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Modern Memories - How to Preserve Photographs

Home > Everywhere > Photography | How To | Free | Technology | Rainy Day
by Jenny Hatton Mahon (subscribe)
Weekends are about freedom, exploring and fun... and that's worth writing about.
Published January 20th 2015
Taking photographs into the future
modern memories picture this photos restoration digital
Not long ago, my mother and I were looking through photographs my grandmother had kept in a biscuit tin, some of them 100 years old.

Their age was not only evident from the faded and fragile state of the photos, but also from the austere and formal poses of the family members whose faces stared back at us!

I was very young when my great-grandmother died but I remembered her and my own grandmother as warm and funny women, both possessed with a wicked sense of humour - these traits not being captured by the camera lens!


modern memories picture this photos restoration digital
As we mused over the photos, stories were told, tears were shed and laughter pealed through the house. The kids came in, wanting to know what we were laughing at. And so the stories were handed down, safeguarding the memories for another generation.

The trouble with old photos is they don't last forever. Although they can be restored and preserved by professionals, it's a costly exercise, especially when you have a tin full. Also, printed photos have lost their significance for the technology generation who think and share digitally.


modern memories picture this photos restoration digital
So, what can we do to restore and preserve the photos and the memories they contain? How can we make them readily accessible and "share-worthy" for future generations?

We decided to take high resolution digital photographs ourselves of the printed versions which were then shared across the family.


modern memories picture this photos restoration digital
It took some time to do but it was time spent in a wonderful warp as we reflected on the history of our family and some of the events that shaped who we are. It was also an inexpensive way to "restore" (with clever photo apps) and catalogue the photos for easy access in the future.

I often look at our digital album of old photos and am happy they'll be around for my kids and other family members to enjoy.

But I also love those dusty, old, sepia photos which are back in their biscuit tin and under my bed. There they'll remain safe for a few more years while we continue to embellish the stories they tell!

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Why? Because memories can be modern
When: On a rainy day
Where: In your photo album
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Great article Jenny and congratulations on the milestone. The photos are wonderful and it must be reassuring to know they both safe under the bed but also safe in the virtual world as well.
I used old family photos to illustrate a recipe book I made online, they were predominantly old family recipes, so I felt they needed old family photos to make the book extra special.
by Shannon Meyerkort (score: 3|1822) 2142 days ago
Love to hear interesting stories of families connecting. It's nice that you now have backups of the original photos.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4173) 2142 days ago
Hi Jenny. What a wonderful idea! For us techno-phobics out there, are you able to give us more a in-depth look into how you did this, and the apps that you used to 'restore' and catalogue these precious memories and time capsules for future generations? Many thanks, heather x
by heath68 (score: 1|70) 2142 days ago
I have boxes & boxes of slides to scan....have done some, mostly of me as a baby...
by julie (score: 0|2) 2137 days ago
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