Scanning and then throwing them away!

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Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 14, 2013 - 07:36am PT
They've been in a closet of one house or another for the last 35 years, but I'm finally scanning the best and then throwing them all in the trash. I'm saving someone from a big, boring, time consuming job after I die.

I sure did take a lot of sunset, tree, rock and flower shots!
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Jul 14, 2013 - 07:49am PT
I'm with you, Mark. . . there was a time in my life when I lived in a horrifying place, doing really terrible work. I was going to school and had to put up with it - but I was running the dark room at my college and didn't go anywhere without my Nikkormat. . . and I made myself a deal; I had to find at least one beautiful thing, every single day, and I had to photograph it. You wouldn't believe how many shots I have of flowers and clouds and raindrops. . . all framed by an L.A. sky.

Some of them actually ended up in assignments for class.

GOOD GRIEF!

Who'd want 'em?

But. . . there they are, in my portfolio. . . waiting to see if they survive the next great purge!

:-/
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 14, 2013 - 07:52am PT
I'll probably pare down from 4000 photos to maybe 400. Once they are digital, they are all going to the trash.
Srbphoto

climber
Kennewick wa
Jul 14, 2013 - 08:03am PT
If any are really special, keep it. Film will outlast digital media (no it's not permanent) and your family 50 years from now will be glad you did!
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Jul 14, 2013 - 08:08am PT
I've still got all the negs and contact prints, too. . . all black and white.

HA!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 14, 2013 - 08:26am PT
I'll be dead in 50 years and no one will care. Ellen, my daughter will be 65 and I'll bet she'll have no desire whatsoever to scan slides. In fact, In 50 years, the technology to scan a slide will probably not exist.
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Jul 14, 2013 - 08:44am PT
Interestingly, I inherited all the family antiques from the Victorian. In this collection are Daguerreotypes, some in the trippy gold frames, and Tintypes of my courageous forefathers breaking sod on family farms in Nebraska. I'm stoked to have them, but nobody else in my family gave a rat's ass about them.

Hmmmmmmmm?

Undoubtedly, none of them will care about "Images From Inner City Rescue" in L.A., either.

I do wonder about permanence . . . then I see these photographs and play the Swiss music box from 1845 and am proud that those old dads took really good care of their stuff.

Seems as if I may be a better keeper of their flame than my own.
Dr. Christ

Mountain climber
State of Mine
Jul 14, 2013 - 08:49am PT
I'm saving someone from a big, boring, time consuming job after I die.

One of the best things I did after my dad died was go through the box of old photos. Many of them were lame and boring... but even those meant something.
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Jul 14, 2013 - 08:49am PT
Just imagine going through all the photos on people's cameras and stored on their computers now in the digital age.

Good lord, they take photos of their dinner every night!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 14, 2013 - 08:54am PT
I'm saving the good ones. Ellen will have hundreds of photos to look at but, rocks, flowers, sunsets and tree shots I thought were cool 85 years before, will be of little interest to her, I'm sure.
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Jul 14, 2013 - 08:55am PT
I'm at a loss with today's photography.

So little of my work gets printed.

I have THREE Apples and a 2TB external hard drive full of digital work that is all but invisible. And the longer it stays out of sight, the easier it is to let slip away.

?
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 14, 2013 - 09:01am PT
Max racking up for the Zodiac in the fall of 1977.

Credit: Mark Hudon

Ian Jewell

climber
Jul 14, 2013 - 09:13am PT
that section of camp 4 is on a really steep incline

they have since graded it severely.
good thing you got photos of it when it was like that back in the day
Srbphoto

climber
Kennewick wa
Jul 14, 2013 - 09:21am PT
you might be right, 50 years from now you may not be able to scan a slide, but you will be able to hold it up to a sunny window and see it.

Don't underestimate the power of the mundane.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 14, 2013 - 09:23am PT
....it was taken in the age before the river had eroded the floor of the Valley into a flat flood plane...

as for your images... certainly do what you like, but do consider how you view an image's value and what you had in mind originally when creating the image, and then the other values of an image.

