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Recommendation on what to do with slides

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
In an unusual burst of energy, yesterday I decided to clean out a few drawers. Lo and behold, two of them are filled with slides. For whatever reason, all of the pictures I took during the years I lived in Spain (70-71, 72-73, and 76-77) are slides. I would really love to be able to see them and wonder if any of the forum tech angels would could recommend a way to do it. I would be happy to buy a piece of equipment if that is the best way, but my goal would be to get them on my computer as photos. A little online searching leaves me with a million options and no way to evaluate.

Sorry for this off-camino topic. So I will bring it a little closer to the camino by saying — wouldn’t it be nice to see pictures of Santiago from 1970?!
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I have been scanning film negatives recently, using an Epson photo scanner. It has a tray device to hold negatives and also slides (4 slides at a time). I press a button, and a minute later I can view the individual photos separately saved on my computer. I can even do other things on the computer at the same time.

You should also check your local photo shop as they likely offer this service. If you just have a batch of slides to do, it might be worth paying them to get it done more quickly.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I would prefer not to buy a new piece of equipment, which would soon be in the pile to take to our yearly electronics recycling event. So, I will put the photo scanner last on the list of the three options you guys have suggested — Thanks so much!

Our public library has a machine/device that converts slides to digital files.
Our library does indeed offer this service. It will be time consuming, and will require multiple visits, but I am not short on time these days! The very nice archival librarian encouraged me to try it. First step, she suggested would be to bring in several boxes and flip through them on their backlit screen to pick some to scan. Then next step, bring in a bunch of the ones I want to scan and a USB stick and see how many can get done in an hour. She says it is usually under 50. With covid, they are asking patrons to make hour long appointments since they are in a small space. I am not sure I will take her up on this quite yet, because my community is having a mini-surge in covid cases.

You should also check your local photo shop as they likely offer this service
I am having a hard time even finding a local photo shop — the ones that were here in the days of cameras have long since disappeared. I have a couple of options to check out on Monday, but they are printing services shops. Their websites don’t indicate that they do this service, but I suppose that it is possible. I will check, because it would be much easier to just have someone scan them all and then let me delete one by one. I suspect this could be quite pricey, but I’ll investigate. Thanks!
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I would prefer not to buy a new piece of equipment, which would soon be in the pile to take to our yearly electronics recycling event.
Agree. My scanner was purchased 5 years ago to assist with my mother's legacy of 100-year-old photos, negatives of all types, and other documents. Besides, you would have to install the scanner, etc., etc., which I know you wouldn't be thrilled about!

I am having a hard time even finding a local photo shop
A local pharmacy chain in my area, which has a photo service, has a scanning service. How about Walmart or similar? I'm sure you can find companies on the internet, where you need to send your slides away, but you might be understandably nervous about losing them.

Our library does indeed offer this service.
It makes a lot of sense to give this a trial.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
However you do it, you have got to get them digital, or you will lose them forever.

I did mine years ago (I mean YEARS) ago, so I don’t remember how, but so glad I did.

Good luck! Let us know.

My husband was rummaging around recently mumbling what to do about some slides he’d found . . .
 

FSP

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(13)
Portuguese & Finisterre(16)
Norte & Muxia(18)
Olvidado&Salvador&Primitivo(20??)
Hi, Several years ago I bought a digital scanner that accepted negatives, slides and small photos. I scanned a great number of slides but found the scanner really picked up the grain in the film. Of course the higher the ISO the more grain showed up. On pics that mattered more to me I tried just taking a digital photograph of the slide as it was projected onto my old screen (remember those?). It greatly reduced the grainy impacts I saw in the scanned slides. After that I just set up my workflow to process the slides I wanted in digital form with my camera a tripod and my projector and a nice darkened room. It was also nice just going through the old slides that I wouldn't have otherwise. Mind you the technology for scanning and reducing the grain in the film may be much better now.
 

