated with ScanCafe. I am a first-time customer.)

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