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I know every family has photographs of their kids growing up, but I doubt anyone has had their life documented in pictures like my brothers and I have.

I’ll try to break it down for you. I just finished up my latest project, scanning in all of the photographs from the 1986 album. It took about 5 hours to scan in the nearly 600 pictures, and caused my scanner to need a break more than 3 times. But this is just one of over 40 albums that my dad has assembled over the years. Which puts the entire collection at nearly 24,000 printed photos of our family.

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And the collection is still growing. Since dad has switched over to digital he has already accumulated 30,000 more images.

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Dad has said on many occasions that if a fire ever broke out in the house that the first thing he would do after getting us all out would be to go back in to save his photographic memories. So the main goal of this effort is to keep all of these photos safe, but secondly to make them easier for dad to enjoy.

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If you are ever going to undertake such an effort, I would have the following suggestions:

  1. Use the fastest scanner you can find. I’m using the scan portion of the lexmark all-in-one printer that I have which scans each image in about 10 seconds, but I sure you can see how a couple seconds more per picture really makes a difference.
  2. Don’t scan in PNG format. This was my first time scanning since upgrading to snow¬†leopard, and instead of scanning in jpg like I had with previous versions of image capture, I opted to scan in png thinking it would work just as well. It wasn’t until I had finished scanning in all of the images that i discovered that they cannot be opened in lightroom. While this is not a big deal it is a bit of an inconvience for me as it is my photo editing suite of choice. The next time I scan I’ll be sure to use tiff.

View the entire 1986 album on flickr.