Archive: ‘Black & White’

It is OK to Tell Your Family Secrets!

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Most moms have a secret. 


they may be cute secrets….

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but it tortures them every time they think about it.

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Hidden photos.

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We all have them. Old deckle-edge photos and photos from our more recent past. Under the bed, in shoeboxes, in old crumbled drug store envelopes, in the guest room, at your parent’s house or safety deposit box. They may be hidden but we know they are still there…and worse of all YOU know they are there.  Our family history lurking in the corners of our clutter…just reminding us of unfinished projects and good intentions. Perhaps causing more stress in our already stressful lives.

The saddest thing is to inherit a box of old photos that you know include life long memories of your family and you have no idea who the people are. Hence the guilt. The guilt of not doing anything with them while you are still coherent enough to know who the people are.


I say gather these wonderful treasures and enjoy them! Face the project head on and don’t let the guilt slow you down! Scan them and put them in a digital book to keep on the coffee table so all can enjoy. Better yet, make a book for your family and make multiple copies for all.

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Maybe you will uncover trays of slides or other strange photographic archives. I found a wonderful box of news clippings!  I say transfer them all to digital treasures that you can edit if needed (no need to pay a lot of money for editing these days, do it yourself) and put them in a book. Do you have to do all of them? NO! Just get a good sampling of your favorites and get it done. If you don’t have time to scan them yourself take them to Costco or Target they will do it for you and hand you a DVD loaded with your treasures..

Do you need to ask for the box of old photos from your aunt or grandmother? Do it! Promise that you will get them back to her in a  few days…but get them and scan them and make books for all to enjoy.

After all that is why they were taken in the first hope that someday down the road future generations would know the history of all that was good in life at the time.  I can promise you that your grandparents did not take photos so they would be stowed away under a dusty bed one day’; you didn’t either.

Please let me know if you have questions about the process;  you will be so glad that you let this family secret out of the bag or box!

Tip: I have a rather large HP flat bed photo scanner (very inexpensive). It works great. It says that it is a photo scanner so that makes me feel better…not sure how a regular document scanner would do. Mine will scan slides too thank goodness. If you have any recommendations, post them on our FB page. Memory Manager photo organization software is perfect for the job of getting them scanned/fixed and organized.

From my 8×8 Heritage Album:

Mom Hopkins Book - Page 047  Mom Hopkins Book - Page 054 Mom Hopkins Book - Page 060 Mom Hopkins Book - Page 032

I use StoryBook Creator Plus software this was the predesigned Vintage Blues template. I love that I can make one book and then make multiple copies for my whole extended family that way ‘everyone’ can enjoy our heritage photographs!

Hidden Photo Treasures

Monday, January 10th, 2011

What is a photo treasure? It is a photo that you find within an older photo that you didn’t know you had!

Andrew bw Evan wtih Donna Cropped and sepia

I love these pictures. You may not think they are that great, but to me, the mom, I see my sweet babies.  I have them included in a  small arrangement of frames around my house and keep some at my bedside. When the boys were babies I was still using film and I unfortunately did not know much about what I was doing with my camera.  As I get more experience with my photography I am sad that I don’t have the shots of my babies that I know I would get today.  I have very few close up shots and so many of my shots were out of focus. So what is a camera mom to do? Go on a treasure hunt of course!

Look through your old photos with a new eye. Look for the photo within the photo and see what you can find.  You want to look for clear sharp images and believe it or not the ones from a basic point and shoot camera work well. Once you find some good candidates then scan them into your editing software. The next step is to crop it close. Crop it, change it to sepia or black and white lighten it up a good bit and see what you come up with.

You won’t believe where I found my treasures.

the photos on the left were cropped out of the photos on the right.

Andrew bw 4 x 6 landscape blank pages - Page 001

Evan wtih Donna Cropped and sepia 4 x 6 landscape blank pages - Page 002

Sometime it doesn’t work if the resolution is not good; but if you have a good scanner you will get pretty good results.

Here is another treasure:

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Go on a photo treasure hunt! Have fun, crop in close and do a little editing. You will be SO excited over what you discover… these may just become your favorite photos! Let me know what treasures you find on your hunt!!

Finding Black and White ‘Gifts’ From From Color Photos.

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Christmas colors are wonderful but there is something to be said for the nostalgic look of the black and white print.

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This is a Christmas photo of me and my siblings not too many years ago (ha). I love the look and feel of this print. It was a gift to me from my mom and is the only one we have like it.  I love the fact that my brother looks like he is trying to escape and my sister looks so proud in her new dress, but what is up with those bangs we have?! Don’t you agree that this print would take on a whole different look if it were in color?

When the twins went to see Santa, I was in a hurry and wasn’t thinking about this photo above. The color photos I took last weekend were alright but not thrilling. A few days later I looked at them again and decided to change them to b&w …..and I love them now! They tell such a different story to me.

This is the before in color:


it is OK but the toys in the background and all the red color is a bit distracting;  it tells a story of the toy store and the activity of going to see Santa.


This is the b&w and all of a sudden I really see the emotion or the magic emerge from this photo. I can just hear Andrew describe his Star Wars ship and Evan the Toy Story toy he wants; their hands are telling the story! I didn’t notice their hands as much the first time I looked at the color photo.  The B&W tells a different story. It seems more simple and warm and, even though they are the same photo, I really like this one better.

There are 2 things to do when you convert to b&w or sepia:

1.  Usually you will want to crop in a bit and get closer

2. You will always want to brighten it up (increasing the mid-tones) and possibly make it a bit warmer on your temperature setting. If  you do a straight conversion it will almost always be too dark.

Go ‘unwrap’ some black and white photo gifts! You already have them! All you have to do is go to your color photos and start looking for the treasures! They are there and you will be thrilled to find them, you may even want to frame a few to put around the house.  (Be sure and share them with us too!)

Happy treasure hunting!


Decisions Decisions Decisions….Color or Sepia or B&W?

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
IMG_8592 superman and batman sepia IMG_8592 b w
Color, or sepia or B&W…you decide. If there are a lot of colors in your photo your brain has to work harder to process the info… believe it or not 🙂 Your mind tends to tell a little different story with full color image, especially if there are vibrant or many colors in one photo.  When you have only one color to process in your mind, you will read a little more emotion into the story as a general rule. Neither is right or wrong. As much as I love B&W, I do love color too. The soft skin tones of a baby/child are beautiful in color.
Remember that the color could be part of the story, so take that into consideration when you make your decision…Superman does have a red cape! The sepia and B & W tells a whole different ‘timeless’ story….  As the mom, you get to make the final decision.
Can’t decide? There is nothing wrong with loving all three!
F 2.8, 1/100, ISO 100

Editing tip: Remember if you change to B&W or Sepia you will always need to lighten the photo.

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