From a creative artistic point of view, those images, or pieces of them, might be of value to others... they just need to be available. Our concepts of "copyright" and intellectual property (and artistic property?) are limited to our own use, but when you expand that to the larger creative community you cannot tell if the stuff you have is any good or not.

In the coming era images are collections of bits, digitized and dispersed in the larger digital storage universe... keeping original copies on film isn't such a bad thing, someone someday may have a use for them... if you care to have any connection into the distant future, index them and keep a hard copy list of the index with them...

let them be passed on and used for things we can't imagine.

Why throw them out?
Ian Jewell

climber
Jul 14, 2013 - 09:26am PT
ah yes , glacial erosion , the ranger told us about that on the green dragon
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Jul 14, 2013 - 09:39am PT
Why throw them out?

I must agree. . . since I still have it all! And I'm not a packrat!

:-)
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 14, 2013 - 09:41am PT
I'm not a keep it around in case kind of guy. I don't want to leave more than a small box of stuff when I die.

I'm scanning the best photos and keeping those, I don't see any need to keep the slide.
Gene

climber
Jul 14, 2013 - 09:49am PT
Mark,

For me at least, there is something very special about holding old prints that I find much more rewarding than viewing a scanned image on a monitor. This is especially true of old family pictures. No matter how good the scan or the quality of the printer, something is lost in translation. The same applies to old letters and such. I have scanned many but primarily as a backup. Nothing beats the original.

That said, there is probably no good reason to archive every pic you ever took.

g

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 14, 2013 - 09:49am PT
scan them all (I know, big work) and let them loose on the internet to be used by anyone for anything...

or not...

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jul 14, 2013 - 09:51am PT
eKat-

Why don't you check out the website Find a Grave and put up memorials to your ancestors along with scans of their photos there? Those are going to be part of a digital archive or whatever future media comes along in the future and it's maintained by them and not yourself. Ancestry.com is also a good place to store images, although you have to pay a subscription at least until you get them up there. Once they're digitized, you can even print your own family history book using Ancestry's software. Ancestry's info is backed up in underground vaults in Salt Lake City that are said to be able to withstand a nuclear attack.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 14, 2013 - 09:53am PT
Mark,, digital is digital, but prints are special. Dont toss em! Heck,, sell em for some cause!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 14, 2013 - 09:58am PT
Nope, trash!

If anyone ever thinks my contributions to climbing are significant enough, they can contact Ellen if I'm dead and she will have the photos on a disc. That's as good as its going to get.

Beyond that, the trash goes out on Thursday morning.

Besides, I'm doing at least as good of a job scanning the slides as anyone wanting to put them in a magazine or book will do.
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Jul 14, 2013 - 10:04am PT
Thanks for the idea, Jan.

Many of these old shots have been framed, thank goodness, and they're on display in my log cabin - that looks like it was built in the Victorian. I'd have to take them all apart to scan them. . . sounds too distructive, really. But. . . I'll give it some thought.

They're really neat old photos. . . my Great Aunts and Gran used to tell me stories about what it was like to have "THE PHOTOGRAPHER" come to the homesteads. They knew, a year in advance, that he was coming and they hung on everyday of the wait, with bated breath. It was a big deal. One thing they mentioned, many times, was how still they had to be. In one shot, my Great Aunt Grace is wearing this beautiful white lace hat - spun around the top of her head like some errant cotton candy. . . Blanchard says it's a lenticular that built up around her because she had to sit still for so long.

HA!
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Jul 14, 2013 - 10:34am PT
yup. trash. lighten the load!
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Jul 14, 2013 - 10:34am PT
That's my retirement project... Someday when I retire... Scanning and tossing.

I've started on the project with a Nikon scanner, and it's tedious work but I am pleased with the results:

Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
Valley of Death, Alaska
Valley of Death, Alaska
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 14, 2013 - 10:37am PT
I'm borrowing a Nikon Coolscan from Max, who is borrowing it from a neighbor. So far, the results are very nice. It does take time though.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Jul 14, 2013 - 11:49am PT
You never do know who might come along 40-something years later, just hoping to find a picture of someone she never had a chance to know. (And, no, I'm not implying anything there!)

