Today, technology is so advanced that we have forgotten the last time we printed a photo or watched a DVD movie. Today there is no need to take one single shot and hope it turned out to be good. We have the opportunity to take a hundred pictures and choose the best one. But what about old printed photos and family videos on tape? That’s right — you need to digitize your memories.
In this article, we’ll cover 5 ways to turn your memories into digital. Let’s go!
Why Digitalise Family Photos And Videos?
It’s inconvenient to store photos only in printed form. What if, for instance, you wanted to share pictures taken in your youth or childhood with your friends? You can show them in person only. The same goes for videos. You need to make a digital copy to send them to someone far from you. Moreover, digitized photos and videos can be a great Mother’s Day gift. Digitization prolongs the life of your priceless shots — when the photo deteriorates over time, you can print it again.
Digital copies don’t lose their brightness — they can be edited, printed, and shared with relatives and friends. But before that, you will have to choose an appropriate method. Let’s talk in detail about each of these options.
Five Easy Ways To Digitalise Your Family Archive
And so, let’s consider the most common ways to keep your memories for many and many years. But we would like to show you ways to digitize family videos first since there are only two main ones.
Way #1. Video Digitisation: Call a Professional
If you don’t know how to digitize video and don’t want to spend time learning, the easiest option is to give your old tape to a specialist who will do all the work in the shortest possible time.
Video digitization is carried out by full-fledged photo studios and individuals who own the necessary equipment and software. So if you want to digitize your family videotapes and save time, just give them to an experienced person and wait for the result.
As soon as your materials are digitized, you will get a link to the cloud storage, where you will find all digital copies of your materials. It’s also possible to purchase a DVD or USB drive to store your videos. Thereafter, you will receive the tapes back and can start shooting new pieces of your family history video.
Way #2. Video Digitisation: Do It Yourself
This option is suitable for those people who like to do everything themselves and have the necessary software. To digitalize an old videotape, you just need to connect a video player to your PC and install the VHS-to-digital converter in advance.
In addition, it won’t be improper to edit the final result — improve colour, brightness, and contrast by applying suitable filters. Modern video editors allow you to add overlays to videos, replace audio tracks, merge videos with different formats, and even replace the background.
There are enough videos on the network and on YouTube that show how to do it correctly and not lose the original data. Therefore, if you have time and a desire, you can digitize old videos yourself.
Way #3. Photo Digitisation: Using a Scanner
The scanner is the best option for digitizing photos due to the high quality of the final result and the absence of glare, dust, and reflections. However, it’s not necessary to buy such a gadget. A regular scanner will also work very well.
There are a couple of drawbacks to this digitizing process. Firstly, not everyone has such a device, so the method isn’t suitable for all our readers. Secondly, the format in which the scans are made may not match the size of the photo. So, you’ll need to use third-party photo editing programs and rotate and crop the excess. But since the market offers a huge number of photo editors (both paid and free), you shouldn’t have any problems with this.
Way #4. Photo Digitization: Using a Smartphone or Camera
The easiest and fastest way to digitize your photos is to use your smartphone’s built-in camera or SLR. Take a picture and then upload the images to your computer or cloud storage service. You can also post these photos on social media to share them with your friends and family.
But this method has some drawbacks, and the resulting images don’t always meet expectations. As a rule, additional editing is required — cutting edges, removing glare, and colour correction.
Way #5. Photo Digitization: Specialised Company
As with the first method on our list, you can leave your old photos to the professionals, especially if you have little time and patience. Such a contractor digitizes images on professional equipment. As a rule, the service includes special post-editing.
How To Use Digitised Photos?
Scanning and retouching photos greatly expand the possibilities of their use. Now you can not only share your favourite family photos with friends on social networks but also arrange them so that they take their rightful place in your home.
- Photowall. Having received a high-quality image in decent resolution, you can turn it into an art object. Order or create your own layouts in Photoshop and decorate the walls of your house with digitized photos.
- Photobook. Arrange old paper photos in the form of a modern photo book. This elegant solution will keep precious family photos for decades.
- Slideshow. You can surprise your near and dear ones by creating slideshows of old photos and showing them on the big screen. It will definitely make a pleasing impression.
If you find that your old photos and videos are starting to lose their original look, it’s time to turn your memories to digital. Once printed photos are converted to digital files, they are always at hand when you need them. Thus, it will be possible to find, share, and print any photo in a matter of minutes. The main thing is not to put it off until later so as not to regret the lost invaluable shots from your family history.