I love it all: embroidery, canvaswork, quilting, crochet. So much to do, so little time.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Big, Fat Stack of Photos

Good Evening Dear Blog Readers,

Nowadays, almost everyone uses some sort of digital camera when they want to take a photo, but the older a person is, the more likely it will be that they'll have a large amount of analog photos lying around.  Several months ago, I decided that I needed to digitize all my analog photos.  Don't ask why, the urge just came over me.  I have this little printer/scanner jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none machine, so I started scanning about 50-100 photos at a time.  It was very labor intensive.

This was scanned on my little machine.  It's not so noticeable here, but you can see little white spots (dust? - yes, I clean the glass on the scanner) and small scratches on most of the images.  Back in the day when this was stitched (early 90's), I was very bad about recording the name or designer of any of the pieces that I made, and I don't have the chart for this anymore, either.  My most vivid memory of the stitching is that the leaves in the tree were a b**** to stitch because the chart called for about 20 shades of green.  I would have benefited from variegated floss!  The bushes and flowers were no picnic either.  Just keeping it real.

Enter:  Groupon!  For those who haven't heard of it, it's an on-line discount service.  You sign up for free, and they email you the Deal of the Day.  So, about a week ago, one of the deals was an photo scanning service.  A thousand photos for 29 bucks!  I couldn't resist.  The scans were described as being 300dpi, and my little scanner only does 200 dpi.  I got the deal, then went to the scanning service website.  They had detailed instructions about how to pack your photos and send them to their facility in California.  They also had many additional services, such as extra DVD's, an index sheet with thumbnails of your photos, etc. that cost extra.  All I wanted to spend was $29.  I read their instructions carefully.  The $29 only applied to the first 1,000 photos.  If you miscounted and sent them 1,400 (their example), they would charge you for an additional 1,000 at the regular rate ($79).  I understood this to mean that if you miscounted and sent them 1,001 photos, the same thing would happen.  Forewarned is forearmed, as my mother used to say, so I found a small handful of photos that I thought were expendable and removed them from my count of exactly 1,000.  I was a little nervous about sending the photos off, because I didn't have the negatives for most of them.

There they are, all packed up and ready to go.  I mailed them last Saturday and got the photos and DVD back today!  I took the DVD out of the package, and the photo count was written on it:  987.  (I'll bet you thought I messed up, didn't you?)

So, how did the scanning turn out?  Here are a couple of samples.

This is not really the best example, but the subject is needlework, so I felt compelled to use it.  It's behind glass so there's a reflection in the original photo, too.  (I haven't seen any white specks either, and I've looked at all 987.)   Another vintage piece by an unknown designer.  My bad.

And now for something completely different.   If the color on the original photo is decent, the scanned photo turned out pretty well.  (The above photo has not been color corrected.)  You will notice, however, that the scan is a little crooked.  That was noticeable in about 2 dozen of the photos.  None of them were much worse than this.   I started color correcting in Photoshop, and found that almost all of the photos will benefit from color correction, but that's probably true of most scans, and the older the photo, the more color correction it will need.  So you know what I'll be doing for the next few days.  In addition to stitching.  All in all, I'm quite satisfied with the photos and happy that I got such a deal.  I may even send them more photos.  I'm sure I have another thousand.

For those of you who, like me, are getting a little bored with my blackwork piece, stop reading!  (just kidding)

The middle square is almost done!  The design does repeat, but you have to stitch a fair amount before it does.  I intend to finish this square, then give this project a little break.  I figured I'd be much more likely to want to pick it up again if this section was done.

Gosh, it's so close to being finished, why not forge ahead and just do it?  Well, for one thing, once the stitching is finished, there's a bunch of beads to attach!  Plus, I stumbled across a great design on-line a few days ago, I ordered it and a piece of linen, and am really anxious to start it.  (I'm incorrigible.)  Hopefully, I'll have enough to show you in a couple of days.  Won't say any more than that now, because I really need to finish that middle square!

Hope all of you are having fun doing what you're doing, and finding good deals.


Karen said...

What a deal! $29 for 1000 photos! The examples you showed turned out really well too. Your vintage pieces are gorgeous! That house has SOOO much detail and would have taken a whole lot of patience to complete. I really like the little stitching lady as well. Your blackwork piece is gorgeous!

David Orr said...

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