Photo Avalanche: Time on our Hands

Destiny Prevails

Little did I realise when I purchased the Epson FF680W how much it would be used over the last few months, while we have all been more or less confined to home. I have worked my way through several albums and scanned over 1500 photos. This has taken months as I empty the albums and keep the photos in order; clean & scan them as both 300dpi & 600dpi; store them temporarily and create a photo book. As the photos are scanned they are labelled with their year and number. Later, the details from the albums are added manually. This initially takes a lot of time but you get into a rhythm of scanning a batch one day, labelling it the next and so on. In this way, you slowly work through them all.

          

At the same time, the photo book was created with a 3 x 2 grid template similar to the original slip in albums, which held 300 photos with 3 photos per page or 6 photos per opening. I tried to reduce each year to about 5 pages or 30 of the best or most meaningful photos. Some years I succeeded, and in many others I didn’t as there were too many significant events such as weddings, births and the bicentennial. Each photo was labelled and each page initially had a space at the top for notes that were relevant to these photos. These might include birthdates, travel details, a brief summary or an anecdote. Since this photo book also included a decade of slides, that were previously scanned from the 70’s & 80s, it meant that I aimed for about 100 pages altogether. However, it grew much bigger when some years had a lot more photos and our family portraits were included so that they were all in one place. Overall, the focus was on sharing our journey through these years and letting our story unfold through the images, slowly but surely.

Adobe’s Indesign was initially used for the photo book but it will need to be transferred into another format or size so it can be printed on archival paper with the Blurb plug-in or in Momento. It depends on what size album you want. A4 was the best fit for my layout as it left room for adapting the page to portraits as well. Next time, I will probably do it in Momento instead as the Indesign A4 pdf can be printed as it is but wouldn’t have the quality paper or binding. After all, I want my hard work to last! This photo ‘catalogue’ is my legacy, a link to all those digitised photos, but will take up only a fraction of the space. If you have other programs you have tried and that you would like to share with us, please leave a comment.

After I am happy with the final digital album, we can decide whether to share or dispose of all the original photos, create collages, scrapbooks or displays like Patrick Pound. Ultimately, as the idea is to reduce my future footprint we will have to decide the fate of the originals. Keepsakes or clutter? For now, I still have a few more decades to scan!

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