MisterH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018 neither successful
I have the same problem. Fortunately all my Camino pictures are digital. I'll try the only photo shop I know of later on today. I hadn't thought of them until that was mentioned above. I had a bunch of 16mm films put on DVD by Costco a few years ago, but I heard that they have stopped doing that.
 

jirit

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007,
Via Francigena Italy, 2008,
Jakobsweg Austria 2010,
Camino Frances 2011,
Le Puy to Lourdes 2012,
Via de la Plata 2013,
Future:
Ökumenischer (Via Regia), Germany,
Lycian Way, Turkey
You can buy a simple CMOS scanner for approx $100 that will allow you to scan both negatives and slides

Next you will want to down load GIMP https://www.gimp.org and use this to clean up the images. After so many years you will find that the colour will have shifted and you will need to colour correct the digital images along with removing any dust spots etc
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
However you do it, you have got to get them digital, or you will lose them forever.
...
Actually you will eventually lose everything digitalized but nothing on celluloid if stored properly. That's why some even make negative copies from their most loved digital photos. Just saying (as a professional). Moving pictures are 125 years old and we can still see the originals ;)
 

Viggen

Vigo
Camino(s) past & future
CF June 2015
CP June 2017
Del Norte, Finisterre / Muxia Oct 2017
VDLP 2018
VF, SBP to Rome 2019
In an unusual burst of energy, yesterday I decided to clean out a few drawers. Lo and behold, two of them are filled with slides. For whatever reason, all of the pictures I took during the years I lived in Spain (70-71, 72-73, and 76-77) are slides. I would really love to be able to see them and wonder if any of the forum tech angels would could recommend a way to do it. I would be happy to buy a piece of equipment if that is the best way, but my goal would be to get them on my computer as photos. A little online searching leaves me with a million options and no way to evaluate.

Sorry for this off-camino topic. So I will bring it a little closer to the camino by saying — wouldn’t it be nice to see pictures of Santiago from 1970?!
It would be cheaper and better quality if you send it to an online service provider. I have hundreds of slides and super 8 reels that I need to send off :). Some have complicated ordering system, and others are straight forward, like ScanToDigital.com.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
I scanned close to 5000 slides into a digital format. I bought a flatbed scanner that would scan about 16 slides at once. It depends on whether you want to be fairly meticulous or just want to get it done.

Online services will do it quickly but perhaps not cheaply but they will avoid the considerable hassle of doing it yourself. But, you lose control on the quality.

If money is not really a constraint, I'd do the following:

1) Send off the slides to somewhere to get them scanned making sure that they send the originals back.
2) Once you get them back, take a look slide by slide and see which ones meet your standards and which don't
3) If you have a lot that are not sufficient, buy a scanner (probably one of the slide by slide scanners) and fix the problem slides
4) You'll probably also want some type of software that can be used to adjust the color back to normal. If your slides are fairly old, the colors will have shifted and software can bring it back into shape. I use Adobe Photoshop but there are others that work as well. All have trial periods. You'll be amazed at what they bring back. It also allows you to crop out bad pieces and make general corrections (like removing dust and other spots from the slide images).
5) Lastly, but a wallpaper software like Displayfusion which will show you your slides randomly on your PC. Brings back memories as you toil on whatever you toil on.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2020)
It’s going to be a lot of work, or expensive. Probably the first thing you want to do is cull the slides to the ones that you find important. Probably not every image is something you care about.

If I was doing this I would assume a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes per slide including editing the images. If you have 100 slides you can see how that time can really add up. And I think that would be quick.

I have a little handheld slide viewer that you hold up to the sky or a light which is helpful to quickly sort and view slides. Here it is on Amazon:

If you want good results you will have to use at least a simple image editing program to edit the scanned images. If you have some sort of tablet the easiest image editing app I ever found is called Snapseed. But it only works on mobile. Someone above suggested “gimp”, but there’s a steep learning curve, although it will do everything. ”PixelMater“is good and cheap if you use apple. And Apple has a pretty good editor built-in called “photos”, and I’m sure there’s a built-in image editor on PC’s.

Of course, if you skip the editing part and just scan them, that 50 slides an hour estimate from your librarian is probably accurate once you get the hang of it

Good Luck.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
If you scan them in you may have a choice of what format they should be in. I would select a lossless format like PNG. These take up more disk space but the quality would be much better. After doing color correction and other editing I would then make a copy of all of them. I would then convert these copies to space saving jpegs. I have done this using a free program called ImageMagick [sic]. A simple command in a batch file could do the converts all at once. Then, say you want to crop an image (perhaps to focus attention on the people), use the lossless version as the source. Using jpegs to make jpegs will increasingly degrade image quality.
 

alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
I have been facing the same. I triaged old family slides using light table, ordered/arranged them per instructions, then had a professional service convert them to jpeg in bulk--cost about $0.25 each. Cost shared with 2 siblings. I use Picasa to put in tags but not sure yet how to use on retrieval. Also paid to have all the old VHS converted to mpg. But boy, are the hard and time consuming to edit down to useful scenes.

