Tuesday, November 11, 2014

High School Prom Memories

The Watauga Valley Art League asked me to help them digitize their yearbooks. Little did I know how HUGE this project was going to be. I just finished their first one...1984. Scanning 12" x 12" pages on a personal document flatbed scanner (edge to edge 8.5" by just under 12")... not easy.

I was ready for the next book, now that I got it down to a system (sort of). Like any large project, I broke it down into manageable chunks. The plan is to scan 10 pages a day - that is about 4 scans per page - top, bottom, front and back. The next step is to piece the top and bottoms back together in an InDesign document. Anyway, today, as I finished scanning in the first 10 pages into the computer I remembered my own personal scanning project I have been trying to find the time to work on.

I have two large boxes of old photos and mementos that I have wanted to digitize for a while now. And I thought that it would be the perfect opportunity to at least get this started since I had the scanner hooked up to the laptop, and the software was working properly. (Sometimes I have issues with HP Scanning Solution Center software - I still never got it to work properly for high resolution 600dpi scans.) But that is a blog for another time. 

I had organized the original box-o-photos into "piles" according to either an event, or lump of time when the picture was taken. i.e. Trip to NYC 1989, or High School Years, College Years etc. I picked up the first rubber-banded stack  in the box. Prom 1987!

I scanned them in, and filed them on my external hard drive - just in case of computer crashes, I want them all backed up. But, as I went through them, trying to label them as something I would recognize, I realized that I had no idea who some of these people were.

Almost 30 years ago, these kids were my life, my support group, my peers. To an emotionally sensitive, introverted, teenage kid with a dysfunctional family life, they were everything.

Some of them I have kept in touch with over the years, some I have lost touch with, but through the "magic of Facebook" have reconnected, some I think about often, and others I don't remember much at all.

When these photos were taken, I thought that these people, my friends, would ALWAYS be a part of my life. No need to write their names on the back of the picture. Sadly, I wish I had.

I was planning to put these in a scrapbook, but, now I feel obligated to research yearbook photos for names before I can put my pages together.

Let this be a reminder. when you take photographs label who is in them with the date. Yes this goes for digital photos too. Today, most digital cameras will embed the date, time and sometimes the GPS coordinates (place), but that doesn't tell you who is in the picture. Also remember that sometimes this information can be removed when it is "fixed" in any editing software such as Photoshop or Elements.

For actual physical prints, just take a minute to jot the people's names down on the back. For digital photos, be sure to include them in the file name when coping them from your camera to your storage.

BTW if you would like to see all the pictures from today's Prom Pictures Scann...
Click here.

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