The Gordy Family
The Gordy Family
The Stories

Picture Submission

May 1, 2008
While the discussions below apply most directly to older family photographs, remember as you are digging out those photographs that there are other important family images, such as family Bibles, deeds, marriage certificates and tombstones. They all contribute to the picture of the past that unites us.  

Pictures may be submitted as digital scans in JPEG format, either as e-mail attachments sent to eileen@gordyfamily.org or written to a CD or DVD and sent by mail or other carrier. Alternatively original photographs may be sent (well packed!) and they will be scanned promptly and returned. If you are mailing materials, please e-mail Eileen at eileen@gordyfamily.org for the mailing address. The best option for scanning of photographs and other documents is to bring them to the reunion in Mississippi on June 28-29, 2008 where there will be a scanning person working throughout the reunion to scan photos and documents and log all pertinent information for each scanned image.  

LABELING THE PHOTOGRAPHS OR SCANS
For each photograph we need a minimum of the following information:
File name of scan or label on back of photo (can be number or description)
Date photograph was taken: (as accurate as you know)
Location where photograph was taken: town, county, state, country (as accurate as you know)
List of people in the picture:
Groups: List from left to right, front row first. If there are unknown people in a group, label the unknown persons as “unknown” in the list of names. If there are only a single or few people of interest in a photo, name those people and clearly describe their location in the photo. Obviously for a single person photo a name will do.
Connections of people in the picture: Provide connections for the people listed to the family tree and/or to each other. Remember that we are labeling these photos for people who may be looking for lost relatives and they need information to connect. Often this more general information can go in the gallery description for the group of family photos.
Story: If there is anything interesting about this photo that you can add to give others a perspective on it, it would be great. Examples: “The last picture taken of Great-Uncle George before he left for World War II.”  “Grandmother’s wedding picture” (even though her attire may not be what we would think of today as a wedding dress). “We found these pictures in Grandma’s attic after she died, and they were labeled!”

GUIDELINES FOR PHOTO SCANS
Resolution for scanning: SmugMug’s suggested scanning resolution is 302 dpi sized at 100% for best quality reproduction at the same size. Another way to express it is: if you scan an 8x10 photo at 100% with a 302 resolution, you will have an image that is an absolute 2416x3020 pixels. That will give you the optimum resolution for the SmugMug printers to reproduce the photo as an 8x10 print. If your photograph is small and of good quality and you would like to print an enlargement of it, or if you are only reproducing a portion of a photo (e.g. you are zooming in on one individual) you may wish to raise the resolution in proportion to the enlargement you would like to have. Example: You are cropping to a 2x3 section of a photograph and would like to have that section print well as a 4x6 finished print. You will want a resolution in a 4x6 file of 302 dpi or an absolute size of 1208x1812. To determine the resolution to set for your scan, divide the absolute width in pixels needed by the scanned width in inches (in this case: 1208/2 = 604) to give you the resolution for scanning. (Note: dividing the height in the same way would give you the same results.) SmugMug has excellent software and printers and the dpi will be adjusted as necessary to print as well as possible. The most important aspect of resolution for this application is to be close to optimum (without over-stressing about exactness) for the size you wish to reproduce. Higher resolution scans are better – but they can be much larger files and very hard to email or upload. Lower resolution scans have the “garbage in, garbage out” problem – SmugMug can’t print information you don’t give them. Scanning resolution is like life, always a trade-off.
           All that said, if you have a photo that is really important and you don’t want to ship the original…scan it at a high resolution (1000dpi) and put it on a CD and mail it to me! With that resolution it can be cropped in any way, and printed at any size, but it can’t be emailed anywhere…. Then I can upload a file that is cropped in on an individual and upload another file that is the entire photograph.
           For more information: See SmugMug help on resolution.
If you read the entire resolution page, you may decide to order prints rather than do them yourself…they are great!

Color for scanning:
The guidance for color scanning on SmugMug is great, use it! (It is excellent guidance for color scanning and correction for any application.) I would only add that for many of the older photos that we are using, it will probably be advantageous to convert them to grayscale as it very significantly reduces the file size. The only exception would be if there was a sepia tone to an aged photo that you really want to preserve.
           For more information: See SmugMug on color and correcting for quality prints
I would suggest reading the entire help area under “Getting Great Prints” (which includes the above information on resolution) especially if you are doing color photographs. There is much more information on color prints than on black and white. However their calibration print does include a black and white print (not too helpful with faces in black & white though). Opening the calibration image on your monitor in a second window and comparing with your image for brightness and contrast is very helpful.
           Beyond that, if you send me a good resolution scan that is a little flat, but has the information in it, I can optimize the image from there.

Damaged prints:
If you have a damaged print you would like help with, the best choice is to bring or send the print. If that is not an option make an email-able scan (100% at 200 dpi) and email it to eileen@gordyfamily.org and then we will talk about what may be possible. If it looks as if it can be significantly helped then you will need to make several high resolution scans (exactly the same resolution for all of them and without moving the print or even lifting the scanner lid) at different brightness and contrasts. This will provide a range of scans that optimize the information in the various areas – a too-dark overall scan can provide information in a faded area that is totally gone in a “normal” scan. Copy them all to CDs or a DVD and mail them.

I realize this is too much information for some of you, and not enough for others. If you have specific questions, please email them to me and I will do my best to help. Our overall goal is to provide access for all of the Gordy family to a collection of family images that are now scattered and each of them only known to a few of us. Please contribute if you can.
Thank you.

 

 

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