Many of us have old family photos that have discolored, become darker, or lighter over time. Color negatives and even slides can drastically change color over the years giving them those odd color tones. It is a great time to assess the status of your aging family photo albums! What condition are they in? Are the photographs deteriorating? It is also a great time to consider “Preserving The Heritage” that we have been given. Do not let those photos continue to fade into non-existence! Fortunately it is a fairly easy process to preserve these photos and then by using a photo editor, correct the color tones to an almost normal condition.
How Do I Preserve My Photos?
Simple answer! The photos can be “digitized” or scanned using common scanners into a digital format that will be stored on your computer. They will no longer fade, scratch, or color change in a digital format. The nice thing about digital photos is that they can be easily shared with other family members. Scanning photos does take some time, especially if you have a lot of them around. My recommendation is to recruit your family members to help you with this project, especially if they are a part of the family's photo collection.
What Kind of Scanner Do I Need?
Flatbed scanners are fairly cheap and do a good job, though there are faster ways to get through stacks of family photos. Rapid Photo Scanners are a very convenient way of scanning photos. These scanners can go through a stack of 20 to 30 photographs in about one minute, even scanning both sides. That is fast. For more information on these and other types of scanners, click HERE. Look for the "button" labeled "Common Types of Scanners".
Here's another important point I need to make. Most FamilySearch Libraries have these fast photo scanners available to use for FREE and even some of the smaller Family History Centers have them as well. Just Google for a FamilySearch Library or Family History Center near you and give them a call. To find some Libraries or Centers near you click HERE. Some of the Libraries do have a reservation list for these scanners, so be sure to ask about this.
My Photos Are Scanned But the Colors Look Terrible
Don't fret, we have got you covered! Almost all photos can be color tone corrected easily even using free on-line photo editors. Click HERE to see some "before & after" photo samples that were color tone corrected using a free site called PhotoPea.com. I have a tutorial for color correcting photographs using this site located on this website. Give the tutorial a try. If you find you need some help, feel free to contact me.
I Have Figured Out the "Levels" Tool to Fix Colors. Now What?
We'll cover other simple tools to make your old photographs look great in the coming weeks. Rotating a photo, cropping, getting rid of spots, swapping heads (okay, maybe not that one), are easy to do with simple tools. If you think you might have some interest in learning to do photo editing, I do need to tell you about a great deal that the Affinity Photo folks are doing during this "Covid-19" ordeal. They are offering their Affinity Photo software for $24.99, which is 50% off, for a short period of time. You might want to check this out HERE. It has the power of Adobe PhotoShop, but is not based on a subscription model. There are tons of tutorials on YouTube to help you with projects. In fact, one of my favorite Affinity Photo Tutorial Channels has been created by Ezra & Ally Anderson - Affinity Revolution. You might want to check out a couple of their videos and see what Affinity Photo can do.