One of the most touching photos sent to me of Dolt was located by Natalie Sherrick online. She had Googled "Tahquitz" and just happened upon it. The photo was a casual group shot, but it captured the folks in it in that unique way that only a combination of a group of personalities can.

Consider donating them so that they can be archived. Any number of the folks who look up to you would be blessed (and probably really psyched) if given the opportunity to see the world through your eyes.
Trad is Rad

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo California
Jul 14, 2013 - 11:53am PT
You should send all the good ones to me, Id love to have the originals just for shts and giggles. I find the retro photos to be full of awesomness and stoke.
Johnny K.

climber
Jul 14, 2013 - 12:07pm PT
What happens if technology bites the dust one day and there is no way to look at digital formats?Nothing can replace original photos imo.

As mentioned earlier,there is something special about original prints,especially with handwritten messages/notes on the backings.I was very fortunate to have many original photos dating back many many generations.I will pass those on to the future generations as well adding my own.

Scanning original prints to digital form is a great idea.Though,I personally would never throw them away,I put the originals in a fire/waterproof container for safekeeping to pass on when the time comes.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Jul 14, 2013 - 12:15pm PT
What happens if technology bites the dust one day and there is no way to look at digital formats?

You've got a valid concern, but I don't think there's much risk with digital photos because they're so portable. Think about what it takes to copy digitial photos - a click or two.

I have a bunch of VHS tape material that I converted to digital video (DV) format with a lot of work. Now I have a bunch of stuff trapped on DV tapes - and it's all still inaccessible. Only recently have desktop computers developed enough memory to start storing hours and hours of digital video on hard drives. But now I gotta get a DV player to transfer all that video to my hard drive if I ever want to see it again.

Once digital material it's on hard drive, it should be fairly easy to transfer to any other format regardless of the changes in technology.
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jul 14, 2013 - 12:31pm PT
FWIW, keep them around, your daughter may not care but maybe they will inspire her kids.
I know I treasure seeing my great grandfather on horseback in Chicago and the other minding his Armenian marketplace.

I don't look a my digital pictures as much because they are digital.
The hard copies passed down are up on the walls and seen everyday.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jul 14, 2013 - 01:34pm PT
Yeah. Don't toss them. Scanners are getting better all of the time. Also, if you want to publish a pic, it is much better to keep the slide. This slide has been in the arms of Patagonia, but has been printed so many times that it nigh paid for the trip.

Does anyone else here have a shot in "Unexpected"? It is a coffee table book with the best Patagonia catalog shots from the years.

Grossman is in it, along with a bunch of other climbers. This pic has a full page and has been in about 5 mag articles:

Credit: BASE104
goatboy smellz

climber
Nederland-GulfBreeze
Jul 14, 2013 - 01:51pm PT
If you have ever had to bury a friend or relative and go through their house, it's mostly a bunch a stuff, some of it sentimental most of it is not, except the photos. The photos help those greiving and left behind.
stunewberry

Trad climber
Spokane, WA
Jul 14, 2013 - 03:40pm PT
The cardboard frames are really good for removing copperheads, if you know the trick. Take them on your next wall.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 14, 2013 - 03:44pm PT
Ha! I'll try that! ;-)
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Jul 14, 2013 - 04:53pm PT
Save um good for the Antiques Roadshow!
Double D

climber
Jul 14, 2013 - 05:52pm PT
This was prolly mentioned in the up posts but the reality of color film is that it deteriorates pretty bad after 20 years. Just blow up an old image on a high-res scan and you'll see halo's all over the bright areas. Ok for small images, not so good for large prints.

Memories are best left to campfires.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 14, 2013 - 06:03pm PT
I've filled half a garbage can already.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jul 14, 2013 - 06:40pm PT
It is sad, but not a shame
To play the old-time memories game
You should feel free to toss the lame
But the good ones save to put in a frame
To increase your fame, To broadcast your name...NOT!

