Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living at Onoway, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Onoway, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. During July 2007 - January 2010, and September 2011 until the present I have provided part-time support for https://familysearch.org This is very rewarding. I have helped many with the free Personal Ancestral File 5 (PAF5) software. I continue to help others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I am an assistant director of Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click http://mormon.org/

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Scanning Family Photos
Seeing a posting of someone planning to buy a scanner and visit their cousins brought back fond memories.

10 years ago, to begin my retirement, I bought a used laptop and a new Canoscan scanner, and set off visiting relatives from coast to coast to scan their photos and documents. This combination served me well.

The scanner software can make a big difference. I was able to scan multiple photos at once, and then separate them when I got home. This was perfect for me, as my Canoscan was a slow parallel port model. Some scanners want to preview and then crop each photo as it is scanned, and I did not have the time for that. I also have a Lexmark scanner that scans at a low resolution by default, and I have to remember to reset the scanning resolution before EACH individual scan. There seems to be no way to change that setting permanently. What a pain!

My scanning software doesn't automatically fix defects in the original photos, but does give me tools I can use manually to fix many of the defects. e.g. Most newspaper photos respond well to a De-screen filter or a Median 3 filter.

Originally, I put my old family photos on a CD and made copies for interested relatives. Now I find it simpler to upload the photos to Picasa.

I really have fond memories of many visits and many scanning sessions. I hope that my relatives have been as satisfied by my visits as I have been.

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