Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Carnival of Genealogy

The 51st edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is posted now by this month's host, Thomas MacEntee of Destination Austin Family. The topic was Independent Spirits, and there are lots of good reads linked in Thomas' article. Thanks for putting it together, Thomas.

I myself have been rather absent from blogging lately, and I am much chagrinned about it. I won't even make excuses about it, either, because who ever believes excuses? Suffice it to say, I'm BACK!

I have returned to scanning the pictures from what I am calling the Bell Book: A very old photo album with a velvety cover and hard pages with pictures cemented to them. A little while ago I discovered that my scanner's lid comes off, and this is allowing me to scan these photos without tearing the pages out of the book. The first group of photos are below. As I looked at these photos, I couldn't help but wonder if perhaps they were taken on a trip in celebration of something, perhaps even Independence Day. Though there are only guys here, so it was probably a boys weekend out or something.
After I scanned these photos at 200 dpi using the .jpg format, I remembered a tip I'd read about scanning at least at 300 dpi resolution in .tif format, so I scanned the others using those settings. For some reason, though, blogger won't upload the .tif images, though their help section says that format is accepted. I then tried to upload the pictures to my account at imagecave, but .tif pictures are not supported there. So I couldn't post those pictures. Which is a bummer, since they are pretty cool pictures!

Also as I was scanning these photos some other thoughts occurred to me. First, because these photos are cemented forever to the hard-back pages of the album, I'm having to scan entire pages, then crop individual photos from the page. I'm using the software that came with my all-in-one unit, an HP 1500. The software is called HP Image Zone. I can do some very basic editing with this once the picture is scanned. I basically only use the crop and rotate features of the editing program. It's kind of a pain, though, as when I go to save the photos, the default setting is to save them to a folder created by the software ("My Scans") and I have to scroll to the folder I want them in. It will not let me change this default. It gets rather tedious to do this after each photo is ready for saving. I don't save them to the default and then move them all at once because my stupid computer (using Windows XP) has a tendency to make copies of any file I attempt to move or delete, therefore defeating the purpose of saving space. So as I was scanning today I thought, I wonder if I can scan from my photo editing program, which will allow me to change the default folder in which to save them?

So I opened up my obscure Microsoft Picture It! 2003 to try this out. Yes, it lets me scan the photos from my scanner, then offers me all the editing choices of the program that I use anyway. The only problem is, once I crop one picture from the page, the page I scanned disappears and is replaced by the one image I cropped from it.

Which brings me back to this: I'm really wanting to do some serious photo work on my computer. So much so that I'm thinking about asking my niece to ship me out the photo albums I "restored" for her years ago that got me into genealogy so I can re-scan all those photos again, using better settings than the default. This would be one heckuvan undertaking, to rescan all the photos I have.

So I am left with decisions. First, do I go through all that trouble? Second, if I do, and I'm leaning towards it, I will need a better photo editing program. Third, if I really want to do a good job and make the most of the program, I need to learn how to use it in the least frustrating manner possible. So do I get a program that requires a class to take along with it to figure it out? And do those classes exist where I live?

Lots of questions. Would love some advice!

1 comment:

Apple said...

I have too many pictures that still need scanning to go back and rescan things but if you have the time go for it!

Try Fast Stone Image Viewer. I like it because it was free and easy to use. It will handle .tif files and you can convert them to .jpeg for posting to your blog - keeping a copy of each. If you are cropping individual pictures out of a large scan you have the option of "save lossless crop to file" so you can keep the original scan and work with it several times. It will also let you work in layers if you want to make scrapbook pages but I haven't figured that all out yet.

You might want to consider making your files smaller when you convert them to .jpeg for posting here. All the pictures you post go to your Picasa account and they limit you to 1GB of space and then you have to pay for additional storage. Through some magic that is beyond me, a picture that is .12MP appears just as good as one that is 2.4MP on your blog.

Welcome back!