31 October 2014

Family History Month Day 31: Photos

This is the last day of October, and the last day of Family History Month. I hope you've enjoyed the little genealogy ideas I've posted throughout the month.

One of my favorite things about family history is photographs. I love to see old photos. It doesn't matter if it's people, places, or thing, I love to see them all.

Sometimes photos are well preserved, other times they haven't been as well taken care of and are in need of repair. One great thing about today's technology is Photoshop. We can scan an old photo into the computer, and with Photoshop bring it back to it's former glory. Some people are great at it, others not so much. I think I fall somewhere in between. I can do basic changes and enhancements, but the intricate complicated stuff is a little beyond me. There are great tutorials on YouTube and various photo-related sites that can help get you started with digital photo restoration.

Now, about those original photos...where are you keeping them? Technology has changed over time in this area as well. Archival safe products are readily available to consumers now. So, get the photos out of the old albums and put them in safer albums to help preserve them longer. And while you have them out, scan them.

Lastly, share your photos. Most genealogy sites have places to put photos of your ancestors and the places they lived. This is a great way to share the photos, and be sure to look up photos others have submitted. Maybe you look just like one of them and never knew. And, if you come across photos you can't identify, there are new sites popping up like identifyaphoto.com that you can post the photo to, with info about it (where, when...) and someone else can claim the photo. These sites are especially great for people who 'rescue' old photos from antique stores and flea markets.