Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Image archiving and digitizing

After my grandmother passed away, I volunteered myself to digitize the family slides so everyone could enjoy them.

I acquired a Nikon film / slide scanner, and began to work on the mountain of slides. And soon lost interest and stopped.

Recently, my mom made several pointed comments to me about finishing the job, or returning the slides so she can do it. Of course, my ego wouldn't allow for that, so I've been trying to finish scanning these things.

Today I just finished scanning another 100-slide carousel. I'm saving the slides as tiff images, and each file is about 67M. (5782 x 3946 pixels)

On average, each carousel is going to take about 6700M (or about 6G). To back these pictures up, and distribute to the family, I've been burning them on DVDs (and down-sized sets to CDs).

The cool thing about scanning all these slides is that I can literally see the difference quality makes. Some of the slides are on generic drug-store film-de-jour, and some is on Kodak Kodachrome. The Kodachrome slides have retained their colors much better than the other slides, and are much sharper when scanned.

Which got me to thinking about longevity of my digital images. These film prints are about 50 years old, and some of them (the Kodachrome) look great. I really doubt all my digital camera photos are going to last for 50 years on a CD or DVD disc.

I'm starting to think that converting my digital images to film might be the best way to go. Doing a google search for "print slides from digital pictures", you can find lots of companies offering digital->film services. From a quick perusal, $2.00 seems to be the ballpark per slide.

Now all I have to do is figure out what I'm going to do with my .avi movie clips from my camera. Super-8? :-)

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