I have a problem. I’m a junkie. A photographic junkie that is. I take too many pictures. I have so many photo albums now that I’ve run out of space to display them. I don’t exactly when the problem began. As a kid, I could care less about documenting and preserving our family history. But as an adult, I’ve come to realize that this collection of pictures, movies, photo albums and old black and whites is worth the world to me.
Then you play that morbid psychological game: Your house is on fire. You only have time to save a few precious things. What to you grab on the way out?Oh crap! Every single ‘thing’ I’ve purchased can be replaced. But the unique collection of images and movies I’ve amassed over the years; is priceless. But that stuff is spread throughout the house, so I guess I’ll just grab this clay paper weight my son made in Kindergarten and Kevin the goldfish. Something had to be done. So, I did what any normal person would do and asked Google. How do I convert VHS to digital? How do I convert my color slides into a digital format? How to I transfer my 16mm home moves to a DVD? How much is a desktop scanner, and will it scan negatives? And while I’m at it, do whales have eyelashes? (I’m an easy-to-distract person.)
The answers Google offered were simple; regardless of format, I basically needed to digitize my collection of memories.Still, it seemed overwhelming at first. I had bits and pieces of this and that in so many varying types and formats that it made my head spin. I took a deep breath and slowly began to add items to the box I had labeled ‘Digitize”. There were old 16mm movies, odd shaped negatives fished from the bottom of envelopes, slides, cassette tapes, DVD’s, old VHS tapes, smaller super VHS tapes, Betamax, 35mm film and more. I took the best of the best photos out of my albums and added them to box. As the box began to fill, I began to feel better.
I handed the box of precious cargo over to the experts at Cutboard Studio and a week later they had everything ready for pick up.
They were able to transfer my entire collection of my most precious memoires onto a portable hard drive that will essentially last forever. It was amazing.It was like dropping off a ton of miscellaneous parts at a mechanics shop and picking up a car. Now, instead of trying to get my son to take my 33 boxes of photo albums, I can hand him a piece of hardware that will fit in his shirt pocket. And if he’s anything like me, the day will come where he’ll realize that some things are worth more than money. Perhaps he’ll add his and his family’s most important moments to the collection and the cycle will continue and grow.
It’s hard to describe the peace of mind that came with getting everything digitally transferred. I suppose it’s similar to what an author feels when they finish a book or how an architect feels when a project is completed. I’ll continue to take pictures and put them into photo albums — old habits die hard — but the ones that are worth handing down will be added to my digital archive.
I have the best of both worlds. Old school photo albums I can thumb through in my golden years, and digital memories I can hand down for future generations to enjoy. Problem solved.
Bonus! In the process, I learned that some whales have mustaches and even sideburns. Now I need to Google images of whales with mutton chops!