My Epson scanner is good, but very slow with setup etc for 4 slides at a time. But I use it as I find small stashes of old slides. Not too worried abut quality since few will be blown up to 11x14 for anybodies walls.
Now in the midst of what to do to leave behind a 'story' and not just a pile of family detritus. In hindsight I already was too kind on triage--what descendants really want to see 20 Thanksgiving dinner photos.

So far I have done one 20 minute multimedia (Pinnacle and MovieMaker), slide and movie clip show with music of her favorite family songs as sound. Was for wife's life from birth until post college and consumed better part of 3 weeks time.

Much depends on what one wants to do by way of leavings for posterity--and I have not fully decided that yet.
But I do know that kids and grandkids are not interested in a detailed story of my 340+ days on caminos. So I struggle to find a way to tell my camino story in under 30 minutes!! I am now thinking a multimedia show plus a dictated (just got going with DragonNaturallySpeaking) storyline.

For both my father and father-in-laws autobiography, I just scanned into *.pdf to make them safer and easy to disseminate.

Good project for this no-camino lockdown; lots of laughter and tears as I triage camino photos. (I am still clinging to all the mushroom/fungi photos mainly from France!!)
 

Sixwheeler

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arles Route (2013/2014 onwards)
Apart from libraries some photographic shops and printers will be able to scan slides for you and there are companies that will do it for you so probably no need to buy anything. Good Luck, I too have an old suitcase in the garage full of slides!
 

MisterH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018 neither successful
I have been facing the same. I triaged old family slides using light table, ordered/arranged them per instructions, then had a professional service convert them to jpeg in bulk--cost about $0.25 each. Cost shared with 2 siblings. I use Picasa to put in tags but not sure yet how to use on retrieval. Also paid to have all the old VHS converted to mpg. But boy, are the hard and time consuming to edit down to useful scenes.

My Epson scanner is good, but very slow with setup etc for 4 slides at a time. But I use it as I find small stashes of old slides. Not too worried abut quality since few will be blown up to 11x14 for anybodies walls.
Now in the midst of what to do to leave behind a 'story' and not just a pile of family detritus. In hindsight I already was too kind on triage--what descendants really want to see 20 Thanksgiving dinner photos.

So far I have done one 20 minute multimedia (Pinnacle and MovieMaker), slide and movie clip show with music of her favorite family songs as sound. Was for wife's life from birth until post college and consumed better part of 3 weeks time.

Much depends on what one wants to do by way of leavings for posterity--and I have not fully decided that yet.
But I do know that kids and grandkids are not interested in a detailed story of my 340+ days on caminos. So I struggle to find a way to tell my camino story in under 30 minutes!! I am now thinking a multimedia show plus a dictated (just got going with DragonNaturallySpeaking) storyline.

For both my father and father-in-laws autobiography, I just scanned into *.pdf to make them safer and easy to disseminate.

Good project for this no-camino lockdown; lots of laughter and tears as I triage camino photos. (I am still clinging to all the mushroom/fungi photos mainly from France!!)
Thank you for providing an estimate ($0.25) of the scanning cost per slide. To scan all of mine in will come to over $1,500! Now I have to see how many of the slides are worth scanning in. I went to the only good photo shop in town and they don't currently have one available for sale. They expect to get some in latter on in August, but they reccomended one and said to get it on line. I have it on order, now all I have to do is scan a bunch of slides in with my $160 scanner. The time it takes might be a killer.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015)
In an unusual burst of energy, yesterday I decided to clean out a few drawers. Lo and behold, two of them are filled with slides. For whatever reason, all of the pictures I took during the years I lived in Spain (70-71, 72-73, and 76-77) are slides. I would really love to be able to see them and wonder if any of the forum tech angels would could recommend a way to do it. I would be happy to buy a piece of equipment if that is the best way, but my goal would be to get them on my computer as photos. A little online searching leaves me with a million options and no way to evaluate.

