For the past few weeks I’ve been working on a Father’s Day project – creating a photo book filled with old photos from the time when Dad was a little boy to just a few weeks ago. Many of the photos that are included in the book were taken by Dad many years ago; however, he hasn’t seen most of them in over 35 years. (Along with me, Mom got the photos and negatives in the divorce.)
Since my stepmother did call me out on this, I suppose I’ll admit that my only goal for Father’s Day these past few years is to find presents for Dad that “get” to him. He can have anything he wants off his Amazon Wishlist for his birthday or for Christmas, but I claim this one holiday to remind him why I’m his favorite (shhh, he doesn’t realize he has very limited choices).
Unfortunately, as I was selecting the photos for scanning, I discovered several of them were damaged. In those kinds of tough situations, I did the thing I know best, I panicked. (I am truly the chicken little among my steady-handed friends.) That’s when my cousin Chris called out of the blue and, as a graphic designer, found that he had volunteered to clean-up several photos. Holes magically disappeared, a tiger’s stripes returned and odd stains no longer waved at me from the surface of the photos. The images looked better than new.
I also want to thank a few others, most notably Drew Klausner from Pixl Fixl. I had an extremely low resolution image that had previously been fixed, but I couldn’t get it to work for the book . I needed the image not only repaired, but I needed to be able to print it in the photo book at its original size, which was 8″x10″ and without any grainy-ness. Drew to the rescue! He had the image cleaned up and shipped to me in no time. He also provided me with a digital download of the photo and thanks to his speed, Dad’s book is arriving on time. (WHEW! It was a close one.) Many thanks to Drew for patiently working with me and for getting the photo to me so quickly; he did a beautiful job.
Another thanks to Adobe Photoshop Elements 8, which is more thanks to Seth. After talking to him on a day I was having a photo resolution meltdown (which involved a small amount of screaming at my monitor for it daring to suggest a photo’s resolution was once again too low), I purchased the software. Seth pointed me in the right direction to find the tool I needed to do some basic photo repairs. It’s not pretty, but no one but me can easily find it. I have to say, I did feel pretty empowered fixing the photo on my own – so much so that I tried a photo that was more challenging. Ummm… let’s just say, “hooray Undo command!” (Ctrl+Z x30 and everything is all good again. Catastrophe avoided!) I’m now practicing “Save as”. One of us may have the finesse of a sledge-hammer.
Thanks to everyone for all your help on this project and to Jay for putting up with my insanity.
Now it’s just a waiting game to see how the present is received. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed until then.
I would love to see this, Beth. I’ve been wanting to do some different photo books and like you want to use some old photos so your work is bolstering my confidence, as usual. You are creative and smart and sentimental…an awesome combination!
And I am stealing “hooray Undo command”, making it my own. You will soon be able to purchase the t-shirt for a mere $19.99!
I want 10% of the profits or at least a free t-shirt!
The book turned out fairly well and Dad seemed to really like it. I included an inside joke – one of those that the next time you’re in town, I’ll have to tell you about. Gotta love my hillbilly family and their new worthy drama.
I want to create another book with all of the old family photos, but I have to be in a scanning mood again.
By the way, can I borrow you to follow me around and boost my self-esteem? Please? I don’t pay well, but I know a good cupcake shop!