Monday, March 30, 2009

old photos

I have a new project. I wasn't looking for a new way to occupy my time ... really I wasn't. It all started because I wanted to post that photo of myself at age 2 with the leaf rake. That photo was securely (!) stored in one of my mom's 'magnetic' photo albums that became so popular back in the 60s. I asked her if I could borrow the album for a couple of days, thinking I would just remove the photo, scan it, post it, put it back in place and return the album ... done. Right? Well, I couldn't budge the photo off the page. Couldn't position the whole page on the scanner because the pages are not removable from the album. Googled 'remove old photo from magnetic album.' Read about a couple of methods of removal and used the hair dryer and a flat x-acto blade, and after about an hour of careful, gentle heating and painstaking prying, the photo was free of its prison. Scanned it, photo-shopped out the crease in the middle, cropped it, warmed the color, and there you have me!

What is this new project I mentioned in the beginning? Removing all the old photos imprisoned in Mother's 'magnetic' albums. While I was reading how to remove the photos without damaging them, I also learned that those albums are archivally the worst thing that can happen to an old photo. The acid in the pages and the glue causes discoloration and deterioration of the image and the paper holding it, reducing them ... eventually ... to shreds and tatters! (sorry, I couldn't resist!) And it occurred to me that this would be a good project for my mom. My job will be to remove the photos from the old albums since her poor vision won't allow her to do so safely, and she will enjoy putting them in a new, archivally sound album. And that is a great excuse for a trip to Hobby Lobby ...

If you have any of those old 'magnetic' albums lying around, you just might want to take a look at the condition of the photos inside.

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