Time, Life, and Restoring Old Family Photos

Time has a tendency to flicker along uncaringly, though without prejudice. Bound to its passage, our lives and possessions drift behind the now. We combat the ravaging of time through our memories. And thanks to awesome technology, we have devices and tools to capture, catalog, and enhance our memories. Brain, you may enjoy the "now" for a moment.

All right - back to the memories.

As I stood with family and strangers in the windowless chapel, pictures scrolled across a now vintage 1990's grey television set. Some of my mom, uncle, and great aunt. Most of my grandmother, the person of focus. She lay left of the television set; having died suddenly a few days earlier. Regrettably, apathy towards my grandmother prevailed. For over ten years, I experienced no involvement from her in my life. Although, sympathy for my mom (her daughter) and my grandmother's widower continue today. 

As I watched the photos change on the dated TV, they soon ceased to act as a convenient distraction. Something clicked. I needed to get family photos, scan them, restore them, and share them.

Old photos have charm; the feel, the smell, the aging, the usually poor composition and exposure. I even like the scalloped edges on old black and white photos. The problem? Tangibility. Not everyone possesses the same photos.

To solve this problem, I began collecting photographs from family members to scan. I cataloged and restored the photos as needed. After decades of storage, many photos had damage. Digitizing grants the opportunity to repair photo damage with stunning results.

I decided to keep the photos as close to the originals as possible - improving only damage and obvious color and/or major exposure issues. I feel my artistic influence doesn't have a place in family photos someone else shot.

I look at these photos and think about those particular days. How did that day go? What happened? Why doesn't my dad have a shirt on?

Until someone figures out how to time travel, I guess I'll never know. I scanned a couple hundred photos so far and continue working my way through them. Once completed, I can deliver copies of all photos to family either on a DVD or USB flash drive.

For the record, I forgive my grandmother. I hope she would forgive me for not trying either.