Sorry for this off-camino topic. So I will bring it a little closer to the camino by saying — wouldn’t it be nice to see pictures of Santiago from 1970?!
There are services that will scan for you. I’ve used www.scandigital.com. They did a nice job. Another is www.scancafe.com. There may be businesses providing scanning services in your area.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
If you're worried about the cost of scanning a lot of photos that you might not necessarily want to keep, there are some services that allow you to select the digital images that you want to pay for after they have digitized the entire set - GoPhoto is one that I've heard of but I don't have any direct experience of the service.

For those of us who take a lot of bad photos, that's quite handy. Mind you, even a bad photo can become interesting with the passing of time.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for all the great suggestions. I think the best thing to do is cull before I worry about scanning. I have tried and failed to find out how to turn my ipad into a backlit screen that will show me the slides more clearly than my current method, which involves squinting one eye shut and holding up to the light. ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I think the best thing to do is cull before I worry about scanning.
I was going to suggest something like this viewer (I have a couple of similar models) until I saw the 2020 price: $46, on sale!

You could make something similar cheaply though. A thin translucent plastic cutting board with bamboo skewers thicker than the cardboard holding the film glued on for shelves that is then propped up at an angle with a light behind should do the job. Space the shelves so a slide resting on a shelf has its top propped up away from the translucent base. That makes it easy to remove the slide. Seeing more of your slides at once makes sorting them easier, especially if the slides are loose and out of order. I think this will make the review of your trips more enjoyable too.
 
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Yoyo

➜ I'd rather be walking ➜
Camino(s) past & future
2017: CF 800 km
2019: CF 180 km
I am also in the process of digitalizing some slides and negatives using a Wolverine converter (probably not the best out there, but okay). As I fear digital data are easily lost, my plan is to then pick the best or most memorable shots and make several differently themed photo books (family, vacations, etc.), the type you can edit and order online.
So, whatever happens to the digital pictures, my most precious shots will be safe and easily accessible and can be handed down to the next generation, should they be interested.
 

alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
Since I am now trying to create stories with my slides/scans, with 20/20 hindsight I urge:
cull, cull, cull.
 

MisterH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018 neither successful
If there are some slides that you really want to save, and perhaps share with friends, you can save them in the cloud. Google currently offers multiple giga bytes of free storage. There are other cloud storage accounts available, each with slightly different features. I pay Google 1.99 a month for 100 GB of storage. They have some free storage option and I don't know what it is.
 
Last edited:

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2020)
I pay Google 1.99 a month for 100 GB of storage. They have some free storage option and I don't know what it is.
Google offers 15 GB of free storage of whatever data you choose, photos or documents. They will also store an unlimited number of photos, but they’ll reduce the file size. All free. But you have to choose what you want. 15 GB or unlimited with reduce file size. And of course, as you point out, you can pay for more, but I assume all that will disappear if you ever stop paying. You can also post up to 1000 photos free on Flickr, as long as they’re under 200 MB in file size.

I also every once in a while burn some discs of my most precious digital data, and keep it in my car in case the house burns down.Ha ha.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017 Considering Invierno late (2020) In lieu of VdlP (2020)
Actually you will eventually lose everything digitalized but nothing on celluloid if stored properly. That's why some even make negative copies from their most loved digital photos. Just saying (as a professional). Moving pictures are 125 years old and we can still see the originals ;)
Twenty - Five years ago I worked on a project for digitising the document library of an aircraft manufacturer so they did not have worry about their document store going up in flames. The outcome of the project was that they would still have to maintain their paper and microfiche document store since no magnetic or optical media could be guaranteed to be safe. I backup my digital media files to "data Safe" DVDs however there is no guarantee from any manufacturer. There is usually a description concerning their estimated life expectancy.

BTW I still use 110 Roll film in my medium format camera and get it developed the old fashioned way from a mail order phot lab. I then scan it on my ancient Epson slide scanner and print on my ancient Kodak printer.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Twenty - Five years ago I worked on a project for digitising the document library of an aircraft manufacturer so they did not have worry about their document store going up in flames. The outcome of the project was that they would still have to maintain their paper and microfiche document store since no magnetic or optical media could be guaranteed to be safe. I backup my digital media files to "data Safe" DVDs however there is no guarantee from any manufacturer. There is usually a description concerning their estimated life expectancy.

