I admit, I am a photo addict. Being married for 24 years and having 4 kids has given me TONS of photos for my family scrapbooks and I love it! I’m always wishing I had more photos of my ancestors. Part of that wish came true recently with the acquisition of my grandmother’s negatives – but it has just about taken over my life!
First, I just wanted to identify who was in each negative so that I could decide which ones to have printed. Then, I wanted to make them clear enough to be digital images on my computer without printing anything. That lead to days of trying different methods of taking digital photos of the negatives and then inverting the colors. Then, I began to search for online PhotoShop tutorials to help me make the images better. Then, I bought a light box, which made the images MUCH better – which means I’d like to take all of the pictures AGAIN!
I decided to put all of the pictures into a PowerPoint program so that they would be easy to show to others on the computer screen and easy to rearrange. I can also add information I learn in the notes section for each slide until I’m ready to make a final format. My mother helped with the arranging, so that part wasn’t too bad. I printed out a 60 page “book” with all of the photos in Notes format – 3 photos to a page. Because the photos weren’t taken in chronological order, I went through and added the image number under each photo so it would be easier to find on my laptop. My next project (besides retaking all of the digital photos) will be to add information as I show the book to family members. What do they remember? Can they help me narrow down the dates? Do they have additional photos that they had forgotten about that would be nice to add to the collection – which will all eventually be burned to DVD’s for everyone?
The problem is that while I am loving every minute of this, I am not getting very much new research done! What happened to all my research goals for the summer? School will be starting again before I know it and my research time will be drastically reduced!
So while I’m incredibly grateful for these negatives, I’m going to HAVE to force myself to put them away – or at least limit the amount of time I work on them each day – and get back into research mode. Back on the top of my list? A trip to Chicago for some Newberry Library research and then a trip to Kentucky to find some cemeteries as well as hidden nuggets from the local library!