Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Things I have learned about Scanning....

In preparation for my mother's 90th birthday party in July, I decided a long while back to put together a slide show. It seemed like a brilliant idea at the time - except for a few small problems: I don't know how to make a slide show, I don't have a scanner or really know how to scan photos, I don't know what to do with photos, I can barely find photos and I hate photos. And I am impatient....

When my mother moved into her assisted living Lodge last year, all of her photos were moved to my house in boxes. So, scanning all the photos would be an easy task, right?

I should mention that I have a basic philosophy about paper things - try to only touch it once. If there is a bill - touch it once - open it, pay it, record it, send it on.... For routine things this philosphy sometimes works. But not, it appears , when one is preparing a slide show.

First, let me entertain you with some pictures I found in my mother's boxes:
My parents (in happier times)

My mother with my older meaner sister and sweet little old me

So - back to scanning.... My friends lent me a scanner (bless them) and I got started. It never occured to me to put photos into categories at the beginning - I tried to put things in rough chronological order but when I say rough, I mean rough. There were a few minor disasters (like scanning 150 photos, which I couldn't then find on the computer - never mind - I just scanned them all again). As I was finishing up, I found an album that had lots of photos of me at my wedding and lots of my children as tiny babies. That sent me off on a new tangent - email the scanned photos to my friends and family. Then I realized that really, I should separate the actual photos - give the ones of my siblings, to said siblings. The actual photos of relatives (which don't have photos of my mother or immediate relatives) should be sent to the relatives. Photos of my children should go to them....and so on and so on....

Needless to say, the slide show isn't started yet. But today I did finish touching each photo for the one-hundredth time. I still don't know how to start or finish a slide show - but I suspect it will be accomplished as inefficiently as the photo scanning. So - if you want my advice here it is:

1. Before you start, try and put the photos into chronological order. If there is identifying information on the back of the photo (didn't happen much in my case) put that information with the photo when you save it on the computer.

2. Think about what you are going to do with the photos. If the actual photo should be distributed to someone, put the photo into a separate envelope as you go along.

3. As I went along scanning, the structure of the slide show became evident to me - I then tried to ensure I recorded my ideas so that I can refer back as I start to assemble the slide show.

4. Send the scanned photos off to friends and family. It is delightful to reconnect with those in the photos. And everyone was very tickled by how sweet and young we all once looked. Share my darlings.....share.....

5. Be prepared to be emotional - when I found photos of my father that he sent to my mother during the Second World War along with his personal loving greetings, I realized that I never really knew all of their story. When I scanned the photos of my little ones being held for the first time by their grandparents, I realized how much I miss everyone. And when I was getting frustrated by all the time I was spending trying to figure out how to scan photos, I realized that I was making it possible to connect with old friends and family and to make a living tribute for my mother.

And that my darlings, is my lesson for today........

1 comment:

Susan said...

Hi Krista-
I've been lurking in the background reading your blog anonymously for some time now and just had to finally tell you how much I enjoy your writing. Our lives have certainly taken us to different places, but I feel that you are still very much the same witty, intelligent, caring and cool person as the grade niner that I met in the fall of 1966!
Dont' stop!!
Susan Richardson Tauer