Mark, just do it as you see fit.

But Lilabiene is right on, too.

Ledge Rat, scannig is soooo boring, and yet it gets juices flowing, doesn't it?

PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Jul 14, 2013 - 09:23pm PT
Mark,

I've known too many people that have had their hard drives crash and lose over 5 years worth of memories.

I'm actually going the opposite way. Printing all my good photos.

A photo will last 100+ years.

Just my 2cents. ;)
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 14, 2013 - 09:39pm PT
They are already duplicated on another drive. The individual files are about 45 mb each but the whole folder is only about 13 gig. A13 gig folder is easy to back up in many different places and given that a terabyte hard drive costs only $80 these days, I don't mind buying a few and having many duplicates.

Besides, 98% of the slides are already in the trash can, and I ain't about to do any dumpster diving for them!
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Jul 15, 2013 - 06:55am PT
Yeah- I ran a similar thread a while back. It just gets to be too much storing everything. I'm not a photographer, but I've also got a zillion folders of artwork from art-school I don't know what to do with. At some point I'm going to just scan 90% of them, back it up on a second drive, make a few copies/mail off to relatives, and toss the rest.

I am, however keeping all the original B&W/vintage originals. There's just something really cool about old photos and they'll all fit in a few albums.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Jul 15, 2013 - 08:17am PT
When my pop passed, I had a huge set of pictures to go through. It didn't take me long, most were of folks I never knew. Of course there were a few gems, but by and large, the photos are for the ones that took them.


I have hundreds of Kodachrome pictures of mountains and lakes and forests from all the back-packing trips I took in high school. Man, those bore even me now...

It's drudge work to go through the hundreds of digital photos I now have. With film, there was built-in cost that made you be more careful with the pictures you actually took. Now, it's "take as many as you like, it's free...."

Yikes, the time to process all those photos on the back side ain't free!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 15, 2013 - 09:00am PT
The money photos are the ones I scanned (about 500) and all the rest, butt shots, shots where the climber is just a small spec, underexposed and overexposed shots, sunrises, sunsets, trees, flowers, cliff shots, did not get scanned.
Barbarian

climber
Jul 15, 2013 - 09:37am PT
Mark,

I feel your pain. I have several thousand 4x5 negatives that were taken by my dad. I would love to scan them all and create a searchable database of the images, but just cannot find the time. The scope of the project is so overwhelming, I can't even begin to work on it.
Many of these negatives are somewhat historic in nature: railroad photography beginning in the 40's (with a significant number of images documenting the glory days of the California Zephyr). I'd hate lose all of that, so someday soon I will have to bite the bullet and get going. The upside is that I will no longer have to house all of that film and the associated 3x5 cards that hold descriptions and exposure data.

Of course there are all my images to go through as well...
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 15, 2013 - 09:50am PT
My presentation at the Facelift this fall is what spurred this on. I've been off and on scanning photos for the last few years whenever I could get someone to loan me a scanner.
This last go-round has been nice since the scanner software has advanced to the point where its auto white balance, exposure modification and dust cleaning are all quite good. Most slides are perfect right out of the scanner and the few others are easily adjusted in Adobe Camera Raw (and yes, yes, yes, I know all about Lightroom).
nopantsben

climber
Jul 15, 2013 - 10:42am PT
When's your facelift presentation? you better post some more of your photos here! :-)
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 15, 2013 - 10:54am PT
September 25th.
mongrel

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Jul 15, 2013 - 11:40am PT
This isn't exactly a digital/film question, but what's with the Salewa ice screws in that photo of racking up for Zode? Expecting an early winter storm? Must have been Badass to do the wide pitch with nothing bigger than a 4" bong.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 15, 2013 - 12:15pm PT
Oh yeah, huh? I don't know, they were in the gear bag for some reason.
We probably had a couple 4" bongs for that pitch but we were pretty good free climbers back then. I suspect I free climbed a lot of it, even wearing RRs, and aided a bit also.
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Jul 15, 2013 - 04:52pm PT
If you really want to make sure these images aren't lost, download your photos onto a USB drive from your hard drive. Lots of pictures in 10 GB.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 15, 2013 - 08:04pm PT
Okay, I'm DONE!

