vintage film

Vintage Image of the Day: 31

Throughout the month of January, we are scanning and sharing a vintage film slide each day. This week we are sharing vacation photos from California in the 1960s. 

life captured

Today includes our month of scanning and sharing vintage film slides. It was an interesting and slightly exhausting project. Now that I can see a month's worth of images on my computer, I have decided that film slides have the richest colors. Our digital world just can't compare. 

vintage palos verdes

We've been scanning more film from our family archives this week.

All of these are of Palos Verdes, California around 1960. The beautiful church is Wayfarers Chapel. The last photo taken from the car is really neat as seeing all the old cars!

We'll be back with more next week! 


film preservation: the 1960s home

Photo preservation is so cool. 

Who doesn't have a box of film slides that has been sitting on the top shelf of a closet for years and years? That dusty container holds precious memories that have been all but forgotten. Many of the people in the images have been gone for at least a generation. Homes, furnishings, cars and gardens look different. Colors and styles have changed. 

By preserving these images, we bring the past back to life. Perhaps we realize that so much of what is gone has come back in style again. Perhaps we see something that inspires us. We reconnect with family and friends we haven't seen for decades. For the first time, we "meet" grandparents and great-grandparents who gave us our appearances and personalities. We discover our love for 1960s Cadillacs or mid-century furniture. We decide to work on our posture. We shop for classic clothes that we hope will still look good forty years from now. We turn off the TV and put down our iPhones. We live for today.

Film slides won't last forever. Even if they have been stored in their original boxes in a climate-controlled space, they are very susceptible to fading, dirt and scratches. As someone who considers these images to be priceless, I recommend preserving digital and print versions of every image. From there, make multiple copies, share with family and friends and store at least one copy of the digital files in a fireproof safe.  

Last summer, I started preserving our family slides and discovered I had a passion for the process. Gerald & Joan now offers film preservation as one of our service lines, and we'd love to help you preserve your family's images. More importantly, we want to encourage you to get those boxes out of the closet. The memories are much too special to lose forever. 

Preserving Film Slides

As I've mentioned several times over the past few months, I inherited many boxes of vintage family film slides in September. Over the past month, I have been using my film scanner to scan, edit and preserve these slides. It has been a tedious process, but it is one that is well worth the time because so many of the images haven't been seen for 50 years. I was not yet born when my family lived in Palos Verdes, California. My family previously lived in Anchorage, Alaska (my grandparents and mother) and Green Mills, Ohio (my grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents). As I never spent time in either of those places but heard about them growing up, these images are like a time machine that has taken me back through history to meet the people I never had the opportunity to know and see the places I wasn't able to experience first-hand. It has been a truly incredible, almost out-of-body experience. After sharing this project with family, friends and neighbors, I have been surprised by how many of them have similar boxes of slides that are decaying in their closets and attics. The combination of their stories and my own have inspired me to offer film and photo scanning, editing and archiving as services of Gerald & Joan when our new website launches later this season. My own family's stories have become such an integral part of this blog that it only seems fitting that the preservation of other people's stories should be a part of Gerald & Joan as well.

Here are just a few of the people and places I've seen lately:

Mr. Benham

My great-grandmother's second husband, Kent W. Benham, at their home in Palos Verdes, California.

Joan, Julie and Elsie

Joan, Julie and Elsie in Palos Verdes, California.

Cheri, Elsie and Julie

Elsie with her granddaughters, Cheri and Julie, in Green Mills, Ohio, several years before their move to California.

Elsie and Julie

Elsie visiting Julie in Anchorage, Alaska.

Clyde and Julie

Julie visiting her grandfather Clyde in Green Mills, Ohio shortly before his passing.