Everyone wants to be able to preserve their great moments and good memories. While our memories and items may fade, some objects like photos do not. Back in the day, our ancestors may not have had the means to properly preserve their photos. As a result, many of them have been damaged over time.
Nowadays, there are things you can do to prolong its life and have it last a long time. To those who want to save their memories for decades to come, these are what you need to do.
Remove other materials
Inexpensive adhesives like glue and tape can become acidic and damage your photos over time. If you want to preserve them, you have to first remove these from the photos. This includes staplers as well. It causes discoloration and causes the photos to go faded over time. Actually, this is why many people discourage you from adding photos in scrapbooks unless you are using a special type of glue.
For those that must stick the photo on something, photo mounts are better alternatives to this. There are also special kinds of adhesive such as photo-safe hinging tape that doesn’t do damage. As a general rule for any adhesive, only stick the corners of the photos so as not to damage the main images. The International Museum of Photography says that if the photo has been in an album for over 60 years, then it’s best not to remove them because the damage has already been done.
When removing photos that have been glued, be careful that you don’t crumple them. Using a thin spatula or scraper can help gently remove the adhesive. You can also try using yarn or dental floss and slide it under the photo.
Restore old photos
Thanks to modern technology, even a century-old photo can be fixed. Restoration is a common practice for aged and damaged photos. There are even some services that allow you to colorize them. It can remove scratches and folds. You can hire a professional to do this but actually, even a normal person can do this with Photoshop.
Another process that is similar to restoration is image enhancement. If an old photo has poor lighting and is a bit blurry, you can manipulate it to have clearer results. This process is more on retouching the image, so it’s best if you want to make sure faces or scenery are more visible in a photo.
Store them online
Photo restoration often comes with digital copies. This is a must if you want to keep images forever. Physical photographs can easily be lost, so storing digital copies will help you preserve them. There are multiple internal and external tools today that can ensure that even when you lose your gadget, your photos can still be accessed.
The most common practice is to have them stored on your personal laptop or computer. However, these devices can easily be corrupted. That’s why most people have an external hard drive, not just for their photos but for other files as well. You can also upload them to your personal drive. Both these methods can help you store it with you.
Another option is subscribing to online photo storage tools. These would automatically backup your files for you. If you ever lose your device and hard drive, these software tools will remain unaffected. Similarly, it also allows you to share it with others. All you need to do is give access or send links, and family members from around the world can view your photos.
Keep them in a controlled environment
Lastly, the physical copies need to be placed in a more secure location to avoid further damage. It’s best to layer them between acid-free materials like cardboard or plastic sleeves. If possible. have them framed as well. Photos are best in closed storage as well such as boxes or cabinets. What some people do is create copies and hang the copies. Meanwhile, the original ones are stored away.
When storing photos, make sure that they are in an area away from direct sunlight. This causes the photos to fade and become discolored. Although it would still fade over time, this would at least slow down the process. Warm weather also causes them to become brittle. It also needs to be in an area with a consistent temperature. Extreme hot and cold changes can cause the material to deteriorate. A cool and dry area is ideal, which makes the attic a big no.
Make sure that aged photos are handled with care. Use gloves if possible because the material has likely become fragile and weak.