Thursday, July 14, 2011

Flashback Friday

A few years ago when I still lived in New York, I embarked on an ambitious project to scan all my family slides and photographs. Considering that this covers hundreds of images from the 50's to the current day, it was very ambitious, indeed. So far, I've covered the 50's through the late 70's (and have hundreds more images to go).

One of the most challenging elements of scanning and uploading old pics has been deciding how to edit them. Some are easy fixes (tweak contrast, remove scratches, etc.) but some I don't know if I should even touch.

For example, that photo above - I know it looks washed out and yellowed with age. I know that it probably doesn't reflect the colors it once did when it was taken. But I have a nostalgia and sentiment for that picture, exactly the way that it looks.

2. After editing the contrast and color temperature in Picnik:

3. What Picnik gave me when I clicked "Auto-fix:"

4. Me throwing up my hands in frustration and editing in Photoshop. :)

Maybe these look more true to the original image, or maybe just more true to the colors they were actually photographing (although how would I ever really know that?). But neither of these evoke my original emotion for the picture. After "correcting" it, I'm not sure that I like it anymore.

I'm thinking this could be a good recurring theme for Flashback Friday - I'll show you an image I've scanned, then some tweaks, and ask you to help me decide which (if any) is better. :)

So, what do you guys think? If you had to choose one of these versions, which would you pick?
1.  2. mom4 3.  4.  ?

1 comment:

Velvet Tangerine said...

I often struggle with this dilemma myself because I absolutely love scanning my family's old photos from the 20's-70's. I keep a flickr set dedicated to just these photos. For my flickr set I generally upload and make public images with minor corrections made to them, but also upload the original and keep it private for myself. So, in terms of which of your images looks "better" I would have to say the one you manually corrected, but by no means do I want to discount the value of a family photo worn with age and love!