Never, ever again will I ever scan another slide! EVER!

The Trashman comes on Thursday!
The Trashman comes on Thursday!
Credit: Mark Hudon
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jul 15, 2013 - 08:15pm PT
I'm borrowing a Nikon Coolscan from Max, who is borrowing it from a neighbor. So far, the results are very nice. It does take time though.

scancafe.com

You could mail them that garbage pail as-is and you'd get back a few DVD's. Very high rez, corrected, blah, blah, all for very cheap. Super happy with my process. I mindlessly dumped every negative and slide I had from my climbing career into a box, didn't even have a count - no problems - everything got scanned - sort through it some other time.

The thing is - give this some thought - even the shittiest most worthless photos - some blurry and accidental shutter releases - they all brought back emotions and memories. I have them ALL.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Jul 15, 2013 - 08:25pm PT
Mark, I did that a couple of months ago.

The thing is - give this some thought - even the shittiest most worthless photos - some blurry and accidental shutter releases - they all brought back emotions and memories. I have them ALL.


You're right! I wish I hadn't thrown out so much. But I did, and it's gone.

I ain't looking back, only forward!
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Jul 15, 2013 - 08:25pm PT
Mark, You're right on top of one of my biggest regrets. I tell my kids often, forget all those damn photos of rocks, mountains, glaciers, lakes, clouds, streams and other objects. They'll be here long long after we're all gone, your buddies and family won't be. I had a camera when I was in jr. high and high school and I've got thousands of slides of objects and butt shots. There's been nothing remarkable about my climbing career except just how long I've been at it. What a shame as I witnessed history in the making or spent time with an old friend laughing in the sun I didn't record it. Oh well, fond memories just the same.
Anxious Melancholy

Mountain climber
Between the Depths of Despair & Heights of Folly
Jul 15, 2013 - 08:37pm PT
Its all temporary. I lost 30 years of climbing photos in a fire. It hurt then, and huts even now, ten years later. It does make one put these artifacts in perspective. As many have pointed out, media changes over time, and our corporeal residence on this plane is fleeting.

If I can positively influence those around me, and send positive echos into the future via these encounters, then my pain over lost images is ultimately insignificant.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jul 15, 2013 - 08:44pm PT
BURN THEM!!!!

That would be Savage.
froodish

Social climber
Portland, Oregon
Jul 15, 2013 - 08:54pm PT
Mark,

for an offsite backup, consider something like an Amazon S3 bucket:

http://aws.amazon.com/free/

5GB free for the first year, really cheap after that.
hooblie

climber
from out where the anecdotes roam
Jul 16, 2013 - 10:21pm PT
to cause us to be dumbstruck by the awesomeness of your trash can,
you'll have to get down really low and shoot skyward, sheesh
Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Jul 17, 2013 - 07:34pm PT
I'm saving someone from a big, boring, time consuming job after I die.

No kidding, Mark.

I have at least 60,000 climbing-related slides, mostly adventure stuff (Africa, Alaska, South America, Australia, etc.), but also portraits of everyone from RR (in '94) to Wilford (in '92)...a huge, huge compendium of stuff.

Not sure what to do with it all except scan it.

Camster
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Aug 4, 2013 - 07:56pm PT
going through my family's slides, I looked for an easier way than to scan them one by one. I thought, Boomer already paid hundreds to have these loaded onto four CDs in 2007: there has got to be a way to get these images off the CD and I figured it out, eventually.

I just now tossed all eighteen boxes of slides. I live in a studio, and space is more precious than old slides I'll never need. Each of the kids got a set of CDs, so nobody's gonna miss'em or even know they're gone.

The thing is, somebody has to scan the slides, and unless you have nada to do, I recommend going through them, deciding which to keep, and sending them out to have them scanned and loaded on to disc. You can make copies off the disc, a simple process, as you need them. Works for me, but I ain't the one that paid to have the discs made!
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