BTW I still use 110 Roll film in my medium format camera and get it developed the old fashioned way from a mail order phot lab. I then scan it on my ancient Epson slide scanner and print on my ancient Kodak printer.
Wise man :)
 

An Tincéir

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2009) Norte (2016) Norte/Primitivo (2018)
In an unusual burst of energy, yesterday I decided to clean out a few drawers. Lo and behold, two of them are filled with slides. For whatever reason, all of the pictures I took during the years I lived in Spain (70-71, 72-73, and 76-77) are slides. I would really love to be able to see them and wonder if any of the forum tech angels would could recommend a way to do it. I would be happy to buy a piece of equipment if that is the best way, but my goal would be to get them on my computer as photos. A little online searching leaves me with a million options and no way to evaluate.

Sorry for this off-camino topic. So I will bring it a little closer to the camino by saying — wouldn’t it be nice to see pictures of Santiago from 1970?!
There are fairly inexpensive slide and negative scanners available that you can hook up to your computer to do this. If the slides are good you will get pretty good results . Even if the slides are dusty/ mouldy the software that comes with the scanner often has a “cleanup” feature to help repair them.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Twenty - Five years ago I worked on a project for digitising the document library of an aircraft manufacturer so they did not have worry about their document store going up in flames. The outcome of the project was that they would still have to maintain their paper and microfiche document store since no magnetic or optical media could be guaranteed to be safe. I backup my digital media files to "data Safe" DVDs however there is no guarantee from any manufacturer. There is usually a description concerning their estimated life expectancy.

BTW I still use 110 Roll film in my medium format camera and get it developed the old fashioned way from a mail order phot lab. I then scan it on my ancient Epson slide scanner and print on my ancient Kodak printer.
With redundant storage on different cloud services in different regions, you are probably fairly safe that the ones and zeroes that represent your digital files will have a long life expectancy. The individual drives may not be guaranteed to be safe, but there will be enough redundant storage to cover you should any individual store fail, and to transfer the content onto something new. And if it starts looking like our electronic infrastructure is going away, you can always print them onto paper again. Of course, that's if you can still read the ones and zeroes because the software to do so is still available (think of trying to open a Wordstar document today). The ability to read the files is likely to be a bigger long term risk than the degradation of the media.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017 Considering Invierno late (2020) In lieu of VdlP (2020)
With redundant storage on different cloud services in different regions, you are probably fairly safe that the ones and zeroes that represent your digital files will have a long life expectancy. The individual drives may not be guaranteed to be safe, but there will be enough redundant storage to cover you should any individual store fail, and to transfer the content onto something new. And if it starts looking like our electronic infrastructure is going away, you can always print them onto paper again. Of course, that's if you can still read the ones and zeroes because the software to do so is still available (think of trying to open a Wordstar document today). The ability to read the files is likely to be a bigger long term risk than the degradation of the media.
I have had a wide and varied career in IT/Telecoms and I helped set up the Cloud Storage as a Service (SaaS) infrastructure for a number of the bigger players. The nature of the SaaS product should mean that data is available when components fail and the designated alternate backup takes over. This also assumes you are continuing to pay the fees.
I am paranoid, I keep my important data on a raid array. I then mirror the ultra important stuff on one raid system to a second raid array. I also periodically back up my data to offline HDDs and have archives of data on Datasafe DVDs. This used to be called hierarchical storage management (HSM).
I can still retrieve photos/scans of childrens schoolwork to embarrass my adult kids when thy discuss plans for my nursing home.
 

MisterH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018 neither successful
I have had a wide and varied career in IT/Telecoms and I helped set up the Cloud Storage as a Service (SaaS) infrastructure for a number of the bigger players. The nature of the SaaS product should mean that data is available when components fail and the designated alternate backup takes over. This also assumes you are continuing to pay the fees.
I am paranoid, I keep my important data on a raid array. I then mirror the ultra important stuff on one raid system to a second raid array. I also periodically back up my data to offline HDDs and have archives of data on Datasafe DVDs. This used to be called hierarchical storage management (HSM).
I can still retrieve photos/scans of childrens schoolwork to embarrass my adult kids when thy discuss plans for my nursing home.
The other big problem with older files is having software that will support them. It used to be that Microsoft's word program couldn't work with files generated with previous revs of the software. It could work with files 1 or 2 revs old, but not with revs 5 or 6 revs back. Then some software has an unusual format and when they go out of business recovering the file gets difficult.
 

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