© 2010 by Michael A. Pancier
Since my mother died a little over a year ago, I've been going through all her belongings including all of the photos that she had. Many of the images were in albums and faded. I learned of a company called Scancafe which will scan and restore anything you send them, whether it be negatives, prints, slides, or cardboard. You simply put the pics or negatives in a zip lock and label them, put everything n a box and send it to them. They put them online and you only pay for the scans you want (provided it is at least 50% of the total images scanned). You can learn more about the service on their website. In any event, I finally got the proofs today available online, and damn the quality is amazing. Photos of my parents honeymoon from 1961 as vibrant as ever. But what is even more wild is seeing your parents are young people. In this image below, my mom was in her mid 20's and my dad in his mid 30's. They were young, healthy, thin, in love and enjoying themselves. Seeing them in these photos makes you realize that in addition to being your mom and dad, they were also regular people who probably thought and did the same or similar things that you did when you were in your 20's and 30's and without children. It makes you realize that before your mom was "mom", she was a young attractive woman and your dad before he was "dad" was a handsome young cool looking dude and not the parents we watched age throughout the years leading up to their eventual deaths. But here in this photograph, their youth is captured and frozen for all time so I and my kids can enjoy. Once again, it is so important to take pictures of your parents, your family, your kids. Save the images, scan them, for one day the pictures and the memories will be all you will have. The above image was taken in Buenos Aires Argentina in March of 1960.
In any event, this service has restored some images that were 2x2 and stuck in the garage for over 10 years into very cool images. Some of my negatives that I kept from the 1980's have been scanned and are sharp and vibrant as well. My goal is to try and scan everything worthwhile in my possession from the pre-digital days, especially my family pics that are fading fast so I can import them into Lightroom, catalog and tag them, and create coffee table photo books which are archival and which will last for generations, so perhaps my kids can see what their grandparents and parents looked like when they were young, wild, and free and in the end, seeing their parents as simply human.